Jim Kwik Logo

Navigate Your Future with Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring is founder and CEO of We First, a strategic consultancy accelerating growth and impact for purpose-driven brands. He’s a member of the Steering Committee of Sustainable Brands, the Forbes Business Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Simon was a Featured Expert and Jury Member at the Cannes Lions Festival for the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021, host of the ‘Brands With Purpose’ series with Harvard Business School Association of Boston, and his company, We First, is included in Real Leaders list for the Top 100 Impact Companies in the US for 2021 and 2019, as well as a B Corps ‘Best for The World’ Honoree. He was a Real Leaders Top 100 Visionary Leader in 2018, a finalist for the Conscious Company Leadership Awards in 2017, received the MAKE CHANGE, ‘Conscious Leadership’ Award for 2016, and was a finalist for Global Australian of the Year in 2015.

Simon’s first book, We First was a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of the Year by strategy+business. It was named an Amazon Top Ten Business Book, 800CEORead Top Five Marketing Book, and Sustainable Brands listed We First as one of their Top Sustainability Books of the decade. It has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean. Simon also writes of the popular ‘Purpose At Work’ blog in Forbes. His new book Lead With We launches November 9, 2021.

Simon was a Real Leaders Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World in 2020, voted a Top 5 Marketing Speaker by speaking.com for 5 years in a row, and on the cover of the National Speaker’s Magazine (U.S.). He’s been featured in BBC World News, The Economist, The Guardian, Advertising Age, Inc., AMA, Fast Company, and Forbes, among others.

Prior to We First, Simon was a copywriter, Creative Director and Worldwide Creative Director at agencies including DDB (Sydney), Saatchi & Saatchi (London), Wieden & Kennedy (Portland) and Ogilvy (Los Angeles) winning awards at all major advertising festivals on clients such as Nike, Toyota and Motorola.

This content contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Thanks.

How do you change your future for the better?

This is a powerful question. If you’re here, we know you’re looking to transform not only yourself but your world. And it’s not always easy to figure out where to start.

Our guest today is the founder We First and New York Times best-selling author Simon Mainwaring. He’s here to talk about his brand-new book, Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future.

One of the most important aspects of purpose and mindset is optimism. That can be a hard thing to find, especially in challenging times. Listen in as we talk about how to use optimism to navigate your future towards fulfillment, confidence, and success.

*** Need a boost of confidence to get things done? Check out our brand NEW 7-day Kwik Confidence online course. We use an accelerated learning model to guide you through simple confidence upgrade techniques each day. All you need is 15 minutes a day to get the results. Go to KwikConfidence.com to learn more. ***

"There's nothing we can't achieve when we do it together.'"

Simon Mainwaring

Subscribe To My Podcast:

Make Optimism Intentional

  • Optimism is an interesting word.
  • Everyone struggles on some level every day.
  • It’s easy to look at the headlines and feel disheartened or apathetic at the issues bombarding the world.
  • It can all feel too big to deal with.
  • The solution is to be intentional in your response.
  • Optimism is so important because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • If you show up and do something differently, others will do the same. You will see more evidence of optimism working and it’ll take on a life of its own.
  • Optimism builds its own momentum.
  • So, it’s good to be optimistic by nature, but in challenging times it’s even more important to be intentionally optimistic.
  • Simon’s new book, Lead with We, focuses on this message.
  • It’s about shifting your focus away from the individual by realizing some problems are too big to grasp on your own.
  • When you recognize that some things are created either collectively or through individual actions that accumulate, you realize the only way to get out of it is by working together in new ways.
  • This is the shift in mentality that Lead with We is about.
  • Not only will you unlock really powerful solutions that aren’t possible otherwise, but by working together in new ways, you’re going to find fulfillment, connection, and joy.
  • But it needs to be intentional.
  • Make optimism that self-fulfilling prophecy by shifting your focus to leading with we and solving problems together.

Level Up Your Leadership

  • Everyone needs to step up as a leader—regardless of your age, stage, or position in a company.
  • There are only three scenarios.
  • One, you keep doing what you’re doing as an individual and things keep getting worse.
  • Two, even if you’re doing the right thing, the other half of the population isn’t. And that doesn’t work because one person undoes another.
  • Three, everyone shows up differently.
  • When you show up intentionally to make a difference, you’re showing up as a parent, a citizen, a sibling, a conscious consumer, a boss, and so on.
  • You have all these opportunities in your life that sometimes you walk past or take for granted.
  • Every day you can have a vote for a very different future by what you buy, where you work, where you invest your money.
  • Everyone is a stakeholder in society and now is the time to lead together.
  • In the book is a roadmap for how to lead inside your company culture, your community, and at a societal level.
  • When you start doing this, one of the most powerful things you’ll start to experience is unlocking all these synergies.
  • The compounding effect actually makes things better at a greater scale and speed, creating connectivity instead of working against each other.
  • COVID forced the world to be different.
  • Your way of being in the world changed and you’re prioritizing what’s important.
  • You’re thinking about the future and your responsibility to the people you love.
  • Lead with We taps into that.
  • Every aspect of your life can be a trigger for positive change.
  • The reason this is so important is that the environmental and social systems you depend on are breaking down.
  • Many people are realizing it’s vital to change from a ‘me first’ mentality to ‘we first’.
  • You have to commit to the integrity of the whole so that parts can thrive.
  • When you work together, things like community, collaboration, and cocreation become so important.
  • You’ll look at competition and how you work with people differently.
  • It will give you fulfillment, not through affirmation from somebody else, but by what you give to others and how you show up in the world.
  • It’s an inside-out job, not an outside-in job.

