Being a Human Capitalist 

Dan McKinley

Head of Innovation

March 31, 2021

What is a human capitalist? On a fundamental level it means that you do transformational business instead of transactional business.


What is a human capitalist? On a fundamental level it means that you do transformational business instead of transactional business. It’s someone who provides goods and services in a market economy with the human in mind. It’s providing value on a personal and personable level. It’s the ability to create connections, commonality, and community with those we care about. Being a human capitalist is doing business with authenticity. It’s the ability to recognize that we’re not just some corporate mask. People no longer do business anymore with businesses. They do business with people. Fortunately, every business can and should be a people oriented business. 

What it IS and what it IS NOT

The purpose of transactional businesses is to maximize shareholder wealth... A transformational consumer, employee, or business cares about the long term effects of their actions.

Now what’s a transactional businessman? A transactional consumer, employee, or business owner just cares about the tangible results – in most cases it happens to be the bottom line. Transactional relationships are bound by legalities. Each party signs a contract and is expected to provide a certain amount of their respective cash or services. After the transaction occurs the relationship is over. It prioritizes quantity over quality. It focuses on achieving the end result. The purpose of transactional businesses is to maximize shareholder wealth. That’s it. 

A transformational businessman interacts quite differently from a transactional one. A transformational consumer, employee, or business cares about the long term effects of their actions. They care about the energy, emotional state, and ethics of their economic behavior. Most importantly, they care about human relationships. Business is a way we can develop positive relationships. The focus isn’t on the money but on the personal transformation that occurs through the service. Transformational relationships start long before and last long after any kind of monetary transaction occurs. Furthermore, the focus is on quality not quantity. One of the noteworthy purposes of transformational business is to increase stakeholder returns for all those impacted by the business. It transforms everyone for the better. 

Attributes of Human Capitalists

They don’t blindly follow checklists or pushily approach goals. Instead, they allow human relationships to determine what happens.

The human capitalist understands people. They understand the psychology, background, emotions, aspirations, abilities, and dreams of those they work with. They take the time to listen and to get to know those involved. They don’t blindly follow checklists or pushily approach goals. Instead, they allow human relationships to determine what happens. They understand that people value their personal freedom and shouldn’t be coerced or manipulated into a shady deal. Human capitalists prove themselves by showing and giving a generous amount of value to those they serve. 

Human capitalists are in the business of creating super-fans. Super-fans are people who will enthusiastically support a business wherever they go. They create dedicated following through community creation. They reach out to others and help them see how they are similar. They find those with similar interests who genuinely appreciate their work. They find people who are working to solve the same problem in their community, organization, or even in society at large. They don’t just build companies. They build communities. 

The world is in desperate need of community. Billions of people have been trapped, isolated, and separated due to the trials of life. More people are lonely than ever before. People need community. Human capitalists desire to alleviate this burden. They see their work as having the ability to help people connect with others in meaningful ways. Human capitalists don’t rely on cheap gimmicks or trashy consumer goods to give people meaning. They use their real selves for that. They understand that to gain trust you have to by a real person with real values. They give people not just a product but an experience or a relationships they can remember for the rest of their lives. 

Human capitalists have integrity. They understand who they are and don’t change who they are in different situations. They are people with principles. Human capitalists honestly aren’t the opportunistic hustlers of the world. They understand how they come across to others and are true to who they are. This doesn’t mean that they’re unambitious. Absolutely not! Human capitalists are motivated by their personal values. They are motivated by their principles that are driven to help others. Making money is just a byproduct of holding onto those principles. 

Human capitalists focus more on the experience than on the event. The whole industry of experience management is in general more transformational than transactional. Human capitalists understand that long term impact is the goal. Through incredible experiences we can radically change the life of those we serve for the better. Transformations occur not through a simple quick money exchange but through a heart to heart adventure that changes both the server and the recipient. 

Human capitalists are servant leaders. They take responsibility for their actions. They care about even the unintended consequences of their behavior. Every leader has the moral imperative to help those around them thrive. They serve with compassion, empathy, and kindness. They see the potential in others. They work alongside and not above those on their team. They see their clients and customers as true equals. They are humble. Human capitalists strive to be above the narcissistic culture that has dominated our society for generations. Human capitalists understand the inherent and infinite value of others. 

Future of Human Capitalism

Companies rarely spend that much on evaluating, keeping, understanding, and appreciating their people. Human costs should no longer be invisible. You make or break a company through its people. 

Human capitalism is the economy of the future. Companies have long cared more about specific lines on their income statement than they have their own people. In reality, not caring about your people will significantly dampen your bottom line. Companies often spend hundreds of thousands to save money on logistics, production, or marketing. However, Companies rarely spend that much on evaluating, keeping, understanding, and appreciating their people. Human costs should no longer be invisible. You make or break a company through its people. 

Human capitalists are using transformational relationships to change how we do business forever. We are on the cusp of a radically new economic situation that will be impacted by new technologies. We can leverage these new powers to focus on our people. This future isn’t a guarantee, but if we focus on being human than we can overcome these impending challenges. Now is the time we should all decide to be human capitalists.


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