May 12, 2020

Arianna Huffington: Maybe We Shouldn’t Follow the Leader?

Arianna Huffington: Maybe We Shouldn’t Follow the Leader?

We’ve read enough about Elon Musk to know that CEOs are as much a liability as they are an advantage. Just this month, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s stock price was “too high.” Tesla’s stock price responded in kind by tanking some 10%. I’m sure investors loved that.

We’ve read enough about Elon Musk to know that CEOs are as much a liability as they are an advantage. Just this month, Musk tweeted that Tesla’s stock price was “too high.” Tesla’s stock price responded in kind by tanking some 10%. I’m sure investors loved that.

And Musk is just one example of many. So why aren’t investors and reporters thinking more about leadership and its tangible effects on a company’s bottom line? If change starts at the top, why aren’t we talking about effective leadership in SEC documents instead of woo-woo weekend retreats?

To find out, I spoke with Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, CEO of Thrive Global, author of 15 books, and general expert in what it means to lead effectively.

Arianna delved into the “obvious consequences” of widespread burnout within top corporate brass—the kind of burnout she’s repeatedly claimed drives someone like Elon Musk to tweet something like “funding secured.”

And there’s a reason we’re talking about it right now. As far as Arianna is concerned, being a leader throughout a crisis like today’s is like stepping into the eye of a hurricane. It’s never been 1) harder and 2) more important to prioritize strong leadership, from both a human and a business perspective. 

But that’s easier said than done. Listen now to find out why.


Transcript

Kinsey Grant, Morning Brew business editor and podcast host [00:00:09] Hey, everyone, and welcome to Business Casual, the podcast from Morning Brew, answering your biggest questions in business. I'm your host and Brew business editor, Kinsey Grant. And now, let's get into it. 


Kinsey [00:00:20] Whether you were your class' representative to the Middle School Student Council, or you're listening to this episode from your home corner office, most of us have probably led people in some capacity or another. And even if you haven't been told by your parents you're a natural-born leader, you've definitely reported to someone who has. Now, being an effective leader when things are good is one thing, but being an effective leader through a pandemic and a recession is an entirely different beast. The decisions business leaders are making today will undoubtedly come to define their legacies—be those legacies good or bad. 


Kinsey [00:00:51] And maybe more importantly, they'll come to define the legacies of the companies they're steering. A leadership crisis can quickly devolve into an investor crisis, a stock price crisis, a mass employee walkout crisis. So today, we're going to talk about how effective leadership, or even a lack thereof, impacts of business' bottom line, because we've talked a lot about the entities that are succeeding and those that are failing in today's fraught economic and global health situation. But so much of those successes and failures are teed up by the C-suite. 


Kinsey [00:01:23] So it's time to put the top brass under the microscope. I'm speaking with Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, author of 15 books and general expert in what it means to lead effectively. And today, Arianna and I are going to attempt to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought leadership success and failure to light. And she used to be on Uber's board, so I imagine she knows a thing or two about the impact of leadership on a company. Arianna, let's get started. 


Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global [00:01:52] Well, Kinsey, what is very interesting right now is that in a time of crisis like this, in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the playbook of leadership is not working. So we have been creating what we call a new playbook of leadership, leading from the eye of the hurricane. 


Kinsey [00:02:15] Right. 


Arianna [00:02:16] So in the past, if a CEO or an executive in any company or a founder of a startup was just maintaining a successful business—maybe you could do it, and be burned out and exhausted and depleted and always on. But you can't lead in a time of crisis and be your most creative, innovative, empathetic leader without giving yourself time to recharge. So in our playbook for leadership in a time of crisis, the first step is a mindset shift away from the collective delusion that in order to be a great leader, you need to be always on and it would be self-indulgent to take time to recharge. 


Arianna [00:03:09] Actually, recharging is essential for peak performance. And interestingly enough, Kinsey, we see that from athletes. You know, athletes have already proven, ahead of business leaders, that if they're going to be at their best on the court or in the field, they need to give themselves recovery time. 


