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Business as a Platform for Change

Trailblazer: Marc Benioff’s New Book Arrives

This week, Salesforce Founder, Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff’s new book, Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, hit the shelves in-store and online. In it, Benioff delivers a vision for the need for a new kind of capitalism, one where businesses and executives value purpose alongside profit, and that changing the world is everybody’s business.

“Companies, and the people who lead them, can no longer afford to separate business objectives from the social issues surrounding them. They can no longer view their mission as a set of binary choices: growing vs. giving back, making a profit vs. promoting the public good, or innovating vs. making the world a better place,” he writes in Trailblazer. “Rather, it must be and. Doing well by doing good is no longer just a competitive advantage. It’s becoming a business imperative.”’

To promote the book, Benioff kicked off a media tour discussing key themes from Trailblazer. On “Squawk on the Street,” Benioff said CEOs must embrace a wider perspective that includes the well-being of stakeholders. “For CEOs who only focus on shareholders, let them be warned, they will not be CEOs very long,” Benioff said.

While on Fox Business, Benioff spoke with business journalist Maria Bartiromo about the need for a new kind of capitalism. “Capitalism as we know it is dead,” said Benioff. “We all need capitalism that is more fair, more equitable, and more sustainable.”

Benioff also spoke to the importance of Salesforce’s unique culture and values that were pivotal in evolving the company from a startup in a tiny San Francisco apartment to a Fortune 500 corporation today. In an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, Benioff said seeking higher levels of trust with customers is “the most important thing in the industry today. Period.”

On “CBS This Morning,” Benioff shared the thesis of Trailblazer. “The reason why I wrote the book is so I can explain through the stories of Salesforce over the last 20 years how we’ve done both — how we’ve been able to do well and do good and how we’ve been able to put it together to weave the fabric of success of Salesforce. It’s a story of shareholders and stakeholders.”

Here’s what people are saying about Trailblazer:

Book Review – Marc Benioff’s Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change

“This isn’t a business book built around self-help to-do checklists. It’s the story of a journey of a company built on foundational values that has grown and evolved with the occasional stumble from which it has learned.” — Stuart Lauchlan, Diginomica

Billionaire Salesforce co-founder Marc Benioff says capitalism is dead and needs a reboot

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff argues that companies have been too focused on shareholders at the expense of employees, customers and the communities they serve. — Matt Rossoff, CNBC

A Family of Trailblazers

“Benioff defines a trailblazer: ‘Someone who is a pioneering visionary, a prophet. Someone who can see through the smoke, through the clouds, if you will. And somebody who is able to really find that clarity and create that future.’ ” — Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

Salesforce.com CEO: What They Don’t Teach You In Business School

“Benioff’s book is optimistic. It’s about how companies–of any size–have the inherent power to make our world better. But again, it means going well beyond narrow interests like shareholder value and instead looking to stakeholders like employees, customers and communities. And it all begins with establishing clear-cut values to guide decisions.” — Tom Taulli, Forbes

Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff On Attracting the Best and Brightest

“The book, published this week, serves as a reminder to business leaders that rhetoric alone isn’t enough—anyone can talk a good game when it comes to giving back, but authentic leaders express their values through their words and actions. Yes, Salesforce had to prosper in traditional measures, but Benioff was equally determined to build a company to make a positive impact.” — Carmine Gallo, Forbes

Breakingviews – Review: Salesforce’s activist CEO has solid pitch

“Benioff goes well beyond the platitudes mouthed by other CEOs by taking a stand on controversial topics.” — Gina Chon, Reuters

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