A bi-weekly newsletter on how to become a better leader, written by Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Team.

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Issue 26 Interview with Ryan Carson, Founder + CEO of Treehouse


Every few weeks, I ask one question to a founder, CEO, manager, or business owner I respect…

A chat with Ryan Carson

Ryan Carson is the Founder and CEO of Treehouse, a company that has helped 850,000 people learn how to code, and is dedicated to helping companies hire and retain more diverse, inclusive technical talent. In our conversation, Ryan talks about how investing in trust as a leader “changed his life” (his exact words!) – and his company.

Transcript of the interview is here.

Latest reads

How Bosses Waste Their Employees’ Time
“At many companies, meanwhile, employees become aware of how self-absorbed their bosses are, and so focus on telling the bosses what they think the bosses want to hear, and on doing things they believe will keep their bosses happy. This leads to what Dr. Rao and I call “executive magnification,” when people bent on buttering up a leader react far more strongly to his or her words or actions than the leader ever intended.” Written by Robert I. Sutton, Wall Street Journal

The End of the Traditional Manager
“Today’s manager needs to be a coach, holding employees accountable while encouraging development and growth. With many of the details of management now being automated, what’s left is the most powerful tool a manager has – meaningful conversations.” Written by Adam Hickman and Ryan Pendell, Gallup

Don’t Try to Be the “Fun Boss” — and Other Lessons in Ethical Leadership
“Our research suggests that key personality characteristics predict unethical leadership behavior. We collected personality data and supervisor ratings of ethical behavior (e.g., integrity, accountability) on 3,500 leaders across 30 organizations we had worked with. “ Written by Kimberly Nei and Darin Nei, Harvard Business Review

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a President at Tyson Foods, With Sally Grimes
“So often leaders work to craft an image of perfection — they don’t want to let their teams see them make a mistake or acknowledge a shortcoming. I haven’t found that to be sustainable leadership model — if you want your team to be bold, they can’t be afraid to fail.” Published by Authority Magazine

Favorite reads

Us versus Them: Reframing Resistance to Change
“Rather than assuming critical thinkers are resisters, we would do better to treat them as guardians. Guardians see what needs to be protected, and the trust that can be destroyed by a broken promise or a shortcut. Who else will ask the hard questions?” Written by Elizabeth Doty, strategy+business

Why Too Much Trust Is Death to Innovation
“When companies collaborate, low trust is detrimental to innovation. But so is very high trust. The optimal level, yielding maximum impact, lies in between.” Written by Francis Bidault and Alessio Castello, MIT Sloan Management Review

Why Bad Bosses Sabotage Their Teams
“Research shows that leaders will intentionally sideline high-performing team members, limit communication and social bonding among team members, or compile ill-matched teams if they think it will help ensure their own place at the top.” Published by Kellogg Insight, based on the research of Jon Maner and Charleen R. Case

Just for fun

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
“People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people.”


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