Which Startups Will Make It?

Startup companies are scaling up very fast nowadays, and in many ways that has shifted the core value of the company from focusing on technology, to focusing on people. Everyone is talking about how people are a company’s greatest asset, and this has thrown HR leaders directly into the spotlight.

Smart leaders are talking about the importance of maintaining a strong corporate culture, based on a specific set of values. But nobody is talking about the elephant in the room yet — how an eruption of the human ego can cost a company everything. I’ve been around startups long enough to know that when the founders start hating each other, when the internal politics consume everything — it is only a matter of time until the company closes its doors and sends everyone home.

There is actually only one entrepreneur talking about the cancer of the human ego and that is VaynerX Chairman and VaynerMedia CEO, Gary Vaynerchuk. GaryVee has been talking a lot lately about why you may have to fire your most talented employee:

“When I hire people, I look for “people skills” far, far more than I look for talent. To me, this notion that some employee is so special or so talented that they’re allowed to be jerks to everybody else is the most ridiculous idea. Doesn’t matter if you’re the greatest salesperson or the best creative genius of all time — I’m still more interested in how you treat others first.”

I have to admit I thought he was just a blabbermouth until I noticed that he had hired a Chief Heart Officer, Claude Silver, and that he considered her to be the 2nd most important person in the company — that’s pretty breakthrough stuff right there. I know he’s a hustler and social media icon, but the fact that he places so much importance on how people treat each other is very interesting. Positive human relations are the key to our sustainable future and not many people get that.

But here is what GaryVee doesn’t get yet: Let’s say you fired that jerk and everyone is breathing a bit easier around the office. How much time do you think it will take for the next jerk on the team to appear? A week? A month? The human ego is growing so much nowadays that people are finding it hard to reign in their emotions. People don’t understand what to do with all that excess energy.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  Albert Einstein

GaryVee is talking about the importance of emotional intelligence, but how do we leverage that in a world where human emotion is expanding all the time? How do we convert the negative aspects of human nature to positive, in a way that benefits the whole? How can you improve your corporate culture if you are attempting to improve it at the same level as the human ego? Nowadays, in order to get significant results, we need a method for rising slightly above the human ego.

The following are some tips for startups and forward-thinking leaders like GaryVee who are truly concerned with building sustainable human organizations that will last forever:

#1 Understand the human ego

We like to think we are nice people but there are many scientific studies proving how given the same conditions, people will always behave the same. Humans derive pleasure from feeling superior to others — that is how we are designed. We have been trained from birth to be competitive in everything we do, but that is no longer sustainable now that our world is so inter-connected. In the new global stage of our existence that we are already in, we need to learn to advance harmoniously together. So our ego will have to learn some new tricks, or it will have to be “tricked” into behaving differently. One way or another we will eventually get that we have to be good to the people around us.

#2 Invest in enhancing human connections

As I mentioned at the beginning, the human ego is peaking in our time. We live in a society that rewards standing out and being the best you can be. But we are beginning to understand that this is not leading us to a good place. We are now entering a new stage where we must constantly work against the negative force of the ego that is erupting in our time. We must nurture human connections in the family, in educational institutions, and in the corporate world. Startups of all sizes are having problems getting products completed and meeting deadlines simply because people in the company can’t get along.

#3 Your environment is everything

I love the way GaryVee says he’s building a dictatorship around culture. Nowadays, you really have to be that vigilant to keep your environment positive, and advancing in the direction you want. It really is enough for one person to bring some “virus” (different set of values) in from outside and “infect” everyone in the company. So you want to constantly promote the importance of your specific set of values. Your team members agree to be “brainwashed” this way because they understand that ultimately, what you are doing is beneficial for all. They may not agree with a certain decision at times. That can be discussed openly and in a way that furthers the company’s defined goals. But they all need to be fully on board and know that if they don’t like this dictatorship, they need to find another one to belong to.

#4 Focus on team performance

Individual performance reviews may bring out the worst in everyone. They may be increasing competitiveness and generating a great deal of unnecessary tension. I believe that in the near future we will transition to only rewarding team accomplishments, and/or providing the greatest rewards for team collaboration.

#5 Connect global teams

Successful startups have offices around the world and it’s so easy to get disconnected with all the distractions we have today. There are so many existing opportunities to connect and sync global teams, which would do wonders for overcoming existing barriers (language, culture, mentality,etc.) This requires a combination of special tech, and a special method that I will talk about in the 2nd part of this series.


Please note:

I chose this title after noticing that my post from 2014, Which Entrepreneurs Will Make It? was my most successful post ever ….

Just want to clarify that I am not an HR professional – I am a human connection professional – this is a new sector that will take off like crazy soon.

