Inspiring Through Human Connection with Claude Silver
Everyone has a title now:
“Chief Culture Officer”
“Senior Person Officer”
“Commissioner of Love”
They’re bombastic and provocative.
Can this person possibly embody all that the title suggests?
And while her role at VaynerMedia is complex and important, it doesn’t take long to know that she far exceeds all that her title would suggest.
Claude has a genuine belief in others. This is rare in a world of cynicism, and a far cry from the business practice of cold, hard sales that can develop in a corporate culture if left unchecked.
She’s always found herself to be a cheerleader for others, attributing some of that to her grandmother, a strong and powerful woman who put others first but was simultaneously bold and confident. Claude says that those people are impactful.
<Quote: “I always have been a cheerleader and coach for people. I have a fundamental belief in people.” – Claude Silver>
Her parents used to warn Claude that she thought too much with her heart, but it’s exactly that empathy and intuition that allows her to gauge and connect with others so well.
“There’s not a whole lot of logic because human beings are not freakin’ logical,” Claude says.
She meets people all day; has one-on-ones all day. It’s her hope that every meeting in that room leads to change.
This change is almost impossible without a desire to be in that person’s corner – to have them know you’re on their side and are following up with them.
The quote hanging on her wall sums it up best:
“People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Wired To Belong
My first experience with Claude was when I visited VaynerMedia to interview her and James Orsini. James’ interview went over and by the time I had managed to connect with Claude there were only a few minutes left before she had another commitment that she could not miss.
Her time is extremely valuable, and she is very busy.
She could have easily sent an assistant over to me to reschedule and spent those few minutes as a reprieve from an incessant schedule.
But that’s not what she did.
Instead, she pulled out her phone and made a new appointment herself. Then she invited me back to her office to get to know me.
“It was supposed to happen; we were supposed to spend time together no matter how small the time was,” she assures me.
It was easily the best postponement I have ever been through!
And this is quintessential Claude.
<Quote: “Human beings are wired to belong; we are wired to be in connection.” – Claude Silver>
At the end of the day, Claude works for a company complete with deadlines, a bottom line, and everything that comes with being financially successful.
This means that feedback is a necessity. No one wants to be told they suck.
However, where many would retract from relationships, Claude leans into love with everything she has.
One of her favorite books reminds her:
“There are two emotions: love and fear.
If you are in fear you are not in love.
And I chose to be in love.”
People receive criticism much better in a trusting relationship. It’s not manipulation; it’s genuine support.
Part of the connection we’re built for is a dedication to one another that allows us to be vulnerable and build trust.
Claude hopes she’s fostering a culture where improvement comes not just practically through skill, but interpersonally through quality associations.
What Holds Us Back
Claude reminds us of those limiting beliefs that hold us back and what can happen when we’re not in the driving seat of those thoughts.
As she rounded the corner from adolescence to adulthood, Claude struggled with cocaine addiction and then entered an abusive relationship.
“When you keep shame, it kills you,” she posits. “Don’t keep it a secret.”
Claude admits that she should have opened up about her shame, something she hopes to help others do.
It wasn’t that she didn’t have friends; she simply didn’t know how to be friends with herself.
<Quote: ““We have to identify our own limiting beliefs. Otherwise it’s just a riptide that takes us.” – Claude Silver>
Imposter Syndrome is becoming more and more well known. The good news is that people are talking about it more, but it’s tough to identify and even harder to shake.
It’s insidious and drives us into places of unhealthy limitation.
I have a wonderful wife, beautiful children, and own my own business, but the notion that I am somehow not enough is a thought that haunts me every now and then.
Claude reminds others that they are a work of art.
I like to picture it like Michaelangelo’s quote about his sculpture “David”:
“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”
She reminds us that what we need is already present. It’s the limiting beliefs that hold us back – carry us away in a riptide – when we keep them closed up.
And there’s no way to know this without genuine human connection; identifying the limitation and retraining or reprogramming that voice.
“Name your mirrors,” Claude says, “Let them be in the back seat. You drive the bus.”
Claude has a knack for human connection. She is good at people.
At this point in her march to success Claude fully realizes the gravity of being an influencer at one of the most well known companies in the world and all the amazingly gifted people with whom she works.
The Claude Silver brand is something we’ll hear about in the future, a voice to connect with others that is badly needed.