SaaStr Podcast #196: Claire Hughes Johnson, COO @ Stripe Discusses How To Hire Quality Teams At Scale

Welcome to Episode 196! Claire Hughes Johnson is the COO @ Stripe, the new standard in online payments that handles billions of dollars of business every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world. To date, Stripe has raised over $680m in funding from some of the very best in the business including Sequoia, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Thrive, CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global. As for Claire, prior to Stripe she spent over 10 years at Google in a range of different roles from VP of Google’s self-driving car division to VP of Global Online Sales to VP of Google Offers. At Stripe, Claire has helped take Stripe global in February 2016 with the launch of Atlas, a toolkit that enables any business, anywhere in the world, to incorporate in the United States. If that was not enough, Claire is also a Board Member @ Hallmark Cards.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

* How Claire made her way into the world of SaaS with Stripe following her leading of Google’s self-driving car division.

* What does Claire mean when she discusses “founding documents”? What is the right way to go about creating them? What element do they need to contain? How can one optimize internal decision-making process with these documents? What question must one always try and ask when making big decisions?

* How does Claire define a truly special COO? What does that truly great look like? When is the right time for founders to hire that COO? Where do the majority of people go wrong in their assessment of when and what they need in a COO? What is the optimal relationship one can have between CEO and COO?

* How does Claire think about what Stripe have done right to hire so effectively at scale? What does it take in terms of benchmarks and standards to do so? What does Claire mean when she says you have to step function up your capabilities with scale? What are the core challenges in hiring at scale?

Claire’s 60 Second SaaStr:

* What would Claire say are her biggest strengths and weaknesses?

* What does Claire know now that she wishes she had known at the beginning?

* A moment in Claire’s life that has served as an inflection point and changed the way she thinks?

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Jason Lemkin
Harry Stebbings
SaaStr
Claire Hughes Johnson

Transcript

Harry Stebbings: We are back for another week in the world of the official SaaStr podcast with me, Harry Stebbings. It would be fantastic to see you behind the scenes on Instagram @hstebbings1996 with two B’s. You can suggest both questions and guests for future episodes there, it would be great see you there. But to the show  today … and I’m always so thankful to do the show for giving me the chance to meet truly incredible and inspiring people. And that’s never more been the case since today as I’m very, very excited to welcome Claire Hughes Johnson, COO at Stripe, the new standard in online payments that handles billions of dollars of business every year for forward thinking businesses around the world. And to date, Stripe has raised over 680 million dollars in funding from some of the very best in the business including Sequoia, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Thrive, CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global.

As for Claire, prior to Stripe, she spent over 10 years at Google in a range of different roles from VP of Google’s self driving car division to VP of Global Online Sales to VP of Global Offers. At Stripe, Clare has helped take Stripe global in February 2016 with the launch of Atlas, a toolkit that enables any business anywhere in the world to incorporate in the United States.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Claire was also a board member at Hallmark cards and I do also have to say huge thank you to John Collison, Hemant Taneja, and Elad Gil for providing such fantastic questions, suggestions for the show today with Claire. I really do so appreciate that.

However, you’ve had quite enough of me droning on. So I’m now very, very honored to welcome Claire Hughes Johnson COO at Stripe.

Absolutely fantastic to have you on the show today, I’ve been such a fan since reading your incredible chapter in Elad Gil’s book. So thank you so much for joining me today, Claire.

Claire Hughes Johnson: Thanks for having me, Harry.

Harry Stebbings: Not at all. But I’d love to kick off say with a little bit about you. So tell me Claire, how did you come to make your way into the wonderful world of technology, first with Google and now as COO of Stripe?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I think it was just about a career journey that led me to find where I thought impact was happening in the world. And I started out thinking it was going to be more about government and politics and law and came to the realization that technology was really what was bringing about the major changes that we see, in terms of access to information, and I hope, with Stripe, access to commerce capabilities for people who don’t still have them today, which is sort of shocking.

And I was looking for that kind of impact in my career, found Google through doing that introspection and through some great friends who I went to business school with. And then Stripe was really about what would the next chapter be in terms of my personal journey but also my ability to help build something that I think it’s going to be very important if we do things right.

