Navigating Company Growing Pains with Sam Richard
The Head of Growth at nGrok shares how to "let go of your legos", how she deals with work anxiety, and how to determine which feedback to accept vs "bank for later".
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People glorify life at high-growth startups.
But the truth is, it's really tough. Even when the company is successful, things are constantly changing and it feels chaotic.
In the second episode of the Delivering Value show, Sam Richard, (Head of Growth at ngrok & former VP of Growth at OpenView) shares her story, career speed-bumps, and tips for navigating early-stage startup craziness.
She spoke about letting go of your "legos", why status is the enemy, when (& how) to get performance feedback, and how to navigate good vs bad imposter syndrome.
Most heads of growth want to work at a "winner."
A company with a great product that's already growing fast without you. Where you can come in and optimize what's already working. Add in additional loops, channels, experiences, and segments to take things to the next level.
But I've learned that life at a winner isn't easy.
The team is constantly changing
The product is constantly changing
The strategy is constantly changing
The priorities are constantly changing
The operating system is constantly changing
The pace of change can be dizzying. Things are constantly breaking. And the pressure can build slowly over time. Every level gets harder.
Sometimes that pressure comes from within; you want to constantly outdo yourself. And other times that pressure might be external; to hit specific growth targets that may or may not be realistic.
One of the biggest concerns is that your company outgrows you. They'll either let you go, or hire someone to sit above you. Neither situation is great and can lead to imposter syndrome, work anxiety, and high-stress.
Everyone feels this way. We're all constantly learning, making mistakes, leveling-up, and letting go of previous versions of ourselves to continue growing.
That's why I was so excited to chat with Sam. We've known each other for years and have privately discussed many of the challenges that come with these roles.
Sam shares her journey & advice for surviving high-growth orgs. You'll learn:
They key question to staying focused & maintaining perspective
The difference between "good" and "bad" imposter syndrome
When and how to seek out performance feedback
Why status is the enemy of mastery
How to "let go of your legos"
Dealing with work anxiety
...and how to determine which feedback to accept vs "bank for later".
Things to Listen for:
[00:48] Introducing Sam Richard and her background
[05:07] On a career in growth
[11:14] Navigating the difficulties in startups and companies that are seeing fast growth
[15:33] Advice for people who are having difficulty adjusting to a fast-growing company
[17:30] Impostor syndrome in growth careers
[21:38] On getting and responding to feedback on her performance
[26:26] Working-through work anxiety
[29:17] Working through and developing from traumatic experiences in her career
[33:10] Soft skills that need to be given more importance in growth careers
[35:19] Advice for people who need to develop their ability to see the big picture
[36:31] Advice to help people work through adversity at work