Citizen First, Founder Second

This is for all the CEOs and founders out there.

You know better than anyone that you have the ability to create an outcome based on your input. If you’re an early founder, you know how much action you must take to fight the laws of inertia. Without massive action in a targeted direction, your company is nothing better than the wind through a leafless branch… whipping around without actually moving anything.

You know better than anyone else that talk is cheap and actions speak.

Having the courage to stand up and take a stance is in your blood. You left your 9-to-5 and took a risk because you believed you can make a difference. Now, you’ve built an amazing team of employees who believe in your courage.

Now, I am asking you to take a stance, use that courage, and empower your employees to vote on Tuesday, November 6th.

Athens, Greece. The birthplace of Democracy.

Right now, Americans talk more about democracy than exercising it. But, for good reason.

Voting in the US is hard. There are 50 states with 50 different systems. Nearly every other modern democracy holds elections on weekends or makes Election Day a national holiday, but not in America.

Let’s look at what that does to voting:

Just over 36% of eligible voters showed up for the 2014 midterms, the lowest turnout in 72 years.

The 55.7% participation rate in 2016 puts us 26th among 32 developed nations in voter turnout.

You have a chance to fix these statistics by making it easier for your employees to vote.

I also understand that as a founder, it can be tough to pay attention to politics. Your business is your baby, and politics is a distraction. And I agree. These days, not caring about politics on a day-to-day basis can be healthy.

But, on November 6th, you must vote, and you must do everything in your power to help your employees vote.

You started your company because you know you can make a difference on the world. Voting is no different. Vote because you know you can make a difference, and because you have a moral and social obligation.

Don’t know what you can do to help? Here, I’ll give you some ideas:

  • Patagonia will be shutting its stores on Election Day
  • Uber and Lyft are offering free rides to the polls
  • Levi Strauss is offering paid time off
  • Tyson Foods has launched its first campaign to get employees registered to vote
  • Cava restaurants will give its workers two hours of paid time off to vote
  • WeddingWire has made Election Day a “no meetings” day to make it easier for employees to vote
  • Snap and Instagram have used their sites to encourage young adults to register and vote

Whether you close stores or offices, make PTO or flexible work arrangements available, secure transportation for workers, or discourage meetings for the day, just do something that signals to your employees that voting is more important than working.

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose…Every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

— Larry Fink, BlackRock

Whatever your politics, we can all agree these upcoming midterm elections are critical.

BlockWorks Group employees will have the morning off on November 6th to cast their vote. We also have a newsletter that reaches thousands of blockchain enthusiasts and investors. We are pushing the vote in that as well.

I urge you to do the same.

CEOs and founders have a moral obligation to weigh in. You have more voice than 99.9% of America. You can stand on the sidelines, or you can recognize your voice and acknowledge your ability to empower those around you.

Vote like it matters, because then it will.

Building BlockWorks Group so Wall St. doesn’t f**k up crypto.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store