Harry Stebbings: Absolutely. I think I wouldn’t agree more with you on the importance there. While I have the opportunity though, what are the parallels … You mentioned your time at Google there, what are the parallels from your time at Google with what you’re doing today at Stripe?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Well, early Google and Stripe have a lot in common in terms of very ambitious vision and long term thinking about solving pretty serious technical challenges but also in the case of Google, I think it was a lot about access to information and the products around that. And the case of Stripe, it’s really about commerce infrastructure and economic opportunity and increasing the GDP of the internet.

But both companies, very ambitious founders and mission, incredibly smart people, the talent and the really bottoms up interest in doing the right thing, in building the best thing that we could. There are some parallels. I think there’s also some differences though, in that … Well, first of all, Google is more about it being a consumer company and building a web product that gained a lot of consumer usage and then the monetization piece was really on the side of that. And I think what I love about Stripe is, we’re all really working on the same thing. It’s very interconnected, and it’s really about business building.

And then also, Patrick and John are incredibly singular founders. Just really high IQ, incredible ambition and vision, but also a lot of EQ and a lot of focus on building the best organization and building a company for the long term. I think Google took more time to get to their opinions on what it was going to take to build a truly great company. And I’m thrilled to be part of the early thinking at Stripe on that.

Harry Stebbings: Yeah, absolutely.

And I think that’s kind of very clear in the incredible evolution of Stripe but I would love to structure the conversation still, with the top down approach. So starting with the decision making framework you outline in Elad Gil’s new book, The High Growth Handbook, then moving to your role as COO and really implementing that strategy and framework and then to the people in the team that execute it. Does that work well for you, Claire?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Of Course.

Harry Stebbings: Okay. So staring on the framework. I loved your interview as I said with Elad and in the interview you said that you spent some lot of time thinking about the founding documents, as you called them. I’d love to start with what are these founding documents and what’s crucial for them to contain?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Yeah. I mean I think they could be different for different companies and organizations. But to me, it really is about the fact that once you get beyond a certain number, you can’t have everybody in the room participating in making all the decisions and understanding the underlying principles by which you want to drive your product and drive your company.

And so the founding documents can look like some long term goals. So here’s our mission and then what are we trying to accomplish over the next three to five to 10 years, and something that’s memorable and repeatable, the candidates and the people in the organization. And then value structure or what we call operating principles at Stripe, sort of the why, right? And then the how? How do we want to work together? What’s going to matter as we scale? And we want something that can be a touchstone for people to learn and learn from one another as opposed to having to recreate that in every room. And as you get more and more people in a company, you’re not going to fit everybody in one room. And it’s better to start early declaring what you’re about.

I think you can do it too early though, while you’re still figuring yourself out. And so I think the trick is to start to … It’s almost like a person, you want to build self awareness and then you want to start to realize, “Okay, that means the way I do things is this.” And I think company is just the same. You want to work on your product market fit, build company awareness of how you want to do things, why you exist, what’s motivating about that to the people who work there? And then document it so it can be shared and repeated and understood in such a way that you could scale more quickly, frankly. Because if you’re spending all the time reteaching each other, you are not going to be moving quickly.

Harry Stebbings: Can I ask? When is that inflection point in kind of realizing self awareness and kind of discovering self awareness and then moving into kind of the much more structural phases of kind of foundational documents as we mentioned, with the founding documents.

Claire Hughes Johnson: I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on that. And I definitely … I’m privileged enough to work with some early stage companies and founders, especially when I was at Google working on AdWords, but more so at Stripe. And I would say that an earlier company is really the founders and the team they’ve assembled to take an idea into some form of reality and to test it, right? To see if it has traction. A lot of your early work is really existential, and it’s less about self awareness and who do we want to be as we scale and more about, “Is this idea valid? And can we build and realize it?” And I think it feels like a small team and less like an organization. And that’s perfectly right.

But when you get … I think the combination to me of getting some traction with the product or the idea and scaling the number of people involved, say beyond those who can comfortably sit in a meeting room and make a decision together and review the principles organically, is when you want to be looking. That could be 30 people, it could be 50, it’s also seems to occur to founders as something they really need, in my experience, when they start hiring leaders. But I think that would probably be a little too late almost, to start forming your opinions.

Because once you have the mission and the vision and then the principles by which you want to operate, you can start to use those to drive, “How do we make decisions? Who do we need to realize this vision?” And it creates more of a decision making framework that’s self reinforcing that the organization can deliver on. And a new leader would really benefit, I think, from coming into an environment where more of that is figured out.

