The Origins of "Love as a Business Strategy"

Cadence Bank Podcast: In Good Companies

How much better would the world be if everyone loved going to work? How much more engaged would we be? How much more efficient? That’s the vision of Mohammad Anwar and Chris Pitre (Softway & Culture+), two co-authors of the WSJ-bestseller Love as a Business Strategy. They want to revolutionize the way companies do business, by putting people at the center of every decision. But this idea didn’t come out of nowhere. It was born from the real life transformation of their company, Softway. So on this episode, we’re telling that story: how a leader learned to love his team and, in doing so, transformed his company and himself.

Mohammad founded Softway when he was 20 years old, and he’d grown the business to over 300 employees since its inception. But by 2015, the company had developed a toxic culture, and Mohammad was known for his unprofessional outbursts. With the business struggling, morale was low. Two weeks after Chris was hired, Softway laid off a third of its workforce by gathering them in a conference room and telling them all at once. Mohammad didn’t know if the business would last another month.

But then he had a realization, and together he and Chris went on a journey to institute a “culture of love.” Through slow, quiet work, Mohammad changed his behaviors and made Softway a place that employees loved. Success soon followed. Now, they help other businesses change their own cultures. On this episode, we’ll explore the leader’s role in a culture of love: their responsibilities, behaviors and how they stand to benefit.

So, join us, as we answer the question: “What’s love got to do with it?”

Read the full show transcript.

Listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast player:

Meet the Host

Patrick Pacheco Patrick Pacheco, Executive Vice President, President of Cadence Asset Management & Trust, has more than 25 years’ experience in wealth management, in addition to the designing and implementation of tax and related planning strategies.

Pacheco’s background includes years of legal practice and multiple degrees, including an LLM* Taxation from University of Houston, a JD from Southern Methodist University, and both an MBA and BS in Economics from University of Texas at Arlington.

He is also board certified in Estate Planning and Probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


Meet the Speaker

Chris Pitre, Vice President at Culture+ and SoftwayChris Pitre is Vice President at Culture+ and Softway, co-creator and facilitator of Seneca Leaders, co-host of Love As A Business Strategy podcast, and WSJ Best Selling Author of 'Love as a Business Strategy,' He manages the company culture and works to ensure that all projects, interactions, and deliverables reflect the company’s human-first approach.

Chris is a student of the world and enjoys anthropology, history, travel, and culinary experiences. His interests in global cultures naturally led him to travel around the world co-leading change management and leadership through Seneca, Softway’s workplace culture program.

Prior to his role at Culture+ and Softway, Chris managed global business development for the creative and automation practice within Astadia, an IT service management company. There, his clients were in the

telecommunications, technology, and healthcare industries. He has experience in digital and social media, marketing, and communications.

Chris is a native Houstonian who loves everything Beyoncé. He has a B.A. in Business Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Mohammad, President and CEO of Softway and Culture+Mohammad is the President and CEO of Softway and Culture+, co-host of Love As A Business Strategy podcast, WSJ Best Selling Author of 'Love as a Business Strategy: Resilience, Belonging and Success,' speaker, and a member of Forbes Business Council. He started Softway as a technology services company with his family at the age of 20 while pursuing his B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at the University of Houston.

He is celebrated for creating and sustaining a humanity-centered culture at Softway based on the philosophy that love is a business strategy. However, there was a time when the company culture at Softway was so toxic that it almost caused the enterprise to fold.

He took full responsibility for the problems at Softway and knew that, as the leader, he needed to change for the company to survive. After deep introspection, he eventually turned the company around. From this experience, he also created a sister company of Softway, Culture+, and co-authored a WSJ bestselling book, Love as a Business Strategy.

When Softway began in 2003, it was a small company that created websites for merchants in Houston. Since then, it has grown to a Business-to-Employee solutions company that focuses on bringing technology solutions to others by building high performing teams to build solutions that speak to the human needs of your workforce - and business performance that speaks for itself.

In 2021, he formed Culture+ as a standalone organization fully dedicated to our mission: bring humanity back to the workplace. Culture+ provides Culture-as-a-Service to transform behaviors of employees and leaders - creating high-performing teams capable of achieving any business outcome.





This podcast is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank and its affiliates make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the content in the podcast. The podcast is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

To the extent that this podcast includes predictions about the economy, these predictions are subject to a number of variables and you should confer with your legal, accounting and tax advisors for their input regarding the possible outcomes of any economic subject matter discussed herein. Predictions are forward-looking statements that reflect current views with respect to, among other things, future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond the control of any person or entity. Accordingly, please be aware that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.

The views and opinions expressed by the host and guests in this podcast are solely their own current opinions regarding the subject matter discussed in the podcast and are based on their own perspectives. Such views, perspectives and opinions do not reflect those of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates, or the companies with which any guest is, or may be, affiliated. The production and presentation of this podcast by Cadence Bank does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates.

dot image