Thea Polancic: Building Community and Purpose

Conscious Leadership
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By Agata Antonow

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 —Attributed to Margaret Mead

On a quiet evening in January 2009, Thea Polancic was sticking large pieces of paper on the walls of her home. Her son was asleep upstairs, and finally her day as a busy business partner and consultant was winding down. She’d been in charge and taken names all day, yet her work was just beginning.

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In Pursuit of the Present Moment

Higher Purpose
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By Lizzie Vance 

What matters is to be a human being with another human being, to recognize the other person as another being in there… if you are trying to help a wounded bird, the first thing you have to know is that there is somebody in there, and that you have to wait for that “person,” that being in there, to be in contact with you. That seems to me to be the most important thing.

The Primacy of Human Presence, Eugene T. Gendlin

While Gendlin describes the relationship between the psychologist and patient, his work can be applied to any Conscious Capitalist in pursuit of the present moment, and in pursuit of connecting with the heart of why they do what they do, at every chance they can. Let’s take a look at one Conscious Capitalist who embodies this in his dental practice.

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I Can Stop Apologizing

Conscious Leadership
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By Genevieve Georget

To tell you about a conversation with Tara-Nicholle Nelson would be to tell you about a body of water that makes all of life possible. Instead, I want to share with you what it is like to have a conversation with Tara. I want to take you to the shore and have you watch the waves crash onto the sand. To have the saltwater spray on your face. Get you to look out past the horizon while the ground rumbles below you as the water washes up your shins, wetting your rolled-up blue jean cuffs, and then goes back out again.

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The New CCI Chapter Model Explained

Conscious Culture
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By Agata Antonow and Lizzie Vance 

Imagine this. It’s a warm May Atlanta night, and you’re standing outside Grace Midtown, a church topped with a big white dome. In front of you is a parking lot shining with cars. A man in a red T-shirt passes by with sliders from Arby’s, tilting the tray so you can take one. A woman in a long-sleeved shirt walks up with her own tray.

“Beer? Wine? I can get you a soft drink, too, if you like.”

You’re not at a wedding or a confirmation or a church social. Close. This is a celebration, but a celebration of what business can do. This is one of the regular events hosted by the Conscious Capitalism Atlanta chapter. Today, two speakers will be talking about Higher Purpose, and before and after they speak, entrepreneurs and company owners from all over Atlanta will have their own discussions, spilling out over the grass lawn and the concrete parking lot with fries and beer, sharing ideas and their passion for doing good in the world with business.

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Consciously Firing

Conscious Culture
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By Alexander McCobin 

In 2016, the influential media publication Ad Age named Dan Golden’s company the number one agency to work at—and the following two weeks were the worst of the CEO’s professional career. His digital marketing agency Be Found Online (BFO) had just received the most prestigious recognition one can hope for in advertising, but BFO was also in turmoil from an increasingly toxic situation. The reason was no secret to BFO’s entire executive team: while their largest customer brought a lot of revenue and had helped put BFO on the map, it was clear that several years into the relationship, many of BFO’s major problems stemmed from the relationship with this client.

For years, BFO had cultivated a team and culture that they were proud of, one where people enjoyed going to work each day and felt like they were able to make a difference. No matter how much they did internally to cultivate that, they couldn’t control the culture of their client, and it was starting to have detrimental effects.

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The Conscious Merger

Conscious Leadership
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A Community Contribution by Brandi Beakley 

After building a purpose-driven retail business that had experienced more than 100 percent YOY growth for four straight years, CEO Steve Hall knew driversselect was poised to scale. But the business model had outpaced his abilities to scale it without taking on serious financial and cultural risks. For one thing, driversselect was in desperate need of a much larger facility. Tribe members (driversselect employees) were on top of each other at the existing location, and inventory was being parked at an overflow lot several miles away due to lack of space. The growing pains were palpable.

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Sink or Swim: The Story You Tell Matters

Conscious Leadership
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A Community Contribution by Mark Rogers 

Leadership in companies is like a team of high-grade mariners in central command of their commercial vessels.

The power of storytelling traditions and techniques that leadership uses can navigate ships and employees directly into harm’s way, circumnavigate them around obstacles, or skillfully avoid an ill-fated voyage of monumental proportion altogether.

Toxic narratives often involve planned routes dominated by the perils of human hubris. And leaders who are unaware of the toxic narratives they perpetuate often navigate their companies into a haze dead ahead, with grazing icebergs and jagged underwater blind spots that can slash into the hull at the heart of a company.

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Shareholders are Stakeholders, Too

Conscious Leadership
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By David Gardner 

Dear Friends,

When my brother Tom and I keynoted the 2012 Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit, I told the room of 200 CEOs that I was going to pick a basket of 12 conscious, purpose-driven businesses’ stocks for 2012. Tom and I co-founded The Motley Fool, which provides financial advice to investors, so that only makes sense, right? But here’s the kicker: instead of being backward-looking, I said let’s watch them going forward from here to see if they outperform their more traditional, bottom-line-driven competitors over time.

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Building a Bridge Between Capitalism and Equity

Higher Purpose
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A Community Contribution by Stephanie Grise

When Judge Wilson handed down his ruling in what St. Louisans refer to as “The Stockley Verdict,” I was shaken. That ruling, which decided the fate of a law enforcement officer on trial for taking a life, caused me to question my role in our community as an attorney committed to social justice and as an attorney of color. Reading the judge’s words and opinions, I reflected on how the prosecutors presented the case, and it hurt me deeply to conclude that the system was designed to create a presumption of either guilt or innocence depending solely on how someone looked. From the circumstances that led the officer to pursue the victim that night, to how the circuit attorney’s office decided to file the charges and present its case, it seemed to all revolve around the looks of the victim. On top of it, the judge filled his written opinion with accolades for the police officer but only dismissive and racist comments about the victim. The verdict serves as a painful reminder that the system is loaded against poor communities and communities of color.

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Savage Blue

Conscious Culture
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By Genevieve Georget and Lizzie Vance of Round Table Companies 

Reck·on·ing

ˈrek(ə)niNG/

noun: reckoning

  1. The moment that led Bethany Andell—President of Savage Brands—to trade in financial security for vitality.

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It’s one thing to be changed in this life. Metamorphosis takes courage and vulnerability and a willingness to break yourself wide open. But the unfolding doesn’t end when you put down the chisel. Something more is required to convert that personal willingness into an organizational cyclone of transformation. That something more is a reckoning.

Bethany Andell knew she was in the claws of a reckoning when the ground shifted beneath her feet. Her business was grabbed by the neck and shaken, the foundation splintering.

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