Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.
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In April of 2000, Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy his thriving company. Today, instead of taking it easy for the rest of his life and enjoying a luxurious retirement, he's working harder than ever. Why would any sane person pass up the financial opportunity of a lifetime?
Raising the Bar tells the amazing story of Clif Bar's Gary Erickson and shows that some things are more important than money. Gary Erickson and coauthor Lois Lorentzen tell the unusual and inspiring story about following your passion, the freedom to create, sustaining a business over the long haul, and living responsibly in your community and on the earth. Raising the Bar chronicles Clif Bar's ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million consumers, and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling personal stories from Erickson's life-trekking in the Himalayan mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevada range--as inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Erickson--a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneur--convinces us that sustaining one's employees, community, and environment is good business.
If you are a manager, executive, business owner, or board member, Raising the Bar is your personal guide to corporate integrity. If you are a sports enthusiast, environmentalist, adventure lover, intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a good story, Raising the Bar is for you.
the company over e-mail. David Pottruck, the CEO of Charles Schwab, says that you have to earn the right to use e-mail. You have to spend a lot of time with people individually and in front of people as a company before they will allow you to deliver news through e-mail. We hadn’t won that right. Lisa went to a cabin we owned together on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. We both needed time apart to reflect on what we wanted for ourselves and for the company. From the moment of my parking lot
were a living part of the vision. Every year since then more people have joined the Annual Epiphany Ride, including people who had never ridden a bike in their lives. People prepare months ahead of time in special programs designed by Clif trainers. CLIF ANNUAL EPIPHANY RIDE. —LESLIE HENRICHSEN CLIF GROUPIES (DEBBIE AND LESLIE) —STEPHEN HOUGHTON MOM, DAD, AND FAMILY AT FIRST ANNUAL EPIPHANY RIDE. —DIANE CRAWFORD Epiphany ride number one—1990. No company, no money, no bar, nothing. Just one
percent private ownership, the business equivalent of low-impact alpine climbing, was the best option if I wanted to embrace the vision I describe in this book. FIFTY-FIFTY OWNERSHIP In 1985 while eating Yohas with my mom I thought, “Gosh. I could start a business with these things.” My Greek grandmother Kalliope, who inspired my entire family, taught my mom how to make the beautiful, delicious Greek pastry. My mom adapted the recipe, creating Yohas with brioche dough and concocting fillings
few brave souls can prove the exception to the rule on minority shareholders. In an interview with Mother Jones, Gary Hirschberg of Stonyfield Farms said of his deal with Groupe Danone, “There’s no doubt I had to choose which devil to dance with.” Hirschberg hopes that the increased market share and purchasing power offered by Groupe Danone (the large France-based corporation that bought 40 percent of Stonyfield Farms) will help him pursue his dream of saving New England dairy farms and promoting
preventable causes of breast cancer. Another Clif partner, the Children’s Environmental Health Coalition, researches, educates, and advocates about protecting children from environmental health hazards. We also partner with Co-op America to encourage companies and individuals to use their economic power to build a healthier, greener economy. Our list of partners also includes Leave No Trace, The Access Fund, Pesticide Action Network, GreenTreks, The Food Alliance, The Circle of Life Foundation,