In this episode of Too Young To Be Old podcast host Diane Gilman welcomes kindness advocate Will Sullivan. Will is a Kindness Advocate, Leadership Coach, and Podcast Host who talks about his 25+ years experience leading teams in NYC who served 150 million guests and generated over $1 billion in revenue. He attributes this success to one thing – being the leader who leads from the heart because the team should always come first.
Diane and Will discuss the concept and place of kindness in the modern world including in corporate environments, on social media and in the rapidly evolving world of AI.
Will’s Career Change to Kindness Advocate
Will formerly looked after the public experience in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He discusses how COVID helped him understand the essence of what he did in his role- helping and connecting with people. He decided to do this in a different way, by becoming a kindness advocate.
A Lack of Kindness in the Corporate World
Diane asks Will why leaders in the corporate world use meanness to manage employees, based on her own corporate experiences.
Will, however, believes that it isn’t meanness but more a lack of empathy as a lot of people in positions of power have never experienced working in the front lines of a company. They never had to take care of people. He talks about the importance of putting oneself in the shoes of the customer and those who are helping the customer.
Meanness and Social Media
Diane questions why social media seems to be a breeding ground for meanness. She gives an example of backlash she received on social media for complimenting Martha Stewart’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Will suggests that people become braver and meaner on social media because they can hide behind a device.
The Impact of AI and Perfection on Society
Diane questions whether it will become more difficult to be your authentic self as we experience more and more perfection with Photoshop and now with AI. She talks about how the brain and eyes get attuned to perfection when we are so used to seeing it in magazines. She worries about the impact of technology on reality and how it can lead to anger and meanness.
Will, as a kindness advocate, suggests addressing these issues by leading from the heart and focusing on the importance of in-person experiences.
AI and the Definition of Love
Will and Diane talk about the impact of artificial intelligence on the definition of love. Diane wonders if the online connections we have will eventually replace in person love and connection as new tech makes our online experience more immersive. Will highlights the importance of chemistry between people and doesn’t think this will ever be replaced.