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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, in Conversation with Irwin Miller

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, in Conversation with Irwin Miller

“Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business” 

Live Talks LA,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Whole Foods founder John Mackey describes himself as a conscious leader with a “win-win-win” mentality.

Editorial Rating



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Whole Foods founder John Mackey believes conscious business leadership can elevate humanity. In this Live Talks LA interview with Irwin Miller, Mackey urges firms to focus on “win-win-win” solutions by working with stakeholders and local communities to improve society and the planet. As he discusses his book, Conscious Leadership (the successor to his earlier book, Conscious Capitalism) Mackey suggests viewing business through the prism of “innovationism,” not capitalism. He sees conscious leaders who nurture corporate relationships over the long term as farmers – not hunters.


Creating value is the higher purpose of business.

Enterprise creates more value in society than all nonprofits and governments combined, but society regards commerce negatively and characterizes it as focused only on money. Like medicine and education, business embraces a higher purpose. For example, John Mackey says, Whole Foods’ higher purpose is to “nourish people.” This mission orientates the grocery chain’s owners and its employees, whom the company refers to as team members.

To become conscious leaders, people in business must consider, nurture and work on developing themselves internally, because America needs conscious leaders more than ever to help negotiate its accelerating divisions.

Instead of a hunter mind-set in business, cultivate a farmer mind-set, and nurture relationships over time.

About the Speakers

CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market John Mackey co-founded the nonprofit Conscious Capitalism, based on his book, Conscious Capitalism. Live Talks LA interviewer Irwin Miller is a principal and design director at Gensler, where he is the Museums+Culture Practice Area leader.

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    U. E. 1 year ago
    Mackey sold WF to Amazon because his investors were not satisfied with WF's growth an action that clearly obeys the rules of capitalism.