“I figured I couldn’t be fired on my first day”

Dear reader

Have you ever asked yourself, what courage has to do with leadership in organizations today?

Andy Boynton*), Dean of Boston College’s Carroll School of Managementand Margareta Barchan**), faculty at the Lorange Insitute of Business, asked this question Paul Polman, CEO at Unilever when they sat with him at Unilever’s London headquarters.

Paul Polman knows what courage is. Not only did he become CEO in the heat of the global financial crisis in January 2009 but what he did on his first day required far greater daring.

picture Paul Polman CEO UnileverPaul Polman, CEO

He declared that Unilever shareholders should no longer expect to see quarterly annual reports from the company, along with earnings guidance for the stock market.

„Put your money somewhere else if you don’t want to buy into this long-term value-creation model, which is equitable, which is shared, which is sustainable.” he declared.

I highly recommend this article in FORBES co-authored by Andy Boynton and Margareta Barchan about Unilever’s 10-year Sustainable Living Plan, which seeks to decouple the company’s growth from its environmental footprint.

I wish you good reading!
Peter Lorange

P.S. Click the links in the text or Paul Polman’s picture to get to the Forbes article.

Picture Andy Boynton* Andy Boynton
is Dean of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, one of the world’s leading business schools, the author of several books and co-creator of DeepDive™, the world’s leading methodology for helping executives harness the power of teams to significantly improve problem-solving speed, innovation and results.

Picture Margareta Barchan** Margareta Barchan
has been involved in several successful start-up ventures, including New Angles, a strategic sustainability consulting company and Pioneers of Change, a young professional leadership organization. Margareta is the past CEO of Celemi International, a global learning design company, which she co-founded, and for which she was named Sweden’s Business Woman of the Year. She continues to serve the business and nonprofit sectors in director capacities.


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