A Series on Courageous Leadership presented by Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati
“What is your ‘why’?” While we often hear this question asked of individuals, an increasing number of companies are now tasked with identifying what drives them. How can you use the power of purpose to unlock hidden potential — within ourselves and our companies?
Enter Deep Purpose, an all-new podcast hosted by best-selling author and Harvard Business School Professor Ranjay Gulati. The debut season goes behind the headlines and success stories of top global CEOs. By diving deep into industry leaders’ personal stories, Ranjay reveals how their personal journeys ultimately connect back to their organization’s purpose.
Building on insights in Gulati’s similarly-titled book, the podcast also shows how practicing deep purpose can revolutionize businesses and deliver performance benefits to reward employees, communities, and beyond. In the debut season, you’ll hear from founders, leaders, and CEOs of companies, who reveal personal stories that led to their businesses’ extraordinary success. Featured guests include:
- Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever: a multinational consumer goods company with a historical commitment to doing good.
- Rosalind Brewer, Leader of Walgreens-Boots Alliance: a large and diverse health care company that aims to inspire more joyful lives by helping people achieve better health.
- Mudassir Sheikh, Co-Founder of Careem, a “unicorn” rideshare company in the Middle East that is grounded in lessons learned from a near-death experience.
Other guests include: Mumzworld Founder Mona Ataya; Arcos Dorados Founder Woods Staton; Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala; Temasek Holdings CEO Dilhan Pillay; Nubank Founder David Vélez; The Mahindra Group Non-executive Chairman Anand Mahindra; and DBS (formerly known as the Development Bank of Singapore) CEO Piyush Gupta.
Alan Jope Bio
Alan was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2019. As CEO of Unilever, Alan is responsible for leading one of the world’s largest and most geographically diverse consumer goods businesses, with presence in 190 countries, serving 2.5 billion people every day. Alan is Chair of the Board of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, Vice Co-Chair of the Consumer Goods Forum, and Vice Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Executive Committee.
October 24, 2022
Unilever CEO Alan Jope Maintains a Long History of Doing Good
Alan Jope of Unilever leads a vast company with a historical commitment to doing good. He says navigating with a deep purpose makes for a stronger company and robust financial performance.
Rosalind Brewer Bio
Roz Brewer has been CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance since March 2021. She previously held executive positions at Starbucks, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Kimberly Clark. She was ranked No. 6 on Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and was named one of the 25 most influential women by the Financial Times in 2021. She also serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for Spelman College, where she was an undergraduate.
October 24, 2022
Walgreens-Boots Alliance Leader Rosalind Brewer Inspires Joy through Better Health
As the leader of Walgreens-Boots Alliance, Roz Brewer leads a large and diverse health care company. Her thousands of stores and medical clinics aim to inspire more joyful lives by helping people to better health.
Mudassir Sheikha Bio
Mudassir Sheikha is the CEO and co-founder of Careem, which started out as a ride-sharing company and has expanded to deliver a range of services to customers in the Middle East. In January of 2020, Careem was acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion. Before starting Careem, Sheikha was an associate partner for McKinsey & Co. A native of Pakistan, he has a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford and spent a decade after graduation working on start-ups in Silicon Valley.
October 31, 2022
How Mudassir Sheikha’s Rideshare Company Careem Became a Unicorn in the Middle East
A near-death experience led Mudassir Sheikha and his business partner to a deep sense of purpose in creating the rideshare company Careem. It became a rare startup “unicorn” in the Middle East.
Mona Ataya Bio
Mumzworld Founder Mona Ataya: Empowering Women in the Middle East
Mumzworld is the largest online baby store in the Middle East. It was created by Mona Ataya, one of the most influential businesswomen in the region. Ataya is driven to empower women, motivate employees, and benefit all of the company’s stakeholders.
Woods Staton Bio
Arcos Dorados Founder Woods Staton: The Importance of Core Principles
Arcos Dorados (“Golden Arches” in English) is the world’s largest independent McDonald’s restaurant franchisee. Founder Woods Staton says purpose is a work in progress for his company. But having core principles helped Arcos Dorados weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simpiwe Tshabalala Bio
How Higher Purpose Guides CEO Sim Tshabalala of Africa’s Standard Bank Group
In South Africa, CEO Sim Tshabalala of Standard Bank Group worked his way up from the Black township of Soweto to lead one of Africa’s largest financial institutions. He says believing in a higher purpose guides his bank to do the right thing for shareholders and society.
Dilhan Pillay Bio
Dilhan Pillay Leads Temasek Holding’s Ongoing Purpose Journey
Temasek Holdings is an investment firm owned by the Government of Singapore. CEO Dilhan Pillay says the firm’s ongoing “purpose journey” helps it keep an eye on the long term while navigating the tricky tides of current events.
David Velez Bio
Episode release December 5
Why Brazil’s Nubank Founder David Vélez Plans to Give Away Billions
David Vélez is a founder of the world’s biggest digital bank: Nubank in Brazil. Having a core purpose helped him build the business – and will lead him to give away billions of his own wealth.
Piyush Gupta Bio
Mr. Piyush Gupta has been Chief Executive Officer and Director of DBS Group since 2009. Prior to joining DBS, Piyush had a 27 year career at Citigroup, where his last position was Chief Executive Officer for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, he is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, Singapore’s Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data, and the McKinsey Advisory Council.
Episode release December 12
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta Aims to Lead the Best Bank in the World
Like many successful enterprises, DBS (formerly known as the Development Bank of Singapore) is obsessed with the customer experience. Piyush Gupta says DBS’ mission to be the best bank in the world pays huge dividends for employees, investors and communities.
Anand Mahindra Bio
Episode release December 19
Anand Mahindra: The Rise Philosophy at The Mahindra Group
The core purpose of The Mahindra Group is to help people “rise.” Non-executive Chairman Anand Mahindra says the “rise” philosophy guides how this sprawling enterprise makes money, motivates employees, and strives for a better world.
Professor Gulati has been ranked as one of the top ten most-cited academics in the fields of economics and business by ISI-Incite and has received similar recognition from
Professor Gulati studies how “resilient” organizations—those that prosper both in good times and bad—drive growth and profitability. His work bridges strategy (establishing clear strategic pillars for growth), organizational design (reimagining purposeful and collaborative organizational systems), and leadership (fostering inspired, courageous, and caring execution).