Listen to our leadership lessons now on iTunes, Spotify, and read the best management quotes from 31 leaders from each episode, so far.
I’ve got some fun news to share: You can listen to your favorite leadership lessons during your commute, daily walk, while you’re cleaning your kitchen… well, you get the picture. Anywhere you’d like 🙂 The Heartbeat is now a podcast!
I’m lucky that a big part of my job as CEO of
Know Your Team is talking to insightful leaders. So several years ago, I came up with the idea of filming those conversations, just via Skype, to share with everyone else. In each interview, I ask the question: “ What’s one thing you wish you would’ve learned earlier as a leader?” The answers have been undoubtably fascinating.
Now, you can listen to all the answers in
The Heartbeat with your favorite podcast app (Apple, Google Play, Spotify). Subscribe here.
In the meantime, below is a summary of my favorite quotes on management from each of the last 31 episodes I’ve done… lots of invaluable wisdom, here. Enjoy!
“Don’t worry about most things because most things don’t matter.”
– Jason Fried, CEO and Co-Founder of Basecamp, from Episode 1 Listen to the full episode here.
“Just execute.” – John Maeda, Global Head of Design & Inclusion at Automattic, from Episode 2. Listen to the full episode here.
“It’s reframing the question, not as, ‘How do you keep people happy,’ but, ‘How do you keep the right kind of people for your organization happy?’“ – Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, from Episode 3 Listen to the full episode here.
“When your job is leading, you’re setting a precedent for acceptable and expected behavior. Which means, every single negative thing you do, every bad behavior you have, you’re admitting that you think that’s acceptable.”
– Des Traynor, Co-founder of Intercom, from Episode 4 Listen to the full episode here.
“Authentic leadership is a practice. You have to consistently exercise that muscle.” – Halleemah Nash, Chief Partnerships Officer at The Academy Group, from Episode 5 Listen to the full episode here.
“You want to believe that everything can be, “We’ll all figure it out together as a team. It should be this really diplomatic thing.” It should be, but I have found that people need that person to look to, to act as a leader.”
– Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copy Hackers, from Episode 6 Listen to the full episode here.
“Best intention is bullshit. What matters is outcomes, right, and whether you’re taking actually steps to anticipate those outcomes and mitigate those outcomes the best you can and just think through that whole thing.”
– David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH), CTO of Basecamp & Creator of Ruby on Rails, from Episode 7 Listen to the full episode here.
“Don’t be boring. It feels like companies hire people, but in fact people hire people.”
– Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision, from Episode 8 Listen to the full episode here.
“ I wish I would have hired every single executive a year to two years earlier. I was in my hustle mode, doing it myself, and doing a massive disservice to my team in the process.” – Wil Reynolds, Founder of SEER Interactive, from Episode 9 Listen to the full episode here.
You don’t want to be the blind leader. You don’t ever want someone following you and not questioning.” – Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, from Episode 10 Listen to the full episode here.
If I ever am busy, I’m failing as a leader because I’m shouldn’t be busy. My job is to run the team well, and me being busy, it’s a fundamentally inefficient state.” – Michael Lopp, VP Engineering at Slack, from Episode 11 Listen to the full episode here.
I think the number one important lesson to learn is just the importance of self-awareness.” – Ben Congleton, CEO + Co-founder of Olark, from Episode 12 Listen to the full episode here.
“Disagreements are a central part of interacting with human beings and it’s a central part of doing good work. If you don’t have the skills and the courage to do that, you’re not doing your job, basically.”
– Amy Gallo, Contributing Editor at Harvard Business Review, from Episode 13 Listen to the full episode here.
You realize that what you’re really saying is “I’m the only person in the world who can do this and I’m the best.” And that’s really absurd.” – Laura Roeder, Founder + CEO of MeetEdgar, from Episode 14 Listen to the full episode here.
“The thing that I’m trying to put into practice now is the idea that the people with the most knowledge is where the authority should go.”
– Dan Mall, Founder of SuperFriendly + CEO of SuperBooked, from Episode 15 Listen to the full episode here.
