Jon Haseltine On His Love/Hate Relationship With His Smartphone

DLF’s Chief Operating Officer shares the books that have changed his life and how he finds energy in nature.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Jon Haseltine: I meditate (TM) first thing in the morning and then again in the evening (20 min. each time).

TG: What gives you energy?
JH: Being in nature gives me energy… the sky, trees, water, etc.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JH: I use bento boxes for my daughter’s school lunches… easy to pack (5 min.) and easy to clean up (5 min.), plus no plastic bags!

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JH: I have read two books recently that have helped me both personally and professionally… “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” (by Greg McKeown) and “An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization” (by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey).

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?JH: I have a love/hate relationship with my smartphone, but when it comes to sleep it is on mute and I do not check it until after I meditate the next morning.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JH: I try and eliminate any email that is not really relevant to my work and then if I have time I will try and answer other emails that are less urgent/important (sometimes these emails prove to be the most strategic).

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?JH: I will often walk around the office and check in with folks… not in a business sort of way, but more in a personal way. Or, sometimes I’ll look out my office window and listen to the sounds of the city.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JH: I felt a bit burned out last year when the demands of work (board meetings, big funding reports, personnel challenges) and home (daughter’s sport schedules, partner’s work, family dynamics) peaked in a way that made it feel like it was one big race. I just kept reminding myself that it too will soon pass and it did.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JH: I feel like I fail all the time — in small and big ways. For me, a few years back, I realized that while the pursuit of perfection is noble, I am not perfect. So, I try and make the best decisions I can with the resources at hand. I am almost always content with the outcomes

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JH: “None but ourselves can free our minds.” — Bob Marley


Jon Haseltine serves as DLF’s Chief Operating Officer. Jon brings to the team a passion to improve organizational effectiveness and achieve positive outcomes by taking a people-oriented approach to strategic management and tactical execution. Jon spends much of his time collaborating with teams and individuals to enhance the quality of work and culture, especially as DLF scales.

Previously, Jon served with Year Up, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Viacom’s Get Schooled Foundation, American Express, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Lahey Behavioral Services (formally HES), and U.S. Peace Corps.

Jon grew up in New England and has deep roots in rural New Hampshire and coastal Maine. He has his MBA and MSW. Jon resides just north of NYC with his wife Emily and their two daughters, Chloe and Avery.