Kinsey [00:03:33] Right. 


Arianna [00:03:34] And how they sleep, what they eat, how they recover are essential elements of big performance. 


Kinsey [00:03:41] So why do you think that the leaders of today, who are, like you say, part of this collective delusion that we need to always be on, thinking that way? What factors have created this environment in which people feel like they need to constantly be available for not only their coworkers, but the people who they manage? 


Arianna [00:04:01] Well, it's actually a delusion that goes back to the Industrial Revolution, believe it or not, when we all became enthralled with machines. And if you think of it, the goal with machines and later with software is to minimize downtime. You know, we say the new sales force software has 99.9% uptime. But this is not the goal of human beings and the goal of leaders. Downtime is part of effective leadership. 


Arianna [00:04:40] And also, we know from all the latest science and all the latest data that it takes tiny moments of recharging during the day, for example, to prevent stress from becoming cumulative. And as I've been talking with leaders in many companies, I spoke, for example, at the global management meeting of Accenture, where they have 500,000 employees, 40 leaders that run the company. And we talked again about how important it is to give themselves permission to take recharging breaks. 


Arianna [00:05:20] Ellyn Shook, the head of HR, has actually been speaking about how she has started walking every day and keeping track and making this her personal recharging goal. And she was showing me yesterday, you know, the completed circles every day. And that's something that she's doing for herself, but she's also doing it to be a better leader. 


Kinsey [00:05:44] Right. 


Arianna [00:05:45] That's really the mindset shift, Kinsey, that we need to make. 


Kinsey [00:05:50] So how long should this day be for the top levels of a company? Is there any way to determine the number of hours necessary for a) putting in work and b) recharging and resetting and resting? Is there a formula? 


Arianna [00:06:04] I think there are two formulas. In our behavior change app, we have one of the journeys is called recharge. And the formula there includes two things: sleep and recharging breaks during the day. The recharging breaks can be 60 seconds. It's not a matter of time—it's a matter of shifting your consciousness from a fight-or-flight or stressful place to the centered place we all have in us—the place of peace, wisdom, and strength—accessing that for 60 seconds changes the neural pathways in the brain. 


Arianna [00:06:46] [indistinct] is a hormone that builds up and prevents stress from becoming cumulative, until by the end of the day, we can't unwind. And that's really the problem with many leaders now who can't really get out of the hurricane. [chuckles]


Kinsey [00:07:03] Right. 


Arianna [00:07:04] And therefore, they can't sleep. They wake up exhausted. And it's like a vicious cycle. We have a part of our behavior change app called reset, where you can actually ask users to put together the things that help them center and find joy. Could be pictures of their kids, their pets, a song they love, a quote they love. And we put it all together. So that one minute they can focus on their breath, taking deep inhales and exhales. 


Arianna [00:07:39] You know, breath is our superpower. And most of the time, we're completely unconscious of breathing, or they can play their reset guide, which is already in their app. 


Kinsey [00:07:52] OK. 


Arianna [00:07:53] The other part of recharge is sleep. Now we know that sleep is not optional. [laughs] Sleep is foundational. If we want to show up our most creative and effective, it's also foundational to our physical immunity, which is particularly important during the coronavirus crisis. And the basic fact about sleep and, as you know, Kinsey, I've written a whole book on it [laughs], so I am happy to provide the PDF for free for your readers. And there is an entire 50-page section on the science of sleep. 


Arianna [00:08:35] But the bottom line is that there is about 1 to 1.5% of the population that has a genetic mutation and doesn't need a lot of sleep. So if you have any friend who says, hey, I sleep for four hours and I feel great, you say good for you—you got the mutation. The rest of us need seven to nine hours to be fully recharged in the morning. 