Harry Stebbings: Can I ask you a question that’s off schedule which is, is it kind of the structure that allows you to find a better spec for that leader that you’re hiring? Or is it a case of that leader that comes in really defines the structure? Which way around do you think it is?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Again, I think it’s really not binary that way, the right leadership hire, especially when you’re younger company is definitely part of helping to shape, “Okay, what are we going to do to realize this thing?” But if you need to know what you’re trying to do, think the thing that’s hard when you’re hiring leaders, especially when you’re newer, is you need to know what capabilities you want to bring in the door. There’s a culture fit element. So you need to understand how you want to operate, what are your principles, what are your values? And then there’s the capabilities, which is, “What do we want to build, what’s our three to five year long term plan? What does it look like? And if we’re going to build that, what do we have today in house and what do we not have? What experience do we need to go out and seek?:

You find that experience, you find that person who is aligned with the operating principles. And then of course, they’re going to come in and have an impact and that’s why you do want to be very careful with leadership hiring, because people take cues from the leaders in the company and they will shape things. And if they’re the right hire, it will be for the positive.

Harry Stebbings: Absolutely. I mean, speaking of kind of shaping things and the leaders themselves of these companies, I’m really interested, how do you make decisions using the founding documents? And can you maybe give some examples from Stripe and your experiences?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I think that there are different kinds of decision making frameworks that you might end up using. One that we use at Stripe, which is less about the founding documents, it’s more about, “Look, is this an irreversible or trap door decision and how high impact is it?” And then we have some operating principles around being rigorous. And we also have an operating principle around moving with urgency. And when you’re dealing with something that’s a trap door decision, and that’s extremely high impact. You’re going to bring the rigor part of how you do things. Maybe that’s a big pricing change you’re making or launch in a new part of the world.

And then if you’re working on something that is pretty reversible and it’s lower impact, you want to empower more people to act on it quickly. You need to get that continuum right between people feeling empowered and moving quickly versus understanding when they are taking an action that is very meaningful. And I think we use that framework a lot internally.

In terms of the founding documents, it’s more about, if you read our 2018 plan, and we write a narrative for the year, “What do we want to be true by the end of the year?” And if you read it, and then you read our long term goals document, would they line up? Is the narrative for 2018 in line with what we’re saying that we want to do in terms of arming the upstarts or increasing globalization of commerce? And the answer is yes, then great. We’re on the right track with our high level plans, and then we make them more detailed.

And then, of course, there’s decisions that get tricky in the moment …in tactical moments. And what I do like is when you hear a team discussing something, and one of them brings up an operating principle and says,” Well, is this really users first, right? Is this the right action to take right now for the set of users that are going to be impacted?” And it’s a powerful tool of… I would say more for homing the decision than making the decision.

Harry Stebbings: I’m so intrigued, you said about moving with urgency there. I had a guest on the show that said the other day, “A good decision made today is better than the perfect decision made tomorrow.” How do you think about that? Is that something that you would agree with? Or would you maybe have a different perspective?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I tend to agree with that, though I will say that I’ve learned a lot working with Patrick and John who both care a lot about, “Okay, what are the various paths that this action could take?” We will talk a lot about, how do we preserve optionality? How do we avoid having a lot of our decisions be trap door decisions. And it’s been actually incredibly rich experience for me to play out like … what are the things we could do that make sure we don’t end up in the corner because how the world is going to evolve, let alone Stripe evolve is not a predictable thing.

But I think my spin on it would be less about, “We’re making a good decision today.” Don’t let perfect to be the enemy of the good is a very popular phrase in my life. But what people really need is confidence and stability from leaders and from companies.  And I think a lot of people think making a decision provides confidence and stability. But it doesn’t have to be just a decision. It just has to be like, “Look, this is the course of action we’re taking right now. We’re not sure if it’s exactly right and we will probably have to change it. But we got this and we’re fine and we’re going to keep moving forward.” And so I would watch out for a world where someone’s very rapidly making lots of decisions, but really, it’s about the stability that you provide to the organization that matters.

