SoulCycle’s Head of Culture Gets Real With Us

Shapr Connectors Club kicked off our 2019 event series with Miles Johnson, Senior Manager of Culture and Community at SoulCycle. Miles was refreshingly honest, sharing about his journey of working as a professional actor in New York and then choosing to step away from the Broadway community to change careers. Here are a few insights Miles shared throughout the conversation:


1. Career transitions are hard. It is normal to feel shame when you bump into old colleagues who ask what you are up to, confusion on whether you made the right choice, and fear about the future. You may not even know what you want to do next. That’s okay. Take the time you need to take a break, and be open to finding the thing over time that sparks joy.

[Miles left the stage, took a part time job at Lululemon, and worked in a restaurant before landing at SoulCycle. Even then, he wasn’t ready to give up his previous career and accepted a Broadway contract, before realizing it just didn’t feel right.]

2. Your dream job may not exist, but you can help to pitch it. Write a job description and articulate why that role is essential to the business. It may not happen overnight, but you can create the job you want.

[Miles pitched his job more than two years before it was created.]


1. It’s easier to build something new than to repair something old. You can make the most impact by focusing on new initiatives, new projects, new studios. Look forward, not backwards.

[When Miles finally stepped into the role he wanted, helping to build culture and reinforce consistency at each studio, there were already 40 studios. Instead of focusing on the existing studios, he made it his mission to build the culture at the 50 new studios SoulCycle would open.]

2. Find advocates for your culture and integrate these people in areas where you hope to build community. For example, send a seasoned studio manager to a new location, so that he or she can promote not only the what but the why behind your business.

[Miles has now trained a team of people who can help to polish and train new hires around the country. He has in essence, found a way to be in two places at once by training others who can carry the mission.]

3. Always have a possible solution if you complain about a problem. Spend time observing, and only speak up when you think you can propose useful alternatives.

[Miles prides himself on being the person who will say no, but. The but is the most important part.]

This was an incredibly honest and fulfilling conversation, and we hope that the group left with many insights to apply in their roles. Looking forward to many more excellent 2019 events!

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