My Book Recommendations for First-Time (Startup) Managers

Taking on your first role as a manager is always daunting — and especially challenging in a startup environment. So many people have asked me for my recommendations for this situation, so I finally put together some thoughts!

Fortunately, there are many great books that offer practical advice and guidance for those who are looking to develop their leadership skills and grow their business. Here are six of my favorite books for new startup managers:

The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is my favorite short, practical book for the key skills of communication for new managers. In this book, the authors present a simple and effective approach to management that is based on three key principles: setting goals, providing feedback, and showing appreciation. This book is a great resource for startup managers who want to develop their leadership skills and improve their ability to motivate and engage their team members.

Radical Candor” by Kim Scott is a valuable book for new startup managers who want to improve their communication skills. In this book, Scott presents a framework for giving feedback that is both kind and clear. She argues that the key to effective feedback is to be both candid and caring, and to avoid the pitfalls of either being overly aggressive or overly passive. This book is a valuable resource for startup managers who want to create a more open and honest work environment.

Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhuo is a great book for new startup managers who are looking to develop their management skills. In this book, Zhuo shares her experiences and insights from more than 15 years at Facebook, where she has held a range of leadership positions. She covers topics such as setting goals, giving feedback, and building a team, and provides practical advice for how to be a successful manager. This book is a valuable resource for startup managers who want to learn from the experiences of a successful leader.

High Output Management” is written by Andrew Grove, the former CEO of Intel, and offers a framework for managing and growing a business, with a focus on maximizing output and achieving high levels of productivity. The book is based on Grove’s own experiences and offers practical advice on topics such as setting goals, managing people, and leading teams.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni is a great book for new startup managers who are looking to build and develop a high-performing team. In this book, Lencioni presents a framework for understanding and overcoming the five dysfunctions that can hold teams back: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. This book is a valuable resource for startup managers who want to create a culture of trust, collaboration, and accountability within their organization.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink is another great book for new startup managers. In this book, Pink challenges the traditional notion that incentives and rewards are the best way to motivate people. He argues that people are actually motivated by three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. By providing employees with the autonomy to do their work in the way that they think is best, helping them to develop their mastery in their field, and giving them a sense of purpose, startup managers can create a more motivated and engaged team.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier is a valuable book for new startup managers who want to develop their coaching skills. In this book, Stanier presents a framework for coaching that is based on the idea of asking powerful questions. He argues that by asking the right questions, managers can help their team members develop the skills and insights they need to be successful. This book is a valuable resource for startup managers who want to create a culture of learning and development

Overall, these books offer a range of perspectives on what it takes to be a successful manager. Whether you are new to the role or looking to improve your skills, these books can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Tips on How to Get the Most from Your Coaching Experience

If you’re new to executive coaching, business coaching, or high performance coaching, I would highly recommend starting with the following steps even before you begin your first session:

Learning about coaching

The coaching you’re seeking is probably not going to look exactly like what you may see on TV…

…but it can still be life changing.

I’d recommend several ways to get informed and motivated for coaching:

  1. Talk to friends who have used coaches before. Now nearly ubiquitous for Silicon Valley leaders, business coaches, executive coaches and the like are still nearly unknown in many arenas. Hearing success stories from people you know and trust will go a long way.
  2. Read up on multiple potential coaches’ backgrounds before hiring one. On the other hand, if you just “click” great with a coach who comes highly recommended, trust your gut and start your personal development journey right away.
  3. Reflect on positive coaches in your life from outside work. Have you had a good experience with a baseball or basketball coach from your youth? A mentor in your community? That life-changing relationship can be echoed in professional coaching as well.

Ready to take the plunge? After finding a great coach, think about what you want.

Tips for before your coaching begins

Think about your answers to the following questions even before your first session to help queue up your conversation–which generally you will be leading!

  1. How would you define the problem you want solved or what a successful solution would look like?
  2. How can you communicate your expectations from your coach? Also review the coaching contract or speak with your coach in your first conversations about their expectations as well.
  3. Be ready to make an extraordinary investment in your own personal growth. Extra. Ordinary. I mean specifically doing something unusual for yourself, be it spending time, money, or using new levels of courage or openness to tackle old problems in a new way. If you keep doing what you’ve already done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten!

