Phrases with the word “heart” in them are too many to count; it’s our most treasured reference as it aligns with love, soul, happiness…basically anything positive (unless tied to “attack”.) But tie it to “Silver” and you have a whole added meaning for positivity, because then you’re talking about Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia, a full service digital agency “built for the now.” It’s a fairly unique title, but trust media trend-shaper Gary Vaynerchuk (AKA Gary Vee) to assign that role to his “number two” person. And so, I couldn’t help but bookend my podcast interview with Silver with a serenade, because her actual job is to encourage “courageous conversations” to ensure the whole company works towards the goals of empathy, heart, speed, hustle, and winning.
Silver’s background in positive psychology and leadership positions in strategy at leading ad agencies in the US and UK make her uniquely qualified to inspire healthy attitudes at work, among all people, and encourage transparency. With that mindset, I braved a tune or two, but in between asked some serious questions. Here are the time codes and topics we covered, but I encourage you to hear all the parts in between, because, as the song goes, one is silver and the other’s gold:
5:50: Silver describes a day in her life as the person in charge of “people and experience”
7:20: The difference between classic “HR” and the VaynerMedia approach
10:30: How to “scale culture”
13:00: The VaynerMedia difference versus other agency holding companies
17:00: What VaynerMedia looks for in candidates
19:00: Ageism – at Vayner? In the industry overall?
21:30: Career Pivots
25:35: Silver’s suggestions for brands in a COVID-19 world – and beyond
31:30: Silver’s (s)heroes and thoughts on leadership
35:10: Personal thoughts on parenting today