How to switch role at a Startup from hands to leadership (strategy, vision)

Hi,

While ago was promoted to leadership position, if we can call it like this.

Personally, find it somewhat hard to switch from hands on to strategy, vision role. There are always tasks, issues popping up that need my technical guidance, skills. Some are "ghosts from the past" , when I did something well, and now it comes back again with new, more work.

I try to delegate as much as I can, but sometimes it is hard due to lack of skills, knowledge, experience, other work, maybe even motivation in my team.

Is it even possible in a Startup (200 employees) to do only vision, strategy? Or we all have to be all hands on deck, doing things that needs to be done.

How does agile methodology sees it? How should one work in the agile organization I that aspect? Strive for? I also worked in Corporation, there it seemed like it was very structured, also mindset was different. People would not challenge things that much, do their thing etc. It was clear who does what, management, leadership leads, manages, employees do the work, tasks.

Thanks,

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

10 Keys To Winning With Team Collaboration Leadership

achievement-agreement-collaborationThe reigning theory in business has long been that “alpha” leaders make the best entrepreneurs. These are aggressive, results-driven achievers who assert control, and insist on a hierarchical organizational model. Yet I am seeing more and more success from “beta” startup cultures, like Zappos and Amazon, where the emphasis is on collaboration, curation, and communication.

Some argue that this new horizontal culture is being driven by Gen-Y, whose focus has always been more communitarian. Other business culture experts, like Dr. Dana Ardi, in her classic book “The Fall of the Alphas,” argues that the rise of the betas is really part of a broader culture change driven by the Internet, towards communities, instant communication, and collaboration.

Can you imagine the overwhelming growth of Facebook, Wikipedia, and Twitter in a culture dominated by alphas? These would never happen. I agree with Dr. Ardi’s writing, that most successful workplaces of the future need to adopt the following beta characteristics, and align themselves more with the beta leadership model:

  1. Do away with archaic command-and-control models. Winning startups today are horizontal, not hierarchical. Everyone who works there feels they’re part of something, and moreover, that it’s the next big thing. They want to be on the cutting-edge of all the people, places and things that technology is going to propel next.

  2. Leaders of tomorrow need to practice ego management. They should be aware of their own biases, and focus on the present as on the future. They need to manage the egos of team members, by rewarding collaborative behavior. There will always be the need for decisive leadership, particularly in times of crisis, so I’m not suggesting total democracy.

  3. Winning contemporary startups stress innovation. Betas believe that team members need to be given an opportunity to make a difference – to give input into key decisions and to communicate their findings and learnings to one another. Encourage team-members to play to their own strengths so that the entire team and organization leads the competition.

  4. Put a premium on collaboration and teamwork. Instead of knives-out competition, these companies thrive by building a successful community with shared values. Team members are empowered and encouraged to express themselves. The best teams are hired with collaboration in mind. The whole is thus more than the sum of the parts.

  5. In the most winning companies, everyone shares the culture. Leadership is fluid and bend-able. Integrity and character matter a lot. Everyone knows about the culture. Everyone subscribes to the culture. Everyone recognizes both its passion and its nuance. The result looks more like a symphony orchestra and less like an advancing army.

  6. Roles, identities and responsibilities mutate weekly, daily, and even hourly. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make is they don’t act quickly enough. Markets and needs change quickly. Now there is a focus on social, global and environmental responsibility. Hierarchies make it hard to adjust positions or redefine roles. The beta culture gets it done.

  7. Temper self-esteem and confidence with empathy and compassion. Mindfulness, of self and others, by boards, executives and employees, may very well be the single most important trait of a successful company. If someone is not a good cultural fit, or is not getting it done, make the change quickly, but with sensitivity. Pain increases over time.

  8. Every individual in the organization is a contributor. The closer everyone in the organization comes to achieving his or her singular potential, the more successful the business will be. Successful cultures encourage their employees to keep refreshing their toolkits, keep flexible, keep their stakes in the stream.

