Growing Past Your Mistakes with Liam MacCormack
The Growth lead at MadKudu talked about the three toughest moments in his growth career.
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Growth career paths are notoriously bumpy.
Liam MacCormack was not having a good day.
It was March 2022. He had COVID, and he had just been fired.
“I was VP of Growth with 15 direct reports. I was drowning, and got let go because I couldn’t manage the load. It was brutal.”
Ultimately the experience turned out to be an important inflection point that brought Liam (now growth lead at MadKudu) a lot of career clarity, but the immediate shock of the moment was devastating.
Getting let go feels like a major career setback. Unfortunately, it’s part of life as a growth professional working at early stage companies. Part of the challenge is that early stage startups can funnel people into roles that aren’t necessarily the best fit. And by the time they realize they are in the wrong place, it’s too late. In Liam’s case, he was a successful individual contributor who suddenly found himself having to manage a huge team of direct reports and was completely overwhelmed.
In our conversation for the Delivering Value podcast, Liam was really transparent about his experience, and how he worked through it (it helped that both of his parents and his partner are therapists.).
We talked about some of the toughest moments in his growth career:
How being fired became an important inflection point for personal growth
What keeps him coming back for more despite the intensity of the work
Why it’s important to learn how to reach out and ask for help
How to deal with burnout and stress in a healthy way
The logic of having a manager path and an IC path
The isolation that’s part of being head of growth
Things to listen for:
[4:26] How Liam landed his first growth job
[14:18] A career mistake that’s stuck with Liam
[20:48] How to know you’re actually growing
[26:49] The peaks and valleys of being in a growth role
[37:20] Advice for dealing with burnout and overwhelm
[40:45] Pushing through the challenges and adversity that come in growth