Claude Silver takes her title as the Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia quite literally. Her role at the firm started by Gary Vaynerchuk is to bridge the gap between a winning team, great work, and deep connections amongst the human beings involved. Today, she talks about how she brings authenticity into her work, the importance of empathy in company culture, and how to approach tough conversations at work and in life.
[4:40] Claude has quite a large team at VaynerMedia, made up of 900 human beings. She thinks of HR as the “heart” of a company and takes the responsibility on for leading the way to infuse self-awareness, kindness, and empathy into their everyday work. Through in-person meetings, she is able to assess cultural patterns and social nuances that are going well and those that may need a boost.
[6:02] Claude is very proud to work with Gary Vaynerchuk and feels there is no one quite like him in the advertising agency business. He demonstrates the important qualities that leaders should possess to inspire and ignite the team on the frontlines.
[9:34] Claude finds that creativity comes when we are in the flow and focused on activities that expand and open our mind and hearts. She has been known to ask her team to bring in poetry that inspires them, just to get out of the everyday grind and into the space of creation and imagination.
[12:53] Human beings are wired to connect and be in a community. Great leaders create a safe space by also providing areas that their team members can go to be accepted and feel as though they belong.
[19:36] We are all capable to extend generosity and compassion, no matter where we came from.
[26:44] Giving feedback from a place of cognitive empathy and understanding is a gift and an act of caring. Often times “nice” is code that we don’t want people upset with us, or to rock the boat by challenging them. However, even when our feedback does come with specific action items to move forward, it’s ultimately up to the individual to motivate themselves.
[33:34] Claude works with her team to create a culture of meritocracy and family first. They want their teammates to be champions, and while culture needs to be blessed from the top, it is everyone’s responsibility to grow and stay true to the mission.
[39:12] A large part of success as a corporation is the ability for the workers to feel the safety net of having a space to speak with candor, and that they are valued. The more interconnected different teams can be, the more everyone realizes their role is important to the overall success.
“If you appreciate people and allow them the space to spread their wings, great things will happen.” — @claudesilverClick to tweet
“Giving someone your attention is one of the purest forms of generosity.” — @claudesilverClick to tweet