Also want to clarify what I think about Gary Vaynerchuk and the whole VaynerMedia & GaryVee team: I used to think he was a self-centered jerk who liked hearing himself talk. But when I actually started listening to him, I realized that he is inspiring and helping a lot of people – really lifting them up, which is super-cool. How is that for a lesson in empathy? Then he came out with his Empathy Wines brand …. well, forget about it. What a genius move to get everyone thinking about EMPATHY. What could be more important nowadays?

Hope you enjoyed reading this and please leave a comment below to tell me what you think.

  • My 2nd article in this series will present a special method for enhancing human connections.
  • My 3rd article in this series will demonstrate how your marketing communications plays a great role in this important transition that every startup in the world must go through.

Orly Wahba Launching Dance for Kindness November 11, 2018 from Jerusalem

WeWork-Logo 2

It is so fitting that WeWork has chosen to be a proud sponsor for this year’s Dance for Kindness event in Jerusalem. In the words of CEO Adam Neuman, “As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget about the human connection.”




Facebook Page/Registration Details

Event Producer: Yaniv Cohen Productions

Event Founder: Orly Wahba

Sponsors: WeWorkSchusterman Family Foundation, Keren Danielle Foundation


History: All Dreams Begin with One Big Dreamer

Life Vest Inside is a perfect testament to the fact that one person can truly spark positive change far beyond their own reach. It all grew out of Middle School educator, Orly Wahba’s childhood dream to bring the world together through the power of kindness.

Orly Wahba is an inspirational young woman that has taken the concept of kindness and unity to a global scale. Orly is an educator, entrepreneur, author, inspirational speaker and community activist passionate about inspiring and motivating people to make the world a kinder place. In 2011, Orly founded Life Vest Inside. Her personal goal is to build a generation of strong, confident and kind leaders who place character and values at the forefront of all they do.

orly life vest inside

Life Vest Inside is a non profit organization on a mission to inspire, empower and educate people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness. Life Vest Inside gained international acclaim when Orly’s award-winning film Kindness Boomerang went viral reaching over 100 million people globally landing her a spot to speak at TED about the power of kindness. Orly’s film, Kindness Boomerang, sparked a Kindness Revolution that continues to grow exponentially. 

Orly and Life Vest Inside have been featured on TED, The Today Show, NBC, CBS, ADWeek, International Business Times and more.

Since its inception, Orly has made leaps and bounds in bringing the message of kindness and empowerment to the hearts of millions. From her inspiring films, to her mental health technology platform, Project Hope Exchange that collects, aggregates and shares 30 second anonymous messages of hope from people who have been through adversity to those currently facing the same adversity. To Dance for Kindness, the largest global celebration of World Kindness, kicking off World Kindness week. Entering it’s 7th year, Dance for Kindness took place last year in over 120 cities, 50 countries with over 20,000 participants. At its essence this event is based in leadership training with 400+ Group Leaders trained to infuse kindness and positive change into their local communities to date.

Aiming to make a greater impact, Orly released her first book, Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts. The book offers a guide to incorporating kindness into your daily life. With 365 pages, one for every day of the year, each contains an act of kindness, inspirational quote, and personal story on the power of paying it forward.

While Orly’s accomplishments through Life Vest Inside speaks volumes, her backstory is truly where the magic lies. Orly has been a dreamer since childhood, filled with deep passion to unite people in a way like never before; to truly change the world. When it comes to the topic of kindness her belief is that loving others is easy, it’s loving ourselves that is our greatest challenge. Once a person truly understands their value and just how amazing they are, it’s almost instinctual to begin seeing the value of others, recognizing that we are all a piece of the puzzle; different shapes, different colors but each piece just as important as the next!

After suffering from severe depression in her adolescent years due to a fire that consumed her house, Orly found her voice and made a promise to be there for people in the same way she had wished someone would have been there for her. It’s that fire that drives her until this very day; it’s that passion that makes even the greatest skeptic remember that building a kinder world is possible and within our reach. Orly has the ability to empower a person to see that they have something incredibly unique inside of them that they are meant to share with the world.

This is one of the reasons that Orly recently decided to leave her comfort zone, her home in Brooklyn to move to a land that has been pulling at her heart since childhood, Israel! Her passion for this country and her determination to make an impact here is palpable. Her vision for what can be regardless of the differences in race, religion, ethnicity, culture and background have all those she meets excited to join her in this pure and genuine mission.

About Life Vest Inside:

A non profit organization dedicated to inspiring, empowering and educating people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness. Life Vest Inside set out to impact global change through inspirational media, on the ground events, education and technology.


