Business for Good & the Importance of Inner Work: TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie & Maria Shriver for Architects of Change LIVE

On Tuesday, May 10th, Architects of Change LIVE travelled to TOMS Headquarters in Venice, CA for a conversation between Maria Shriver and Blake Mycoskie.

The founder of the shoe and fashion company that follows the “one-for-one” model (for every pair of shoes purchased, one pair is given to children in need around the world), told Shriver they have distributed over 61 million pairs of shoes to children since the company started 10 years ago. Mycoskie revealed that though the TOMS mantra has been “One for One,” he’s come to realize their mission is really “For One Another” and believes in using business as a catalyst to improve the world:

[Watch more Architects of Change LIVE videos here, featuring Russell Simmons, Martha Beck, DeVon Franklin & Megan Good, Ann Romney, Patrick Kennedy and many more]

[Awaken Your Inner Social Entrepreneur: 12 Steps for Creating Social Change]

Shriver then asked him about the “guts” it took to step away from the company in 2012 and move to Austin to reflect on his role in the company and how they would move forward. Mycoskie shared what he learned from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, during that time, who said to him, “The consciousness of a business can only raise as high as the consciousness of the leader, so the best investment a leader can make is working on themselves.” Watch the clip below for more on the value of inner work and how companies need to shift their mindset to view giving as an investment:

[Watch Maria Shriver & Anne-Marie Slaughter Discuss Changing the Caregiving Conversation, Working Mothers & Fathers]

“I actually think it’s smart for a business to do paid paternity leave to protect themselves from the stupid decisions that new dads would make,” Mycoskie told Shriver while discussing his stance on paid paternity (and maternity) leave. Watch:

[So You Want to Change the World With Your Business? Avoid These 5 Pitfalls]

Shriver then asked Mycoskie — who started several business since a young age that never got off the ground — what was so smart and different about TOMS that made it so successful. “We didn’t start TOMS to make money,” he answered:

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

Finally, Shriver asked Mycoskie to end the conversation by giving advice to all the students finishing college this graduation season who are thinking about their next stage in life. His main insight: “Do not take your first job, or even your first series of jobs, for the money.” Watch to hear his entire take:

Click here to watch the full video of this Architects of Change LIVE conversation.

About the Author

author image

Shriver Media is a 21st Century socially conscious media company that produces films, documentaries, original digital reporting and live events to inform, inspire, enlighten and entertain. Our team collaborates with like-minded partners and offers diverse media brands that we believe can impact individuals and society in a positive way. We ignite hearts and minds.

Read more from Shriver Media

Sign Up for's Weekly Must-Read

More Posts from Architects of Change