Tips for during your coaching sessions

Get the most impact from your investment in coaching by keeping the following tips in mind for your coaching sessions once you are officially in the program:

  1. Prioritize talking through your objective(s) every time you meet. After catching up socially and sharing a high level update on your general context, prioritize working with your coach early in each meeting to define what a successful hour together would look like.
  2. Stay focused by removing the phone, being still for a minute before each meeting, and setting expectations not to be disturbed. I highly recommend taking notes on paper, not electronically during coaching sessions.
  3. Reflect and take action after every coaching session. Journal at least one insight, decision, or homework action that comes out of every single coaching session. Coaching sessions are not (purely) venting sessions. They are catalysts to you taking unusually impactful steps forward in life. Reflect on what you’re learning, processing, and planning, and use the coach as a motivational accountability partner to impress with your progress each time. Progress doesn’t look like a straight line either–but trying new things and coming back with new experiences each time is meaningful and a great start.
Thomas A. Edison quote: Never Say I Failed 99 Times, Say I Discovered 99...

Going deeper

Successful coaching depends on a relationship and mutual communication. If you want to get the absolute most out of that coaching relationship, I cannot recommend The Coaching Companion too much. This book provides an in-depth approach to clients for maximizing the value and minimizing the friction in their coaching journey.

Check it out:

The Coaching Companion

Ready to get started?

Consider contacting me today.

How Entrepreneurs Can Escape Idea Volcano Deaths

Generating ideas can be your greatest strength. It can also be your Achilles Heel.

Have you created many business ideas, bought web domains, maybe sketched logos, only to give up on those ideas and try something else?

Do ideas seem to erupt in your mind, especially when there’s real work to be done?

I call this the “Idea Volcano” phenomenon, and it can compound exponentially when two or more ideators are in the same room.

Portfolios work is for VCs, not for founders

Thinking that you need more ideas in order to improve your odds that one of them works is faulty thinking.

An idea is not a business.

Focused, tenacious work over the course of months or years builds businesses. An entrepreneur approaching his own businesses like a venture capitalist investing in her portfolio of companies will simply lead to a portfolio of unproven ideas, which is a far cry from a portfolio of successful businesses.

More ideas does not mean automatically better ideas

The core insight of the Lean Startup revolution has been that businesses are rarely if ever successful without many pivots, or feedback loops, along the way.

The “idea” of a business is actually a complex, finely-crafted business model that requires immense perseverance, experimentation, and continued learning to manifest.

The initial core insight or idea is never as “good” as the final model that describes a robust, profitable business. It can’t be.

Why your idea generation muscle is a comfortable distraction

No alt text provided for this image

Creating ideas is fun, you’re good at it, and it allows you to feel that brief sense of momentum and hope. But it also avoids all the hard, expensive, and murky work of disproving hypotheses, taking risks, and building something valuable.

How to stop chasing squirrels and build something worthwhile

  1. Dedicate the vast majority of your time to implementing or testing ideas instead of simply jumping from one idea to another.
  2. Pick one idea, one niche, or one effort and focus for a specific period of time–six months at minimum.
  3. Don’t say “no” when new ideas arise, simply say, “not yet,” and create a backlog or roadmap. Fighting your creativity will exhaust you–methodically sequencing your venture ideas can save you from yourself.
  4. Don’t give up prematurely. At month 3, or repetition 25, or disappointing customer interview after interview, your shiny object syndrome will be rearing its head violently. Set goals ahead of time for how to approach troughs of enthusiasm. For example, tell yourself that you’ll try 25 keywords and spend a minimum of $1,000 and 4 weeks testing some new advertising idea before giving up completely.

You can do it

Although generating and sharing ideas can be a risk-free rush, it’s also an accomplishment-free diversion.

Imagine the pride you can feel standing on top of real-world accomplishments and successful ventures, instead of the what-could-have-been questions that swirl around a worthless list of unrealized ideas.

With a little discipline and realistic prevention, you can keep your ideas from distracting you and build something worthwhile.