“Education is the key to tolerance”

Kindness is a universal language that transcends race, religion, ethnicity and nationality. It’s the common thread that unites us all  and provides an opportunity to focus on something we all believe in. Life Vest Inside has created a powerful kindness network that fosters dialogue with people across the globe, including parts of the world torn apart by conflict. Through our approach, we establish peace in place of conflict, love in place of hatred, hope in place of fear, and kindness in place of mistrust. As a result we have seen a positive change in the way people engage with one another and respect each other.

About Dance for Kindness:

Every year, to kick off World Kindness Week, Life Vest Inside organizes “Dance for Kindness,” a WorldWide FreezeMob/FlashMob during which groups from all across the globe unite under the banner of kindness and join together to perform to the same song, same dance, all happening on the same day. Dance for Kindness serves as Life Vest Inside’s Annual Fundraiser as well as a means of building awareness of World Kindness Day. This year our global impact will be even greater as we unite to support non profit organizations all around the world. Life Vest Inside will donate 10% of each city’s overall fundraising to a local nonprofit chosen by each city’s Group Leader.

The purpose of Dance for Kindness is to look beyond ourselves – beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion and realize that we are citizens of the world and that kindness is the common thread that unites us all.

For one day, the world unites under the banner of kindness recognizing that only through collaboration, unity and connectivity can we truly build a kinder, happier world. Dance for Kindness serves as a stepping stone for thousands around the globe to begin volunteering and giving back into their community, recognizing that we each have something unique to give into this world. Even more so, the magic behind Dance for Kindness is our Group Leaders. At its heart, Dance for Kindness is a leadership training program, giving us the opportunity to provide volunteer Group Leaders from around the globe with the assets, skill sets and tools to make an impact in their local community while learning how to take an idea and break into its parts. Through Dance for Kindness we have created a community of like minded individuals from various countries, races, religions and ethnicities aiming to break the barriers that divide so that together we can get to a better WE.

To date Dance for Kindness has taken place in over 65 countries, 247 cities, spanning across 6 continents with over 400 Group Leaders trained.

Last year’s event took place in over 120 cities, 50 countries with over 20,000 participants. This year marks our 7th Annual WorldWide Dance for Kindness and will take place on Sunday, November 11th 2018.

Dance for Kindness has put World Kindness Day on the map and is now being celebrated and spoken about by media, corporations and governments and we want ISRAEL to become part of this magic.

Vision of the Event:

For our 7th annual Dance for Kindness celebration we have purposefully chosen Jerusalem as the Global Flagship location for this unique experience. The Middle East is known to the global world as a place of conflict, hatred, fear, mistrust, animosity and war. Through Dance for Kindness we can show that even in a place of high tension, kindness prevails. Participants from our cultures, religions and ethnicities will gather and leave this experience with a greater sense of self and a greater appreciation for those around them.

Dance for Kindness and the kindness platform provides an opportunity for all to come together in unison and recognize that we can unite around something even though we don’t agree about everything.

The Flagship location will be based in Jerusalem, however we will be live streaming from our mirror locations throughout Israel and around the world. Our goal for launching this year’s event in Israel,  is to raise the value of Jerusalem in the eyes of the world, and to remind everyone what it truly stands for. Jerusalem can be a symbol of peace and harmony for the entire world.

Event Agenda

In addition to the unique FreezeMob/FlashMob experience, the day will include an assortment of exciting performances, activities and opportunities for people to engage in their community including:

  • Musical performances by Jewish and Muslim artists. 
  • Dance performances from leading dance companies throughout Israel including the Suzanne Dalal Center:
    • Kamea Dance Company
    • Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company
    • Vertigo Dance Company
    • Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
    • The Batsheva Dance Company
  • Israeli Folk Dance: Led by the renowned choreographer and dance producer Gadi Bitton, participants will have the opportunity to learn and join in on a massive Israeli Folk Dance
  • Community art project: participants will be invited to take part in an exciting art installation that will be gifted to the city as a reminder that kindness stands at our core
  • Hands on volunteer experiences: Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about local non profit organization and sign up for various hands on volunteer opportunities that will be run throughout the course of World Kindness week
  • Digital Time capsule: Participants will be invited to take part in an exciting experience by recording a short message of hope for the world. This digital time capsule, along with messages of hope from communities around the world will be released the following year at DFK2019.
  • Changemaker Awards: Life Vest Inside will present Changemaker Awards to three individuals (one of Muslim descent, one of Jewish descent and one of Christian descent) who are creating ripples of kindness within community.
  • Inspirational Talks and Films: This experience will feature film shorts and talks centered around kindness, connectivity, and peace.
  • Acts of Kindness cards: Kindness cards will be distributed in mass in hebrew, arabic and english providing participants with a chance to take home a piece of the magic and to put kindness into action


Event Sponsors: As a global leader in the Kindness Movement, partnering with companies whose vision and mission are based in kindness, peace, unity and connectivity is paramount. Relevant sponsors will be offered speaking opportunities during the live event.