Kinsey [00:09:01] This is interesting to me that we are more creative—we get our tasks done in a more productive manner—when we do reach this pinnacle level of sleep that, like you said, could vary from person to person, probably between seven and nine hours. I'm curious to hear the business perspective, though, from your experience. It's not often that you see leadership burnout as a risk listed in an S-1 prospectus. It's more so competition or IP theft or something like that. It's not our CEO wasn't creative enough. What are the business fallouts here if leadership isn't prioritizing themselves first and trying to make sure that they show up at work as the best version of themselves. Is there any sort of bottom line, tangible fallout from all of this? 


Arianna [00:09:47] Actually, that's a great question. And we actually have a lot of evidence now of the business impact of leader and employee burnout. And we have been discussing, actually, with companies making that part of what the board looks at. You mentioned I was on the board of Uber. If, let's say, we had burnout as a risk. The board had to evaluate the way we have succession [chuckles] or cybersecurity, or other risks. Then we would have seen that Uber had a culture fueled by burnout, and there were going to be consequences because a lot of what happened at Uber was a function of a burned-out culture. 


Kinsey [00:10:34] Right. 


Arianna [00:10:35] When people are burned out, they operate from the worst in them in terms of sexual behavior or in terms of lack of inclusivity, all that we are looking at in a culture. We also see, let's say, somebody as brilliant as Elon Musk. We saw the impact of his burnout when he would tweet, in the middle of the night, things that were not true, like that he had the financing ready to take the company private, and the result was an SEC investigation, he had to step down as chairman, he had to pay a $20 million fine. 


Arianna [00:11:17] You know, these are kind of obvious consequences of that. But the truth is that the consequences of burnout are everywhere. And we see it also in a lot of startups. You know, founders have the illusion that they need to be always on. And look at it, Kinsey, three-quarters of startups fail. 


Kinsey [00:11:40] Right. Do you think that, you know, people lost a lot of money when Elon Musk tweeted that, and with everything that happened to Uber in the last three or so years, there was money at stake. Do you think that Travis Kalanick and Elon Musk could have run better companies if they had prioritized not burning out more? I just want to make sure that's what the thesis is here. 


Arianna [00:12:01] You know, if you go to the Harvard Business School now, you have actual studies. And McKinsey has done a full study, for example, on sleep and effective leadership. So these issues are no longer marginal. They're mainstream. They're being taught in business schools. You open the Wall Street Journal and you open the Harvard Business Review and you have articles on the subjects. I think what we are doing now is making sure that people at different levels of leadership understand the impact their own behavior has on the way they lead their companies and on business results. 


Kinsey [00:12:53] It makes sense. I think part of why we're talking about this so much right now is because we have seen both ends of the spectrum. We've seen fantastic leadership, but we've also seen very disappointing leadership in terms of running companies, running governments, what have you. I know that the way that executives and leaders are steering ships today is going to be something we study for years to come. [laughs] I think this will be a number of case studies for, like you said, Harvard Business School. But why do you think that we're talking about this so much right now in the middle of a pandemic and probably a recession? Why does the record that CEOs and executives are making today matter in the future once this all ends or we achieve some sort of normal again? 


Arianna [00:13:38] Well, I think the reason it matters so much is because we know that we're never returning to the past. So imagining and building the future is now the primary task and goal of leadership. And that means that we need our leaders to make decisions from the best of themselves and their best judgment. All the wisdom they can muster, because this is not just maintaining the status quo. This is not just operating in a wave of [indistinct]. This is literally rethinking what is being done. 


Kinsey [00:14:26] And it's economy-wide. It's not as if we were just saying there have been massive changes in one specific sector. You could go retail, tech, services—everything has experienced these massive shifts given the group experience of the last three or so months. I was recently reading, when I was preparing to talk to you today, that you, at Thrive, did a study that found nearly 90% of employees feel that employers need to be doing more than just implementing travel bans and/or work-from-home policies to properly address coronavirus-related challenges. I'm curious to hear your perspective on what more they should be doing. What is that "more" beyond just what the norm has been established as? 