Harry Stebbings: I love that focus on the confidence and stability. I do want to move then one layer down from kind of the founding documents and the structure and the decision making process to the COO that really helps to implement it. Starting from the ground up, seeing success of the incredible individuals such as yourself, many founders I speak to want that amazing COO. Super tough question so I apologize for asking it. But from your perspective, how do you define a truly special COO? And what does that truly great look like?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Well, that’s completely depends on you and your company.  So I think that in most examples when people come and tell me that they want to hire a COO, it’s not clear that they need one. And I think we should push against what seems like a solution, sometimes in search of a problem. And really, what are you trying to do with the company? My first conversation with Patrick was about, where do they have needs? What are the scaling challenges? What experience do they want to bring in the door? I think at that moment, there was a lot of discussion between, maybe we just need a head of sales or revenue leader and not a COO. And I think you really need to have a position on, what problem, what’s the burning platform that this role might solve? And if you bring someone in too early without a clarity of what needs to be done, what’s the job to be done, I think it could actually be quite frustrating for the people involved.

And then what is the perfect … Perfect person is when you understand them. Again back to self-awareness, no one’s perfect. I certainly have areas I’m better equipped to lead than others. And one of the things I really appreciated about my process at Stripe was, Patrick and John took the time to get to know me and talked about, well, what would make sense in the role for you? What does Stripe need? What are you going to add value at? And how can we shape the position so it gives us some additional scale leverage, which is really what the company needed at the time.

And I’m perfectly happy to be adaptable. I think the thing that you probably are looking for in a COO is either someone who is very strictly operational, right? Someone who is scaling, give a very heavy operational product or service. You’re going to want someone who has that depth or someone who’s … I kind of don’t love these words but a general athlete, right? I mean, for me I know a little about a lot of things and so I can scale our recruiting team and the sales team and the marketing team and user operations that I actually know pretty deeply.

But you have to understand that this person is basically getting functions off the ground and then probably they’re graduating. In my opinion, the COO role is often probably a temporary role until you get the right structure at the right size and scale for the business and that takes … certainly takes longer than I think. But I would avoid the trap of, I think I need a COO, and be more detailed and specific about what do you think you need? And does that end up equaling, I need a COO or could it in fact be some very smart leadership hires that are more functionally deep?

Harry Stebbings: Well, I mean, on the general athlete element, I’m clearly not a COO. Athlete is not part of any part of my personality, sadly. But I would love to ask, you mentioned kind of your joining Stripe and kind of how you talked about kind of formulating that role with Patrick and John. I’m super interested, what was it about that kind of a role formulation that really drew you to Stripe?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Well, the first thing is really Patrick and John themselves. So for me, it was one, the founders, because young companies really reflect their founders. And you have to be in a position where you think, “Hey, this is a group of people who are going to work very well together.” So one is the founders and two is, what’s the company trying to do, right? What matters is the vision and what the product that you’re building. And for me, what matters is, could it be meaningful? Is it actually important? Too often, I think we end up in a technology sort of story that’s really just about monetization or an advertising driven business model and that became less and less interesting to me over my career at Google.

And what was more interesting is really building infrastructure, solving the unsolved problems that you think about, Google attacking search and maybe Facebook or Twitter connecting people socially. The fact that less than 5% of consumer spending is online, e-commerce is not really a solved problem for the internet. It’s sort of shocking because it’s really the way the future is going to work, right?

And I think having that conversation and thinking about what it could mean. For me, in my early career, I was in government, right? It’s about job creation. It’s about economic access and opportunity. And I got very excited about the means to the end of the mission of Stripe to increase the GDP of the internet is ideally … is in my view, probably an increase the GDP of the countries involved, period. And then everybody should have equal access.

If you think the internet is a force for good, then solving the e-commerce challenge is going to be an incredibly multiplicative force for good. So it was the mission … the founders, the mission and then the potential, obviously a lot of … a lot to be built.

And then the final thing was, yes, the role. What would I learn? What would I be doing differently than I had in my previous roles? And where would I have an impact? I had to believe, we’re matching up the right needs of the company to my skills, abilities, and potential growth path and that was in many conversations. To discern that and think about, well, what would be my priorities when I started? How could I add value? And then believing that we were the right group of people to evolve that as the company evolved.

Anything you doing that’s early enough, the only thing that’s going to be true is change. So you have to have a group of people who are ready to evolve and adapt together. At Stripe, we like to sometimes move things around amongst leaders and portfolio shift a little bit. I think that’s been very successful for Facebook as well. It’s really important that you have people who are confident and changing up what they’re focused on but also really excited as leaders to add to the value that’s needed in the moment.

