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Patagonia founder acting on his values, even at the company’s expense. Still works out.

I rarely simply post someone else just talking, but my focus lately on motivating people to act on their values against comfort and convenience has resulted in such a desert that the video below was too refreshing not to share.

No one I talk to considers avoiding one flight. No one who visits can stop bringing garbage. Yet this man keeps choosing actions that would appear to hurt his company, yet he’s become a billionaire and they haven’t.

For example (at 38:18 in the second video below), he had his company research the toxicity of materials his company used. When he learned how toxic and dangerous the cotton was—even getting sprayed with toxins from a plane when he visited the fields—he put his company on the line, saying it would go out of business before supporting such practices.

The result: they set a timescale to switch and did, ahead of schedule. They’ve continued growing. They also continue examining their supply chain, how it pollutes, and how they can improve it. Most companies prefer to look the other way and, presumably, their employees suppress and deny what they know, or keep themselves ignorant, to sleep at night, knowing they could act, but don’t.

He’s Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing store. I recommend both videos below. I can’t believe it only has 266 views. It’s not exciting, but shows a thoughtful person.

Here are some ads his company ran to suggest only buying their products when you need them.

Now I have to learn more about him. Next step: the New Yorker article on him.

Here’s another video of him I haven’t watched yet (EDIT: I watched it and recommend it):

Learn to make Meaningful Connections

with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.

Including

  • Step by step instructions
  • Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
  • An excerpt from my book

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