Inspirefest snapshot: The serial connector making a social impact

14 Jun 2018

Susan McPherson. Image: McPherson Strategies

So, your company treats its clients very well. But what about its employees?

Susan McPherson is an entrepreneur, angel investor, cause marketer and corporate responsibility expert with more than 25 years of experience.

As founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, she helps organisations to create partnerships and marketing campaigns that have a social impact. Put simply, McPherson knows the value of good communication in the workplace.

Speaking to recently, she offered some advice to budding start-ups, with one particularly valuable nugget being to listen more than you speak.

As for how to seek out the best team for the job? “Go beyond your insular world to find them. Lose your unconscious bias. The more diverse, the better.”

As McPherson outlines in the below video, entrepreneurs must not underestimate the value of networking. “Nurturing a network is vitally important before you start any business of any kind.”

Be a good listener? Tick. Assemble a diverse team? Tick. Build a thriving network? Tick.

Now that you have all the basics for a successful start-up, you need one more (and pretty vital) element: a little respect.

“Surround yourself with people who are successful at all the skills you lack, and treat them with the utmost compassion and respect,” McPherson told

This extends beyond your corporate image and what you portray to potential investors or clients. As she explained to Kara Goldin, CEO and founder of Hint Water, employees should not be taken for granted if you want to create an admirable business ethic.

“If we treated our colleagues as well as we treated our customers or our clients, we would be so much better off.”

At Inspirefest next week, McPherson will expand upon these insights in a talk on Friday 22 June under the banner: ‘Lessons in Leadership: The Art of Telling Your Story’.

For inspiration from extraordinary thinkers, catch Susan McPherson and more at Inspirefest in Dublin on 21 and 22 June. Get your tickets now.

Shelly Madden was sub-editor of Silicon Republic