Arianna [00:15:07] So I think communications with employees are more important than ever because we have found in that survey that we did at Thrive that actually employees trust their companies more than they trust information from governments, for example, or the media. So communicating, and communicating in different ways so that they are clearly heard, is key. 


Arianna [00:15:39] So, for example, with the companies we're working with, like, let's say Walmart, we've created a dedicated app for their distribution center employees. They have like a 100,000 people who keep stocking all their stores, who tried keeping America fed, basically, and they're obviously particularly stressed during this time. And so supporting their health and well-being is critical. 


Arianna [00:16:09] But also, when we're working with people working from home at Walmart, they need different communications. They're working with different problems—of working from home, with children often and having to do homeschooling as well as doing their job. So leaders need to acknowledge and address the different problems different parts of their populations are facing, especially in these big multinational companies where they have very different cohorts. 


Kinsey [00:16:42] Right. I was recently speaking with Chamath Palihapitiya, the venture capitalist, former Facebook exec, and we were talking about how people have come to identify themselves even more, sometimes, based on where they work instead of what country they were born in or where they live or their nationality or background—that working at Apple is such an integral part of who you are. I wonder if this crisis that we're going through right now, in which people are relying more and more, like you're saying, on the companies for which they work, is in the long term going to be a detriment. Do we reach a point at which it's dangerous to identify so much of who you are at your core with the job that you have at that moment in time? 


Arianna [00:17:24] Well, I wrote a whole book about that called "Thrive," where basically I said that identifying with any job is really missing the point of what a good life is. You know, ancient philosophers defined a good life very differently than modern society. We've reduced a good life down to success and have reduced success down to money and status. 


Arianna [00:17:53] And I think we're paying a heavy price. I mean, even before the coronavirus crisis, we had a mental health crisis, people trying to find meaning, dealing with the skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety. These two things are connected. And I think one of the positive aspects of this terrible time, which, you know, is a time of terrible pain for so many people, both the pain of loss and financial loss. But one of the silver linings is that we actually are forced to pause and look again at what is essential, what is not essential, what truly matters to us, and how do we want to live our lives. 


Kinsey [00:18:42] Arianna, I want to ask you how you think the world is going to look when all this is over. But first, let's take a short break to hear from our partner. —


Kinsey [00:18:52] And now back to the conversation on leadership with Arianna Huffington. So, Arianna, do you think that we'll achieve any sort of meaningful change coming out of this as a society? I mean, it's not that difficult to imagine a future in which we all just go back to our perceived normal, whatever that normal ends up looking like in the future. But within a few months, we're right back into a routine of burnout, a routine of working 14-hour days because we feel like we need to. Do you think that we can achieve any long-term change? 


Arianna [00:19:20] Oh, yes. I'm very optimistic about that. We are working with many CHROs of top fortune companies and what is fascinating is that while the health and wellness of their employees was often a warm and fuzzy topic, like a nice to have, it's now absolutely at the forefront of every company. And they see HRO is now the most important executive next to the CEO. 


Arianna [00:19:57] In the past, at important moments like earnings calls, you had the CFO next to the CEO. Now, for example, every morning, Hans, the CEO of Verizon, has meetings with all their employees next to Christine, their CHRO. So it's a whole new world. And I think if we're going to put health and wellness at the top of the agenda, because it has huge bottom line implications, it means changing the way we work and live because it will continue working and living in this breathless way, not connecting with ourselves, with our loved ones.  


Arianna [00:20:47] The casualties, the collateral damage in terms of our health and our mental health, has been so great. You know, the increase in chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension and now, Kinsey, we have the fact that we know that the virus is affecting people with these pre-existing conditions disproportionately. So there is an urgent need to change our behaviors because 90% of these conditions are behavior-based. 


