Monday , 2 October 2023

The Business of Trust and What I Just Learned From Richard Branson, The Dalai Lama, and Stephen Covey

Doing business and running a profitable company, firm, practice, or corporation has never been more complex.  However, after spending an enlightening week with a number of political leaders, NGOs, and world business leaders I have a number of pointers, observations, strategies, and business tactics, thought provokers, and practical “to do” items that might just help you to feel better and to run your business more profitably.

So in addition to my usual postings on communications skills and marketing, I’d like to share some of the information I got in Calgary where I spent time in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, and during a private lunch with legendary business coach Stephen Covey.

Since I was attending and not speaking at this event I was able to take copious notes which I am now digesting, but I want to share some of the highlights with you.

If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you already know that I was reporting live from the event.  If you don’t yet follow me and want my reports from live events where I speak or attend and work with some of the top leaders and business speakers in the world then click those links to get the updates.

Now, if you’re like me, there may be a temptation, as you read many of these profound ideas, to think “I already know this,” or “I already do that,” or “That’s obvious.”  But I challenge you, to still that inner voice for a moment and to ask yourself whether there might be a new or nuanced lesson here. And, if you feel that you ARE already “doing that,” then take a moment and ask yourself if you are doing it consistently, in the best and most productive way.  If not, then start.  But you have to remain open to the ideas.

So, let’s start with the Dalai Lama.  Now what can the Dalai Lama tell you about business?  Well for starters, many great business leaders believe that the rising generation of consumers (your customers or soon to be demographic) want to know that the businesses that they buy from stand for something more than pure profit and that they are contributing to a greater good when they do business with you.

Keeping your employees engaged and aligned with your company’s purposes and values is easier when employees and the customer believe in a broader mission.  Many of our biggest, best, and/or healthiest companies are looking for new ways and better ways to make this happen for their brands.  Shouldn’t you be doing the same?  And remember, that doing good beyond running a profitable company doesn’t have to be on a grand scale to be motivating to your vendors, employees, and customers.  Make a difference in your community but make it in a way that is effective and aligned with your values.

So when the Dalai Lama reminds us that our educational systems are broken because it focuses only on knowledge and not the boarder needs of all students such as compassion, problem solving, and happiness, he is telling us that we need to help to educate all of our employees to prepare them to work within our companies and to contribute to society.

The Dalai Lama’s analogy was that we need air, food, and water to live, but our educational system teaches only one thing to the students who need more in this highly interdependent global economy.

The Dalai Lama also reminds us that “Taking care of others and being compassionate, IS taking care of yourself (or your company – my language added).”

So I wonder if you can find any lessons there for how we might act toward employees, partners, and our community to have and to grow a healthy business in the new business environment.

More from Covey, Branson and others to come…

Dave Frees

For more on Dave Frees’ up coming business mastermind weekends, or his coaching programs or products including the soon to be release Persuasion2Profit, call 610-933-8069 or e-mail Dave Frees at