Amy C. Edmondson
Novartis Professor of Leadership & Management at Harvard Business School. Teamwork & Leadership Expert
When CEO speaker Dan Price dropped his $1M compensation to $70,000, he set off a whirlwind of criticism and praise. He also strengthened his company’s performance: Gravity Payments, which Price founded in 2004 and has thrived by compensating its employees well. In his keynote addresses, business ethics speaker Dan Price shows organizations of all types how they can thrive and grow through conscious capitalism.
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The “$70k CEO,” business ethics speaker Dan Price is a living model of entrepreneurial ethics and conscious capitalism. As a keynote speaker, Dan Price can speak from his own world-famous experience that doing the right thing is often the best thing for a company’s bottom line.
When his high school band played shows around southwest Idaho, Price saw how much venues paid to process credit cards. He started Gravity Payments from his college dorm room to address the problem, and the company took off before graduation. Gravity Payments’ early success led to some interesting ethical quandaries.
“I never intended to make a lot of money, or really any,” Price told Entrepreneur Magazine. “I was really upset at this industry for the way they were treating my clients. And I just wanted to blow the whole thing up.”
Building Gravity Payments on a foundation of honesty, transparency, and responsibility was a good start, but it wasn’t enough. Despite extraordinarily generous bonuses and raises, Price found that his employees were still struggling in Seattle’s overheated local economy. After a heated exchange with one employee, Price did something revolutionary: he listened. And then he acted, selling his house and cutting his own seven-figure salary to fund a minimum salary of $70,000 at Gravity.
Some derided his move, but others celebrated it. Talented industry veterans looking for more meaningful employment showered Gravity with resumes. Gravity Payments thrived, and even avoided layoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic without increasing the fees it charged to clients.
Dan Price’s strong sense of values and mission to change the way business is done set him on a path of disruption. It is well known Dan is a celebrated entrepreneur, but what sets him apart is his entrepreneurial disposition of fixing what needs to be fixed and doing what he believes is right. In this motivational speech, Dan will talk about his own values and purpose in life that brought him to slash his million dollar salary in favour of all of his employees making at least $70k USD, and the need to create ethical businesses where everyone can thrive.
In 2015, Dan made headlines around the world when he announced to the entire Gravity team that he planned to raise the minimum wage for everyone to $70,000 by slashing his million dollar salary. He called the move a “moral imperative” to do the best you can for those you’re leading.
The response that followed his announcement was overwhelming. Dan’s move spurred hundreds of thousands to voice their support and inspired business owners across the country to employ similar pay increases for their teams. In this motivational speech, Dan will share his amazing story and talk about conscious capitalism, business ethics and social entrepreneurship.
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