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About Claude

Chief Heart Officer, VaynerX

Claude Silver, the world’s first Chief Heart Officer at VaynerX, believes that showing up with heart and humanity is the key to unlocking greatness in people. She sees it as her job to infuse empathy into every aspect of the organization. As a speaker, podcaster, industry trend setter, and LinkedIn influencer, she’s now inspiring other leaders to do the same.

With Claude as Chief Heart Officer, Vayner has grown from 400 people to a global team of 2000 with offices in nine countries, and she helped lead VaynerMedia, its foundational company, to be named the Breakthrough Media Agency of 2022 by AdWeek. She has proven that empathy plays a role in fueling growth and she does everything she can to make each and every human feels safe, seen, valued, and included, and to ensure every leader takes a hard look at how they are showing up and the environment they are creating.

At a young age, Claude was repeatedly told she thinks too much with her heart — something she has now learned is her superpower and has evolved into what she calls “emotional optimism,” a concept that is key to her heart-first leadership style. A graduate of the California Institute of Integral Studies, a cofounder of an outdoor adventure and surf company in San Francisco (where she was in the cold Pacific Ocean coaching 275 days a year), an Outward Bound instructor (who spent 93 days living in the wilderness at age 19 and had the epiphany that it was up to her to show up and change the narrative of her life), and a former global advertising executive at JWT London, JWT San Francisco, Publicis London, and others, Claude brings years of training in transpersonal psychology, positive psychology, and the study of Buddhist and other spiritual traditions to ground her leadership style with her trademark ability to create change through action.

Claude has received the Campaign US’s “Female Frontier Award” and AdWeek’s “Changing the Game Award” and speaks at major national and international conferences and corporate events. She has been interviewed on dozens of leading podcasts and quoted or featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and the Wall Street Journal.

She lives in the New York City area with her wife and two young daughters and (still) loves snowboarding, road trips, listening to ‘80s music and Trance (Loud!), and spending time with friends.

Claude in Action

“Claude was a huge hit. The team loved her wisdom, authenticity, and candor. We were the lucky ones.”

The Ad Council

“Claude’s contribution to the learning was meaningful and the Flag Officers greatly appreciated her energy and engagement. We continued the conversation afterwards and throughout the week. Several of the participants highlighted specific takeaways from the talk that were relevant for our senior leaders’ role in shaping culture. Claude’s insights have provided helpful framing and inspiration as we continue to pursue a culture of learning and growth in the US Navy. ”
US Navy

“Claude delivered a high-energy presentation that really brought our theme of empathetic leadership in action to life. Along with valuable insight, you provided my leadership team with actionable takeaways and grounded the room in the need for heart and humanity in the workplace…Claude is an amazing force and a much-needed voice in the conversations that are going on about corporate culture and Leadership today.”
Carter Myers Automotive
Speech Topics

The ROI of Leading with Heart

Empowering employees through HEART not only fosters a thriving team spirit but also drives business success. In this inspirational talk, Claude demonstrates how promoting others’ growth contributes to overall prosperity for your organization. She’ll reveal stories from working alongside Gary Vaynerchuk at VaynerMedia and intertwine them with personal experiences, illustrating the far-reaching positive impact of this transformative leadership approach. Ultimately, she’ll equip audiences with a practical and lucrative strategy — The HEART Equation — that you, your teams, and your entire business can thrive.

Navigating the New Normal

It’s undeniable: we’re operating in an entirely different universe, particularly in the workplace. The “new normal” necessitates novel strategies, and Claude is primed to provide them. In this enlightening presentation, she’ll show how to maneuver this major shift by promoting authenticity, accepting imperfection, and making sense of our evolving situations. It’s the perfect moment to discard outmoded conventions, toss out the old rules, and adopt an innovative approach: Leading with HEART.

Showing Up: The Secret to Building Culture

Your presence alone can revolutionize your work. Yet somehow, showing up is often overlooked.
In this speech, Claude illustrates how leaders can show up authentically, embodying their “imperfect” selves and inspire others to do the same — establishing a robust corporate culture. In this speech, Claude illustrates how leaders can authentically embody their “imperfect” selves and inspire others to do the same, establishing a robust corporate culture. With insights from thousands of hours spent leading, listening, troubleshooting, coaching, experimenting, and building teams, she will help you comprehend the essence of crafting a ‘come-as-you-are’ work culture, a thriving environment for everyone involved. This is your key to unlocking your business’ culture.

Leading with Heart: A Trail Map

Incorporating the HEART approach in your organization is easier said than done — it requires commitment, understanding, and a deep willingness to change. However, with the right guidance and inspiration, it’s more than achievable. In her presentation, Claude shares a roadmap to unlocking greatness within your own organization. She’ll walk you through five essential, albeit complex, steps that are required to truly make HEART a part of your organizational culture: Have empathy, Earn trust, Act as a sherpa, Reach everyone, Take down toxicity. These steps aren’t easy — they demand dedication, a shift in perspective, and the courage to disrupt the status quo. Yet, they are absolutely necessary for the transformation you seek. With each step, you’ll not only draw closer to a HEART-led culture but also notice tangible improvements within your organization.