Leadership In Action

  • There are so many examples of how people and companies are leading collectively rather than individually.
  • prAna, a large apparel company, recognized that the way they were packaging their materials was wasteful in terms of plastic usage, space, and shipping.
  • They reengineered their materials and decided to share their knowledge with other apparel companies.
  • They launched the Responsible Packaging Movement that now has over 100 companies all working together in the apparel industry.
  • They’ve leveled up the whole industry together.
  • Another example is IKEA.
  • In both the US and Europe, they’re allowing you to take back the products you no longer want, and they’ll buy them back from you.
  • They want to be more responsible in terms of how they’re showing up and the impact of their materials on the world.
  • They’re also selling renewable energy in Europe, where you can buy your solar energy from them so that they can make their customer’s households climate positive.
  • IBM has Call for Code, which is an open-source competition amongst developers all around the world to solve social and humanitarian issues using technology.
  • When you think individually, you impose self-limits on yourself.
  • But when you think about who you can work with in a broad sense and how you can impact more people, you find fulfillment in yourself and your optimism grows.

The Surprising Power Of We

  • Certainty and confidence both come from having a strategy or a way of being in the world that you think is going to make a difference.
  • That’s how you validate it to yourself.
  • There’s a shift from the old mindset to the new mindset, which might be loosely correlated to the older and younger generations.
  • One mentality around leadership that’s been around for a long time is they’ve been reluctant to lean into social and cultural issues out of fear of polarizing their audience.
  • But research shows that consumers now will actually change their loyalty to a different company if they show a meaningful point of view on issues that affect their lives.
  • Even more, consumers will boycott a company that stays silent.
  • If you think you’re being smarter by staying quiet or hiding in the background, or playing both sides of an issue, you will actually be penalized for it.
  • Another surprising fact came from The Lancet’s Planetary Health report saying 56% of young people think humanity is doomed unless we do something about it.
  • This creates huge expectations on business leaders and companies to give you a reason to believe in the future.
  • There is a demand that corporations show up meaningfully by offering responsible products in every way from the way it’s made, how it’s shipped, and that it’s a product that won’t damage the planet.
  • You support brands with your dollars, whether it’s buying products or working for a company.
  • This goes back to not being able to sit on the sidelines or be neutral on an issue.
  • There’s a huge expectation on businesses to do more than just market products.
  • As a consumer, you want to believe your participation can help you build a better future for everyone.
  • The result is a miraculous rebirth of business, where the focus is falling back in love with the natural world and reconnecting people with each other.
  • Despite the polarization of social media, there is a growing sense of being one human family.
  • The way you live and work is changing, so knowing how to show up to succeed and feel fulfilled is so important.
  • This isn’t about learning something new.
  • It’s about remembering that you’re deeply connected to the natural world and returning to what is innate within you.
  • Everyone can move the lever in society by shifting your mindset.
  • When you start to think and behave differently, you can be a catalyst for change on every level.
  • And when you share this road map and best practices with others, you create momentum.
  • It’s refreshing to know you’re doing the right things for the right reasons.
  • From a business perspective, this isn’t about focusing on profitability, but profit will follow.
  • The business case for why issues like climate, biodiversity, plastic, etc. is becoming clear.
  • Look at how dialogue is changing around business. It’s demanding companies do more good.
  • The future is now and by being conscious and collective, you can be on the right side of history.
  • Market forces are already pushing you forward but it is also going to improve the future for everyone.
  • If you do good by the people and for the planet, then profit will take care of itself.
  • There’s nothing we can’t achieve when we do it together.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot of this episode, share it, and tag us on social media (@SimonMainwaring & @JimKwik) and share one takeaway.
  • I’ll be gifting a copy of Simon’s new book, Lead with We: The Business Revolution That Will Save Our Future, to several lucky listeners.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about the branding aspects of Simon’s business, you can visit, WeFirstBranding.com.
  • Lead with We is a real masterclass and business revolution. It has the mindset, the motivation, and the methods. Get your copy, here.

Similar Episodes