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#28: Tim Sweetman & Chad Smith — Random Show

Curiosity, Moral Relativism, and Surviving 2024

is an entrepreneur, philosopher, and spiritual guide who’s spent nearly two decades working on issues central to organizational development, ethics, learning cultures, and sustainability. As a consultant for Fortune 500 companies in sectors ranging from agribusiness to petrochemicals to retail, as well as for leading nonprofits and educational institutions, Chad has sought to build bridges within and between organizations, and between them and the world, by connecting them to a mission that is both humane and financially sustainable.  

As the CEO and co-founder of HumanWealth Partners, Chad offers clients a variety of custom-tailored programs and services to help create or redesign organizational cultures and systems so that they truly support and nurture human beings in today’s diverse and hyper-connected world. Rooted in the belief that there is an easier, more efficient, and more enriching way to work and live, HumanWealth’s approach has tangible benefits: increased employee engagement, development, and retention; greater operational efficiency through reduced friction in systems and human interactions; improved reputation; and deeper, more meaningful connections to stakeholders and the wider community.

Before founding HumanWealth, Chad taught history and ethics at the college and secondary levels, and served as the Dean of Spiritual and Ethical Life at Deerfield Academy. Chad holds degrees in cultural history, philosophy, and theology from Boston College, Boston University, and Lipscomb University, as well as a certificate in leadership and management from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. A former pastor, he currently serves on the advisory board of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

Residing in Newburyport, MA, with his wife and son, Chad is completing a book tentatively titled The Art of Life, which draws together management theory, ethical development, and social philosophy, to offer a pragmatic and hopeful vision of the good life in our time.

Listen to our first episode together here:

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Recommended Books:


  • “We need to have a better conversation with ourselves about the stories we tell ourselves”. - Chad Smith

  • “Having the confidence to engage with the things that you find of value and connecting with others is all to the good.” - Chad Smith

  • “You mistake the activity of doing something for growth. Rather than saying what may be growth is to just say what the heck am I dealing with right here and here’s how I feel about it.” - Chad Smith



  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Chad Smith

  • [00:02:28] Do we listen to the stories we tell ourselves

  • [00:09:50] Adopting the posture of questions

  • [00:15:08] Exploring boundaries

  • [00:17:55] What is the line between being intellectual curiosity and moral relativism

  • [00:23:10] Need for intellectual honesty

  • [00:24:48] Dialogue is powerful in breaking down stories that aren’t true

  • [00:26:14] How to survive 2024 and not leaning into fear

  • [00:33:09] Politics is downstream from culture

  • [00:36:16] Story we’ve been told that government is the problem

  • [00:40:15] Monitoring in ourselves what’s going on internally

  • [00:43:50] Creator space having healthy debates

  • [00:46:58] Is it hubris to be a content creator?

  • [00:49:30] Process of connecting with people and sharing it with the world

  • [00:52:30] Loving the process of what you do rather than how people perceive it

  • [00:55:50] Trusting the process when things are going great in life versus difficult challenges

  • [01:01:05] What makes you feel most alive in dealing with challenges

  • [01:07:03] Book and tool recommendations

The Tension Podcast
The Tension Podcast is for those of us who’ve read every single leadership book and article that gives us just only one way to do things — but we’re ready to hold opposing ideas at once. It’s an exploration of where curiosity and wonder can take us.