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 4 Interview with Des Traynor, Co-founder of Intercom

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

A chat with Des Traynor

Des Traynor is the Co-Founder of Intercom. He is also one of my favorite people to talk about building a product and growing a company (with 350+ people, no less!). In our interview, Des shares 3 things he wishes he would’ve learned earlier as a leader.

Transcript of the interview here

Latest leadership reads

Receiving Feedback
“I’ve learned that the most valuable part isn’t the assessment or even the written review itself, but the conversation about the future.” Written by Julie Zhuo, Product Design VP at Facebook

This Is The Link Between Employee Motivation And Their Manager’s Mental State
“The study […] found that a leader’s focus, or mind-set, affects his or her own behavior, which in turn affects employees’ motivation.” Written by Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

Being Quiet Is Part of Being a Good CEO
“What’s intriguing is that even someone like Steve Jobs knew how to be quiet when he was on the hunt for new information.” Published in The Atlantic

Arianna Huffington deletes every email her employees receive while they’re on vacation
“When an employee goes on vacation, all the emails they receive during that time are automatically deleted.” Published in Quartz

How to Work with a Bad Listener
“Whether your colleagues interrupt you, ramble on, seem distracted, or are always waiting for their turn to talk, the impact is the same: You don’t feel heard, and the chances for misunderstandings — and mistakes — rise.” Published in Harvard Business Review

Favorite reads

Seven questions for leaders
“How often are you able to change your position?” Written by Seth Godin (this is one of my favorite Seth Godin pieces ever)

Ben Chestnut of MailChimp: Learn to Love the Job You’ve Got
“It’s a hard thing for a manager to talk about independence when their job is to manage a team. But I don’t care if it’s hard. It’s a complicated concept, but you’re not going to be creative unless you’re recognized for your individuality.” Published in The New York Times

What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?
“Exceptional CEOs are twice as likely to have been hired from outside the company.” By Michael Birshan, Thomas Meakin, and Kurt Strovink, McKinsey Quarterly

How to Handle Chronic Complainers on Your Staff
“It sounds like you’re missing a key fact here: You are their boss.” Written by Allison Green, published in Inc

This is Why People Leave Your Company
“A really good CEO thinks about the bigger picture and realizes people have lives outside of work. That’s the number one way to prevent people from feeling like they might want to be somewhere else.”” Published by First Round Review

Just for fun

Prioritizing these three things will improve your life — and maybe even save it
Published in Washington Post (the title of this article is terrible, but the content is worthwhile)

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