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Founder and Executive Chairman of KIND Snacks

Building Bridges Across Lines of Difference

KIND Snacks | PeaceWorks | OneVoice | Empatico | Equilibra

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Category: Featured

Founders should follow these 5 steps to turn ideas into reality

You have an innovative and differentiated product that has withstood your relentless scrutiny and you are ready to go forth and conquer. (In other words, you’ve mastered what I call the “3 Cs of Entrepreneurship,” which you can read about here.)  Now it’s time to talk about how to build your ideas into reality. I approach this process by working through five key steps. It’s critical to give all of them your equal attention and to understand how they influence one another.

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There’s only one way to stop violent extremists, as seen in CNN

(CNN) Extremism has a knack for metastasizing and coming back to wreak havoc upon its hosts. Once a cohort or society builds a hateful mindset, the hatred takes on a life of its own. Extremist ideology not only hurts a society’s enemies, but also eventually attacks from within and harms the society from which it originated. I first started observing this phenomenon abroad — and it saddens but does not surprise me that we are starting to see it haunt American democracy too.

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Continuing KIND’s efforts to promote a kinder, more equitable world

Even before COVID, our social fabric was beginning to fray. Over the course of years, long-standing inequalities and systemic racism have become starkly exposed and greatly exacerbated as division and polarization among Americans grows. Now, more than 10 million Americans remain unemployed and over 350,000 people have lost their lives to COVID. People of Color have been disproportionately affected due to inequalities rampant across our healthcare system, economy, and society.

Overcoming these challenges will require all of us to deepen our commitment to standing up against injustice while also working to rebuild trust and empathy across our communities. We must continue to dig deep to model the values we want to see in our society by taking stock of our own actions, big or small, each day. As a global brand and movement, KIND has an even greater opportunity and responsibility to make an impact…

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Thank you for your support in 2020

KIND Friends,

2020 has been a deeply challenging year for our country. At KIND and The KIND Foundation, we have worked hard to support one another and our communities with initiatives such as the Frontline Impact Project, which is mobilizing companies to donate resources to over a million frontline heroes including healthcare workers battling COVID and firefighters responding to our nation’s wildfires. At the same time, we have sought to keep you nourished throughout this trying time by upholding our KIND Promise to create delicious and healthy foods that lead with wholesome, nutritious ingredients.

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Two Giants Have Passed, Their Lessons Stay with Me

My father’s generation is exceptional in many ways. They just don’t make them like they used to. Since my Dad’s passing in 2003, I have grown so much closer to a couple dozen people in my Dad’s age group whom I feel so blessed to count among my friends and mentors. They have all made an important impact on society while retaining their down-to-earth nature, kindness and humility. I wish my Dad could be here to meet them. Our society would be so much better off were we to draw more from their wisdom and values.

Two giants cut from the same cloth were recently lost to our world in close succession.  These men are Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Sir James Wolfensohn, whose impact on me I’d like to commemorate with these reflections.

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Protecting our Democracy

I believe that the overwhelming majority of people are moderates who may not always recognize our duty to stand up and be counted. But in moments like this, we must defend our Constitutional norms and uphold American trust in our democracy. This piece is based off of an email I felt compelled to send to Senate Majority Leader Shirkey and House Speaker Chatfield this afternoon.

Dear Michigan Senate Majority Leader Shirkey and House Speaker Chatfield,

We have never met, but I hope to meet you one of these days and to be able to express my deep gratitude for your role in safeguarding our democracy. You have been thrust into a historic moment. How you act today will determine a lot about our nation’s future, the integrity of American elections, and the character of the Republican Party.

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The Moment We’re In Calls for Kindness

This is an email I sent to the KIND team this morning, encouraging empathy and bridge-building during a time of deep division within our country.

KIND Team,

This past weekend, Americans elected Joe Biden the 46th U.S. President. I have long felt that President-elect Biden’s campaign messages echo KIND’s ethos and I am encouraged that this administration will champion the values that we at KIND, regardless of political party, hold dear.

I realize that this news does not hit everyone the same way. As I have said before, everyone has a home here at KIND. We must continue to model empathy and respectful listening and discourse, not only internally at KIND but also externally in our communities.

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Moderates, this election is up to us

Moderates like me do not conform to the prevailing stereotypes of Republican or Democrat, which makes us a frustrating yet important group to pundits come Election Day. We like to think for ourselves and question what we hear, which means we’re often unswayed by partisan rhetoric. Perhaps most unnerving for politicians is that we choose values over political dogma and reserve the right to change our minds. This makes our actions challenging to control or predict, despite the great consequence of our votes.

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Success in a tough economy requires balance, not brawn

The economic environment under COVID is volatile, which makes temperance and a measured approach tougher than ever—and all the more impressive to achieve. This year, I’m particularly interested in partnering with entrepreneurs who exemplify an ability to reconcile opposing forces and tensions, even when under pressure. Here’s my advice for how to achieve this sense of balance—and why investors are likely to find the skill more valuable than ever.

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New Peace by Ari Shavit, from Yedioth Ahronoth

The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace shared this article by Ari Shavit, originally published in Yedioth Ahronoth, in its September 15th Israel and Middle East Newsletter. I am posting the article here as a solid piece explaining the significance of the recent peace agreements in the Middle East. It may be a tinge too optimistic and overconfident, but I’ll take it!

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5 tried-and-true tools for entrepreneurs dealing with crisis

In times of crisis and uncertainty, entrepreneurs are more likely to look outside of themselves for answers. Desperation makes the idea of a playbook—a quick-fix rule sheet outlining what worked for someone else in the marketplace—even more appealing. But we need to resist the temptation to check our creativity at the door. In this environment of high disruption, when all the rules have suddenly changed, it is more important than ever to ditch the playbook and focus on the toolkit instead.

There are three reasons to toss out the playbook. First, anything that has already been disclosed lacks an essential element of surprise. In sports, a play is successful when it is so novel—so innovative and unexpected—that no one sees it coming. By this logic, following someone else’s playbook inherently lacks ingenuity.

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