Hadley Moss hadn’t planned on becoming an attorney. In fact, before starting college, he didn’t have a plan for his career at all.
“I was a Mormon missionary in Hungary for two years, and people kept asking me what I was going to do when I got back,” he explains. “I got tired of telling them I didn’t know, so I started saying that I was going to go to law school. And it just kind of stuck.”
Moss discovered a genuine passion for the law while studying political science at the University of Utah. Today, as general counsel at Goal Zero, he channels that passion toward the company’s mission of creating portable power solutions—and getting those solutions into the hands of those most in need.
Once he had made the decision to practice law, Moss set his sights on going in-house. He joined Lifetime Products, an outdoor recreational products company, directly out of law school. After spending several years handling intellectual property litigation and investigations at Lifetime, he went on to gain project-based legal experience at solar industry innovator Array Technologies.
Some three years ago, Moss made the jump to Goal Zero. His day-to-day now runs the gamut from contracts and disputes to product design and safety. The wide spectrum of matters on which he advises leads him to liken the role of general counsel to that of an informal therapist for the company. “When you get hired as general counsel, you end up working on whatever problems the business has, whether those problems fall under legal or not,” he says, laughing.
Exemplifying the unexpected nature of his work, Moss represented Goal Zero’s leadership team on a two-year project to build the company’s new headquarters. “For two years, I was a full-service construction manager,” he says. “I had worked in construction all through college, albeit a very different type of construction. This was a pretty interesting project because we were doing it in the middle of COVID, so we had to find really creative solutions to be able to get the building completed in a time frame that worked.”
Moss has lent his problem-solving skills to the transformation of Goal Zero’s international business as well. “COVID was so hard on supply chain that we’ve really had to reinvent ourselves as a company in terms of how we source components and how we deal with our international distributors,” he elaborates. “That’s required restructuring and renegotiating a lot of contracts to help redefine how we do business internationally.”
When it comes to leading his team, Moss falls back on an idea that he picked up from a colleague at Lifetime. “Good results are not good enough,” he emphasizes. “You have to get good results from good behaviors, and that is a culture problem more than an individual problem. Your business has to be set up in a way that promotes the right behaviors.”
That is certainly the case at Goal Zero. “One of the big reasons I was excited to come here is that the company was founded with a humanitarian heart,” Moss says. “Our founder created our first product because he was looking for a way to bring basic power to places grid power was unlikely to reach. Goal Zero has always kept that foundation in mind.”
He adds that the company aims to give back through at least two humanitarian projects—one domestic and one international—each year. “We’ll go down to areas in Navajo Nation where there isn’t grid and install batteries and solar panels so people have access to basic power and even basic food security, which requires refrigeration,” he says. “We also work with a group that builds education centers in impoverished areas. We provide the power and the solar, and then Dell comes in and sets up small computer labs, again in areas that wouldn’t otherwise have power or the internet.”
Beyond his community involvement through Goal Zero, Moss is an active participant in the leadership of his church, where he assists with welfare management. His commitment to helping others finds an echo in the advice that he always offers to up-and-coming attorneys. “Hold onto your humanity,” he urges. “Remember that the way we treat people and the way we behave as professionals ultimately has an effect on this world that is bigger than any individual negotiation or deal.”
For proof that empathy can yield a positive impact, one need look no further than Goal Zero—or, better yet, Moss himself.