#TheHeartofBusiness: Fibernetics Co-Founder John Stix on becoming a steward for Heart-Based Leadership

In the fast-paced world of business, it is easy to get caught up in numbers, strategies, and profit margins. But there are leaders like John Stix, co-founder of Fibernetics, who believes that success goes beyond financial performance. In a candid interview, Stix shares his team’s remarkable journey of discovering the power of leading from the heart and how it has transformed their company and the lives of those within it. Through their introspection and deep commitment to infusing heartfelt intentions into the fabric of his organization, Stix and his team leads us on a path that takes us beyond traditional business practices and into a realm where true engagement and authentic connection thrive.

In this interview, we open ourselves to the perspective of John Stix as he discusses the importance of pursuing heart-based values within an organization. Stix reflects on the challenges his company faced and how they were able to transform their culture by embracing a more heart-based approach.

Stix recalls that in the early days of the company, when it was relatively small with 10–50 employees, fostering a thriving culture was relatively easy. They would get together at the end of the day, discuss successes and challenges, and support each other. But as the company grew exponentially, it became impossible to have that level of connection with everyone. Stix emphasizes the importance of letting one’s heart and intentions flow into the company through the culture they create.

“Where your heart lives is important inside the organization. We tend to be in our heads a lot as leaders, but we need to let our hearts and our intentions from our heart pour into our business and we do that through the culture we create.”

He recalls a turning point in 2014 when the company hit a wall both professionally and personally. Stix felt disconnected from the dream he had helped create, and he noticed a shift in the company’s culture. People seemed less collaborative and more focused on self-preservation. This led Stix to question why he no longer wanted to be there.

Faced with this realization, Stix decided to take a deep look at himself as a leader and as a person. He realized that his previous projection of being a driven and hard-to-reach entrepreneur did not truly reflect who he was. During a trip out West, a series of events occurred that changed his life forever. On the plane ride back, he remembered how he used to dream about making people happy and offering healing to those in need. This introspection led him to begin leading from the heart rather than the head.

In implementing changes at the company, Stix received support from his business partner and everyone responded positively to the new direction. The company celebrated its growth and transformation at a major event that brought tears, hugs, and cheers. Stix observed the emotional release among the team, and this authentic expression ultimately allowed them to create a unique organizational identity separate from himself and his co-founder.

As a result of these shifts, Fibernetics experienced dramatic improvements in key performance indicators (KPIs) and witnessed beautiful stories emerge. Stix emphasizes the opportunity for leaders to infuse their heartfelt intentions into the essence of their business.

“As leaders, we have the opportunity — and I’ll even go a little bit further — we have the duty as stewards, to infuse our best intentions from our heart into the actual fabric of who the company is.”

This infusion allows employees to express themselves authentically and ultimately fosters engagement without the need for overly restrictive measurement.

As Fibernetics embarked on its transformative journey toward heart-based leadership, one critical aspect that needed to be re-evaluated was the company’s success metrics. John Stix recognized that the traditional focus on revenue alone was not aligned with their newfound belief system. While revenue remained critical, the shift was toward measuring meaningful impact and engagement within the organization and the communities they served. Instead of mandating pre-determined charitable allocations, they engaged their employees in identifying the causes that resonated with them. This collaborative approach led to the creation of their own charitable causes, such as providing backpacks to underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic and many other kid based charity initiatives. By expanding its KPIs to include employees’ beliefs, intentions, community focus, and the broader concept of happiness, the company redefined success and fostered a sense of unity and purpose. The new KPIs reflected their intention to create positive change and invest in the well-being of both their employees and the communities they touch, creating a vibrant and connected community within the organization.

A journey towards Heart-Based Leadership

John Stix’s journey highlighted the importance of embracing heart-based values and intentions within an organization. By leading from the heart and fostering an authentic culture, leaders can empower their teams and create a thriving environment where people can truly connect with and contribute to the company’s mission.

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This article is an excerpt from Arnaud Saint-Paul’s interview with Fibernetics Co-Founder John Stix on the topic of heart-based economy.

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