An Open Letter to the CEOC Community

This is the time for people, companies, and organizations to come together for the greater good, to right the wrongs, and change the world in which we live. 

CEO Connection represents the largest group of Mid-Market CEOs in the world.  As business leaders, we have the opportunity to impact not only the businesses we lead but also the communities in which we live and work. 

When we embrace diversity and include those left out or marginalized, we not only set an example for all to see, we give hope to those who often have none.  We must “place before the world the common sense of the subject, [in] terms so plain and firm as to command their assent” that fair and humane treatment of every human being is their right, no matter the color of their skin, race, gender, or sexual orientation.  We need to do it because it is the RIGHT thing to do, not just because it makes good business sense. 

It is unfathomable to me that in my grandparents’ lifetime African Americans were denied access to an equal education; in my parents’ lifetime African Americans were denied access to jobs and housing; in my lifetime African Americans were not allowed to use the same bathrooms or eat at the same restaurants; and in my children’s lifetime, in our country – The United States of America –, African Americans and other people of color are viewed with such suspicion that the justice, afforded to so many others as a matter of principle, is denied to them as a matter of due course.

We cannot rely on, nor wait for, the government to make things right.  We need to take some action now.  It is our moral imperative. Ignoring an injustice is an injustice. It is inherent upon the business community to lead the way.  To that end, today, as CEO of CEO Connection, I am creating a taskforce of Mid-Market CEOs to identify and implement programs that make equal opportunity in our companies and communities a way of life not just a slogan.

We do not undertake this project lightly.  We do not know what is coming next.  However, we do know that all people deserve equal opportunity; we know that the government has not been able to achieve this yet; and we know that the business community can and should lead the way.

This will not be easy and there will be challenges ahead, but we must do all that we can to make a change. I am quite confident that Mid-Market CEOs can do anything…and this is the right thing to do.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world….” Imagine what the leadership of the mid-market can do together.

If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

If you are interested in joining the taskforce click here.

Stay healthy and be safe.

Kenneth Beck
Chief Executive Officer, CEO Connection