Interview with Russ Stoddard – Leading stakeholder capitalism

In this conversation Dr Claudelle and Russ Stoddard discuss stakeholder capitalism and how humanity has been brainwashed into thinking of business profits as the sole domain of shareholders. How do we shift our thinking from win-lose ownership? How do we get those in power to change the way they think about the role of businesses in society? How do we wean ourselves off what is clearly an unsustainable system? Russ, who has been walking the talk, shares his insights and offers some advice.

Russ Stoddard is a former whitewater river guide, a farmer, and a social entrepreneur from Boise, Idaho. He is the founder of Oliver Russell, a Certified B Corporation social impact branding and consulting firm. He is also the author of the Amazon bestseller, Rise Up: How to Build a Socially Conscious Company.

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Outsourced morality

It is incumbent on each of us to constantly evaluate whether our moral compass is still pointing to our true north. We need to continually ask ourselves whether our actions are informed by our own beliefs that we carefully considered, before we concluded that they are fit to be used in our moral compass. How certain are we that we are not just believing what we are because those around us believe it? Or, that we are believing what we are because those who we have crowned with a halo believe it? Applying one’s own mind is paramount if we were to avoid the temptation of outsourcing our morality to others.

Fear can be your friend or your enemy

Whether we like it or not, we were not designed to be fearless. Fear is an emotional response connected to a basic need we all have – to feel safe. In the evolution of the human brain, this had been encoded for a very good reason. Our fear response is designed to trigger an action from us. If it’s a lion, we run. If we were to convince ourselves that we should not show fear and stand our ground, the stand we take is probably going to be immaterial to a starving lion. His fear that you may also be a threat, would most certainly be overridden by his fear of starving to death. Human beings are in any event rather defenceless without our modern weapons.

Know your rhythm

It is important that we work with our rhythm instead of against it. That is a sure way to increase our productivity. In the last number of months, I have started to notice that the number one issue I am dealing with among my coachees is burnout. Often that is because of a lack of understanding of what their rhythm is. We look after ourselves as leaders because we need to give those we lead the best version of ourselves. Selfcare is part of our leadership responsibility.

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