It’s mid-August and time for one last summer reading recommendation.
Although my kids are back in school this week, I can’t shake the feeling from my system that summer lasts until Labor Day weekend. Regardless, having the kids back in school is kind of like getting a vacation from all the commotion that goes along with getting ready, seeing what clothing fits, running to the store for supplies at the last minute. You know the drill. And although I complain about it, I know I’ll miss it in a few short years when they flee the nest for college.
So indulge me as I offer one last recommendation – Do the KIND Thing, by Daniel Lubetzky, the founder and CEO of KIND Healthy Snacks. I first put my hands on this book at MCON this summer, an event focused on Millennial engagement with cause work across sectors, which is hosted each year by my friend Derrick Feldman of Achieve Guidance. I have to admit that, when I saw the book — and the title — I thought it might be a shameless promotion for KIND bars. I like KIND bars. In fact, I might even love them. So I was interested to see what the book offered beyond a serving of nuts and healthful goodness.
In the end, it’s this – sound, readable, inspiring guidance for people seeking to do good while doing business. Yes, the book does help KIND and its brand, but it does so by giving, by staying true to what Lubetzky believes. It’s focused on what he calls “authentic purpose vs. ‘shallow cause marketing.’” If you pick up a KIND product in the store, you’ll read the following promotional tagline – “do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your world.” This book helps you see what the company means by this and what it values, as Lubetzky takes the reader on a journey through his firm’s value system, telling the KIND story along the way.
I love seeing inside a company, understanding its value structure and the bumps and successes that made the organization and the brand what it is today. In Do the KIND Thing, Lubetzky is generous with his information, telling us the story of the start ups that failed before he created KIND and the fundanmental, conceptual infrastructuce on which he built his now highly successful healthy snack business.
One thing is for sure. Everything Lubetzky does is intentional. He has a personal story that helps you understand why he values kindness the way he does. He uses clear wrappers on his products so you can see the actual goodness you are about to buy. He is, in short, transparent. You could say he’s “on message,” and that would be true, too. But I value that, as I value seeing someone who seeks to be successful while providing a product that tastes good, is good for you and is backed by a company that cares about its role in the world.
So – read the book. And remember, as the summer ends and we all become consumed with the hectic pace of work and life, that kindness matters.