January 2nd, 2024
I'm very excited to announce that I'm joining the amazing team at Real Leaders as Chief Impact Officer!
I'm feeling grateful, optimistic, and ambitious! Please allow me to share about Real Leaders and the journey of how this came to be...
Its mission is to unite farsighted leaders to transform our shortsighted world. The vision is a future where every generation leaves the world far better than they found it.
Real Leaders connects impact leaders via its interactive membership platform, where they can meet other values-aligned leaders and form confidential peer groups to discuss their impact challenges and opportunities.
To support its members, Real Leaders provides them with a global media platform to tell their stories across print, digital, events, and audio and to inspire others to join this unstoppable movement of impact leaders.
By the numbers:
40,000+ magazine subscribers
35,000+ CEOs and C-Suite execs in 130 countries are subscribers and/or members
$9 trillion in combined revenue by companies of subscribers (10% of global GDP)
300+ fast-growing impact companies recognized in the annual Impact Awards
57% of Impact Awards winners are Certified B Corps
442+ episodes of the top-100 ranked Real Leaders Podcast
300+ members in the Impact Collaborative community
Feb 5-7, 2024 UNITE Conference is a one-of-a-kind gathering for Impact CEOs, Investors, Coaches, and Speakers. Hosted at the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, CA
Those incredible numbers show the momentum is building at Real Leaders, and I'm grateful to join!
Since launching Impact Grove, I've met and built relationships with hundreds of impact-driven leaders. One topic that consistently comes up is how lonely it can be in the business community when instead of only being driven by profit, you embrace the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.
Why? Business is still mostly dominated by shareholder-primacy beliefs, a culture that says maximum profit should be achieved for shareholders at all costs. Often, this comes at the expense of people and the planet. Impact-driven leaders reject that.
When an impact-driven leader shares that their definition of success is about positive social and environmental impact, and they see money as an essential tool to achieve that, this is often met with confusion, cynicism, or even hostility by business peers.
That is why I launched B Local Orange County to connect our local Certified B Corps and joined the United Nations Association of Orange County as its Business Ambassador. It's all to join, build, and scale up the impact-driven business community.
I was building Impact Grove step by step, but I had a high sense of urgency to make more of an impact sooner. My greatest challenge was cutting through the noise and relentless spam in the market to get meetings with impact-minded CEOs and executives. It was happening, but it would take years to build momentum. My sense of urgency to make an impact exceeded my market penetration rate.
In the summer, I connected via LinkedIn with Tiffany Saunders, Director of Member Impact at Real Leaders. She invited me to join the Impact Collaborative, a leadership network that unites impact-oriented, growth-minded CEOs to grow their connections, capital sources, visibility, and business. Serendipitously, I had just been invited to the community I was craving!
So, what did I do next? I tried to find every excuse NOT to join: I was already in another executive peer group. My business wasn't big enough yet. I wasn't qualified to join such an esteemed peer group yet. I was already building a community... why should I join another one?
But sometimes you have a gut feeling... and I've learned to trust my gut. I took the leap, joined the Impact Collaborative, and am so glad I did!
Kevin Edwards, General Manager of Real Leaders and host of its top-100-ranked Podcast, moderated our forum peer group in the Impact Collaborative. Since 2015, he’s recorded more interviews (500+) with impact CEOs than anyone else in the world to educate the mainstream about the growing impact movement and the future of leadership.
As I got to know Kevin month by month as he moderated our peer group, I felt a high level of trust and shared values with him. Kevin listened to and understood my sense of urgency to make more of an impact sooner rather than later. He courageously opened up a 1:1 dialogue that ultimately led to today.
When I had the opportunity to meet Mark Van Ness (Founder) and Julie Van Ness (CEO), I was blown away by our synergies and shared commitment to business being a force for good in the world. I am so grateful for them being pioneers and trailblazers in this movement and felt even more that there was an opportunity to do good work with them. They've invested in and created something special!
Many of you know that one of my favorite quotes is by Helen Keller, who said, "Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much!" This quote echoed in my mind over and over...
The programs I've built at Impact Grove will be integrated at Real Leaders at a faster rate and on a larger scale since they will be integrated into an existing brand and community that has been well-established over the prior 14 years!
Together, with the team and community at Real Leaders, I'm excited to make a huge positive impact!
Thank you to all of you for your support and camaraderie. I truly believe everything and every relationship has been the catalyst for this moment.
I'm jumping in right away, and we have an amazing event coming up in a month! I'd love to see you in person at the Real Leaders UNITE Conference Feb 5-7 at the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego! Message me directly with questions!
I will continue to produce the Beneficial Impact Capitalism newsletter periodically to share what I'm seeing and learning with Real Leaders, B Corps, UN SDGs, and other areas of impact-driven capitalism.
Let's get in touch soon. I'd love to learn about your goals and mission for 2024!