What an emotional roller coaster this has been. I have put up photos of the associates at Newburyport’s Market Basket as they have been triumphantly boycotting the store (along with Newburyport area customers), but I didn’t put up any photos of the times that I checked on them, when things seemed bleak, and there spirits struggled.
But this morning, the associates were elated that their boss, Artie T and his entire management team, including the 8 who were fired, are back.
And I listened to Arthur T. Demoulas’s talk to the associates this morning. It was incredibly moving, and I cannot imagine too many CEOs in this country saying anything like what he said today. Here are some quotes from the speech.
“It is not about a “Greek Tragedy,” it is about justice, and a moral compass that unites the human soul.”
“Everyone has purpose, everyone has meaning, but no one person is better or more important than another.”
“No one person holds the position of privilege, whether it’s a full timer, a part timer, a stacker or a cashier, or a grocery clerk, or a truck driver, or a warehouse director, a store manager, a supervisor, a customer or a vendor, or a CEO, we are all equal.”
“You, associates, customers, vendors, have taught professors and analysts that the workplace at Market Basket is so much more than a job.”
“Today is a day in modern history where people were put first and all the money in the world did not matter.”
I hope that this Market Basket revolution changes how places like Harvard Business School teach its students how to be CEOs–fairness, dignity and people first, money second. It sounds simple, but unfortunately in our culture, it is a truly revolutionary approach to being a CEO.