Arianna Huffington is known for being the founder and CEO of Huffington Post, before she stepped down in 2016 to head Thrive Global, a movement to promote sleep and eradicate burnout.
It makes the media mogul a leader in the workplace wellbeing space, and when it comes to leading people, she’s developed a concept of her own: ‘compassionate directness’.
“The one non-negotiable is to create a culture of what we call ‘compassionate directness’, where people are empowered to express concerns, dissatisfactions, good ideas they have – and to do it in a compassionate way,” she told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll at the All Markets Summit on Thursday.
“Because if they don’t do it, all these become resentments. You create a toxic culture where people are not direct with each other, where they talk behind each others’ backs, and where there is no real transparency and accountability.
“I believe this is a hugely important value for every culture.”
In fact, Huffington believes in this value so much that she would rather face a bout of verbal abuse front-on than be whispered about.
“I tell everybody before I hire them, ‘You can come and tell me anything you want. You can scream at me if you want. Whatever, but do it to my face.’”
Huffington also has a ‘no brilliant jerks’ policy: no matter how great the results a single individual may be responsible for, they’re not allowed to refuse to be team players.
“The truth is they end up affecting the whole culture. Even if they may individually create results, they end up having a negative impact on the business,” she said.
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