100 Minds

Aus der ganzen Welt

Dov Seidman

Author of HOW

New York City, United States

No doubt you’ve heard the old business cliché that hope is not a strategy. I disagree. Hope is a sustainable value that inspires us to see the world as a source of meaning.

My son recently turned four, which inspired me to look to the past for wisdom, and to the future with hope. A century from now, I believe the world will be defined by knowledge the philosopher Heraclitus shared some 2,500 years ago: “Character is destiny.” My wife was born in Russia and we named our son Lev Tov to remind him how to behave in pursuit of his destiny. In Russian, Lev means lion. In Hebrew, Lev means heart and Tov, of course, means good. I believe we gave our son a good name, but it is not enough to have a good name. Lev needs to spend the rest of his life earning it. My job is to help him become that person. This job is about values, it’s about character, and it’s about the strength to be resilient and the ability to roam the world confidently, like a lion, even when unthinkable and unimaginable things can happen and do happen often. Lev’s growth is also about the ability to relate to a world that grows more connected and morally interdependent every second. In 100 years, the nature and quality of our connections will be paramount. This holds true for sons, leaders, companies and countries – all of us have to earn our good name based on how we behave and relate to others.  On this count I am filled with hope – the quality I most want to inspire in all of my connections, including Lev. No doubt you’ve heard the old business cliché that hope is not a strategy. I disagree. Hope is a sustainable value that inspires us to see the world as a source of meaning and to connect with people in valuable ways. Hope is a catalyst. When we have hope, we lean into the world, and a sense of curiosity and possibility takes root that allows us to connect with others and collaborate with them to commit to bring about a better future.

Dov Seidman Bio:

Named one of the “Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade” by The Economic Times and “the hottest advisor on the corporate virtue circuit” by Fortune Magazine, CEO, author and thought leader Dov Seidman has built a career, and pioneered an industry, around the idea that the most principled businesses are the most profitable and sustainable.

Seventeen years ago, Dov founded LRN with a powerful vision that the world would be a better place if more people did the right thing. From that basic notion, he has grown a successful business that has helped to shape the ways millions of employees, managers and leaders behave and interact all over the globe. LRN helps more than 500 leading companies worldwide – including Apple, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Viacom, DuPont, Rolls-Royce, 3M and The Dow Chemical Company – develop ethical corporate cultures and inspire principled performance in business. In 2008, LRN acquired leading green strategy firm, GreenOrder.

Dov maintains that in today’s connected and transparent world, people and organizations stand to gain by dedicating new thought and energy to how they do what they do. That's the inspiration behind his award-winning book, HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything. Now updated and expanded, HOW includes a new foreword from President Bill Clinton and a new preface from Dov Seidman on why how we behave, lead, govern, operate, consume, engender trust in our relationships, and relate to others matters more than ever and in ways it never has before. Since 2007, HOW has been published in the U.S., Germany, China, Korea, Brazil, India and will soon be published in France and Israel.

The HOW philosophy is prominently featured as one of the nine rules for companies to embrace in Thomas L. Friedman’s seminal book, The World is Flat. In Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded, Dov explains how to lead a green revolution by adopting the HOW philosophy to out-behave and out-green the competition. Friedman’s latest work, That Used to Be Us, suggests the sustainability and success of our institutions, countries and world lies in HOW.

In 2011, Dov was named to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Values in Decision-making. He was also named one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America in 2010.

Dov is frequently invited to speak at leading industry events, and to senior corporate managers and boards of directors. Recent presentations include The Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, The World Economic Forum, The World Business Forum, 92nd Street Y, The National Press Club and The Aspen Ideas Festival. He has also been the keynote speaker at University of California Los Angeles’s annual commencement, and has received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College.

Dov’s views on business behavior, success, and corporate culture have been quoted in hundreds of media, including an in-depth profile in FORTUNE Magazine and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Charlie Rose and ABC’s Good Morning America. Each month, Dov shares his views on human behavior as the ultimate source of competitive advantage in a monthly column for Forbes.

Dov testified in 2004 before the U.S. Sentencing Commission arguing that corporations must move from a check-the-box, compliance-only approach to instead focus on fostering ethical cultures and behaviors. His proposals were adopted and today are the very standards by which companies, cultures and programs are judged.

Led by a lifelong pursuit and passion for ethical leadership, he and his company LRN became the exclusive corporate sponsors of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics in 2008, as the institution was in its 20th year of celebrating ethical decision making among America’s youth.

Dov earned simultaneous bachelor’s and master’s degrees, summa cum laude, in philosophy from UCLA. He later earned a B.A. with honors in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. He, his wife Maria and their son live in New York City.