If you’re serious about turning an idea into a real-life business, see how an experienced business coach can help:

A Handy Template for Memos Recommending Change

If you’ve identified a problem in your organization and want to propose a new course of action, a persuasive memo can help drive change.

A mentor walked me through this convenient template for a logical memo format that can get stuff done. Enjoy!

  • Problem
    • Work from symptoms to root cause by asking ‘why’
  • Why are we talking about this? (could be any of the below or others)
    • Size (eg. this is a big issue as it puts xx CM $s at risk)
    • Impact (eg. it will impact xx% of the company/ units)
    • People (eg it touches xx% of our people/ front line, etc..)
    • Process/ Function (would change how / when we do things..)
  • Options
    • What are the extremes, tease out a few spectrums of possibilities to explore (get outside ur comfort zone.. if this feels easy, stop, go back and try again.. get uncomfortable, that’s where change happens!)
    • Have you now aligned on a set of options to explore?
    • What are the options along the spectrum? Pros/ Cons/ $Costs/ Rev $ impact of each option
  • Recommendation (it may be an option at one of the ends of the spectrums!)
    • Why this?
    • Why not another?
    • Implications to money, people, operations..
  • Impact of your recommendation
    • Financial, People, Ops, other..

How Three Research-Backed Coaching Techniques Beat Feedback for Developing Your Team

I know you’ve heard it. The never-ending emphasis on feedback. Do it right. Do it often. Have the tough conversations. Give feedback with empathy. Improve relationships, improve performance with feedback. Feedback is almost everything you’re missing.

Feedback is widely presented as a near-panacea for improving team performance through smarter interpersonal communication.

But it leaves so many people frustrated.

The Problem With Feedback

“Feedback is a gift!”

When people receive feedback, they can instinctively interpret it as a threat, triggering a defensive response (also known as fight or flight). Scientists have discovered that once this response is active, learning is inhibited. In other words, constructive feedback may prevent people from learning.

Dave Bailey

Also, feedback is inherently limited by being reactive and not proactive, leading to a narrower possible set of outcomes for improvement conversations.

Research has confirmed some simple best practices for coaching which will help improve your team’s or clients’ performance and learning more than simple feedback alone ever could.

More Effective Coaching

David Peterson is the Director of Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google. In an article published in the Evidence-Based Coaching Handbook, he explained research that provided several models for managers to improve their coaching abilities.

The models led to significant improvements in the managers’ abilities.

Peterson studied 370 managers who learned the below coaching techniques, and measured ratings of their effectiveness from their peers, directs, and managers:

Based on the boss ratings alone (arguably the most objective of the three rater perspectives), the average effect size, reflecting how much people improved on their individual coaching objectives, was 1.56 standard deviation units, approximately the equivalent of moving from the 50th to the 93rd percentile of performance.

These gains were still evident in the follow-up ratings over a year later. A control group of items showed no change at the end of coaching or at follow-up.

DAVID B. PETERSON: “People Are Complex and the World Is Messy:
A Behavior-Based Approach to Executive Coaching”

Technique #1: The Development Pipeline

This pipeline idea captures the essence of the five ‘necessary and sufficient conditions for learning’:

Echoing the famous Theory of Constraints from the famous operations book “The Goal,” this visual communicates that to improve your mentee’s development, you should focus on the “bottleneck,” the least robust stage of the pipeline.

If Motivation is in no short supply, it is a “large” pipe. If there’s no accountability compared to the rest of conditions, the greatest results will come from implementing more accountability. By opening that bottleneck, flow through the entire pipeline is enhanced, whereas working more on motivation when accountability is weak will not open up the throughput for the entire pipeline overall.

Iterate focus areas

“Coaching is a cyclical process, shifting as needed from one area to the next and back again, always addressing the source of the major constraint,” according to Peterson.

Technique #2: Map Your GAPS

Thinking in terms of Gaps, Goals and Values connects the desired changes in behavior with the person’s existing skill level and motivations.

The GAPS Grid “expands the first two conditions from the Development Pipeline to outline the types of information that people need for Insight and Motivation” (Peterson & Hicks, 1996)

In this area, the coach “teaches a man to fish” by not simply providing feedback, but coaching the person through generating and incorporating feedback for themselves.

