IN­SPI­RA­TION IN AC­TION

How cre­ative lead­ers are bring­ing pos­i­tiv­ity to the work­place—and the mar­ket­place

Fast Company - - Lesson in optimism -

“ONE OF THE MOST FUL­FILL­ING PARTS OF OUR DAY IS WHEN WE HEAR THAT A VIDEO THAT WE CRE­ATED HELPED TO GET A DOG ADOPTED.”

Joanna Zel­man, ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of video, The Dodo

“I told ev­ery­body at my show, ‘you’ve been un­der­es­ti­mated, and that stops now. I ex­pect you to be ev­ery­thing you can be to­day.’ It’s why our show is do­ing as well as it is.”

Robin Thede Host of BET’S The Run­down With Robin Thede

“YOU HAVE TO PULL BACK AND BE UN­BE­LIEV­ABLY CRIT­I­CAL OF EV­ERY SIN­GLE PIECE. DON’T TAKE ANY­THING FOR GRANTED. IS THE STORY YOU’RE TELLINGTHE[SAME]THINGTHATTHEAUDIENCEISSEEING?“

David Korins, founder, David Korins De­sign

“WE HAVE NO PRI­VATE PLACES IN OUR OF­FICE. TRANS­PARENCY IS KEY, TRUST IS IM­POR­TANT. WHEN PEO­PLE FEEL SAFE, HEARD, AND FUL­FILLED, EV­ERY­THING ELSE FALLS INTO PLACE.”

Matt Scan­lan Founder, Naadam Cash­mere

“As lead­ers in to­day’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, we need to get com­fort­able with con­struc­tive fric­tion, with hear­ing mul­ti­ple points of view.”

Mar­quise Still­well Founder and prin­ci­pal, Open­box

“ALAN MULALLY [SAYS] SOME­THING I RE­ALLY LIKE, WHICH IS, ‘LOVE AND BE LOVED IN THAT OR­DER.’ AN­OTHER LES­SON THAT I LEARNED FROM HIM IS ‘LIS­TEN MORE, TALK LESS.’”

Ayse Birsel Co­founder, Birsel+seck

“If it can’t be ex­plained to my 10-year-old, then you don’t un­der­stand it your­self.”

An­drew Dent Ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, Ma­te­rial Con­nex­ion

“My daugh­ter goes,‘guys, you’re over­think­ing.’ She was right. You get in the weeds and can’t pull out. It took a 12-year-old to see it so clearly.”

Doug Gui­ley VP of sourc­ing, West Elm

“Com­pen­sa­tion and ben­e­fits are the ta­ble stakes. Peo­ple en­joy be­ing where suc­cess is mea­sured both emo­tion­ally and fi­nan­cially.”

David Wolfe Co­founder and CEO, Leesa

“WE SPEAK OF DI­VER­SITY AND IN­CLU­SION AS IF THEY WERE A UNIT. THEY ARE QUITE DIF­FER­ENT. DI­VER­SITY IS A CHECK­LIST. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THE CHECK­LIST IS THE FIRST STOP, NOT THE LAST.”

Michael Kim­mel Au­thor and pro­fes­sor, Stony Brook Univer­sity

“It’s im­por­tant to keep your team’s goals in a place where ev­ery­one can see them.”

Elana Karp Head chef and culi­nary co­founder, Plated

“IF THERE IS ANY WAY OUR BUSI­NESS CAN HELP PEO­PLE IN OUR COM­MU­NITY, WE SHOULD AB­SO­LUTELY DO THAT.”

Kevin Lavelle Founder and CEO, Mizzen+main

“THE SWEET SPOT IS AL­LOW­ING PEO­PLE TO DO WHAT THEY’RE GOOD AT AND PAS­SION­ATE ABOUT, THEN GIV­ING THEM A RE­ALLY LONG LEASH.”

Kay Hsu Global In­sta­gram lead, Face­book Cre­ative Shop

“My job is to tap into food mo­ments and food mem­o­ries and fig­ure out a way to celebrate them.”

Christina Tosi, chef and founder, Mo­mo­fuku Milk Bar

A staffer from the Dodo (the premier pur­veyor of an­i­mal-themed vi­ral videos) helps a pup res­cued from Hur­ri­cane Maria get ready for a close-up.

Di­rect-to-con­sumer lux­ury shoe startup M.gemi re­leases a new de­sign ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing. “We don’t ex­pect our cus­tomers to buy a new shoe each week,” pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Ka­plan says. “But it keeps our con­ver­sa­tion with them go­ing.”

Hamil­ton set de­signer Korins’s re­design of N.Y.C. Theater District restau­rant Bond 45

A toy ver­sion of Naadam’s Gobi Desert cash­mere goats

In­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal agency Ket­tle fo­cuses on so­cial­first brand­ing, work­ing with ex­pert con­sul­tants such as drag queens (be­low, from left) Sasha Velour, Milk, and Bi­ble­girl. “It’s im­por­tant to stay true to who we are and do pur­pose­ful work we be­lieve in,” says Ket­tle’s co­founder Olivier Peyre.

NEW YORK CITY’S NEW 12-ACRE COR­NELL TECH CAM­PUS BRINGS GRAD­U­ATE ED­U­CA­TION TO­GETHER WITH COM­MER­CIAL IN­NO­VA­TION IN WHAT DEAN AND VICE PROVOST DANIEL HUT­TEN­LOCHER CALLS A “STUDIOENVIRONMENT.”THECAMPUSFEATURESOPENSPACESAND THELARGESTPASSIVEHOUSEINTHEWORLD,USINGBETWEEN 60% AND 70% LESS EN­ERGY THAN A TYP­I­CAL BUILD­ING.

In­stal­la­tion in West Elm’s cor­po­rate lobby

José An­drés, the Span­ish-amer­i­can chef who pop­u­lar­ized tapas din­ing in the U.S., has helped serve more than 3 mil­lion warm meals to Puerto Ri­cans af­ter Hur­ri­cane Maria dev­as­tated the is­land. His non­profit, World Cen­tral Kitchen, cre­ated a net­work of lo­cal vol­un­teers and kitchens to feed hun­gry peo­ple in need.

The Class by Taryn Toomey of­fers a work­out that goes beyond the phys­i­cal. Par­tic­i­pants scream, stomp their feet, and shake their fists, all to thump­ing mu­sic and mo­ti­va­tional mes­sages. “The Class is a feel­ing—we’re open­ing up a room for peo­ple to feel,” says Toomey.

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