As Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group from 1991-2001 and of 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 Deep Water 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.
"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 is-sues, and with a perspective based on experience, Moody-Stuart's book provides an invaluable source of wisdom on how to grapple with them. -- Ed Crooks Financial Times "Makes for intriguing reading ... mostly because its author has been instrumental in framing how corporate responsibility is understood ..." -- Oliver Balch, Guardian Sustainable Business In Responsible Leadership, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart sets out his ideas on what committing to those often slippery concepts might mean. He ran Shell as managing director from 1991-2001 and as chairman from 1998-2001 - and was also chairman of Anglo American, the mining group, from 2002-09. It is hard to imagine a better guide. The book is, as he says, not an auto-biography but a memoir that looks back thoughtfully to draw lessons about the role of business in reducing poverty and promoting human rights. It is serious, as you would expect from chapter titles such as "The UN Global Compact", but never dull. The scope of Moody-Stuart's career and the sharpness of his eye mean he has great stories to tell, and his views on issues such as sanctions, corruption and climate change are grounded in experience rather than pre- judice or wishful thinking. Nor is he afraid to make judgments. A damning ac-count of a meeting in 2000 with Tony Blair, when protests by truckers against rising fuel prices cut off fuel supplies in Britain, shows the prime minister dismissing press stories that had been planted by his own press secretary, and joking unkindly about John Prescott being "technologically challenged". Moody-Stuart writes: "Some people may regard these two instances as minor, but they made an impression on me as indicative of the values of the prime minister." As that anecdote suggests, politics and business are inextricably intertwined in the oil industry. Another instructive tale is about a joint venture in Chad owned by Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil. In 1993 Chevron wanted to sell its stake to Elf, the French state-owned company, for the bargain price of $20m, but Shell wanted to buy the stake itself, as it was entitled to under a joint venture agreement. Moody-Stuart and his wife were taken to the opera by Loik Le Floch-Prigent, Elf's chief executive, who explained during the interval that there was no way Shell would be able to exercise its pre-emption rights to stop Elf buying the stake, because if Chad allowed it, the French government would withdraw its military support for Chad's president. Sure enough, Chad's government blocked the Shell deal, allowing the Elf deal to go ahead. The centrepiece of the book is the account of 1995, Shell's "annus hor-ribilis", which shows the interpenetration of bus-iness and politics first as farce and then as tragedy. The farce was Brent Spar, a redundant floating oil tank that Shell plan-ned to sink in the Atlantic, but had to cut up and re-cycle, at much greater ex-pense, because of a Green-peace campaign that was later found to have -- Ed Crooks Financial Times Seldom does the blurb on the flap of a dust jacket capture the contents as accurately as it does for this book. The remarks deserve repeating here word for word. "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 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 lessons from a life spent living in ten 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." Don't skip over that last sentence. A main attribute of the book is the author's personality, which shines through on every page. He speaks like a gentleman and has a universe of experience. He is the sort of person you would want to have dinner with, and stay the evening for a long conversation. His book is exactly like that without the chance of having a dialogue. Moody-Stuart was born in Antigua in 1940. His ancestors pioneered the idea of a central sugar factory. He considers it a great privilege to have lived and worked in many countries and to have visited operations in some 40 others. He was managing director and chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and chairman of the mining company Anglo American. He is also affiliated with the UN Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, and other public organizations. In this book he faces head on the most difficult questions about the responsibility of companies, governments, and individuals in the process of economic development. He has much to say. Here is but a sample: * More progress would have been made if sanctions had not been applied in Iraq and international companies had been allowed to invest. * Government surveillance of private communications was no great secret to corporations as long ago as the 1990s. * Israel's continued building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank is an unacceptable block to any lasting and just two-state solution to the problem. * If the world, and the West in particular, had encouraged continued trade and economic liberalization in places like Syria, this could have encouraged political liberalization * It is easy to cooperate with NGOs who acknowledge that business can play a positive role but who nonetheless may be critical of certain actions. * I have never met someone whom I have regarded as being the devil incarnate; some had that of the devil in them, but they also certainly had a bit of ... 'that of God', even if they kept it well under wraps. * The US Dodd-Frank legislation requires no commitment from the country concerned and unlike the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative does not address the issue of what happens to the money paid out by companies. * Public outrage is a very powerful weapon. Unfortunately it is somewhat capricious and does not necessarily hit the most egregious offenders but rather those who happen to be visible or prominent. In this it has many of the characteristics of a lynch mob ... . Moody-Stuart says this about his career: "I have always regarded the finding and provision to the world of reliable and low-cost energy to allow economic development as an entirely worthwhile occupation. Although more latterly the impact of fossil fuels on the global climate has meant that we now know this cheap and reliable energy comes with clear downsides, this is a matter to be addressed, not regretted, given the role of energy in development for the past century." He has much more to offer about the insidious effects of corruption, about the attitudes and behavior of government leaders, and about governance in corporations. Moody-Stuart is kindly, candid, and committed to higher values and principles. His book contains the most meaningful and revealing insights on sustainability ever written by a corporate executive. -- Crosslands Bulletin ... the most meaningful and revealing insights on sustainability ever written by a corporate executive. -- Crosslands Bulletin
Number Of Pages: 382
Published: 1st March 2014
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 15.6 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.74