“If it is any percentage of your organization, of any size, whether you’re again a ten-person company or a thousand, you got to spend way more time than you think that you do with the team, helping them understand what’s going on.”
– Daniel Houghton, CEO of Lonely Planet, from Episode 16 Listen to the full episode here.
“When it’s about finding your own true north as a leader, it’s the idea that you are continuously learning and exposing yourself to all different kinds of styles. Even if you inherently know that, that’s not the right one for you, to the very least know that it exists.”
– Elena Valentine, CEO of Skill Scout, from Episode 17 Listen to the full episode here.
Everything stems from something. If you don’t know what your issue stems from, then you can never fully resolve it. It’s like psychology, but it’s really business.” – Steve Larosiliere, President of STOKED, from Episode 18 Listen to the full episode here.
I kind of think about [leadership and management] as English gardening. If you want an English garden most of the work is actually the pruning and the taking care of. It’s not the planting, it’s not the plant selection. It’s this constant pruning. The day that you stop pruning is the day that the garden is full of weeds and overrun.” – David Cancel, CEO of Drift, from Episode 19
“I wish that I had learned that I didn’t need all the answers. I don’t need all the answers as a leader, and that hiring people that are better than I am at something, and then when a problem comes up looking around the room and saying “I don’t know. What do you think?”
– Rob Walling, Founder of Drip + MicroConf, from Episode 20 Listen to the full episode here.
As you get drawn more and more out, you have to remember: How do you connect again?” – Katrina Markoff, Founder + CEO of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, from Episode 21 Listen to the full episode here.
“I always say, “Don’t just be good on paper. Be good in real life.””
– Aynn Collins, Director of Talent Strategy at MailChimp, from Episode 22 Listen to the full episode here.
“Values, to me, mean how you conduct yourself and how you conduct your business– so the attributes and the method that you actually execute your vision to the world.”
– Jordan Buckner, Founder and CEO of TeaSquares, from Episode 23 Listen to the full episode here.
“Am I just being nice? Or am I actually being honest?” – Hiten Shah, Founder of KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg, FYI and Product Habits, from Episode 24 Listen to the full episode here.
“We have made a huge mistake in the tech industry identifying role models with God complexes, type-A behavior to have all the answers. We have made a huge, human, fundamental, cultural mistake in the tech industry, ’cause that’s not how we are as humans. That’s not actually how we do business. That’s not actually how we succeed in life.”
– Wayne Sutton, Co-founder + CTO of Change Catalyst, from Episode 25 Listen to the full episode here.
“I don’t actually expect you to trust me just because I’m your boss. I need to earn it.”
– Ryan Carson, Founder + CEO of Treehouse. from Episode 26 Listen to the full episode here.
“What I realized is that I should stop myself from doing things I’m good at — which is so counterintuitive — and instead, focus on delegating training and making sure that everybody gets good at doing those things.”
– Peldi Guilizzoni, Founder + CEO of Balsamiq, from Episode 27 Listen to the full episode here.
People talk a lot about building culture, but changing culture is very hard. I think understanding where decision falls and how irreversible it is is a really important tactic for deciding whether and how to delegate or when you need to just make and own that decision.
– Kathryn Minshew, Founder and CEO of The Muse, from Episode 28 Listen to the full episode here.
on’t beat yourself up too much when things go wrong, but also don’t take too much credit when things are going right. Because a lot of times there are things that are happening as a leader and as a company that are out of your control.” – Desiree Vargas Wrigley, Founder + CEO of Pearachute, from Episode 29 Listen to the full episode here.
“I think the most important part, at least for me, is having a mission and then being driven by this mission. It forces you just to learn and adapt and want to improve.”
– Amir Salihefendić, CEO + Founder of Doist, from Episode 30 Listen to the full episode here.
“It’s great to have conflicting advice, because then you have to make your own decision. Then then you have to look within yourself and decide what is the right thing for this company, for the culture, personally for yourself, as well.”
– Joel Gascoigne, CEO + Co-founder of Buffer, from Episode 31 Listen to the full episode here.