“Assume people are doing their best with the information they have available.”
That principle — assuming positive intent — is among the key elements of restorative leadership, advanced by the Restorative Leadership Institute, a Certified B Corporation, and practiced by purpose-driven organizations and planet-minded leaders as they advance global sustainability and collective well-being.
B Corps embody restorative leadership through their commitment to benefit all stakeholders — including society, the environment, the economy.
As the Restorative Leadership Institute’s founder, Seana Steffen often said before her passing in a 2017 car accident: “The 21st century is calling us to greatness, and nothing less will do.” By considering people and planet while building a stronger bottom line, B Corps are doing their best to heed that call and encourage others to do the same.
Caroline Duell of All Good with her children.
A Business Mindset That Integrates Family and Fun
As Peg Polina of B Corp RoundPeg builds a network of “Founding Mothers” — women who are mothers and business founders — she’s reaching out to others in the B Corp community to share their experiences.
The latest: All Good CEO Caroline Duell, whom Polina first met while at a B Corp street fair in Portland, Oregon, where she was nursing her baby and tending to customers in her booth with natural ease.
What does being a Founding Mother mean to Duell? She tells Polina: “For me, it’s not this clear divide between feminine and masculine but more just embracing the ideals of what is inclusive, of what is collaborative and nurturing.” Read more from their discussion on B the Change.
Go Net Positive: How to Give More Than We Take
Seana Steffen built her company, the Restorative Leadership Institute, the way she lived her life — from a place of profound gratitude. Before her death in a 2017 car accident, Seana recognized that the world needs leadership capable of charting a future of global sustainability and collective well-being because business-as-usual was failing the planet and business itself.
In founding the Restorative Leadership Institute as a Certified B Corporation in 2010, Seana believed that the business sector was most powerfully positioned to address the issues confronting humanity.
How to do this? Through restorative leadership that recognizes the deeply transformative value of going net positive — giving more than taking. Jamie Rezmovits, co-director of the Restorative Leadership Institute, incorporates writings from Seana and outlines the four relational, technical and strategic elements of going net positive on B the Change.
Moving the Needle on Female Leadership
It took strong nudges of encouragement from her husband for Donna Carpenter to believe she was worthy of her ever-increasing responsibility within his company, Burton Snowboards.
“It’s typical of women,” Carpenter says of this confidence gap between genders. “With a promotion, a woman will give you five reasons why she’s not ready. A man will give you five reasons why he should’ve had that job yesterday.”
Carpenter had an “aha” moment years ago when the company’s rapid growth diluted the team’s diversity and inclusion, stifling innovation and limiting its ability to recruit top talent and grow the women’s side of the business. To tackle those issues, Burton launched a Women’s Leadership Initiative that, along with other efforts, has grown the company’s female leadership from under 10 percent in 2002 to 45 percent now.
Read more of Carpenter’s interview with B Corp Conscious Company Media on B the Change. And for those looking to build their leadership skills and gather with others, join convener Conscious Company Media at the Conscious Company Leaders Forum April 10–12 in Scotts Valley, California.