BSL’s Professor Margareta Barchan examines the topic of courage and leadership in an interview with Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman published in Forbes magazine on 20 July 2015. Professor Barchan inquires about what traits define courageous leaders and what sustains their courage to undertake big changes against all odds. Paul Polman, who stepped into the CEO role at Unilever, declaring that the company shareholders should no longer expect to see quarterly annual reports, along with earnings guidance for the stock market, has become an inspiring example of a visionary leader who acts in the name of a greater purpose such as the common good.
When Paul Polman took on the role of CEO of Unilever in January 2009, he introduced the 10-year Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which seeks to decouple the company’s growth from its environmental footprint. The ambitious goals include doubling Unilever’s revenue while slashing the footprint by 50%; sourcing 100% of its raw materials sustainably (meaning that the supply chain is managed according to environmental, social, and ethical principles); and helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being.
Read the full article in Forbes magazine here.