When it Comes to Leadership, the Personal Touch Matters


By: Lana Rafaela Cindric

We all want to be treated as people first, employees second. Sometimes it’s easy for that to slip through the cracks and make us feel like we are just the cogs that turn the profit-making machine.  After all, who hasn’t complained about the daily grind?


However, that’s no longer enough and the focus in corporations and smaller companies alike has shifted from money to mission.

This is where nonprofits and organizations truly shine. They put people first.

It’s time we learned from their example.

Growth through Connection:
Two Ten’s Women In the Footwear Industry

Every company needs to generate revenue. What makes a difference is whether it’s got a 20/20 vision when it comes to the world at large.

Two Ten's Women In the Footwear Industry is a great example of a personal touch done right.

In June, the Seattle, Boston and New York chapters of the organization known for connecting women in the footwear industry organized wine-tasting events. The main focus was on educating women about wine so they would feel comfortable ordering it in front of colleagues and partners.

At first glance, it may seem trivial but note the mention of women feeling comfortable. That’s a great 21st century example of a people-oriented leadership style that recognizes the value of thoughts, emotions and intuition in running a business. These finer aspects are important but often overlooked, and Two Ten’s WIFI recognizes that.

Leadership and, consequently, management should be three-dimensional: striving to achieve tasks, benefiting the world and valuing the people who do it.

The main positive practices to adopt from WIFI’s example are:

  • Encourage the sharing of knowledge between industry professionals and new entrepreneurs in order to overcome barriers to entry and encourage cooperation

  • Pay attention to the finer things like business etiquette to smooth out the process

  • Provide space for communication and discussion in order to generate new ideas and passion for the company’s mission

Diversity with Thought Leadership: Camber Outdoors

Ideas are what makes every business turn. By giving diverse thinkers and businesswomen the opportunity to speak their mind, the chances for better idea-generation grow exponentially.

Camber Outdoors is an organization dedicated to achieving women’s equality in the outdoor industries. What Camber knows is that the world is thirsty for new ideas. And you can’t generate them with the same old way of thinking.  

By connecting CEOs and companies, and influencing their leadership styles through exchanges and thought-leader programs, Camber is actively creating better company cultures to work in.

They also cultivate leadership through seminars and mentoring programs, allowing both new leaders and the established ones to share ideas and work together for a common goal.

While their emphasis may be on women’s equality in the outdoor industries, Camber Outdoors achieves much more through a few guiding principles:

  • Create a diverse forum with a multitude of ideas to drive innovation

  • Actively create great company cultures by working with employees and employers

  • Cultivate healthy leadership through thought-exchange and cooperation

Sustainable Leadership

In nonprofits and organizations, leadership isn’t just encouraged – it is cultivated.

In order for any business to succeed, it needs a healthy environment for ideas to grow. By allowing for the personal aspects and communication, we create a sustainable future for both our businesses and the people taking part in them.

And like any healthy environment, it needs room to breathe and space to grow.

Nonprofits and organizations know that already. Maybe we should take a page from their book.



Photo: Camber Outdoors