1st Edition

Responsible Leadership Lessons from the Front Line of Sustainability and Ethics

By Mark Moody-Stuart Copyright 2014

    As Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group from 1991–2001 and Anglo American plc from 2002–2009, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is as qualified as anyone on the planet to discuss the realities, dilemmas and lessons to be learnt from the last 20 years of corporate engagement with sustainability, ethics and responsibility. In this unique book – part memoir, part confessional, part manifesto for leadership – we hear a unique voice from the front line of corporate responsibility. Moody-Stuart retraces the steps of a remarkable journey from being a postgraduate geologist to being at the helm of two of the largest corporations in the world.We hear of dealings with dictators and prime ministers, colleagues and NGOs, rivals and friends. We travel from Syria to Nigeria; Iraq to Downing Street; and from the machinations of the United Nations to those inside the boardroom of Shell. We see Shell’s annus horribilis in 1995 unfold through the eyes of an insider, and how Brent Spar and the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa sent shockwaves through the company, resulting in a complete reappraisal of its mission and principles. We hear about the oil and mining sectors and their complicated development role in areas of conflict and corruption; the way that markets have failed us on climate change and corruption; and how governments need to step up to the global challenges we face. We hear how Deepwater Horizon could have been avoided; what Shell were asked to do by Tony Blair during the UK fuel blockades of 2000 and why they declined; why China is too important to ignore; and why the Global Compact is too important to fail. We hear lessons from a life spent living in 10 different countries and we come to realize that, for corporations, trying to do the right thing can sometimes be almost impossible. We also come to know a deeply ethical and thoughtful leader who has always tried to do exactly that.

    AcknowledgementsForewordSir Robert Wilson KCMG, former Executive Chairman of Rio Tinto plc; former Chairman of BG Group plcForewordMark Malloch Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-GeneralPrefaceIntroduction1. Differing development outcomes and their causes2. Coalitions, governments and doing the right thing3. The United Nations Global Compact4. Some alternatives in countries with military rule or human rights abuses: Sanctions or withdrawal5. Dining with the devil: Engaging with those guilty of human rights abuses6. Markets are essential, but they cannot do everything7. Oil, gas and climate change8. Corruption: The biggest market failure of all9. Enterprise solutions to poverty and development10. Lessons from China on poverty eradication11. 1995: Shell’s annus horribilis  and its consequences12. Embedding values and principles13. Changes in structure and governance: Do they matter?14. Differences in remuneration and wealth in companies and societies15. The business of not-for-profit enterprisesAfterwordIndex


    Moody-Stuart, Mark

    "Makes for intriguing reading … mostly because its author has been instrumental in framing how corporate responsibility is understood … "One of the biggest risks faced by companies is that everyone starts thinking the same," Moody-Stuart concludes. His book marks a valiant attempt to avoid that trap. The conclusions won't re-write the rules of corporate capitalism – nor will they remove the risk of more anni horribiles in the future. But, if the book persuades his fellow corporate insiders to look outside their shells, then it should edge forward the debate." - Oliver Balch, Guardian Sustainable Business

    "It is hard to imagine a better guide… by raising the is­sues, and with a perspective based on experience, Moody-Stuart’s book provides an invaluable source of wisdom on how to grapple with them." - Financial Times - Ed Crooks

    "Makes for intriguing reading … mostly because its author has been instrumental in framing how corporate responsibility is understood …" - Oliver Balch, Guardian Sustainable Business

    "... the most meaningful and revealing insights on sustainability ever written by a corporate executive." - Crosslands Bulletin