With everything going on right now it’s incredible to see powerful examples of human leadership from the top brands that I’ll highlight below. My hope is that these statements from leaders who ‘really get it’ will help organize our society in a more sustainable way – both in the workplace and beyond.

The key is to create the platforms and systems for enabling inclusive discussions to take place in a systematic manner. We need to create these new circles and constantly work on improving our human connection in all environments – both private and public. It’s time to clean up our environment by getting rid of all the toxic energy. We can all learn to redirect the human ego to contribute to the whole in a positive manner. But we have to do this together.

The Need for Connection Experts

Major brands are currently hiring many types of experts to maintain their people in good shape – exercise, nutrition, meditation, yoga, breathing, and more. All this is good for maintaining individuals in peak form. But I want to suggest that a new kind of expert is needed for maintaining the collective in peak form – connection experts.

From this point on, companies will need to invest in strengthening the human connection so that teams can perform optimally together. I even want to go so far as to suggest that investing in human connection will make all the work being done far more productive. Leaders will be able to see results in a matter of weeks.

Promoting Examples of Positive Human Interaction

Beyond creating platforms for these new discussions, I would like to see the top brands embed examples of positive human behavior directly into their marketing and communications. I would like to see all the top brands feature examples and messages that motivate us to treat our fellow man better. The truly forward-thinking organizations will begin setting up incentives to alter human behavior for the better. That is the future. I’ve been speaking about all these things for many years – perhaps now is the time.

Stunning Examples of Human Leadership

Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi — ‘A time to stand together

I believe we can no longer be silent about the deep-rooted racism in our society. I will no longer be silent. We must openly discuss the realities that black people face. Only by having honest discussions, however difficult that may be, will we ever be able to get to a better place. 

Sasan Goodarzi

Intuit Executive Vice President and GM Greg Johnson

… those perspectives have to co-exist, and hopefully, with sharing, can be used to expand our individual points of view, so we can become united in driving much needed change in the communities we are a part of. Let’s not be dismissive of the points of view of others, rather incorporate them to enrich your understanding. It takes courage to share.

Greg Johnson

Cyndee Blockinger Lake of Blank Page:

I don’t know the other corporate leaders mentioned personally, but I do KNOW Greg Johnson and Sasan Goodarzi from Intuit. They are the real deal. They consistently (that being the operative word here) role model what they say in all of their actions. More importantly they have the courage to hold others accountable to the same. I recently had the privilege of observing Greg Johnson through several days of intense meetings with his leadership team (right before everything shut down). I had over 100 positive observations of significance and only one delta. That delta feedback was to remind him to recharge (self care). Sasan and his leadership team work tirelessly to create the conditions for every single person to do amazing work. They encourage and promote honest, constructive dialogue, and have embraced the skill that distinguishes true leadership–the ability to listen to find a new narrative collaboratively.

Cyndee Blockinger Lake

Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan who is making so many discussions possible.

He posted about not having all the answers, but that he hired a new Chief Diversity Officer Damien Hooper-Campbell so they can activate their power to make a difference.

Eric, I’d like to take this moment to say THAT YOU ARE THE SOLUTION. Human connection is the key to fixing everything that’s wrong in our world, and Zoom is right at the heart of all this important communication taking place.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone

Let’s talk openly and honestly. Let’s listen with our whole hearts and minds.

Jamie Iannone

eBay Director, Diversity & Inclusion Beric Alleyne

When I’m asked, “Why eBay?” – this is why. A human-centered company that continues to listen, to learn and to take action.

Beric Alleyne
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Human-Centered Movements, Consultants and Hosts

We are transitioning to a new era where there is more focus on improving the fate of the collective, rather than individuals. There are some incredible people I’m happy to be associated with leading this vital process:

Mike Vacanti – Founder of HumansFirst

I’ve been taking part in HumansFirst discussions that are open to all for the last year, where I’ve met many like-hearted professionals that I truly admire, and consider close friends. This movement is the perfect example of what needs to happen in the next stage – these simple discussion circles are the key to helping us reclaim our common humanity. Another bonus is seeing how we all benefit and flourish from the rich wisdom of the crowd process we’re all going through together for many months. Many participants have gone through major life-changing transitions for the better.

Just to give you an idea of why there is so much hope in these gatherings: Someone in our breakout room yesterday mentioned how they are organizing for a group of white people from their company to get together to discuss white privilege. It took a lot to make this idea a reality, and that person is really excited about the upcoming meeting, and received plenty of positive feedback from the group. Another person in the breakout room thanked him for the idea and pledged to create a similar discussion circle with their friends.

Renee Smith – Founder of The Human Workplace

Renee is right at the center of this transition, after having put the wheels in motion over the past few years. During lockdown she hosted multiple events with hundreds taking part in these important discussions, about the process we are all going through together.

Human-Centered Hosts

I’m grateful to be surrounded by many incredible connection experts who can lead any group of people through a powerful human experience that will boost their emotional intelligence and resilience. Here are some you can reach out to that can help you get these discussions started – Kevin MonroeJane Adshead-GrantGarry Turner.

Human-Centered Companies

As I mentioned above, there are many incredible things coming out of this process we’re going through together – here are some HumansFirst friends who have created new companies:

Chris Ward & Nick Ward are the founders of Empathy North – see my interview

Keith Kuperman is the founder of Empathetic Brands – see my interview

I was really impressed by one of our newer HumansFriends friends whose company began offering virtual leadership training during the lockdown. Meet Emily Elrod – CEO of Workzbe and a stunning example of young leaders who are investing in the future.

I hope to keep highlighting these good examples to give everyone a better understanding of what’s needed to navigate the next stage.

Josia Nakash is a consultant to the high-tech sector in Israel, and manages the public image of high-profile leaders. She created the Good Vibe Agency to help leaders navigate the new stage, and to help the world’s top brands integrate new messages.