Day 19: Thursday, April 23, 2020 
Purpose-Driven Leadership During Tough Times
featuring Daryl Brewster, CECP

Daryl shared his powerful insights, based on his years of experience leading large publicly traded companies, on how to encourage and empower leading companies to act as forces for good in today’s society by utilizing the principles of Higher Purpose and Stakeholder Orientation to inspire, recover, and reinvent in the wake of Covid-19.

Here are the key takeaways from the webinar:

Companies today fall into one of the following categories: Survival, Stable/Facing new challenges, or Experiencing sustained/accelerated growth
Daryl took a quick poll of the webinar audience and found that 24% of participants were in survival mode, 65% were in the stable facing new challenges category, and 10% were experiencing sustained or accelerated growth.

There are challenges and opportunities to running a business in each of these stages during the Covid-19 crisis. The opportunities are more abundant when you build your strategy around your Higher Purpose and when you align your goals with the needs of all your stakeholders.
Daryl shared his personal experiences running companies at each of these stages and provided examples of how companies in each stage might want to proceed during this period of time:

  • Survival: Cash matters, so first preserve cash. Next, plant the seeds of your company’s Higher Purpose, so you aren’t stuck in survival mode forever. You want to plant for the future.
  • Stable/Facing new challenges: Look at efficiencies throughout your system, and develop an efficiency plan under the theme of what we can do for your stakeholders. How can you eliminate waste to improve the experience for your stakeholders? Next, take those savings and invest in innovation, allowing for the eventual return to growth. 
  • Sustained/Accelerated growth: One of the biggest challenges facing companies right now is creating a safe workplace. Do your research to find innovative ways to ensure the health and safety of your team, your suppliers, your community, etc

Your investors are a key stakeholder. Companies can drive sustainable business success by empowering investor relationships built on corporate purpose.
CECP has three main areas of impact: Community investment – helps companies think about how they are working with communities, Communications expertise – helps companies tell the story of the purpose-driven work they are doing, and CEO Investor Engagement – helps CEO’s communicate relative to the investors who are investing in businesses for the long-term. They use the following framework to help CEO’s build stronger relationships with investors using this framework for a sustainable business plan:

  • Set the context. Establish the agenda to build trust and confidence in your company’s mission.
  • Own the narrative. Reorient the expectations of investors and stakeholders for the next 3-5 years.
  • Lead for the future. Create a path to achieve a fair valuation on a company’s long-term prospects.