Kinsey [00:21:23] So this would maybe have brought us to our knees a little less or not quite as fast if we had come to this reckoning earlier before a pandemic. Maybe it would be less devastating. 


Arianna [00:21:34] Great point. I'm going to steal it from you. [Kinsey laughs] This moment of reckoning was coming. 


Kinsey [00:21:40] Right. 


Arianna [00:21:42] It's accelerated. And we can see very clearly—like we can't pretend it's not happening because look at all the data we're getting. And still, because of HIPAA regulations, the media is not very accurately reporting on why, say, younger people are dying. But when I talk to people who know, so many of them are dealing with pre-existing conditions. 


Kinsey [00:22:10] Yeah. I think, you know, when you consider who the leaders of the future are going to be, who the next [indistinct] is going to be, it's probably someone who belongs to a generation of people who've even come to joke about having this collective anxiety disorder—that we are so nihilistic in our approach to wellness and health that we make memes about being depressed. [laughs] That can't be good. 


Arianna [00:22:35] No, that's great. Kinsey, I totally love what you are saying. You should write about it [Kinsey laughs] and publish it. No seriously, because I think your generation needs to hear more from your generation. [laughs]. 


Kinsey [00:22:46] Right, yeah. And, I don't know, maybe I'll write a [indistinct] post or something. Arianna, we've talked about some of these big-picture concepts with leadership in today's crisis. I want to get a little bit more granular quickly. Who do you think is doing this right? I asked my Twitter followers if they had any ideas of leaders they would want to work for. People they really admired who they thought were running companies the right way. The responses were actually pretty varied. Bob Iger was a popular one. Richard Branson, Jamie Dimon, Toby Lutke from Shopify, Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn. Who do you think is doing things right today, if you had to pinpoint a couple people or one specific person. 


Arianna [00:23:26] Well, I can talk about the people we are working with that I've been incredibly impressed with. Let me mention, for example, Julie Sweet and Ellyn Shook at Accenture. You know, Julie is the CEO, the new CEO of Accenture. Ellyn is the CHRO. And together, you know, they have prioritized the mental health of their employees. Julie Loeger, the CMO of Discover, we are working with them on financial stress, which as you know is obviously taking a bigger and bigger toll on people and their mental health. Donna Morris, the CHRO of Walmart, as I mentioned, dealing with 2.2 million associates, which is what they call their employees, at many different levels. So I have been incredibly impressed by the heads of HR that we are working with. I really think they're also the heroes of this crisis. 


Kinsey [00:24:35] Arianna, I find it fascinating that so many of these people, when I ask who's doing things right, are people that, by and large, these listeners, Business Casual listeners, might not know about—that so often the leaders who don't necessarily ask for or seek out recognition are the ones who are actually doing the most impactful work. 


Arianna [00:24:53] [indistinct] This time is going to bring us new people to admire and new leaders will emerge. And a lot of new leaders from your generation as well. This is the time for leadership from many new quarters. 


Kinsey [00:25:15] Right. And I always like to think about everything we're going through now as a moment for entrepreneurship, for innovation, for thinking big, and taking the time, sitting at home, to try and maybe work on that idea you've had for so long. So hopefully you're right—we have a new generation of people to bet on and to look forward to watching all that they do. Arianna, thank you. That was fantastic. I feel like I could talk about this for hours. [laughs] 


Arianna [00:25:40] Thank you so much. You're wonderful. And I look forward to your piece. 


Kinsey [00:25:44] Thank you. 


Kinsey [00:25:45] Now we're going to bring in another voice to discuss our interview with Arianna, Morning Brew CEO and co-founder Alex Lieberman. But first, let's take a short break to hear from our sponsor. — And now we are back with Alex Lieberman, Morning Brew's CEO, to reflect on this conversation with Arianna. We recorded this conversation on LinkedIn and we're using just a snippet. So if you want to see the full conversation, go check out Alex's LinkedIn to hear it all. [sound of a ding]


Kinsey [00:26:11] I'm curious why we think—that we're having this conversation now, why is today's leader so under the microscope? 


