Nov 12, 2019

9 Leadership Quotes for Companies in Hypergrowth Mode

Careers Team

As a people manager in a fast-growing company or startup, you may face new levels of complexity. As we transition through a period of growth ourselves, we look back on leadership advice that strengthened our company culture and kept our team ahead of the curve.


On building a team:

1. “With hiring, the most important thing is attitude.

People need to have a growth mindset when they work at a startup. Because there is so much change, they need to adapt every day. They have to grow every day. Their jobs will be changing. That’s much more important to expertise. The second thing is potential. Do we see this person growing fast in the organization?”

Eva Glanzer, Chief People Officer (formerly VP of People)

From the video: Eva, VP of People speaks at The Family

On onboarding:

2. “Connect your new hires with the right network of people.

First, you will never be able to cover every single detail with [onboarding] documentation, and even if you do, no one will read it. Second, it’s much more empowering to connect your new hires with the right network of people and resources from which they can fetch information as they need, rather than force-feed them large amounts of knowledge and context.”

Rodrigo Neves, senior engineering manager

From the article: Engineering manager series part 2: team health and how to build trust that lasts.

You can follow his four-step onboarding plan framework.

On setting a good example:

3. “Rise to the occasion.

I don’t expect anything from my team that I wouldn’t do myself. I involve myself wherever I feel like I can add value to my team. Whenever they ask me to make myself available, I will be there, but I can be hands-off too. I believe in empowerment and trust culture.”

Mathis Boldt, VP Global Sales & Supply

From the article: Leadership thoughts: Mathis Boldt, VP Global Sales & Supply

On ownership:

4.“Own your development.

You have to be the one with a picture of where you want to go. Think about what you need to get there. Once you have that, ask for help and support instead of waiting for your manager to map out your path. This has proven to be a very successful model for me at GetYourGuide, and the leadership team has never rejected helping me when I asked for it.”

Marlene Rosner, director of product design

From the article: Becoming a leader: female forces at GetYourGuide

On driving growth:

5. “Build and coach on people’s strengths.

Weaknesses are easier to identify than strengths. Thus managers often try to compensate for people’s weaknesses. Instead, we should build and coach on strengths. Compensate for weaknesses by assembling a team that complements each other. Focus on learning and development to get the full benefit of someone’s strengths.”

Tao Tao, COO & co-founder

From the article: Will it make the boat go faster? 3 thoughts on execution to drive growth

On maintaining quality while serving more customers:

6. “The more you communicate, the better things go.

Going into 2018, we changed our [Business Processes Outsourcing] approach entirely…We began to invest an equal amount of energy into building a stronger connection with our partner. We introduced better reporting, we began a feedback loop so both sides were informed on progress and blockers.

This allowed us to grow the team by more than 200%, introduce 3 additional languages, and end 2018’s high season having supported more customers than ever before. As we enter our next high season, we are more prepared than ever to cure the chaos for an even greater number of customers.”

Rico Lehmann, customer service team lead turned BPO coordinator

From the article: Owning your development: from Customer Service Team Lead to BPO Coordinator

On leading yourself and others

7. “Cultivate your self-awareness and your social awareness.

Be critical of yourself, your experience, and the impact of your behavior on others. Recognize what you know, what you don’t know, and where you need to grow. Read the room, demonstrate empathy to others, and provide an individualized approach to all of your employees.”

Kevin Groen, creator and leader of GetYourGuide’s leadership training program, The Art of Leading Teams.

From the article, The Art of Leading Teams program: developing our leaders.

Periods of high-growth create incredible opportunities for leaders. The most important tools in your skillset will be adaptability to change and a positive mindset.

On taking chances:

8. “‘Leap and the net will appear’

Just go for it even if you don’t know how to do it or even if you don’t feel ready. This is where the magic happens. Put your hand up for the project that you are interested in and then learn how to do the project once you get it. Push for extra responsibilities you’re scared of taking on because you will grow into that space, and then some.”

Stephanie Hubner, regional manager

From the article: Becoming a leader: Female forces at GetYourGuide

On ownership and accountability:

9. “Trust each other.

To achieve [ownership and accountability], we need to trust each other and foster an environment conducive to giving and receiving feedback...

...Every person on the team is empowered to make decisions and propose ideas, and then we collectively decide what's next. We try at all costs to avoid silos and we hold frequent retrospectives to improve our dynamics and learn from our mistakes. And, because life is more than just work, we’ve also made it a habit to hangout together outside of work at least once a month.”

Leandro Lages, engineering manager

From the article: Position spotlight: Engineering Manager

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