Mike Brady After being at the helm of Greyston Bakery for several wildly successful years, Mike Brady is moving on to a broader arena. Photo: Greyston Bakery.

Mike Brady, successful business leader formerly of pioneering Greyston Bakery, believes being nonjudgmental in hiring is the right thing to do – and discusses how it creates a win-win-win for the employer.

As we continue to grow this Social Capital section, we turned our attention in January to kindness as a characteristic of successful business leaders making a difference in the business world. I t’s a key trait that is too often overlooked in importance when it comes to leadership skills nowadays. Does it sound out of place in business leadership? Too cutting-edge to be practical? Is it impossibly hard to find genuine examples of it?

Mike Brady is proof that it exists. After being at the helm of Greyston for several wildly successful years, he is moving on to a broader arena.

Mike exemplifies kindness in leadership -- leaders making decisions that follow the golden rule, treating people how we want to be treated, with humanity and respect.

In fact, Mike is so into this role for leadership that he interviewed us in-depth on our agenda regarding Social Capital before settling in to talk about his favorite subject: non-judgment. It’s a philosophy he practiced at Greyston, leading it to become the gold standard. As he is fond of explaining: “No questions asked, no background checks, no interviews, no references.” He remains a strong advocate for trusting in the power of people to be successful and giving everyone an equal chance at that.

In this interview, he shares his incredible journey of growth opportunities to “move the needle” on things he cares about within the context of the business world. “My core strength is being an entrepreneur. How can I use that strength in a different arena, trying to do good while doing well?” he asks – and shares what he has done and found along the way.

He makes very clear his commitment to being an example and a resource to help other business leaders create win-win-win dynamics throughout the supply chain, helping them understand where the value creation of this approach is.

As he explores the next steps for himself, personally, he discusses the tremendous opportunity he sees for the “S” in the ESG (environmental, social, governance) equation, which makes him all that much more appealing to us as and our Social Capital movement. His journey now is to find his footing in that space, working with organizations committed to social justice and helping them understand how they can create value. Their success furthers the opportunity to create equal access to jobs, which, he says, “will address a lot of the inequalities the American workforce is experiencing.”

Be sure to click on the video above to hear a whole lot more of Brady's incredibly inspiring and informative Social Capital insights.