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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Leadership Vision at Facebook

On Charlie Rose in early 2012, a former CEO of Coke told Charlie that companies view corporate social responsibility as lying within the domain of strategy. Specifically, it is in a company’s strategic interest that its sources of raw materials do not “dry up.” A corporation’s societal responsibility dovetails with its interest that the corporation’s own “footprint” (a.k.a. “Big Foot”) not put the company’s own survival at risk. One could say a company is “responsible” (as if it were felt as a duty rather than simply self-interest) for safeguarding those things on which it depends. In other words, it goes out from its immediate interest in securing supplies to assume a “societal” role in protecting the sources themselves, as if acting as a good citizen. The motive is more like stewardship—the objective being maintaining an ability to extract the material in the long term. Profit, in other words, is foremost, and any word of duty is mere marketing. This does not mean that leadership vision beyond profits as an end is a façade.

The full essay is at "Taking the Face Off Facebook."