Alex Lieberman, Morning Brew CEO [00:26:19] I think two reasons. One, leadership is most assessed and most analyzed when hard decisions have to be made. And the second is social media. You know, the first is the context that exists that gets people interested and actively thinking about how are people leading their companies and are they doing so in a way that is tactful, in a way that is right by their people. 


Alex [00:26:44] So I think the pandemic created that context because of the economic implications, because of the stay-at-home policies. Simply a context is created by where it's not like one sector or one group of leaders are going through challenging times. It's all of them are—is ubiquitous to have to be making hard decisions as a leader right now. And so I think that is just a narrative that everyone's focused on. The second is, because it's a narrative that's focused on, oftentimes when people are discussing these things, or sharing their opinions or perspectives on how leaders are leading, they take to social media. Social media gave people the megaphone and the platform to get in front of it—you know, theoretically, billions of people on planet Earth, who have access to social media as well. 


Alex [00:27:32] And so I think it's this combination of context and megaphone that has made it so prevalent. And I think this is the type of environment where leaders are made or leaders are proven. And also, it is the best barometer for how much you actually give a shit about your people, because I think it's very easy for leaders who don't give a shit about their people to make easy decisions from a business perspective. Normally hard decisions from a people perspective, but they decide to basically pick the business first over their people. And I think not only is that, you know, an immoral and unethical thing because you should really care about the people you want to surround yourself with. But also from a business perspective, it's not a smart thing because your people are your business. 


Kinsey [00:28:15] And I've spoken to a couple of founders in the past couple of weeks who have been really transparent and open and honest about their own experiences. And a lot of them will use the more diplomatic terms of working with a smaller team today than they had a couple weeks ago, but basically furloughing or laying people off. And to hear the emotion in that decision, I think has really opened my eyes a lot to the experience of being a leader, being someone who manages a lot of people. 


Kinsey [00:28:40] It's a very difficult decision for so many of these people I've spoken to make. I just did an episode about restaurants and that's been one of the hardest hit industries. And so many people who work in restaurants come from communities that aren't as fortunate as, say, you know, finance-type communities. So trying to think about can they get unemployment? How do I think about making sure I get them back when I can reopen my restaurant? It's a very difficult decision to make. 


Alex [00:29:07] I think the most challenging times, the times where resources are constrained, where you're picking the lesser of two evils with decisions, is the time when people grow mentally. Like, their mental maturity grows faster than ever before. And I think this is kind of like the perfect storm where people are going to become better leaders and more mentally mature irrespective of their age because of the context we're living in right now. 


Kinsey [00:29:36] Yeah, absolutely. Also, Alex, I'm curious what you think about Arianna's comments on her time being on Uber's board and the burnout culture at the company. 


Alex [00:29:46] So, yeah, I think there's one aspect which is like culture-driven burnout. And then I think there's self-driven burnout. I think there are people who are just naturally preprogramed to drive themselves because they are perfectionists. And they take such pride in the work they do that because of the active and obsessive way their mind works, they will drive themselves to burnout. 


Alex [00:30:08] I think the culture-oriented burnout is obviously the more detrimental one because it has a larger impact on more people. Intrinsically driven burnout, you know, is at least siloed to the person. And so I think the most important thing is it all comes down to doing the right thing from the top. And so this is something that even in our senior leadership meeting, we were talking about today is what are the things that we, as senior leaders, can be doing to show that it is important to recharge and reset and not just to show that it is important, but to show that it is acceptable, like going back to the point where you were saying of feeling like you're in a context where you're not being judged is so important. 


