Connecting with Community: 3 Ways Whole Foods’ CEO is Doing it Right

Whole Foods has become an international household name in the grocery world, known for its top-quality wholesale organic food and work to create environmentally-friendly products. At the heart of its brand it Co-Founder and Co-CEO John Mackey, who maintains his connection with customers through his work and blog on the Whole Foods site. Though Mackey does not write the content (it’s co-written by Raj Sisoda, a business professor and co-founder of Conscious Capitalism Institute,) his pledge to do right by his customers can be heard loud and clear through his video posts. So, what can other CEOs learn from Mackey? Well, give this teacher an apple (organic, of course) and take some notes:


Lesson 1: Show what you know

While Whole Foods’ other communication’s outlets focus on the food and specials at the stores, Mackey’s blog reflects his expertise in business. Mackey shares information about the methodology of managing a large business, which makes great fuel for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, Mackey’s blog gives this a special Whole Foods twist, focusing more on creating better businesses for communities through “Conscious Capitalism.” This not only makes Mackey an expert in his field, but also a mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs. This looks fantastic for Whole Foods, as he preaches the message of quality for food and for business that keeps the brand looking consistent.


Lesson 2: Be a Trust Agent

If you are familiar with Chris Brogan’s book, you know that a trust agent is someone experienced in their field who has not only changed the game, but also built a community around his brand. Mackey is a prime example of a trust agent, as his blog stays consistent with Whole Foods’ pledge to quality and connection to local farmers. Through his video posts, Mackey shows his commitment to the store’s mission as he works in the stores and speaks about the importance of creating better businesses. His passion for quality and better business is tangible, which is refreshing for someone in the business industry. These personal yet professional posts make him look professional yet approachable – the perfect image for a CEO.


Lesson 3: Use the platform to do more

After using these first two skills in tandem, Mackey has turned his personal brand and experience into a full-functional operation. Mackey leveraged his large community and fervent following to co-write “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” and to support Conscious Capitalism, a non-profit dedicated to creating businesses that work for their communities. Mackey is a true entrepreneur in the sense that he not only reaches his community in effective ways, but also uses his brand to reach beyond the parameters of his business. His blog continues to promote the ideas of his book and establish this personal connection with his followers, a powerful and effective method that makes him an exemplary teacher for entrepreneurs.


A+, Mr. Mackey