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Purposeful Leadership

Within the activities of Purposeful Leadership, we are acting to unleash human potential by placing purpose at the heart of leadership.

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We act to make sure that any worker and any company has in mind that the following principles:

Purposeful Leadership is a journey beginning with a reflection on the philosophy of work. The purpose of a company is not to make money but to serve the common good, which brings value to its various stakeholders. Making money is a necessity, but it is not the company’s purpose. Turning business into a real force for good is good business sense as well.

The purpose of the organization is the starting point for defining a strategy. An organization’s purpose transcends any individual product or service. A company is a human organization that will perform best when each individual feels fully invested in a shared purpose. A purpose has to be clear for everyone in the organization and authentic to everyone’s values and everyday behavior.

The role of the leader is to serve.  An authentic leader is clear about who he/she is serving and is values driven. His/her role is to foster an environment where others can flourish, be successful and pursue their purpose, while embracing their vulnerabilities and those of others. They create the conditions for more trust within teams, as well as dedication and autonomy at the individual level. 

Putting employees first and pursuing a meaningful purpose releases the energy of each individual.  Making employees the priority will in turn bring benefits for customers and investors, as it will improve both engagement and coordination within the organization. 

Diversity and inclusion are core to an organization’s values - they are key drivers to attract talent, drive commitment and engagement, and increase innovation and performance. 

Corporate social responsibility must involve everyone in the company. Human, social and environmental values must be integrated into the strategic and operational fabric of the organization.


We believe that the search for meaning is an essential quest for each individual. 


We believe that linking this search with the purpose of the company is a key priority for the organization and the individuals who work there. 

Finally, we believe that a company’s purpose must contribute to society’s common good. 

And that is why we are acting to spread the concept of purposeful leadership.


Watch here all the inspirational testimonies of leaders 

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Antoine Frérot (CEO, Veolia), Edouard Malo-Henry (Group Chief Compliance Officer, Société Générale), Denis Machuel (Chief Executive Officer, Sodexo) and Emery Jacquillat (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Camif Matelsom), invite students to place meaning at the heart of their professional decisions, so that they can achieve individual fulfillment, develop collective success and move society forward.


In July 2018, Hubert Joly (H.81), Former CEO of Best Buy, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and Major Benefactor of the HEC Foundation, created the Joly Family Chair in Purposeful Leadership with HEC Paris.

Hubert Joly's exceptional gift and the subsequent commitment of generous contributors* have given HEC Paris the means to conduct research and set up a path on purposeful leadership for students in all of the HEC programs throughout their studies.

* Our thanks to Hubert Joly (H.81), Laure Fau (H.93), Nicolas Giauque (H.93),  Coralie (H.00) & Vincent Laurencin (H.99) Sylvia Metayer (H.86), Jean-François Palus (H.84), Jean-Dominique Senard (H.76) Pascal Stefani (H.88) and Valérie (H.90) & Benoît Valentin (H.90) for making this ambitious program possible.