Foreword by Richard Edelman
President and CEO of Edelman
The world is experiencing a crisis in confidence in institutions. Across the more than sixty countries surveyed for the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in institutions among the general public is under 50 percent. By contrast, trust by informed elites is at the highest levels seen in the sixteen-year history of the annual study.
The most profound gap is in trust in business. In the United States, for example, 70 percent of elites trust business in contrast to only 51 percent of the general public. This antipathy plays out in a populist push against issues crucially important to business, such as free trade, genetically modified foods, and financial services regulation.
But despite skepticism about business’s intent to do the right thing, the general public decidedly trusts business more than government. The gap in many countries we polled is more than 50 percent. Moreover, 80 percent of consumers believe businesses can both make money and improve society.
If business is looked to as a leader in solving society’s ills, it is because of the path paved by people like Charlie Moore.
He is, in my view, a founding father of corporate social responsibility. Charlie’s belief that business must take an active role in improving society is both a function of his intellect and bravery and also a testament to his patriotism. Without his foundational work, the leadership we see today from CEOs such as Apple’s Tim Cook or Howard Schultz from Starbucks might not have come to be.
Charlie’s ability to imagine what is possible comes from his hard work and humility. He was an Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles in 1952, the CEO of three multinational manufacturing companies, the athletic director for Cornell University, and a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
His story is inspiring—especially to the three men who tapped Moore to be executive director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. In 1999, actor Paul Newman, former Goldman Sachs CEO John Whitehead, and real estate developer Peter Malkin formed CECP to address important societal challenges through the power of the private sector. When the three of them met Moore, Newman said, “Well, I guess we have to hire him. How many other CEOs have been gold medal winners?”
Moore brought unbelievable energy and passion to his job. I remember going with him to China, where he was to address one hundred Chinese companies on social responsibility. It was three in the afternoon, and the dreaded jet lag was kicking in for mere mortals like me. Moore was busy handing out his business card, asking the Chinese CEOs to come across for the next CECP conference, telling them about the upside of social responsibility for employee morale and community relations. He took personal responsibility for attracting new members, always starting at the top by asking board members to introduce him to CEOs. He would develop and cherish those relationships with the titans of industry, calling on Jeff Immelt of GE, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, and Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa, offering advice and spreading best practices. Upon retiring from CECP in 2013, Moore said his number one goal was to prove to Wall Street that there is a financial benefit to social responsibility—in brand reputation, employee loyalty, and risk mitigation.
The world’s most successful companies today know that social purpose is an absolute must. The example set by Moore and the CECP elevated classic corporate philanthropy with a larger mandate that urged companies to fundamentally change their business practices to be smart and sustainable influences on society.
This is Moore’s legacy and his greatest gift to the world.
The motive behind writing this book:
(Introduction of Running on Purpose by author Charlie Moore)