Event Partners: As an organization focused on providing the ultimate example of peace and harmony from Israel, we are inviting a vast array of partner organizations to help us spread this positive vision from Israel to the rest of the world. Some of the partners will also be live streaming partners, who will share our live stream on their pages and channels.

If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s Dance For Kindness event that is launching from Jerusalem, please write to josia(@)

Uplifting Content Live Stream With Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale on World Mental Health Day

Uplifting Content Founder Ione Butler To Interview Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale in a Live Stream on World Mental Health Day, Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 2:30PM PST.

​​​​Uplifting Content, one of the most inspiring Facebook communities founded by female entrepreneur Ione Butler, is pleased to announce a live stream interview with Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale, founder of the Peace of Mind foundation. The live stream will take place on World Mental Health Day, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 2:30PM PST on Uplifting Content:

Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale, also known as the daughter of Houston’s beloved Mattress Mack, overcame tremendous personal challenges in the form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and has now dedicated her life to helping others.

Subjects that will be discussed include an update on Dr. McIngvale’s current status, such as how she copes in her professional and personal life on a daily basis; how her Catholic faith helped her get through this life altering ordeal; and her mother’s critical role in this process.

We were so lucky to get Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale on for a chat during The Peace of Mind Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week taking place from October 8-14, 2017. She is such an inspiring individual and part of an incredible family that has demonstrated many times how we come out stronger from overcoming adversity and helping others.


Uplifting Content Founder Ione Butler said, “We were so lucky to get Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale on for a chat during The Peace of Mind Foundation’s OCD Awareness Week taking place from October 8-14, 2017.  She is such an inspiring individual and part of an incredible family that has demonstrated many times how we come out stronger from overcoming adversity and helping others.”

About Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale

Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D. is the founder of the Peace of Mind foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also known as OCD. Elizabeth and her family were once told her OCD was too severe to be treated but today she stands before you as someone who successfully manages her illness. She is a national spokesperson for the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and is a licensed therapist in Texas. Elizabeth received her bachelors and masters in social work from Loyola University Chicago and her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Houston and proudly serves as an assistant professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Elizabeth and her family founded the Peace of Mind Foundation; a non-profit dedicated to OCD. Elizabeth’s foundation runs, which is a free interactive self-help website for obsessive compulsive disorder based on the principles of exposure with response prevention.  For more details please visit:

About Uplifting Content

Uplifting Content was launched in March 2016 and has grown to a social media network of 1.2M+ followers with 250M+ video views on Facebook, 85K+ followers on Twitter and 14K followers on Instagram. 66% of the audience is aged 18-34. The type of content that is shared across social media platforms includes: Inspirational Content, Personal Growth & Development, Healthy Eating – vegetarian and vegan, Health and Wellness, Spirituality, Travel, Environmental Causes, and Charity.

To interview Ione Butler please contact her business manager: Josia Nakash at josia(@)

Uplifting Content Promotes The Good in Humanity


Female Founder of Uplifting Content (Facebook 1.2M+) is Spreading Positive Vibes to Remind Us of the Good in Humanity

Ione Butler, Founder of Uplifting Content

Ione Butler, Founder of Uplifting Content

Female founder of Uplifting Content with 1.2 million followers on Facebook announces launch of new clothing line and site, and is seeking sponsors.

Uplifting Content, one of the most inspiring Facebook communities founded by female entrepreneur Ione Butler, recently surpassed 1.2M+ followers.

The popular Facebook page is announcing the launch of its new clothing line and new site, and is seeking sponsorships.

The idea behind Uplifting Content is the belief that our thoughts shape our reality, and that consistent exposure to positive messages is the key to healing society and making life better for all. Uplifting Content is here to remind us of the good in humanity. Show us the positive things that are happening in the world. Inspire, motivate and uplift.

Ione strongly believes that our main purpose in life is to be of service to others and her aim is to inspire as many people as possible to reach their full human potential. The popularity of inspirational and positive content on social media nowadays is indicative of the need for a global shift of consciousness, which will be led by individuals who truly care about the world around them.

