B-Corp Series: Jared Meyers
When I talk about ways to make decision-making more inclusive, I’ve noticed that people either perk-up…or look overwhelmed. But the leaders who always want to talk about decision-making are B-Corp executives. B-Corp executives are a special breed.
Why? B-Corp certification for your for-profit company requires you to go through an assessment that measures how you operate with respect to your people, your partnerships, and
your impact on the planet.
B-Corp executives are a special breed.
B-Corp executives are attuned to the people in their companies. And they’re attuned to the decisions they make, because they’ve had to look carefully at the ways their choices create a net social impact. Attunement is “baked into” being awarded a B-Corp certification.
They’re attuned to the decisions they make, because they’ve had to look carefully at the ways their choices create a net social impact.
B-Corp executives are the cohort of people who are leading the way by being conscious about their decision-making cultures.
And I thought you should meet a few of them:
Chairman, Legacy Vacation Resorts
Chairman, Salt Palm Development
Jared Meyers’ career in real-estate changed dramatically when he discovered the B-Corp in 2017. “I had to completely reframe my life. It became clear to me that the primary directive of a business should be to inspire positive change.”
There are only 20 B-Corps in Florida, and Jared wants to start a movement. He converted his existing time-share and real estate businesses into B-Corps, and then he founded Florida for Good–an information clearinghouse and network for conscious business.
“I am not a public person, but I want to make a difference in my home state. There are problems in the world that cannot be fixed by government alone.”
Jared’s path to B-Corp leadership was not a walk in the park. When he started talking to his senior staff about the transition from a traditional company to Certified B-Corp, their primary concerns were about the real costs of change. Most importantly, could they stay in business if they made the transition? They had hundreds of conversations about the business, its structure, and the implications of change.
One of their most startling discoveries from their B-Corp assessment was that they were not paying a living wage to many of their staff. They made the bold decision to reduce their profit by $350,000 annually–with the belief that they would recoup this expense through better and more loyal employees.
The analysis also revealed that they were not taking their recycling program seriously, but the same employees who were the primary recipients of the living wage were the same employees that were responsible for the recycling program. They unveiled both pieces of news together. (e.g. “Good news, you will now receive a better wage, but we also expect you to carry out a serious recycling plan.”)
The B-Corp transition found new opportunities for innovation that affected the bottom line, but the most importantly, it infused his businesses with a sense of purpose. By showing his staff how the work they do benefits the lives of people, Jared did what the research shows to be true. Connecting a team to a larger purpose increases employee engagement—which translates into persistence, performance and productivity.
More importantly, his team took a real estate company and transformed it into a business that is creating economic value and emotional value. “We believe that we are involved in something important and meaningful. And we are also profitable. These two driving forces can work together.”
“Our decision-making is something we always look at carefully. And I am constantly exploring ways to give people autonomy and take decision-making deeper into my organizations.”