You educate people, especially young people, by stirring their passions, so you take every opportunity to grab the imagination of your employees, you get them to feel they are doing something important, that they are not a lone voice, that they are the most powerful and potent people on the planet.
I don't want our success to be measured only by financial yardsticks, or by our distribution or number of shops. What I want to be celebrated for - and it's going to be tough in a business environment - is how good we are to our employees and how we benefit our community. It's a different bottom line.
If you can shape your business life or your working life, you can just look at it as another extension - you just fulfill all your values as a human being in the work place. If you are an activist, you bring the activism of your life into your business, or if you love creative art, you can bring that in.
It's about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Now 30 years on The Body Shop is a multi local business with over 2.045 stores serving over 77 million customers in 51 different markets in 25 different languages and across 12 time zones. And I haven't a clue how we got here!
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My goal was livelihood. We don't use that word often enough. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone it's don't obsess with this notion that you have to turn everything you do into a business, because that ends up being a small version of a large company. But if you can create an honorable livelihood, where you take your skills and use them and you earn a living from it, it gives you a sense of freedom and allows you to balance your life the way you want.
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I don't think I'm a risk-taker. I don't think any entrepreneur is. I think that's one of those myths of commerce. The new entrepreneur is more values-led: you do what looks risky to other people because that's what your convictions tell you to do. Other companies would say I'm taking risks, but that's my path - it doesn't feel like risk to me.
I run my company according to feminine principles, principles of caring, making intuitive decisions, not getting hung up on hierarchy or all those dreadfully boring business-school management ideas; having a sense of work as being part of your life, not separate from it; putting your labor where your love is; being responsible to the world in how you use your profits; recognizing the bottom line should stay at the bottom.
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Internationalism means that we can see into the dark corners of the world, and hold those companies to account when they are devastating forests or employing children as bonded labour. Globalization is the complete opposite, its rules pit country against country and workers against workers in the blinkered pursuit of international competitiveness.
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I think the leadership of a company should encourage the next generation not just to follow, but to overtake. The duty of leadership is to put forward ideas, symbols, metaphors of the way it should be done, so that the next generation can work out new and better ways of doing the job. The complaint Gordon and I have is that we are not being overtaken by our staff. We would like to be able to say, "We can't keep up with you guys", but, it is not happening.
Successful entrepreneurs may hate hierarchies and structures and try to destroy them. They may garner the disapproval of MBAs for their creativity and wildness. But they have antennae in their heads. When they walk down the street anywhere in the world, they have their antennae out, evaluating how what they see can relate back to what they are doing. It might be packaging, a word, a poem, or even something in a completely different business.
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Women want to be free to choose from the same range of options that men take for granted. In our quest for equal pay, equal access to education and opportunities, we have made great strides. But until women can move freely and think freely in their homes, on the streets, in the workplace without the fear of violence, there can be no real freedom.
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