The New Beliefs of a Seasoned Business Leader

Raymond Gilmartin, former CEO of Merck and now a management professor, has developed an important list of “New Guiding Beliefs” for executives.

In our view, the list offers a number of practical ways to guide the process of embedding SEERS (Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibility, and Sustainability) into corporate decision making.

Here’s a quick overview of the 5 key bullets:

  • Shareholders benefit most when CEOs and boards maximize value for society and act as agents of society rather than shareholders.
  • The market favorably receives projects with long-term payoffs, particularly those in research and development. 
  • Purpose, meaning, and recognition are more powerful motivators than economic self-interest, and large external rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation.
  • Actions to address societal issues should be an integral part of strategy, and operations and should not be isolated as a separate activity under the heading of corporate social responsibility.
  • The most successful CEOs, on balance, are those who are developed inside the company but manage to retain an outside perspective.

You can read the commentary and discussion about the list by clicking here.