The GAPS grid is the following 2×2, filled out from two perspectives: the person and other’s feedback. It answers the basic questions of where are you today? and how would you define success in regards to your values and goals?

Technique #3: Clear Goals, Conscious Choice, and Effective Action

Firstly, asking for clear goals and using coaching conversations to set clear goals is a prerequisite. Asking for goals should naturally lead to insights into constraints–otherwise, why isn’t the goal already accomplished?

Secondly, generate and explore options for intermediary goals to get the person to the terminal goal. Consciously evaluate priorities vs the person’s personally-defined criteria, simply asking “in light of all your criteria, which of these options do you think is going to be most effective?”

Thirdly, explore together how effective implementation can be guaranteed. Effectively implementing necessary actions could range from a simple tweak to embarking on a new multi-year degree for learning necessary skills.

“Ask them what they will do next. Insights are, sadly, fleeting so you need to clarify the next step as soon as they find clarity. The smaller and more concrete the step, the more likely it will be to happen. Once they have described it, ask them this question: ‘Would you like some extra accountability on that?’”

Dave Bailey

Bonus Technique: Overcome Coaching Challenges

  1. Forge a partnership: Build trust and understanding so people want to work with you.
  2. Inspire commitment: Build insight and motivation so people focus their energy on development goals that matter.
  3. Grow skills: Build capabilities so people can do what is required.
  4. Promote persistence: Build stamina and discipline to make sure
    learning lasts on the job.
  5. Shape the environment: Build organizational support to reward
    learning and remove barriers.

Bringing it Home

The purpose of coaching is to help other people learn how to change their own behavior in order to more effectively accomplish what matters to them and to others.

Focusing on clear goals, concrete behaviors, and connecting to internal purpose and external accountability will enable your coaching clients, mentees and direct reports to learn how to approach personal development in all arenas.

What a robust promise–and so much more than what simple reactive feedback can provide!

Read More

Stober, D. R., & Grant, A. M. (Eds.). (2006). Evidence based coaching handbook: Putting best practices to work with your clients (pdf). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

The Best Way to Develop Your Team Isn’t Feedback, Dave Bailey (Medium)

How StoryBrand Strategy Can Help You Win…By Making Your Customer the Hero

So you want something… Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will  Listen eBook: Miller, Donald: Kindle Store

…to reach more customers and improve your marketing!

Whether you’re looking to grow your business or improve your own career prospects, I think “Building a StoryBrand” by acclaimed author Donald Miller will give you a powerful approach to improving your communication.

Because actually you have a problem: your messaging is confusing for many, and not attention-capturing for most hearers.

The guide with the plan

The first mistake brands make is they fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that will help people survive and thrive. All great stories are about survival—either physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual. A story about anything else won’t work to captivate an audience. Nobody’s interested. This means that if we position our products and services as anything but an aid in helping people survive, thrive, be accepted, find love, achieve an aspirational identity, or bond with a tribe that will defend them physically and socially, good luck selling anything to anybody.

Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand

Miller provides an incredibly clear structure for how to craft a brand’s message: the archetypal hero’s journey!

He points out that customers are self-interested and short on attention.

12 Direct Quotes from StoryBrand Live that will Change the Way You Market  Your Business | ND Pen

The way to communicate the value of your service to them is not by talking about yourself, but by focusing on the customer as the hero. Zeroing in on their external needs and internal needs and aspirations. And when you do talk about yourself, it’s only as the guide in the customer’s journey.

See the simple arc here:

How to write copy that sells using the StoryBrand, PASTOR, and any other  Copy Framework - Pigtail Pundits

Your actions determine your results

At this stage, you might be rolling your eyes at how simple or familiar this advice is.

But look at your website. Listen to yourself giving your elevator speech. Look at your recently-published email or blog content.

Where’s the focus?

Even if it is on the customer meeting their needs through your product, “Building a StoryBrand” will likely still have significant constructive criticism.

