Beautiful Leadership — Patagonia’s Righteous Flywheel

Tom McCallum
4 min readDec 3, 2018

Yesterday I wrote the first in a sequence of posts on Beautiful Leadership, noting: “On one day alone last week, at least four wonderful examples of Beautiful Leadership found their way to me”:

  • an NBA star and father empowering young women by walking the talk.
  • a brave woman CEO in the UK leading by example around income inequality, though with some sadly paradoxical behaviour in how I learned of her leadership.
  • an environmental activism movement masquerading as a large US corporation taking the Trump tax cut it received and giving it back to the planet.
  • a Hollywood movie star finding the power and passion of a moment irresistible and showing leadership which made real a project that has since touched millions. (see post “From Now On”)

Today’s post shares a story about a company that states clearly that they are “The Activitist Company”, and “the protection and preservation of the environment isn’t what we do after hours. It’s the reason we’re in business and every day’s work.”

I’ve worked a lot around Brands and Branding during my career. A simple thought is that your Brand is who you are, your Branding is how you represent this to the world. This company is absolutely clear on who they are.

Now, to their recent example of beautiful leadership around the Trump tax cut.

Patagonia is giving its $10 million tax cut back to the planet

This headline on a story from Fast Company spoke to me right away as an example of #BeautifulLeadership, of a company clear on who they are and leading from that space.

This article was a “rip and read” of a post on LinkedIn by Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, titled “Our Urgent Gift to the Planet”, in which she noted, with powerful and strong language:

“Based on last year’s irresponsible tax cut, Patagonia will owe less in taxes this year — $10 million less, in fact. Instead of putting the money back into our business, we’re responding by putting $10 million back into the planet. Our home planet needs it more than we do.”

“Far too many have suffered the consequences of global warming in recent months, and the political response

Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Visionary Leaders ready to make a Massive Impact. Daily posts here, or