162: Bob Langert: McDonald’s former head of Corporate Social Responsibility

2019-04-01

I got an email that Bob Langert, McDonald's former head of Corporate Social Responsibility, wrote a book on his experience in over two decades at the corporation. With my goal of seeking to reduce how we're diminishing Earth's capacity to support human civilization, I see places like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Exxon, and Monsanto, to name a few, as places with the greatest potential. Many protest them, which I consider important, but I also believe they could use help. I don't know how many large organizations can change without outside help. Am I the one to do it? I'm not sure, but I can't ignore their potential for change. I read the book and scheduled a conversation with Bob. My goal is to understand the man and his experience to find opportunity for help, if desired. I took more notes on his book than any other, a lot critical or challenging. I opted to make my goal with the conversation meet the man, not debate or criticize. If you think I should have acted otherwise, let me know. My goals, as ever, are, regarding the environment: to lower our effects that threaten life and human society and on leadership: for people to find meaning, value, purpose, joy, growth, and so on. I feel compelled to share personal context since I want to support the man but not imply I support the company, while still trying to support some of its changes, if sincere. I last ate meat in 1990, which would have been about the last time I spent any money on fast food. I've avoid packaged food and food with fiber removed for about four years and counting. I pick up a piece of trash per day and McDonald's is up there with Coca-Cola and Starbucks as the greatest sources of litter. I've watched the McLibel documentary multiple times. I stopped in one the other day to charge my laptop and one of the closest ATMs to my home is in a McDonald's, so I find myself in them periodically. I don't like the place. I worked in a Burger King on the Champs-Elysees during my first summer in Paris, in 1989.

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