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7 Questions on Leadership with Susan Griffin-Black

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Name: Susan Griffin-Black

Title: Founder, Co-CEO

Organisation: EO Products makers of EO and Everyone for every body

EO launched in 1995 in Bloomingdale’s holiday catalog. We started doing business and grew organically in the natural foods industry, where you find us today. We manufacture our products in a zero-waste, certified organic facility, in San Rafael, CA, work with 103 amazing people, and are happy to be celebrating our 28th year.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Susan's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Accepting myself as a leader. A bit of imposter syndrome and felt unprepared for the challenges of running a bigger company than I imagined.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Natural born, oldest of 3 girls, always liked being the boss and having my own money. Always loved work and people. Started EO, with Brad Black in 1995, as a company we would want to work for, with a culture based on kindness, mutual respect, time for family, and other parts of life. We were values-based well before we became a B corp.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Wake up, read news/email/Slack. Tea, meditate, focus on whatever I’m doing in the present moment: very little multi-tasking. Most days, I have non-stop meeting so paying attention to who I’m talking to and being focused and on topic are priorities. Take an outdoor break for lunch for 30 minutes. Hot yoga at 4:30. Dinner with family/friends. Read. I have trouble falling asleep, so I listen to sleep meditation on Calm or Aura, very helpful, and do my best to get 8 hours.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

No margin, no mission. And, Top-line vanity or bottom-line sanity.

Encouraging people to bring their whole selves to work

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader by Marc Lesser

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Become a cash flow Queen/King.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

We have 2 ears and one mouth. LISTEN. That means being attentive and available to what the other(s) people are saying. I found myself, especially in group circles or go-arounds, thinking about what I was going to say and not listening to what was being said. Once I was onto myself, I stopped and truly listened, and then I knew what to say when it was my turn. My communication became more authentic and I became a better listener.

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