Using case studies, science, and engaging stories, Miller walks the reader through tactical and philosophical approaches to improving

  • Your elevator pitch
  • Your brand one-liner
  • Websites and landing pages
  • Email drip campaigns
  • Customer testimonial gathering
  • Referral programs

For example, here’s a list of his suggestions on eliciting testimonials:

Here are five questions most likely to generate the best response for a customer testimonial:

1.  What was the problem you were having before you discovered our product?

2.  What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve that problem?

3.  What was different about our product?

4.  Take us to the moment when you realized our product was actually working to solve your problem.

5.  Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved or being solved.

StoryBrand can give you power

The above notes scrape the surface of this book.

For small business operators, marketers, and even individuals interested in personal branding, Building a StoryBrand provides a cohesive over-arching strategy based on what works, and a wealth of actionable tips to start making improvements to your communications immediately.

Verdict: 5/5, highly recommend.

Learn more

Read more about the book here: “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller

Watch a summary here:

Lessons from Hypergrowth

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy
Book – Hypergrowth | Drift | Drift

Why is it that successful practitioners are so rarely great teachers as well?

The myriad of business books today seem to either fall into the camp of unqualified writers providing advice they haven’t lived, or successful leaders penning memoirs without much in the way of practical, actionable advice.

Hypergrowth: How the Customer-Driven Model Is Revolutionizing the Way Businesses Build Products, Teams, & Brands is an exemplary book of succinct, actionable leadership advice from some extremely successful marketing product leaders who have scaled multiple tech companies–namely Hubspot and Drift.

Here are some lessons that spoke to me from the book:

Transparency Promotes Accountability, Which Provides Freedom

Due to the extreme transparency of work ownership, goals, and progress within Hubspot, much of the red tape of traditional management was not required. “[I]t bought us the freedom not to have things like roadmaps and version numbers and dates — things that are all in the traditional product management world.”

Are there time-wasting meetings or processes which you could get rid of by increasing trust or transparency in your culture?

They Even Threw Out the Public Product Roadmap

“Customer needs will inevitably change over time, which means your product will need to change too. There is no real end-goal. The end-goal is evolution.

“So at HubSpot I made the decision to not set a public product roadmap. For a company that values transparency, it was a decision that led to a fair amount of handwringing from those wanting a reliable way of knowing what was coming next.

“The problem with product roadmaps, however, is that they often satiate company curiosity more than they solve customer problems. Roadmaps solve for the company not the customer. What solves for the customer is non-stop testing and a continuous improvement.”

David Cancel’s Top Principles for Achieving Hypergrowth

1. Be Customer-Driven

“This is the most important ingredient. The team has to be spending time with customers continually.” Even engineers pulled shifts on customer support at Hubspot!

2. Infuse All Roles and Levels With Accountability

five men riding row boat

“This is the ingredient that people get wrong the most. They try to have a model of autonomy with very little or no accountability built-in. Remember: Autonomy without accountability is anarchy, not autonomy”

I found this advice to be the most surprising, since shared central resources supporting multiple teams is a favorite structure of managers trying to design efficient systems:

“Because of this, teams should be designed to be as independent as possible (e.g. they should have a dedicated, not shared, designer). “

3. Transparency

Structure the work, communication processes and tools, and culture to strongly default to transparency in any way possible.

Individuals and teams need to over-communicate their goals, performance, ideas, and concerns with the entire company via in-person “show and tell” meetings, via the wiki, and via a public scorecard of the metrics they are responsible for.

4. Iterative Approach

“After accountability, this is the ingredient that most people get wrong. They interpret being customer- driven as focusing only on major improvements/ features. What I have learned is that customers appreciate an incremental approach. An incremental approach shows customers that you are listening to them and making changes based on their feedback.”

person pointing white paper on wall

5. Ownership

It’s critical that individuals and teams be set up to have clear ownership over a customer-facing product. Most companies get this wrong and always regress to a “pool” model where no one has clear ownership and people work across products on design/backend/ frontend tasks.

Focus on the root causes of all customer pain points–not exactly what went wrong, easy fixes, or unique parts of that exact customer’s demographic or complaint. Think upstream!

Continually Invest In Customer Development

Empathy, listening, and challenging your beliefs are all key to learning and iterating as fast and successfully as possible.

