Empathy First, Economics Second

The co-founder and CEO of the online course platform Thinkific shares why being an empathetic leader is more important than ever.

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Greg Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Thinkific, a platform for creators of online courses. He talks with #ThePlaybook host David Meltzer about how his law school education informs his business strategyhis company’s mission to empower instructors and learners, how he prioritizes empathy in hiring and the success metrics that matter most to him.

Smith discusses how law school taught him about the goal of win-win agreements and outcomes for businesses. He talks about his priority of enabling Thinkific instructors to build their businesses and reach more people in the service of helping others.

Smith talks about how he prioritizes people over economics in hiring and retaining employees, using empathy and focusing on how the company can help. He discusses Thinkific’s diversity, including a 50-percent female workforce, and the positive impact that diversity has on the company and its bottom line. 

Smith discusses the Thinkific metrics he is most focused on, specifically how effectively an online course can help learners move towards achieving their goals, saying that an incremental improvement can be more impactful than completing a course, for instance. 

Smith advises struggling entrepreneurs to focus on what they’re passionate about but to find ways to pivot away from what isn’t working. He talks about the current opportunity available to build and serve audiences online.

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