  9. Diversity of thought, style, approach and background is key. Entrepreneurs build teams, not fill positions. Cherry-picking candidates from name-brand universities will do nothing to further an organization and may even work against it. Put aside perfectionism, don’t wait for the perfect person – he or she may not exist. Hire track record and potential.

  10. Everyone need not be a superstar. It’s about company teams, not just the individual. In case you hadn’t noticed, superstars don’t pass the ball, they just shoot it. Not everyone wants to move up; it’s ok to move across. Become their sponsor – onboarding with training and tools is essential. Spend time listening. Give them what they need to succeed.

Savvy entrepreneurs and managers around the world are finding it more effective to lead through influence and collaboration, rather than relying on fear, authority, and competition. I believe beta is rapidly becoming the new paradigm for success in today’s challenging market. Where does your startup fit in with this new model?

Marty Zwilling

Startup Professionals Musings

Leadership – so much advise offered and yet so little truth in it . . .

You can read so much good advise on leadership and yet I feel much of it is nice-sounding superficial stuff that is mostly useless in practice.

Example?

“Good leaders are great listeners!“ Oh that sounds so wise, doesn‘t it? We all know listening is good, it shows interest and it sounds so humble. Yet, I have seen great leaders and terrible leaders and they usually all listen a lot. The differences s one has a group picked for being competent and Hallenhandballes and one has a group of so called „aligned minds“, which basically means they have become indoctrinated and therefore build a very effective echo chamber. These leaders have unpentratable bubbles around them, that constantly confirm their ideas. As long as they are right this is great, once they are not right . . . Go figure.

„A leader is there to make everyone else better.“ That one I love. How about those who do not fit? Can a great leader magically make them better? Does he fire them? Does it mean who cannot grow needs to go? I think the idea that is simplified here is, that a Boss is not working, he is empowering everyone else to do a great job. That one is true. Also it becomes also a much colder and less social reality when you have people under you who do not work so well. In what we call a „high performance culture“ there is only room for high-performers. A truth. So I believe the more true and less social sounding sentence is: „A leader can make a team better and sort out those who cannot contribute in a way that does not hurt the overall spirit.“

I could go on with this. I have been thrown into leadership positions twice in my life and I found there were two things I rally needed to do. First you take responsibility, therefore you do not blame others, but you blame yourself and that leads to a culture where people are not pointing fingers at each other, but can take risks and admit failure. Second one is the in my opinion the true job of a leader.

A leader endures the insecurities for everyone else.

You show up in office and show confidence. You tell people you are gonna make it. You make them believe they can do it. But every complex mission sees a million internal and external obstacles. Some are slow working poisons, some are massive icebergs. As a leader you endure them, you deal with them, often alone and without help and shield your team or company from those. Truth is, that makes being the Leader the loneliest job on the planet. Hopefully you get a boost for your ego out of it (I did not), but expect you will lie awake at night, while everyone sleeps well, trusting you to handle impossible odds against you.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

8 Team Member Types Test Your Entrepreneur Leadership

conflict-team-membersThe most valuable assets of a new startup are the people on the team, and the most challenging task of the entrepreneur and team leaders is to spend their leadership time and energy productively. Cash isn’t always the scarcest resource startups have to invest – more often it’s the leadership capital of under-experienced and over-stretched entrepreneurs and co-founders.

Most new startup founders start out by assuming they need to spread their leadership efforts evenly across all team members. They soon find that doesn’t work, and they fall back to dedicating their efforts to the performance issue or crisis of the moment. Unfortunately this often makes them enablers of team member bad behavior, and spiraling down to a dysfunctional team.

I found some guidance in the classic book, “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results,” by Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo, two top thought leaders in the field of leadership development. While their experience and focus is more on large organizations, I was struck by how similar the considerations are to my experiences with startup teams.