I have this belief that everything that we create and every idea we have is wrong, and we need to get it out into the world as soon as possible to figure out how much of it is wrong and how we can correct it.

David Cancel


Hypergrowth is a short book with a lot of wisdom for leaders of scaling B2C tech companies. I appreciated learning David Cancel and team’s overarching philosophy and coming away with practical advice I could immediately implement. I highly recommend it for all startup leaders.

Get the book for yourself

HYPERGROWTH: How the Customer-Driven Model Is Revolutionizing the Way Businesses Build Products, Teams, & Brands

By David Cancel, Dave Gerhardt, Erik Devaney, and Hiten Shah

My Top Leadership Lessons from Simon Sinek’s Favorite Book on Parenting

When asked “what book should I read for leadership?”, acclaimed speaker and author Simon Sinek often recommends the parenting book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”.

He compares parenting to organizational leadership:

“Leadership is like parenting. We have to encourage our kids’ natural capacity and create space for their passions to come alive.”

I loved the book’s illustrations and practicality, including specific scripts to use for common situations of conflict.

As a father of two boys, I read the book for its stated goal of improving communication between parents and their children. However, I was quite surprised at how many practical insights I ingested to improve my managerial skills at work!

Here’s a few of my favorite:

Giving Constructive Feedback

You know what we mean by “constructive” feedback. That’s so often the subversive euphemism for “negative comments, usually by a manager, that attack your identity or value.”

I believe there’s a better way.

I found this quote exceedingly helpful to remind me what attitude I need to have as a parent, coach, or manager when correcting someone:

The attitude behind your words is as important as the words themselves. The attitude that children thrive on is one that communicates, “You’re basically a lovable, capable person. Right now there’s a problem that needs attention. Once you’re aware of it, you’ll probably respond responsibly.”

As the book’s authors put it: “Information is a lot easier to take than accusation.”

I’m *never* sarcastic

Encouraging Autonomy in New Skill Areas

Some lessons from the book don’t transfer directly to many workplace relationships. That being said, I found its excellent philosophy on encouraging kids’ autonomy to translate in multiple ways — both in managing down and in managing up.

To Encourage Autonomy:


“Are you in the mood for your gray pants, or your red pants?”


“A jar can be hard to open. Sometimes it helps if you tap the lid with a spoon.”


“Glad to see you. Welcome home.”


“That’s an interesting question. What do you think?”


“Maybe the pet shop owner would have a suggestion.”


“So you’re thinking of trying out for the play! That should be an experience.”

Building autonomy in new skills when managing down

One of the above tips that has helped me in prompting my direct reports in areas where I’m coaching them is to provide choices. For example, instead of asking a new sales manager “what are you going to do to increase call volume?”, which could overwhelm the new manager, a director could provide several suggestions. This will make the most sense in areas where the manager has more mastery of the skill in question.

Building autonomy in new skills when managing up

With humility, I recognize that I’ll always have a lot to learn. By adapting the above philosophy, I may give my manager a head’s up that I will be tackling (and likely struggling with) a certain stretch project or reaching out to external sources of support. In this way, I’m signalling my intention to build my own autonomy muscle in new skills while providing an opportunity for my manager to step in quickly, perhaps if a sense of urgency requires immediate direction.

Praising Well

As someone who’s wired to thrive without significant praise, I’ve struggled with how to provide a good quality and quantity of well-deserved praise to others.

The book has some superb suggestions for how to avoid the glib “good job!” which encourages few and instructions no one:

Instead of Evaluating (“Good” . . . “Great!” . . . “Fantastic!”), Describe:

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU SEE. “I see a clean floor, a smooth bed, and books neatly lined up on the shelf.”

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU FEEL. “It’s a pleasure to walk into this room!”

SUM UP THE CHILD’S PRAISEWORTHY BEHAVIOR WITH A WORD. “You sorted out your Legos, cars, and farm animals, and put them in separate boxes. That’s what I call organization!

Not only does this approach avoid overstepping and judging someone’s character or identity, but it also provides the benefit of specifically illuminating the behavior you’d like to see more of.

I can remember conversations with my managers from years ago who helped me identify my strengths this way — especially valuable for young professionals!

I hope you enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom that I took away from the parenting book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”!

