MLK’s Impact on Our Corporate World

Few question the impact Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership had on drawing attention to the American civil rights movement. Segregation and discrimination were a way of life for many until enough people challenged the status quo. So it is with corporate suffering. You might take issue with the fact that I’m equating the two. I would argue that the impact of corporate suffering extends far beyond the workplace much like discriminatory policies and behaviors.

Corporate suffering affects our families:
Workers bring their suffering home, affecting spouses, significant others, and children. The reprehensible behavior of bad corporations and high-profile corporate executives provides a role model for our children regarding how to be “successful” at work.

Corporate suffering affects our society:
Workers who are unhappy—or unemployed—are less likely to contribute to their communities in a positive way. Corporations that enjoy the benefits of their communities without contributing their fair share are a drain on their neighbors

Corporate suffering affects our country:
Future generations with much to contribute may choose to opt out of corporate life, given the trade-offs it currently requires. Alienating corporations will encourage them to invest elsewhere, negatively affecting our domestic economy, and decreasing our global economic influence.

The advances in our society have largely been realized through our efforts working in business. Our nation depends upon business to drive our economy, which directly impacts the quality of life for our citizens. Few would refute the notion that there are serious problems within the corporate world. The question, is, what do we do about it? Which leaders will emerge to rally support around this “cause?”

No one resource, company, or person can tackle corporate suffering alone. I hope you’ll join me to help find solutions.

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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