Harry Stebbings: You mentioned the number one there … Before we move on to the team, you mentioned the number one there being the founders. I do have to ask, in terms of the founders to COO relationship, how do you think about that interplay and what that optimal relationship really looks like?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I think it’s really a relationship of mutual respect. The thing that Patrick and John are, they’re both incredibly ambitious, visionary, creative. And a lot of interplay between us is, what am I learning from them and what could I possibly offer in return? What I love about them is they’re both quite opinionated but collaborative, and I think that’s pretty rare to find. Whereas I think I can influence and have … and be part of a decision and a conversation with them, but I understand where they’re coming from and they’re comfortable if I take a different position. But that we collectively believe we’re going to get to a better place.

There’s just a respect there and I worry that a lot of founders feel like they’ve got to own all the vision and have all the answers when really it’s about, what are the best ideas we have amongst us and what do we think is going to move the organization forward and the product forward? But it’s that exchange. And in my experience, Patrick and I talk a lot about this, we think quite differently. Actually, we’re very complementary about various problem spaces, but we have a pretty strong alignment of core values, asserting  humans and believing in how you approach something we have in common. And if you can find that, I think it can be quite powerful, which is complementary views, complementary experiences but some align to true north of sort of how you want to be in the world. And that’s been I think pretty powerful for us and for Stripe.

Harry Stebbings: No. I love the description of the interplay there. You mentioned kind of moving the company forward and moving the product forward. I do want to touch on one final element before the quick fire, which is the team itself. When you joined Stripe, you had 165 people, today it sits over 1,100. So I’d love to hear, how do you think about what you’ve done right to effectively recruit at such scale and how you hire hundreds so effectively every year?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I was just on the phone with one of our recruiting leaders, who was telling me, I need to prepare the organization for the next wave of growth. And she said, they’re worried they’re not going to be able to hire the hundreds for next year. So it is a constant effort. You have to sort of step function up your capabilities when you’re thinking about things like adding people, however, not compromise, right? Not compromise on the quality of the people you bring in, the potential impact they can have. It’s not a battle you win once. You are constantly vigilant.

For me, it started with really bringing in absolutely the best recruiting team. And Stripe as a company, particularly our engineering team, I will give them the most kudos, everybody plays a role in recruiting. It is not someone’s job on the margin. It is critical to our success that everyone be involved in referring candidates, sourcing, meeting. A lot of what I do is spend time with prospective candidates talking to them, convincing them that it’s maybe a great opportunity, really a sales role, for all of us.

But for our recruiters, from day one, when we talk about the metrics and the measurement of how we do, it is quality above quantity. So there have been times where we haven’t hired everybody that we had on the list. And we were actually quite happy about that because … But there’s a lot of trust in that team to make sure that we’re hiring the best people. And one of my favorite things is to go and do hiring committee meeting at Stripe and the recruiter tends to facilitate that conversation. And they are often the person in the room who says, “When I read through all this feedback, let me summarize it for you. I’m concerned that this person doesn’t seem like the right fit or people are kind of weakly supportive.” And that is the biggest win of all, which is the people who really own that process, owning the outcome, the results. I think too often we focus on some metric which is how many people have you got in the seats. We really need to be focusing on, are they the right people and are they going to be successful and engaged and add value?

And so I’m pretty proud of that. And that we have not given up and we will not give up. We will not sacrifice that. But you still have to scale it, right? Which means, how do you bring in more of that recruiting talent? How do you inculcate them successfully? And for us now, it’s in countries around the world. And I think it relies on that team being quite strong and really representative of Stripe effectively. And we’re quite lucky that we’ve retained a lot of the early founders of that effort and that makes a huge difference, especially for a function that is as critical as recruiting.

Harry Stebbings: Absolutely. I do have one final question before we move into the quick fire, which is always a big thought for me and that’s, when hiring a certain external candidates, how do you prevent maybe internal discontent from individuals that maybe felt they were ready for the position? How do you think about managing that?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Yeah. I think they are sort of our organizations scaling well and then there are … is the question sometimes, is the individual scaling well. And I think it’s hard as you get bigger and you’re successful. One of the good problems to have is that people who have roles that are quite broad, they cover incredible ground, need to become more specialized because the stakes are so much higher and the complexity is so much higher. So a lot of the conversation you have to be having internally is, yes, you led functions X, Y, and Z. And guess what? Now Z is responsible for X percent of our revenue and needs someone to focus.

