Claire Hughes Johnson is a seasoned executive with a wealth of experience in building and scaling successful organizations. She is the former COO at Stripe, where she helped transform the small startup into the legendary company it is today. Prior to that, she spent close to 10 years at Google, where she filled several executive roles including VP of Global Online Sales and Director of Sales and Ops for Gmail, YouTube, Google Apps, and AdWords.
In a recent video, Claire shared invaluable insights from her upcoming book, Scaling People, on how to successfully build and scale organizations. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into some of the key takeaways from her talk.
The importance of building self-awareness
According to Claire, one of the most important things that leaders can do to successfully scale their organizations is to build self-awareness. This means being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and understanding how your leadership style impacts those around you.
To build self-awareness, Claire suggests seeking out feedback from others, both formally and informally. She recommends having regular check-ins with team members and soliciting honest feedback about your leadership style and areas for improvement. By doing so, you can identify blind spots and make necessary changes to become a more effective leader.
Tactical advice on how to say things that are hard to say
As a leader, there will be times when you need to have difficult conversations with team members. Claire acknowledges that these conversations can be uncomfortable and even scary, but they are necessary for building a high-performing team.
To make these conversations easier, Claire offers some practical advice. First, she suggests being clear about the goal of the conversation and what you hope to achieve. Second, she recommends practicing empathy and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Finally, she advises being direct and honest, but also respectful and compassionate.
Improving internal communications
Effective communication is critical for any organization, but it becomes even more important as you scale. According to Claire, there are several things that leaders can do to improve internal communications.
First, she suggests establishing clear channels of communication and making sure that everyone knows how to use them. This might include regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins, and a shared project management tool.
Second, Claire recommends creating a culture of transparency and openness. This means encouraging team members to speak up and share their ideas and concerns, and being open to feedback and constructive criticism.
Finally, she stresses the importance of leading by example. As a leader, your communication style sets the tone for the rest of the organization. By modeling clear, transparent, and respectful communication, you can create a culture that values effective communication.
Claire Hughes Johnson’s insights on building and scaling successful organizations offer valuable guidance for leaders at all levels. By building self-awareness, having difficult conversations with empathy and respect, and improving internal communications, you can create a high-performing team that is poised for success. As you work to scale your organization, keep these lessons in mind and continue to learn and grow as a leader.