“Social platforms are important in today’s world because they help spread purposeful and positive content across borders more effectively than was possible in the past.  Technology has allowed this to happen and will facilitate this global transformation further. ”    Uplifting Content Founder Ione Butler

To interview Ione Butler please contact Josia Nakash at josia(@)


Sponsorship Opportunity

Ready to reach millions with your message? Want to align your brand with a company on a mission to uplift and change the world? For more information about how to come on board as a brand sponsor, or if you have a product or service of value and would like to know more about Uplifting Contests, please contact hello(@)

About Ione Butler, Uplifting Content Founder

Social entrepreneur Ione Butler, an actress and professional presenter, is the female founder of the Uplifting Content Facebook page with over 1.2 million followers. Ione is on a mission to inspire others to reach their potential and live life to the fullest.  She intends to lead by example since she has already created her dream life and wants the same for as many people as possible. She does this by sharing inspiring insights and stories, and encouraging others to take action.

“I cannot single-handedly solve all the problems in the world but I can do my part and inspire other people to do the same. Putting a focus on all the incredible things human beings do, even in dire situations like war, reminds us that there are more people doing good in the world and inspires others to do the same.”  Uplifting Content Founder Ione Butler

About Uplifting Content

Uplifting Content was launched in March 2016 and has grown to a social media network of 1.2M+ followers and 250M+ video views on Facebook, and 14K followers on Instagram. 66% of the audience is aged 18-34. Inspirational content that is shared across social media platforms includes guidance in the following fields for a better existence: Inspirational Content, Personal Growth & Development, Self-Help, Healthy Eating – vegetarian and vegan, Health and Wellness, Spirituality, Travel, Environmental Causes, and Charity.




Jesse Bogner: A Millennial’s Response To Simon Sinek’s Millennial Question

Jesse Bogner is a millennial who discovered a powerful method for enhancing human connection, and wrote a book about it called The Egotist.

The method involves conducting a connection workshop that creates an ideal environment for participants to experience genuine human connection with people they know or total strangers.

How does it work? Participants sit in a circle and follow a few simple rules that allow them to accept one another as equals, rise above their differences and truly connect on a human level. Millennials especially learn to listen without judging and how to empathize with their peers.

Watch the video to hear Jesse’s response to Simon Sinek’s quest to find out more about millennials.



For more information about Jesse please visit:

Jesse’s book The Egotist is a book he wrote about how he made the transition from a path of self-destruction, to a path of helping others.
Jesse’s book The Egotist is available here:



Israel MAD 2014 Guest Speakers: A Whole New Breed of Leadership

We had some of the world’s most brilliant [creative, marketing, social, advertising] minds speaking in Israel today at the MAD 2014 Conference. So happy they made the journey despite everything that is going on right now.

Apart from the valuable insight we all took away what struck me the most was what incredible people they are. They represent a whole new breed of leadership that I came across for the first time today. Even though they are at the helms of huge empires, they are totally down to earth and really nice. They were all very friendly and open to anyone who approached them. It is no wonder that they are hugely successful. The people working with them must love them.

There was actually a lot of talk about love today. These guys are masters at making us love the brands they manage.

Gerry Human, Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather London, spoke about how when people love what you’re doing, they engage in a conversation with the brand. He said that the consumer hasn’t changed. What’s changed is human behavior as a result of technology. “Honest and real” are the things that work best in communication. We can profit the most by “tapping into the human truths”.

Steve Brabenec, Marketing Director, Disney Channels, Central & Eastern Europe and Emerging Markets, actually sang Let It Go for us at one point from Disney’s Frozen hit. He said some very insightful things about what really makes us happy in this digital age: “Joy comes from the ability to experience this together; as long as it allows me to connect and share the experience.”

Pete Blackshaw, Nestle Global Head of Digital & Social, talked about emotional gratification being sustained by connecting with people in brief ways. He said that a strong brand must have a consistent narrative and consistent brand essence. This is becoming more challenging as mobile becomes more dominant but it also “opens up a ton of upside”. (Thanks for taking my first selfie with me!)

My favorite part was the end of the discussion when Amir Goldstein asked all three a really tough question: What should Israel do today to improve its image? How would you brand Israel?

Steve came right out with a perfect answer: innovation and togetherness. If we needed any further proof to understand why he is managing some of the top brands in the world – that did it for me. Gerry said that the world is not really aware of all the incredible ideas coming out of Israel. I also really liked Pete’s answer. He said he wants to be able to answer that by the time he leaves in a few days.

Well here is my take on how Israel can improve its image. When I work with companies we spend a lot of time defining what is so unique about their solution and how to highlight it in a way that creates value. Israel has something very unique to share with the world and the time has come to share it. However, after hiding it and purposely misplacing it for a few thousand years because we were not ready for it, it’s hard to imagine that its time has finally come.

