Trust is Crucial to the Future of Capitalism

Max DePree
Max DePree

One thing is for sure, leaders no longer have to fabricate crisis to drive change.

But the question is, how will this change  Corporate America is experiencing impact our free market system?

Several years ago, I interviewed Max DePree, then chairman of the Herman Miller company.  In that interview, Max said, “Leaders can’t avoid being accountable for the future.”  This is important because there are certain things only the leader can do. 

Considering the historic changes that are being made, the increasing role of government in business and the potential impact on our free market system, I have decided to share that interview with you.  You will find it relevant for today and instructive on the leaders responsibility during this defining period in American business. 

Did you see the Free Audio Interview button in the top right corner of this page?  If you have 24 minutes, click and listen to our conversation now.  Or, you can download and listen later.  Don’t miss it!

Leaders in every segment of our society are accountable for the promises they make.  Their promises have a direct impact on the future of capitalism, individual liberty and the common good.  You will hear in my interview with Max, a question to which every leader owes their constituents an answer.  That question is, “What am I going to promise to this organization and am I going to keep my promises?” 

America is facing a crisis in leadership today.  We have plenty of people in leadership roles, but will they lead?  More importantly, will they lead in a manner that balances individual liberty with common good?  Our free enterprise system is at risk from decades of leaders who were self-serving and who diminished the important trust they were given.  This is true in politics, education, media, as well as business; although corporate leaders appear to be the scapegoats at this point in time. 

Trust takes a long time to build and it has to be built on the right premises.  It requires leaders who are given to the daily task of keeping their promises and being personally trustworthy in their attitudes and practices.  Leaders who value the free market system and commit to making it better and stronger.

What do you think leaders owe their constituents?  What promises should they make for ensuring the future of capitalism?  Share your thoughts and observations before you go.

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03-13-09

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