From Introverted Office Manager to Empathetic CEO: One Woman’s Journey to Lead with Compassion

Discover the unexpected journey of Miri Offir, CEO of 911 Restoration, from a reluctant move to the US to building a legacy of empathy and unity. Her story of starting from the bottom and rising to the top through a different approach to leadership will inspire you. Miri emphasized the emotional impact on clients dealing with property damage and highlighted the significance of empathy in understanding and addressing their needs. The conversation also delved into the power of effective communication, the impact of tonality in conversations, and the importance of leadership styles focused on empathy and meaningful connections. Miri’s mission to create a better world through empathy and unity serves as an inspiring example for those looking to make a positive impact in their communities and professional spheres. Her unique approach to leadership challenges traditional perceptions of corporate leadership, making this episode a valuable resource for individuals seeking to lead with empathy and make a difference in their communities.


In this episode, we cover:

  • How to embrace empathy as a powerful tool for building a lasting legacy in business.
  • How to overcome the unique leadership challenges faced in the restoration industry.
  • The pivotal role of digital marketing for franchises and its impact on business growth.

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About Miri:
Priding herself as a successful leader and innovator, Miri Offir is the chief executive officer of 911 Restoration. Under her leadership, 911 Restoration has transformed from a single location, water-damage-and-repair company to a nationwide franchise that works to provide customers with a rapid, empathetic response and clear communication in times of need. Miri’s gift for communication has allowed her to build lasting business relationships and thrive in her role as CEO at 911 Restoration. Thanks to Miri’s efforts, 911 Restoration is now synonymous with the “Fresh Start Company” a place that property owners can contact when they need peace of mind after a property disaster.


Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 – Introduction to Legacy Podcast
Paul Dio introduces the Legacy podcast as a series of conversations focused on understanding the values, beliefs, and intentions behind leaving a legacy.

00:00:47 – Interview with Miri Offir
Paul Dio welcomes Miri Offir, CEO of 911 Restoration and the Fresh Start Company, and delves into a conversation about the problems her company solves and her journey to becoming a CEO.

00:03:33 – Transition into Franchising
Miri Offir shares the story behind starting franchising for 911 Restoration after witnessing the chaos and pain experienced by customers during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, leading to the need for a different approach in the restoration industry.

00:06:33 – The Role of Empathy in Business
Miri Offir emphasizes the significance of empathy in understanding the emotional damage experienced by clients in addition to the physical damage, leading to the development of a “fresh start culture” focused on being human and showing empathy to clients.

00:11:39 – Personal Growth and Leadership
Miri Offir discusses her personal and professional growth within the company, starting as an office manager and expanding her responsibilities to marketing, customer service, and accounting, emphasizing the importance of empathy, open communication, and collaboration in leadership.

00:16:06 – Learning from Mistakes in Customer Service
Miri shares a humorous story about a franchisee falling asleep on a customer call at 2:00 a.m. This incident led to the realization that employees should know their capabilities and avoid taking calls at inconvenient hours.

00:18:01 – Recognizing Impact Through Listening
Miri discusses how she realized her talent for understanding people’s needs and influencing them positively by observing the impact of her conversations on others. This led to a deeper investment in developing her listening skills.

00:19:46 – Leading Through Individuality
Miri and Paul discuss the importance of problem-solving and leading in their own unique ways, focusing on doing the right thing rather than seeking credit. They also touch on how their introverted nature has shaped their leadership style.

00:20:53 – CEO Approachability and Support
Miri challenges the typical CEO stereotype by emphasizing her role as a supportive leader who is approachable to employees. She focuses on providing the necessary conditions and tools for success, regardless of her title.

00:21:17 – Creating Unity and Empathy Through Leadership
Miri shares her vision of inspiring unity, empathy, and open communication in a world filled with ego and power struggles. She aims to create communities based on empathy, meaningful connections, and collaboration to leave behind a better world for future generations.

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