By Larry Atseff
n April 23, Hinsdale Magazine presented a seminar on Conscious Capitalism, featuring Roy Spencer, President and Founder of Perma-Seal, and Jim Fannin, America’s ZoneCoach©. Publisher Scott Jonlich moderated the event, held at Perma-Seal headquarters. Here are the key takeaways from the seminar. Roy Spencer, opened the seminar by first defining what Conscious Capitalism really is.
It is based on four goals:
1. Higher Purpose. Businesses should exist for a noble purpose beyond simply making money.
2. Follow a Stakeholder Model. Instead of rewarding just shareholders, truly care about your employees, your vendors, your customers and your environment/surroundings/community, as well as shareholders…for everyone’s mutual benefit
3. Companies Need Conscious Leadership, with a focus on “we”, not “me”…leading from the top.
4. Create a Conscious Culture where employees are engaged. He said, unfortunately we have an “epidemic of apathy”. He quoted a Gallup Poll that showed about 30% of the employees in average companies are engaged, 50% are not engaged…it is just a job, and 20% are disengaged and are often working against their company.
He then gave everyone a short history lesson on how civilization and economies have evolved. For almost all of recorded time, the goal for mankind has been simple survival. About 98% of the people over the millenia, have barely lived at a subsistence level. But then, in 1776 two key things happened. First, leaders in the thirteen colonies in what is now the United States, declared independence from England, to get out from under tyranny and seek freedom. The second thing was the publication of a book called “The Wealth of Nations”, by Adam Smith. It is an economic handbook, still followed today, where Smith argued that when you give everyone freedom to produce and exchange goods as they please (free trade) and open up markets to domestic and foreign competition, people’s natural self-interest will promote greater prosperity rather than with stringent regulation. These two events became the catalyst for the Industrial Revolution so that, world-wide, poverty today is down to 16% instead of up at 98%, life expectancy has doubled, and 84% of the world’s population is literate. That is progress by any standard. But things aren’t perfect with capitalism. In the last 20 years, or so, companies have started to evolve beyond simply making money. International groups like Conscious Capitalism have formed, and a book called “Firms of Endearment” has shown that Conscious Capitalism is good for a company’s bottom line. Firms of Endearment have outperformed S&P 500 by 14 times, and Good to Great Companies by 6 times, over 15 years Then, Roy said this, “Unfortunately, capitalism today has a poor image.
Movies like “Wall Street” have portrayed business as ruthless and out for nothing but profit. People have been taught that capitalism is bad, and that socialism is better. Most people in this country haven’t seen socialism personally, unless they have come from a socialist country. That’s why so many people want to come here. So, a big part of making the case for capitalism is pointing out how it can work even better as Conscious Capitalism.” Roy used this example. A caterpillar eats to stay alive, but ultimately it evolves into a beautiful butterfly. That is how the use of Conscious Capitalism can help capitalism evolve into something even better. Roy says his own company is proof that Conscious Capitalism works, and concluded by inviting the members of the audience to talk with him further about Conscious Capitalism. The meeting was then turned over to Jim Fannin, and he talked about how you, as an individual, can literally train yourself to be a very positive, successful person, what this can do for you personally, and, what it can do for the company you work for, fully embracing ideas like “Conscious Capitalism”. As Jim said, “When I met Roy a short while ago, we immediately bonded.
Both of us believe in Conscious Capitalism and have been practicing it years before the term had even been invented.” Jim is well known for coaching world class athletes to be champions in virtually all sports, all over the world. Fortune 500 companies have followed Jim’s advice in helping leaders and employees to become better, more productive persons. He related that a study he commissioned among youngsters unveiled this finding: most of your learning takes place in your early years and the reason for that is that you are focused. You have no past to worry about, you don’t think about the future, you are in the “here and now.” And when you focus, you are like a sponge, you learn. In coaching world class athletes, he asked why they succeed and they said, I have learned how to focus when I have to perform…throw a pitch, hit a baseball, hit a tennis or a golf ball, I get myself in the zone. I prepare and shut everything out. The combination of the research study and this feedback led Jim to understand how important it is to be in the “zone”. He learned that your mind and body work together to “trigger” certain body chemistries like cortisol, glycogen, endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and Adrenalin that prepare you to perform at a high level. He recognized that you can train your mind and body to perform at high levels, not only in sports, but in everyday activity. Importantly, you can make yourself a more positive, aware, engaging person, whether it is with fellow employees, your significant other, or your children, or relatives and friends…even strangers. Learn to be like a kid again. Don’t think about the past and stop worrying about things you can’t control in the future. Stop being so judgmental. Be in the “now”. Think in the moment. When you do think ahead, visualize how it can be successful. And, he says, “Take time out to ‘Think about what you think about’”. He pointed out that the pandemic has had an adverse effect on our collective psyche.
It is estimated that 74% of the US population has symptoms of chronic depression. That’s what happens when you think too much and spend too much time alone, and not engaged with others. He said, “Follow this simple formula that has worked for decades, based on this acronym S.C.O.R.E.” “S stands for Self-Discipline, C stands for Concentration, O stands for Optimism, R stands for Relaxation, and E stands for Enjoyment. When you are disciplined and concentrate, you can look forward with optimism, you can relax, and then you can enjoy.” “When you get into this discipline, it enables you to more successfully focus on a physical activity, think through a challenge or opportunity and/or become a better person in dealing with yourself as well as others. You give of yourself willingly, not because you want something back, but because being a positive person becomes a natural thing to do.” Bottom line: whether you are at work, or at home, or in between, you actually become a better employee, and a better overall person, more engaged, and more positive. Scott Jonlich concluded the seminar by saying it will be the first of more to come and he invited entrepreneurs to contact him to get involved with more “Step Up In 2021” events. Please note: A YouTube video of this seminar will be available shortly to see again, or for the first time, or to share with others.