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Charles Koch Talks Empowerment in Business and Life

Chairman and CEO Charles Koch joins Joe Lonsdale in a new episode of the 'American Optimist' podcast

January 26, 2022

min read

The key to succeeding with continual technological innovation in business isn’t in the technology; it’s in empowering people to discover their potential, Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles Koch told tech entrepreneur Joe Lonsdale in a new episode of the "American Optimist" podcast.

During the wide-ranging interview, Charles laid out his lifelong journey of self-actualization – how he discovered his aptitudes, how those helped him develop new opportunities in business and philanthropy, and how those efforts have helped others improve their lives.

“When we use technology internally, it's to help our people self-actualize,” Charles said, noting that helping employees self-actualize is “every supervisor’s first job.”

How does that happen? At Koch, it means getting “everybody in a role that fits them, that they get passionate about,” Charles said.

Achieving mutual benefit by helping others is essential, Charles explained.

“For example, we talk about, in business, creating virtuous cycles of mutual benefit. Self-actualization is just an individual creating his or her own virtuous cycles of mutual benefit. That's what self-actualization is,” he said. “And a society that empowers people to create, to self-actualize, and have meaning in their lives, and succeed by contributing, is what leads to human progress. Leads to innovation, leads to peace, leads to people wanting to help each other.”

Watch the full episode on YouTube here or listen to it on your favorite podcast streaming platform.​