Cultivating People Business (Guest: VaynerMedia's Chief Heart Officer, Claude Silver)


Imagine what it would be like if your organization was able to deliver an amazing customer experience BY delivering an amazing employee experience. Claude Silver, the Chief Heart Officer at Vayner X spent a little time with talking about what it looks like when people begin to feel free in their workplace. Perhaps it is fitting that I could see the Statue of Liberty from her office. 

But, don’t let the nice office fool you, Claude is an incredibly practical operator and gives me/us some very usable advice during the interview. Claude has become a friend since our first meeting almost two years ago where I first connected with the word “Clarity”.

f you can’t tell, I enjoy the people side of the business so much. Customer facing…team facing…its all the same to me. That’s because they are both centered on CONNECTION. Branding and HR both require cultivating true connection in order to be effective. That’s why I love what I get to do everyday.

For those who follow Gary Vaynerchuk and the many organizations he has built already know that he very publicly intends to build what he calls, “The Honey Empire”; "...humanity and heart and efficiency and execution and competition.”

Basically, it is treating people with so much empathy and care, that they are free to be the best versions of themselves and therefore make the best teams and produce the best outcomes. 

Once you understand this, you can understand why Claude Silver is at his right hand in turning this vision into reality. The truth is, nobody will ever stay at your company because you have a ping-pong table or a pallet wall or free cold brew. Those things are nice, but they don’t truly help anyone thrive. People will stay because they feel like they are thriving…and that takes some very intentional cultivation because work is full of friction. Full of opportunities for our spirits to be crushed. Opportunities for us to feel inadequate, unappreciated and hurt.

The antidote is fighting to create an environment where people are free to contribute, free of judgement but not free of accountability. If everyone becomes accountable to leave every person they come in contact with “better than we found them” as Claude suggests, a real “Honey Empire” begins to emerge.

I hope this episode has done just that.

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