Lead the Way You Are: Leaving the World Better Than We Found It | with Hernan Giraldo

Hernan Giraldo is the VP of Customer Experiences at Bark, our first tenant at Gravity. He was born in Miami Beach, Florida (before it was cool), where he lived until he was 9. But seven days after he was born, he lost his father unexpectedly, which left a single mother to raise him and his 4-year-old sibling. She became an influential role model for him and she eventually remarried, and the man he now calls father set a great example of work ethic and honorable characteristics.

His step father… wasn’t the most comforting person, to say the lease. He was a strict disciplinarian. But looking back as an adult, it begins to click why Hernan was lucky to have this upbringing, although that was difficult to understand as a teenager. His parents both had a great work ethic but remained humble, and that led to many of the values he has in life now.

When he was seven, his family moved to Puerto Rico to pursue more opportunities. At 18, he decided to move back to the United States to look for something a little bigger than what was available in Puerto Rico. This led to him working at Bark and building out a group in Columbus, Ohio.

Hernan’s upbringing taught him that it was our responsibility to make this world a better place to live, and he recognized that there was more to that than single-handedly changing the world. In our day to day actions, in the way we interact with people and make them smile, we can make this world better every day.


What Brett asks:

  • [03:56] Can you tell us about your father’s accident?
  • [07:27] When did you move to Puerto Rico?
  • [09:16] How was it growing up with your step-father?
  • [11:34] Was it natural coming to embrace what happened in your life?
  • [16:02] Has it been a struggle to embrace the way you naturally are?
  • [20:32] Do you have some spiritual worldviews that have come from your life experiences?
  • [23:11] What was it that brought you to Columbus?
  • [27:46] Did you have a sense of what you wanted to do professionally?
  • [32:47] How much of your personality is from your upbringing, and how much is a conscious decision?
  • [34:31] How did working for L Brands impact you?
  • [39:53] Tell me about the learnings from traveling and the serendipity involved?
  • [51:09] What does your day to day look like?
  • [55:11] What does the future look like for you?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • We are obligated to leave this world better than when we came into it. This goes beyond trying to build something grand or world changing, but how you interact with people throughout the day. Some people focus on changing the world, but you can focus on changing the way that you make people feel, and that’s pretty damn important too.