To make a long story short, Israel has a method for getting along here together in a more sustainable and pleasurable way, and it’s all based on togetherness. So you were all right guys, innovation and togetherness, the need to spread incredible insight from Israel to the rest of the world, and our natural human desire to search for answers, to seek clues about the next stage of our development.

That new consumer we were talking about all day today – that’s the new filling they are waiting for.

Josia Nakash is the founder of the Good Vibe Agency, a global strategic corporate consultancy specializing in brand enhancement, marketing communications, organizational effectiveness and sustainable environments with a clear purpose – to generate good vibes in every area of our lives; in the home, at work, and throughout society on a daily basis.

Y55 Happiness Trainer – mobile app of the future

We have just launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Y55 Happiness Trainer, and the response has been overwhelming. Check out the comments here.  This is a mobile app that will bring about a positive shift of consciousness that the world really needs right now.  Y55 is in honor of the 55 million happiness related searches every month, and just spreading the news of the launch is creating a wave of happiness in the world.

How to be happy? Meet the Y55 Happiness Trainer from Y55 Happiness Trainer on Vimeo.   Branding Design & Film Production credit goes to Ilan Golan, a motion graphics artist.

There is a whole new breed of young entrepreneurs out there who are slightly less focused on technology, and a lot more focused on what people really need right now. This project is the brainchild of Happiness Entrepreneurs Eran Shayovich and Michael Miler, who have dedicated the last decade to producing international conferences, creating workshops, multimedia, television programs and books with a single goal in mind – helping people live a happier life.  They are a team of highly engaging speakers who got tired of seeing the frustration and unnecessary pain people go through, all because of a lack of knowledge or the inability to apply all that knowledge into day to day actions.  Now together with the help of friends, family and a supportive community (that’s you!) they are going to reach millions of people, touch their lives and help them change for the better.

This a whole new breed of startups/initiatives we should be paying special attention to because they are tapping into some simple things that have been overlooked.  The Kindness Revolution and are two great examples but there are many more. And this is the future people. Look for ventures that move you, that make you feel alive again, that remind us that we are humans who need warmth and love from our fellow human beings!

The Economy and Nature

Nothing much has changed in how we relate to one another over the last 2000 years. We advanced throughout history in a simple manner, calculating everything according to our own personal benefit. Things were quite straightforward with our relations being based on simple contracts of give and take.

All that is changing now because we have entered a stage where we are no longer connected by these simple egoistic calculations at all levels of society.  Even leading economists say that what is happening today is completely off the charts. This is no longer just about the economy but is rather impacting all areas of our life including the family. A family is also based on a contract, established as a sort of business between two partners and is actually the most important contract in our lives. However due to the challenging nature of relations between all humans at the moment we can no longer maintain marriages. The same goes for other systems we depend on: educational and cultural institutions, and the workplace.

Something has shifted inside us that is really influencing our relations with others. Since we are still stuck in the previous stage we have not yet developed the right analytical mindset to connect all the dots and deal properly with the new situation.  If we did have this new schema inside us could we would know how to arrange the family in a new way and not see it dissolve after a few years. Can we even put a price on how much the high rate of divorce is costing us?

We are going about our business as usual and trying to recover from nature’s blows that are costing us billions of dollars. The question is whether it is possible to bring some new regularity and plan for the future in a better way based on our experience? Since we built our environment according to the previous egoistic system, there may be a need to build everything in society from scratch. However if we become more aware of this transition to a new social stage of our development, perhaps we can simply adjust current structures we have in place to suit the next phase of our evolution.

Instead of simply reacting to nature whenever disaster strikes we can try to learn more about this harmonious system and suit our lives to it. For example, what laws can we take from nature and implement in the economic system?  We need to look at what’s happening with nature, how it influences us and how we influence it. If we look at our planet today with all the floods and storms, we need to come to terms with the fact that our current state of maximizing personal benefit is systematically destroying our world.

Now that our world has become round if a person is causing harm to the system, they are actually causing harm to themselves. So the first law is that whatever harm we cause to the general system, it comes back to us in a very precise manner but not in a way that we necessarily understand.

The second law is that everyone is connected and responsible for one another. Though we are not used to this system at all it is suddenly tying us tightly together through all these disasters.  Since we are all connected if we cause damage to our fellowman it comes back to us through other people.  If we cause damage through our companies, it could come back to us as extreme weather. Clearly it doesn’t come back from the same place we caused damage but in general from the system. So for example if we burn a forest it can come back to us as trouble in our family. Two seemingly unconnected events but if you know the laws of nature, you can see the connection. If we do not have that same integral perspective of the system then we cannot understand the connection. So until we completely identify with this new system in a manner that it truly exists inside us and defines everything we do, we won’t know how to behave in life.