And I think most people understand that intellectually, but it’s still emotionally challenging. When you say, “Look, there’s part of this that needs to be led by a new person or led differently.” We have a … It’s not really a policy, but I think what we do well at Stripe is we’re very open when we’re hiring externally for critical roles or leadership roles. We let the teams know, we explain why, explain the type of person we’re looking for, and we involve them in the decision. And yeah, it’s hard but it gives them a chance to sort of get comfortable with, “Okay, this is where we’re headed.” And if someone has a concern, I mean my number one job is to be there listening and helping them understand the context on why we might have made a change.

But I’m really proud to say, I think a lot of people recognize there’s a lot of work to be done at the company and they recognize that it’s a different kind of learning path for them. And it’s okay to specialize. It’s actually the way that success takes form.

Harry Stebbings: No. I couldn’t agree with you more on that in terms of the need for specialization. I do want to dive into my favorite element of any interview, being the quick fire round. So, Claire, 60 seconds SaaStr. Are you ready? It’s about 60 seconds per statement. How does that sound?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I’m going to do my very best.

Harry Stebbings: Okay. So what motto or quotes do you most frequently revert back to?

Claire Hughes Johnson: Probably Eleanor Roosevelt’s, do the thing you think you cannot do.

Harry Stebbings: I love that. What’s the most challenging element of your role with Stripe today?

Claire Hughes Johnson: That I wish I could bend the time space continuum because it’s the thing I need to spend more time on, yet it does not seem flexible.

Harry Stebbings: Telling me a moment in your life plan that served as an inflection point and really changed the way you think?

Claire Hughes Johnson: I was torn on this one. I think one is professional and then in my early career, I worked in politics. And I saw people’s entire careers get pretty wrecked by one event, which is losing a campaign. And when you think about, how do you get yourself in a position that you are an individual or tied to an individual so much so that their fate determines yours? And that always makes me think when I think about managing my career, which is to not tie it to one particular person, I’m more about a cause or a mission. The other is more personal, which is, I think when you’re in a very early career and you’re very ambitious, it’s quite easy to put a lot of your life behind your work. And when I worked at Google and I was on the rise in a position, I almost canceled on going to see my father for a surprise 75th birthday celebration but I made it work. I took a red eye, I figured it out and a month later, he died suddenly of a heart attack. And if you’re not supporting people and trying to make the best decisions for everything in their life, even when their career is on fire, then you’re probably doing them a disservice.

And I think I was … As a young manager, I was not as supportive of people’s lives, the important things. And I think, what if I had not gone to that birthday celebration?

Harry Stebbings: That’s absolutely. I’m so sorry to hear that. What are your strengths and weaknesses, Claire? Penultimate question.

Claire Hughes Johnson: Well, I think I already shared it, which is, I can do a lot of different things. I’m pretty versatile, I’m very adaptable. But I worry that the weakness is, I don’t make the space or the time to really go deep. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re trying to cover so much ground and I value the people around me who make me stop and think. I’m also pretty comfortable communicating and communicating a lot. And sometimes the flip side of that is, you got to listen and you got to be quiet and I get impatient and I just talk.

Harry Stebbings: And then the final question, what do you know now that you wish you’d known at the beginning? Now, this can be at the beginning of your career, this could be the beginning of your time at Google or your time at Stripe. But what do you know now that you wish you’d known at the beginning of dot dot dot.

Claire Hughes Johnson: I’ve been thinking about this one. I’m really someone who lives in the present a lot. I think the thing that I wish I knew is actually related to the previous question which is, often people’s great strengths are also a source of weakness. And if you can figure out how to mitigate that, you are going to be better off. The other thing I wish I knew is, the things that I’m truly very good at are like breathing to me. They don’t feel very special and I think a lot of humans walk around not understanding their most special abilities because it just seems so obvious to them. And then if you can seek feedback and surround yourself with people who you share sort of mutual observations like, do you realize that you have these insights that I just don’t think anyone has? It’s really powerful because … I mean, I’m a believer in learning and growing but understand your own foundation and you will be that much stronger.

Harry Stebbings: Claire, it’s been such a pleasure to have you on the show. So as I said, I’ve been a huge, huge admirer for a long time and especially after Elad’s incredible chat with you. So thank you so much for joining me today.

Claire Hughes Johnson: Thank you, Harry. It was a pleasure.

 

Published on October 19, 2018

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