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Marc Benioff's New Book Talks About Bringing Your Values to Work and Being a Platform for Change

Marc Benioff’s new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, will debut on October 15.

Marc Benioff’s new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, will debut on October 15.

And people are already talking about it:

Trailblazer is an urgent and compelling book for anyone in business who yearns to fulfill a higher mission in the world.” — Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, author and philanthropist

“In Trailblazer, Benioff shares how his business became hugely successful, not in spite of his determination to do what he believed was the right thing, but because of it.” — Jane Goodall, primatologist and world-renowned conservationist

Trailblazer is the gold standard on how to use business as a platform for change … a must-read for anyone who aspires to lead from a place of wisdom and truth.” — Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and author of Principles: Life and Work

Trailblazer lays out a model for a winning culture where everyone has an equal opportunity to have their voice heard.” — Billie Jean King, tennis champion and social justice and equality activist

As Marc’s co-author, I’ll concede upfront that I have a biased view. But I think you’ll find that Trailblazer really brings the story of Salesforce and Marc’s personal journey to life. 

Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff and EVP Global Strategic Affairs Monica Langley
Marc Benioff and Monica Langley

But here’s the thing: it’s not a sanitized memoir by Salesforce’s founder and co-CEO or a dull corporate history of this fast-growing and innovative software company. It’s a book about an idea. A big idea. It’s about how every business, and everyone, can be a platform for change.

The book is called Trailblazer for a reason. Trailblazers — Salesforce’s employees, customers, partners, and communities who bring their values to work every day — were a big inspiration for the book.

Marc writes about what makes Salesforce a Best Place to Work and explores our unique culture, a topic he’s asked about nearly every day. He provides behind-the-scenes stories of how Salesforce’s values — trust, customer success, innovation, and equality — have been pivotal in evolving the company from a startup in a tiny San Francisco apartment to a Fortune 500 corporation today.

The company’s success, he writes, “… wasn’t just a function of the brilliance of our products, our people, or our business model. Rather, the company’s most powerful engine was that decision we made in 1999 to orient our culture around values.”

For example, he tells how in 2015, Salesforce on behalf of its stakeholders, opposed a law in Indiana that could have discriminated against the LGBTQ community. Marc, along with other “activist” CEOs, managed to convince the Indiana legislature to remove the discriminatory aspects of the law. And, in 2018, Marc and Salesforce played a central role in addressing the homelessness crisis in San Francisco, galvanizing support for an initiative that would increase the corporate tax on the largest companies in the city in order to raise new funds for housing and services.

“Gone are the days when companies can recruit and retain top talent without upholding a commitment to values,” Marc writes. “I believe that a company’s prosperity and ability to discover the right path is inextricably tied to how actively its employees embrace its values and make them the anchor for everything they do.”

And those values are even more important today, Marc explains in Trailblazer, as businesses face disruptive challenges unforeseen a few years ago as technology advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution take hold.

“Imagine a future in which CEOs and their companies around the world applied the same focus and innovation they bring to solving their most complex business problems to solving our most complex social ones,” he writes.

A few weeks ago, the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from leading U.S. companies (including Salesforce), published a new statement on the purpose of a corporation. It was an acknowledgment that the long-held belief that corporations should focus only on serving shareholders and increasing profit was wrong. These CEOs committed to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

For Salesforce, the idea of serving all stakeholders — including giving back to our communities — has been part of the company’s DNA since our founding. So you won’t be surprised to learn that all proceeds from the book go to Salesforce Foundation to focus on public education and workforce development.

Trailblazer is available for preorder here.

Marc and I can’t wait to hear from you once you have Trailblazer in your hands or on your screens! So please join the conversation — along with Branson, Goodall, Dalio, and King — by telling us what Trailblazer means to you. Share your comments on social media using the hashtag #TrailblazerBook and we’ll post highlights!

Monica Langley joined Salesforce as Executive Vice President of Global Strategic Affairs in 2017. For 27 years, she was an award-winning senior writer at The Wall Street Journal, specializing in front-page profiles and news-breaking narrative stories. Langley has also been a TV news commentator, a corporate attorney, and a bestselling author. Follow her on Twitter.

More by Monica Langley

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