Reboot Podcast Episode #64 – Whole Humans Make Better Leaders – with Nancy Lublin

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.

Episode 64 // July 13, 2017


Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin

CEO and Founder of Crisis Text Line

View Bio

Episode Description

Nancy Lublin, CEO of Crisis Text Line, a non-profit that provides free 24/7 support at your fingertips, is a successful serial social entrepreneur. Previously at Dress for Success and Do Something, her journey as a CEO has been one towards a more authentic and human style of leadership. This journey has informed how she see’s her product and the companies she runs. In this candid conversation with Jerry Colonna, Nancy talks about what it means to be a social entrepreneur and being human-centric in this world of chat bots, numbers, OKRs and KPIs.

Nancy Lublin on Twitter | Crisis Text Line

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“People still think that because I run a not-for-profit, that means they should reach me at 1:00 at home ’cause I must be watching Days of Our Lives.” – Nancy Lublin

“I don’t have any of those bells and whistles. The quality of management becomes that much more acutely important.” – Nancy Lublin

“You may come to a not-for-profit ’cause you believe in the mission, but you’ll leave because of bad management.” – Nancy Lublin

“So funders would look at us and say, “Well, you don’t exactly fit in my bucket,” and I would say, “No shit. New things don’t fit old buckets.”” – Nancy Lublin

“A lot of people who imagine new companies, whether they’re for-profit or not-for-profit, one of those early stumbling blocks is, if you’re doing it in a new way, of course, it’s unfamiliar to people.” – Nancy Lublin

“I happen to think that the best tech start-ups are, obviously, are user-centric.” – Nancy Lublin

“At the other end of the conversation was another human being. It wasn’t a chat bot. What you were doing was what I think we’re supposed to do with technology: Enhance the human experience.” – Jerry Colonna

“Our philosophy is that technology and data are here to make the humans faster and more accurate. But not to replace us.” – Nancy Lublin

“We actually teach people to validate. One of the ways that you validate is you hear their pain, you reflect it back to them and you level it up one degree.”- Nancy Lublin

“We’re actually also putting the science and data behind empathy.” – Nancy Lublin

“We know that why questions – “Why did you think this?” – are terrible! They sound condescending, kinda arrogant, like an accusation.” – Nancy Lublin

“We know that the words smart, proud, and brave are the best words you could use with someone in crisis.” – Nancy Lublin

“Middle-aged men are the ones most likely to die by suicide.” – Nancy Lublin

“Guys don’t go to doctors. They don’t raise your hand and say, “Hey, I’m in pain.” You don’t talk about this stuff.” – Nancy Lublin

“It’s a privilege to lead people while they’re going through this unbelievable formative time in their life.” – Nancy Lublin

“It’s not even mental health or behavioral health. These human issues are a privilege for you to lead and manage, not a challenge. Not a responsibility.” – Nancy Lublin

“If you start by thinking about your employees and your co-workers as human beings rather than employees and co-workers, you’re gonna miss less, you’re gonna be a better leader, you’re gonna be more authentic. You’re gonna have a much happier workplace.” – Nancy Lublin

“This request that I’m making of leaders and of managers to think of people as humans and bring your whole self and recognize their whole self is fucking exhausting.” – Nancy Lublin

“I chose on that day to make my operating system kindness which requires you to be vulnerable and honest with yourself and everyone else.” – Nancy Lublin

“What we’re really talking about is this correlation between the culture that we have in the tech industry which is, “leave it at the door.” It’s a kind of binary thinking of, you’re either switched on or you’re off. It’s not a whole experience. This is part of the reason we have a diversity challenge. We have an inclusivity challenge. It’s not a numbers game.” – Jerry Colonna

“It’s a cultural issue. It’s a structural issue. It’s not a diversity challenge. It’s this untapped opportunity. It’s human. What we need to stop just valuing OKRs and KPIs and “win, win, win” and post numbers, and instead start valuing the whole people and everything they bring to our environments. And then, P.S., you’re gonna end up crushing those numbers. Because when you lead and your team leads with like the whole self and who they are … “ – Nancy Lublin

“Stop treating everything below the mind as a meat bag that’s just out there to carry everything around. We’re flesh and blood. We are whole humans.” – Jerry Colonna

“We need to basically reset everything: that winning is actually leading with your whole self. We need like a whole, complete re-imagining of, user experience, winning, and culture that’s human-centric. Instead of just numbers.” – Nancy Lublin

“What we’re really talking about is the moments of being human. And actually making it safe to be human in a workplace, and making it safe to be human in our lives.” – Jerry Colonna