This interview is part of a new series where leaders in influential positions share their leadership journey – how they got to where they are today. I believe we all have a lot to learn from our stories of where we started, our successes and struggles, and important lessons learned on the way.
This interview is with Noah Miller. Noah is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategist at Rho Impact. He says, “Systemic change is the ultimate team sport, and I consider myself a player-coach. Nothing gets me more fired up than joining a team of good people with even greater goals and stepping onto the field together. The world needs more teamwork. I am dedicated to making that happen”. You can find Noah on LinkedIn here.
Share your backstory and how you got where you are today. Can you share one or two events (positive or negative) in life that shaped who you are as a person and leader?
I am a Co-Founder and Chief Strategist at Rho Impact. We combine ESG advisory and customizable software and technology tools to address the key barriers to ESG planning, tracking, and reporting. I’m also the Founder and CEO of Calibrate Partners. We are a “no BS” network of boutique ESG firms that partner to support organizations around the world in adapting to the new normal of business.
I began my career on the enterprise organizational development team at Vermont’s iconic Keurig-Green Mountain (GMCR), learning the art and science of making organizations more effective and their people more engaged. Since then, I’ve been an international social entrepreneur, professional athlete, army commander, sustainability director, OD director, ESG consultant, and entrepreneur.
Two complimentary events have had a significant impact on who I am today as a person and leader. The first event… I moved to Israel to start a social venture that used sport as a community development mechanism for improving Israeli and Palestinian relations. After several years of collaborating with the Palestinian community and civil society leaders, I was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces after the 2014 Gaza war.
These two events, from leading community development efforts to leading special forces soldiers, had a significant impact on who I am today and the work I do.
What do you like about the work you do? What do you find most challenging?
I like ESG work as I feel like it’s as close to G-d’s work as it comes. Helping organizations engage and address world challenges, as well as transitioning their business model to operate in a net-zero economy, is good for business, society, and the world at large.
The most challenging aspect of the work is that it is inherently complex, messy, and requires both the changing of hearts and minds as it does the changing of the business operations.
What are you passionate about? (or what dreams keep you up at night?)
Democratizing global access to impact expertise and tools, so that all organizations around the world are empowered to act, now.
How do you manage pressure and overwhelm?
After being a professional athlete and special forces soldier, I remember that one “plays how they practice.” I manage pressure by being prepared, confident in my team, and not sweating the small stuff (as most things in life are small).
Who has had the most influence on your leadership? Share a story to illustrate your point.
When I was undergoing the special forces close combat commander course in the Israel Defense Forces, I was way out of my league. Surrounded by native Israeli’s who had been serving in special forces units for several years, it was clear my battle was an uphill one.
After a poor performance in our evaluations (which occurred multiple times a day, every day) the leading officer of the course told me “leadership isn’t about what you say and do. Leadership is about how you make people feel.” I have never forgotten that experience or that message since.
What are your goals or aspirations for this year?
Scale Rho Impact into a globally recognized leader in expanding access to impact expertise and tooling, and advancing ESG performance in organizations around the world.