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QZ&A // benign neglect

Disconnecting can make CEOs better at their jobs

Member exclusive by Quartz Staff

Neville Crawley is CEO of Kiva, a San Francisco-based organization that, since its founding in 2005, has crowdfunded $1.4 billion in loans for people in over 80 countries. Previously, he spent four years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. and served as CEO of Quid, a company that offers text-based data analysis and visualization.

In conversation with Quartz co-founder Kevin Delaney, Crawley shares one of his key learnings over the years: that leadership is not what you choose to do—it’s what you choose not to do. In the CEO role, he found that the “slipstream of constant information” was beginning to fragment his thinking, and that deleting apps from his phone and choosing to walk on his commute enhanced big-picture thinking.

Crawley shares how he practices “benign neglect” and how a studio art education prepared him for his current role.