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CEO Roundtable: Covid-19 Insights – May 7th 2020

How has COVID-19 affected the way your organization is run? In this special episode, conscious leaders discuss how their organization has been affected by COVID-19 and the decisions they’ve made as a result. We discuss the need to preserve cash, concerns about organization culture following staff reductions and concerns resulting from COVID-19. CEO’s Bob Chapman, Cory Smith, Sarah Mehler, and Karen Short each share the decisions they’ve made, the impact it is having on their organization, and how they as a leader have been challenged.

In this episode:

  • [02:09] CEO’s Bob Chapman, Sarah Mehler, Cory Smith, and Karen Short introduce themselves and their company. 
  • [13:25] Cory Smith, CEO of Wisdom Labs, shares how they put together a free resource kit for anxiety, sleep, etc. Uncertainty plus fear equals anxiety. 
  • [24:59] Bob’s perspective that he can share on covid-19. How do we show people even in these difficult times, we have a profound sense of caring. 
  • [31:32] Cory Smith explains how mental, emotional and social well-being of employees matters as much as other aspects. They haven’t been taught in school so how can someone learn these. 
  • [35:13] With people spending so much time sheltered in place in front of screens, Tom Eddinton asks Sara Mehler, what are you doing as an organization and what are your clients doing to to deal with that when people are able to to leave their homes and get back into the world?
  • [31:31] Tom asks Karen Short, CEO of Universal, What are some early indications around how people are going to have those needs around human touch and human interaction starting to emerge?
  • [50:19] Guests share what they have learned about themselves and their leadership style.
  • [59:27] What does the virus spotlight from an employment perspective. What are some hopeful signs of things that will be different when we emerge from this?
  • [01:01:19] What’s the role of employers in helping individuals deal with the reality of what’s likely still ahead of us? What can employers be doing to help provide the level of care and support that individuals need, not just financially and intellectually and spiritually or from a health standpoint, but socially?

Key Takeaways:

  • If we don’t have a good business model and that business model fails under various economic conditions, we’re going to hurt the very people that we care about. 
  • There is no work life balance, there’s just life. 
  • It’s a period of resourcing from within and resourcing in ways one didn’t really need to before as a leader. 
  • We need to be thought leaders and help shape what the future will be like.
  • What can we learn from this and do better next time because this could happen again. 


Bob Chapman 
Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a $3B capital equipment firm that he’s led since 1975, applying a unique blend of strategy and culture to build a global organization of more than 100 acquisitions and 12,000+ team members. Over two decades, a series of realizations led Chapman away from traditional management to the concept of Truly Human Leadership, a transformation that inspired his best-seller Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. Named Inc.’s No. 3 CEO, Chapman shares his message about business’s opportunity to become the world’s most positive societal influence to audiences including Conscious Capitalism, Fortune Scale Up Summit, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Danforth’s Seeds of Change, US Congressional Retreat, WorldBlu, and CEO Global Leaders Forum. Inspired by Chapman’s work, the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute was founded in 2015 to partner with other organizations looking to improve their cultures, develop outstanding leaders and inspire their people.
Everybody Matters
Bob’s LinkedIn

Cory Smith  
Cory Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Wisdom Labs, a company that provides science-based learning and practices to help improve mental, emotional, and social wellbeing at work. Wisdom Lab’s scalable suite of digital products are being used by companies such as Salesforce, GoPro, Merck, Kauffman Foundation, and LinkedIn.  Previously, Cory was CEO of Impact Hub San Francisco, CEO of the Social Capital Markets Conference, the first Innovation Fellow for the City of San Francisco, CEO of Webcast Solutions (acquired by StarMedia/France Telecom) and co-founder of MediaCast, the first on-location webcast company.
Wisdom Labs
Cory’s LinkedIn

Karen Short
For 25+ years, I have served in B2B and B2C marketing and sales positions. As an entrepreneurial leader specializing in innovative and transformative marketing and sales, I have successfully executed aggressive growth strategies ranging from market-driven and sales-focused organizations to growth through mergers and acquisitions across multiple industries. I build brands with a focus on quality, reliability, distinction and thought leadership positioning. 
Karen’s LinkedIn
Universal Companies 

Sarah Mehler
Sarah Mehler is Founder and CEO of Left Field Labs, a creative agency dedicated to humanity’s profound relationship with technology. She leads a team of 100+ designers, developers, and strategists that have launched hundreds of digital products and experiences — from VR and websites, to apps and experiential installations — for clients such as Google, Discovery, Android, Estée Lauder, Uber, and Disney.
Left Field Labs
Sarah’s LinkedIn

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