The world has changed. We have entered a stage where we are running out of options. In this system where we are responsible for one another it’s as if we are contractually obligated to one another even though we didn’t actually consent to this situation.  We do something on one side of the world that affects others in a negative manner. Suddenly we have hurricanes in one place, riots in another, fires and heat waves in America, floods in Europe, yet do not understand the connections between these things. So first we need to understand that we won’t grasp the connection until we become round enough inside in a manner that allows us to truly connect with others. We need to be able to build inside ourselves a replica of what is happening outside us otherwise we will not be able to find the correct formula of life.

As the most developed element in nature, when we change it will affect all other levels in nature.  We are the highest point in nature so once we upgrade our connections everything else will arrange itself.  

What model can we take from nature and implement in humans? Economists believe in allowing the human ego to do as it will and things will balance themselves out. Why? We built an egoistic system where each person succeeds according to their abilities and status in life. Somehow that system worked for thousands of years with the help of “a hidden hand” as the experts like to call it.

The hidden hand economists speak about exists in nature. Why is it hidden? Because we don’t see it.  Until the 20th century we developed in a linear manner with our ego constantly growing.  Once it began to grow in a round manner then the connection between us went from being simply prospering from each other to something else. We find ourselves in unchartered waters and don’t know what to do. It’s as if we have entered a new phase of our history where we must now determine our fate ourselves. We have to understand this natural progress in our evolution that we are going through. We have to use all our power to enable humanity to receive the same form as the framework we have entered. And it is up to us to do this.  In the past we allowed everyone to use their nature as they wanted or needed. But now we need to start saying; before you use your nature remember that you are connected to everyone on earth.  Then you will use it properly. This is the adjustment we all have to make inside and it is easier said than done.

Here is the bottom line. We mustn’t think of nature as some god with its laws operating on us. Whether we like it or not, we are part of nature and our greatest problem is that we actually believe that we are above nature and can do whatever we please. Yet now we are seeing the negative feedback from nature. Now we see that it’s not worth being above nature and that we will just lose out and continue to receive blows in the long run. It would be much smarter to see ourselves as part of nature, and calculate our entire life in that manner. The more we try to be in balance and harmony with nature, the more sustainable our life will be.

Since we are not learning from nature how to behave it is no wonder that we are in a crisis. The current state is really no one’s fault. People are still in the previous mode of behavior and must go through a genuine transition inside which we never experienced before in human history. We need to become similar to nature by feeling this entire body of laws, this entire universe inside us.

We cannot ignore the fact that there is a constant law advancing us from stage to stage, and generation to generation.  Nature always advanced us in our evolution, acting as a hidden hand in our progress, giving every generation an additional layer of knowledge for upgrading life. But this time it’s different. This time we have to reveal the new layer on our own. But first we need to realize that we need it. 

Brands We Are Loving Right Now

If you head on over to Shaw Communications in Canada you will see that they have an incredible Together is Amazing campaign for filling food banks. The TV spot by BBDO Toronto ends with the sentence – Imagine what we can do together. One of the sentences on their site is: The more you get together the happier you’ll be. This is really the message of the future that all companies should aspire to project in some way to the masses. That together we are simply better humans and the world is a better place. If we are all only focused on our own egoistic desires, none of us will be able to get anywhere.

Another company with an amazing brand is Love’s in Oklahoma. Just the name in itself is enough to inspire you but we actually discovered Forbes’ 7th largest private company when they donated $3 Million to disaster relief after the tornadoes hit that region. So we dug a bit deeper and discovered that this business was started by Tom & Judy Love with $5000 and is run today by their children.  You can tell that Love’s corporate culture is quite far from standard with loyal employees enjoying profit sharing and really feeling like part of a big family.  Though Love’s Travel Shops cater mainly to truckers on the road, it would be nice to see this values-driven brand continue to grow and prosper. What an incredible example of how a company should treat its employees.

We love the McCain Food messages on the site so much we will list them all here: McCain – it’s all good. Our Goal – making people smile. Good Business. Good People. From our participation in our communities to our respect for the Earth and more, we are Good People doing Good Things. Good Food. At the heart of our good food and integral to our good business are our people. And it goes on to mention Good Growing. Good Ingredients.  McCain has one of the most inspirational sites in the world, but unfortunately its commercials don’t convey the same good vibes.