Alex [00:30:58] And so, for example, when I worked in finance, what I noticed was we were given two weeks of vacation. But no one in their first year took those two weeks because there were just kind of this understood or expected judgment that would occur from taking all of your vacation days. And so I think what it comes down to as leaders, one, knowing in your culture that you're not driving people into the ground, but also knowing that you are taking specific actions as a senior leader to basically give people the permission to know it's OK, because even when you say something, people still may believe that there's like this hidden narrative that just doesn't sit on the surface and they create their own stories about whether something is right or wrong. And so I think the way that you avoid people creating their own stories is by actually doing what you say you're going to do and not just telling people to do something. 


Kinsey [00:31:49] Right. I couldn't agree more. And it almost makes me wonder, you know—the concept of face time—that you're not going to get a promotion unless you're face to face in front of your boss—is really prevalent in finance. A lot of my friends from college went through that the first couple of years out of school. You know, if you weren't working [laughs] until 2:00 a.m., you weren't working at all. And I think that maybe we can take some positives away from this experience and know that as long as your work is getting done, it doesn't necessarily take your boss seeing you sitting at your desk. It's more so that you're doing good work and putting good work out there. 


Kinsey [00:32:24] All right, Alex. So I also want to talk about this idea that Arianna brought up, that some people value what their company says over what the government might be telling them. 


Alex [00:32:33] Yeah. I think that statement, as potentially sad as it is, makes complete sense, because I think as I reflect on what I believe makes people trust others—whether it be relationships, whether it be family members, whether it be companies—at the end of the day, this is all relationship, right? It's your relationship to a country, your relationship to a company, your relationship to a significant other. 


Alex [00:33:05] I feel like it all comes down to, again, a level of trust. But what creates this stronger sense of trust or this less strong level of trust? I think one is intention—knowing someone's intention. I think it is when you spend face-to-face time talking to the person that you have the relationship with, understanding their true intentions is a lot easier. 


Alex [00:33:28] Like just, you know, very simply, I find a way harder to understand the true intentions of a government in any context, because there are so many more moving parts. You are not interfacing directly with government. And so it requires a—almost a higher level of or a larger amount of just kind of like naive trust because you don't truly know the intentions. 


Alex [00:33:58] The second is asymmetric information—the more information you have about someone, the more information that has been given to you. I think we as people are story-making machines. When we don't know information about everything, we start creating stories in our head about what certain things mean. And so I think in any relationship, obviously, the reason communication is so important is it gives you one, a better sense of intentions, and it gives you less asymmetric information, more shared information. 


Alex [00:34:28] So that, again, you can have more trust. And this is why communication from a company is so important, because the more information you have for me as a co-founder about what our strategy is, how COVID is impacting us, how our strategy has changed, our thoughts on culture and values, the less you leave it to guesswork in creating your own stories around what we're trying to do. And so that that's kind of my thought. 


Kinsey [00:34:49] Yeah, I mean, I agree. I think it's especially important today with everything going on with COVID. You know, when we started working from home, there was no expiration date on when this would end. And I think people are innately curious about what comes next for their day-to-day life. And we spend, what, [laughs] 70, 80% of our waking hours working, in some cases. We want to know what's coming next. And that information is valuable. So reducing the amount of asymmetric information that you alluded to I think is priority number one for a lot of people and a lot of leaders. 


Alex [00:35:22] Awesome. Well, Kinsey, thanks for joining the LinkedIn Live. Always great having conversation with you and really enjoy, you know, digging into some of the insights that these incredible guests that we get access to provide us. 


Kinsey [00:35:37] Yeah, absolutely. And thank you again. Alex, so much for joining me and for doing this. I really appreciate it. [sound of a ding]


Kinsey [00:35:51] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Business Casual with the wonderful and highly intelligent Arianna Huffington. I want to hear from you. I want you to share your experiences with leadership during this pandemic. What have the leaders in your life been doing well or maybe been doing not so well? 


Kinsey [00:36:07] Email me and let me know at Kinsey@morningbrew.com. That's k i n s e y @morningbrew.com. And I will see you next time.