And lastly, here’s a short clip of Simon talking about the book:


Paddy has demonstrated his leadership and expertise on countless occasions while serving on DonorSee’s Board of Advisors. While thoroughly understanding our organizational realities, he provided precise advice that took us from pre to post-PMF. We are now experiencing substantial growth as Paddy continues to support us by encouraging focus, suggesting practical strategies and tools, and championing our cause to his strong personal network.

Gret Glyer, CEO, DonorSee

Patrick is hands down one of the best mentors and connectors I’ve met in the start up world. Patrick is tied into so many different circles and has an incredible amount of business experience, but his willingness to share his lessons learned and network connections make Patrick a truly rare mentor. I’ve been blown away by the advice and guidance Patrick has given me and I’m incredibly thankful to know Patrick as a mentor and friend in business. Patrick would be a fantastic addition to an advisory board or executive team of any growing start up, and I look forward to working with Patrick on many more ventures in the future!

Paul Tocci, CEO, ReSupply

Patrick was hands down one of the most insightful mentors I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with. He was laid back and very approachable, but also challenged me in all the right areas to continue growing myself and exploring my path. We identified a number of solid actionables and connections that would help me in the next step of my transition.

Private client

Patrick and I did not waste anytime jumping into an extensive conversation focused on startup strategy. Throughout the discussion Patrick created a comfortable environment to share success as well as pain points. His impressive military and civilian professional background make Mr. Weeks an excellent mentor!

John Chapman, CEO, Liberty Dynamic

Patrick listened to where I am I my business first. He shared some definitions I wasn’t clear on, gave some strategy advice that I know I needed, as well as some suggestions that I didn’t really want to hear. However, truths in business can be hard to accept and even harder to implement. I’m grateful to him and to Veterati for the high caliber advising!

Lindsay Hagerman, Co-Founder, RainCaper and GazeboGreen

Patrick has advised me on both of my businesses. He helped me strategically game out my launch into the market, risk considerations and who I should look out for. His no-nonsense and bullish (at times) approach is what every good entrepreneur needs in their life, whether they know it or not. I highly recommend using his services as he provides a great approach to helping you troubleshoot your business and a different outlook on one’s industry. No doubt, he’s added great value to my businesses.

Bella McCann, Founder and Principal – Domestic Engineering, CEO – McCann Development

My first session with Patrick was excellent. He quickly met me where I am at in my own journey and helped me address the concerns and issues I am facing. We set up next steps and a follow up plan.

Jonathan Bradshaw, Founder HouseHold5

Crescendo Consulting Group

Patrick gave really thoughtful and sound advice that helped me with clarity and direction in my entrepreneurial journey. He has tremendous insight as a leader and entrepreneur and I really enjoyed our discussion.

Cris Medina, MPA, CEO at Crescendo Advisory Group

Had a great conversation with Patrick. I really appreciated his candid perspectives on the benefits and drawbacks of entrepreneurship and startups and his knowledge and willingness to share resources. 100% would recommend for anyone interested in startups (or anything else for that matter).

US Military veteran, current consultant, aspiring startup executive

My Favorite 8 Nuggets from “Crucial Conversations,” the Life-Changing Book on Difficult Dialogue

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. -Ambrose Bierce

Few books literally change your life as soon as you read them. Crucial Conversations is a famous book among many circles — for good reason. I finally read it in its entirety recently and was blown away by the practicality and impact of its philosophy. It actually changed my approach to and success in the most charged conversations and potentially damaging confrontations I faced.

If you want to improve your handling of tough conversations in work or life, I highly recommend you read Crucial Conversations for yourself.

In the meantime, here are my favorite quotes, to whet your appetite:

What do you want?

The first problem we face in our crucial conversations is not that our behavior degenerates. It’s that our motives do — a fact that we usually miss.

Look for the win-win

Under the influence of adrenaline we start to see our options as unnecessarily limited. We assume we have to choose between getting results and keeping a relationship. In our dumbed-down condition, we don’t even consider the option of achieving both.

Continue reading “My Favorite 8 Nuggets from “Crucial Conversations,” the Life-Changing Book on Difficult Dialogue”