You know how they say a brand should tell a story? Well with Cantor Fitzgerald it’s a movie. Since they occupied the top floors of the World Trade Center, on September 11th they lost no less than 658 of their young and talented employees. It’s taken Cantor’s CEO Howard Lutnick over a decade to prove he would make good on his promise to do everything he could for the families of his employees and actually distributed $180 Million over the years. The money part may have been the easier part though. In addition to losing his own brother in the disaster, the survivors have participated in hundreds of funerals and memorials. His daily schedule in those days included hours of condolence calls with family members when he himself was grieving as well. In the midst of all this tragedy they rebuilt the company to be greater than ever before. Living proof that doing the right thing pays off in a big way.  It won’t bring the people they lost back, but at least their families were taken care of. What they did after Sandy was quite unbelievable. They gave out prepaid credit cards with $1000 to each family. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? It’s the way they went about it in such a sensitive way, and really putting a lot of time and effort in. You don’t see things like this every day. Watch the clip to see for yourself.

Please feel free to tell us about other brands that are inspiring and holding us all to a higher standard.

Figuring Out What’s Really Important

It is really inspiring to see this whole new trend of companies really going out of their way to (re)evaluate their culture and value system from scratch. These are the companies that will have a tremendous advantage in the next stage because they are correcting the most crucial aspect of their company’s foundation, which impacts all other aspects of their business – human relations. The corporate values that they create together define how they interact with one another and the people they are connected to outside the company. Members of the team usually figure out these things as equal parts of a whole and invest a few days in the process.  Obviously it takes a special kind of leader to call a ‘time out’ to deal with this compelling issue that can really determine the fate of the company.

A great post about company values just went up on the Influencer section of Linkedin, The Power of Simplicity by Adam Bryant, a corner office columnist at the New York Times:

Robert LoCascio of LivePerson, shared the story of how he worked with his employees to boil his company’s values down to just two.

“I invited everyone into the process, and I provided context to the whole thing. I remember that I had an all-company call and said: ‘You know what? We’ve done amazing things. We went from $20 million to $100 million in five years. We should be very proud, and we should congratulate ourselves. And now we are going to move forward, and we need to design a different environment, a different company. So let’s acknowledge that we’re going to do that as a team, as a company.’

“And we ended up all going to Israel, where our research offices are. All the employees, more than 300 of them, came. I remember some people said: ‘I don’t want to come. This is dumb.’ There was a lot of friction. But everyone came, and we spent three days doing this cultural evaluation. We were in small groups of 20, and we sat in circles. The first day people were like: ‘I don’t know what’s going on here. This is kind of crazy. It’s a little Kumbaya-ish.’

What is interesting about this example is how people expressed their resistance out loud and thought it would be a complete waste of time. So the first thing to take note of is that humans resist change – any kind of change in our daily pattern. The first instinctive reaction is to resist. Why is that? Way deep down inside they know that such a process will change them. We are willing to change a lot of things in our lives – careers, homes, spouses, cars, etc. But the things we resist the most and put off until the very last minute are the changes that will require us to make adjustments in a place that we perceive as perfect the way it is –  inside ourselves. But the payoff is huge. A bunch of new LivePerson products were thought up by unlikely sources in the company. They also reached some very insightful conclusions that really prove how valuable this process can be:

We eventually got to two core values: be an owner and help others. Be an owner is about us being owners as individuals, driving the business, and helping others is about being reflective and understanding that we’re in a community here. We can’t be selfish.

You can see video footage of them sitting in circles and really connecting on a new level on the LivePerson culture page.

Another great example from Linkedin Influencers:

The CEO of OpenX Tim Cadogen’s 10 Lessons in Defining Your Company’s Values is really worth reading. He split the company up into groups of ten to discuss how they wanted to interact with the world. The first value is quite an incredible achievement and tells you everything you need to know about this company.

We are one: One team. No exceptions. We are a group of strong and diverse individuals unified by a clear common purpose.

By the way OpenX just raised $20 Million in Series D Funding To Fuel Growth. Just a coincidence? Not really. There is nothing random going on here. The companies that arrange themselves to operate in a harmonious manner within and outside the company will flourish in the coming years. Those still allowing the free reign of the human ego without taking others into account will not.

Now imagine taking this to another level. Imagine sitting down with your neighbors and deciding on the core values of your community. Then imagine taking all your conclusions to the national level and even forming a new global community based on the winning values.

Of course we will all resist this process for as long as we can. But once we get to that point where we sit down and define who we really are and the norms of behavior in our society together, there will be no turning back.

Let us all take these great examples from successful business leaders to heart and figure out how to apply this in every area of our lives. Let us all sit down together – even if it sounds a little Kumbaya-ish – and figure out what is really important to us and how we intend to get there. We are the only creatures on earth with the capacity to plan ahead so let us start using our collective powers to shape a better tomorrow.