Too cool for school

November 6, 2018



“As a leader, if you allow yourself some vulnerability and people see that you are human, they connect with you a lot more.” CJ Green


If we are more human with one another – if we allow our whole selves to be present at work, then this kind of personal generosity creates connection. It's one of the founding ideas of The Eth Word.


When we feel connected on a human level, we begin to see the person alongside us as more than a role (or a human resource) It then follows that the relationships and teams we form at work are stronger and more resilient. But it is not easy, CJ continues:


“I think it takes a lot more courage and strength - in terms of business strength.”


So when the change comes along, as it inevitably does – the new initiative or the launch of a new strategy - our connection and understanding of one another is already strong and is more likely to withstand challenge and conflict.


Genuine human connection serves as the foundation from which we can work together well and create more human and respectful workplaces.


CJ Green is the former CEO of Servest (now Atalian Servest) a facilities management services company with over 25,000 employees. 

See how The Eth Word worked with BT to help bring to life their new values and leadership initiative, and how we might help you.



I think some of it is about being brave enough to be seen yourself because I think there's in leadership generally, there's a lot of inauthenticity.


There's a lot of you know, let's pretend that there's this veneer of professionalism and I'm inaccessible. And I think as a leader if you allow yourself some vulnerability and people see you're human then they connect with you a lot more.


And also I think there's a little bit of a too-cool-for-school thing that goes on in business that is if you think about people predominantly somehow you're not an an edgy business person.


Whereas I think it takes a lot more courage and strength - in terms of business strength - to try and amalgamate the two. Because you're not your people are complicated unless you say messy and all sorts of stuff that comes with people that's really emotional and all that kind of thing.


Whereas businesses can be quite black and white.


So you know this is the easier bit than trying to figure this bit out. And actually if I just tell people how it's got to be, I don't have to think about how to connect with them and I don't have to go into each scenario thinking about the outcome for that individual, because I'm just thinking about it for myself or my business, so I think it's different.




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We film unbusiness-like conversations with leaders about values, purpose and leadership  We aim to generate a new conversation about the role of business in society.