The authors define a leadership matrix of four behavioral categories and eight team member subtypes. Every entrepreneur needs to take a hard look at their current startup team, based on the nature of each team member’s behavior, and future requirements, to assess their leadership challenge ahead:

  1. Domain masters. One of the most desired team member types for startups is the domain expert who is satisfied with their existing position and leadership. You count on these to deliver ongoing outstanding results. They require your lowest energy investment for the highest output. The challenge is to reward them well and not lose their loyalty.
  1. Rising stars. These team members are the ones who perform well in current roles, with minimum leadership, but they expect leaders to provide them with a stepping stone to larger roles and responsibilities. If they don’t see that happening, they are prone to leave your startup for better opportunities, or revert to a squeaky wheel or even a slacker role.
  1. Squeaky wheels. Team members who are capable of great results, but require an inordinate amount of hand-holding are often called squeaky wheels. An entrepreneur’s challenge with these is to wean them from their dependence on the leader, while continuing to generate solid results. Any other action will drive them to a lower category.
  1. Steamrollers. Some team members may get results, but at the high cost of damaging team morale and destroying the goodwill you and your team have accrued with others. Your challenge is to reduce the friction they are causing, while building their people skills and improving their ability to positively influence others. Their friction is usually toxic.
  1. Joyriders. These team members are always busy, and spend an inordinate amount of time at work, but focus on tasks they want to do, not tasks you need them to do. Your leadership task is to refocus their attention on their core responsibilities, and remove any possible distractions. Make sure they get rewarded for desired results, not time spent.
  1. Stowaways. We all know the team member who expends the bare minimum amount of effort required to keep getting paid. Stowaways need their leaders to engage them on a regular basis, and measure them against peers to make sure they are carrying their own weight. At the least, other members need to see you holding this person accountable.
  1. Square pegs. These are people who simply don’t have the skills they need to do the required job. The leadership challenge is to find the training or mentoring to fill the skill gap, or to find a new role that is a better match for the skills they do have. The leadership capital, and other costs to support square pegs is a huge startup resource drain.
  1. Slackers. At the bottom of the value chain are team members who have the skills to do the job, but lack the drive or motivation. The leadership challenge here is to unlock their motivation to apply themselves to their work, or remove them from your startup before they have drained the drive and energy from the rest of the team.

Effective team leadership, or leadership inside the box, is really only half the challenge that every entrepreneur faces. Equally important is leadership in the marketplace, with customers, outside partners, and industry thought drivers. The time and energy to do both is beyond most mere mortals.

It’s time to take a hard look inside your box to see if you are spending leadership capital there that you can’t afford.

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings

7 Startup Leadership Keys To Ramp Up Team Commitment

highly-engaged-teamEntrepreneurs need to be effective team leaders, since no one can transform an idea into a product and a business without some help. Unfortunately many founders I work with as a mentor are experts on the technical side, but have no insight into leading a team. But fortunately, team building is a skill that can be learned and practiced, for those willing to put in some effort.

The only real alternative is to find a co-founder who can build and lead the team, while you focus on the product. Otherwise, in my experience, the startup will fail. The importance and the specifics of practical team leadership were re-confirmed to me a while back in the classic book, “Unlocked,” by Robert S. Murray, who is a recognized expert in the field of business leadership.

I recommend his checklist as a starting point for developing team connections and building engaged team members as a key step in becoming an effective team leader, even if your team is spread all over the country:

  1. Consciously reduce time spent on outside activities. You won’t be viewed as the team leader if you spend most of your time on activities that are not relevant to your team. Being visible and engaged on a random part-time basis, due to other jobs, won’t do it. If your team has trouble finding you, you won’t make productive connections.
  1. Be compulsive about scheduling time for your team. Even busy entrepreneurs need to schedule regular and predictable times which will be devoted only to working and interacting with the team. Possibly an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon may be enough, if you make it happen consistently.
  1. Maintain a weekly “huddle meeting” with the entire team. This can even be done remotely via Zoom, but it’s important that every team member attends. You need to listen as each summarizes their accomplishments for the last week, and their plan for the week ahead. Leadership is making sure they have resources and understand the strategy.
  1. Have monthly reviews with each team member. Team members need and crave feedback, much more frequently and informally than the annual performance review. I recommend scheduled monthly 30-minute informal checkpoints, as well as quarterly updates on objectives and performance. Ask what you can do for them in every review.
  1. Practice leadership by walking around (LBWA). I personally have found this to be one of the most effective ways to find out what is going on, as well as an opportunity to provide feedback on strategy and direction. Go for walks every day and stop at people’s desks. Ask them what is going on, both in the team and outside of work. Listen.
  1. Recognize team members for individual efforts. Communicate individual results as well as team results to everyone. Most leaders don’t say “thank you” enough. Recognition in front of peers is often more motivating that monetary awards. This is the time to talk about wins with customers and what is coming on the horizon, and the team role in each.
  1. Be real and authentic in every interaction. If you are not, your team will see right through it and you will be worse off than if you stayed locked up in your office. Make sure you’re treating all team members as you would want to be treated. Be genuinely interested in learning something new every day from your team, and they will follow you.

The value of startup teams with the founder as an effective leader is many times the value of many strong individuals working independently. It’s not only your connection with the team, but their connection with each other that is critical. Only a dedicated leader can spot those special powers in each member and then build a well-oiled team which can win the startup war for you.

The result is not only more productivity, but also a startup where everyone loves to contribute, and the whole team feels the energy and satisfaction of accomplishing your dream. Now your product leadership becomes business leadership, which can actually change the world.

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings

Half as many women apply for ICANN leadership jobs

 DomainIncite.com: This year’s ICANN Nominating Committee has released data showing a drop in the number of applicants for ICANN leadership positions, with a noticeable decline in the number of female applicants. The NomCom is responsible for picking members of the ICANN board, GNSO Council, PTI board, ALAC and ccNSO Council. There were 96 applic…
Domaining.com

After college and grad school, I want to join a 3 year old start up that has been making immense progress. I want to get involved with exec leadership later down the line. Should I start as an engineer or as a business management person?

The company is a very engineering based group that is planning to make a fusion reactor. I'm an engineering-inclined person who's 17, so my options are open as to what I can major in. The company is making immense progress and is planning to have a commercial product by 2030. Right now, they really need engineers (mechanical, nuclear, etc). Should I study to become an engineer there, or major in business/marketing if I want to become an exec? Shpuld I be taking business classes in college (i.e. as a minor)?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How to find mentors for people leadership

How do y'all find mentors to help you with your leadership skills and management? Is it something that is required to become a great manager eventually? I really want to grow and become a manager that is effective and empathetic at the same time, and would be grateful for any suggestions/tips coming from experience. Thanks!

I created a post earlier but it it didn't get noticed much, so trying again.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

What Is Leadership? – Importance and Styles

leadership leader

Are leaders born or made?

A study by the University of Illinois suggests that 30% of leadership ability is genetic and 70% of the leadership skills are to be developed or made.

To be able to give a better answer to the above question, let us try to understand what leadership is and what it takes to be a good leader.


What Is Leadership?

Leadership is the process of social influence to motivate people to achieve a shared set of objectives.

The two key phrases to note here are-

  1. Social influence: Leaders tend to cause a change in the behaviour of people by establishing an influencer-follower relationship with them.
  2. Shared set of objectives: The main aim of a leader is to achieve a set of goals with the help of focused efforts put in by people who believe in these goals.

There is a need for leadership in almost all walks of like; not only in political or business scenarios but also at homes. This being said, it becomes important to know who is a leader and what characteristics a good leader possesses.

Who Is A Leader?

A leader is a person who takes the responsibility of leading a group of people or an organisation towards the accomplishment of a vision.

They do so by –

  • Motivating and inspiring their followers
  • Building a sense of trust and accountability
  • Engaging followers in activities that channelise their efforts in one direction


Characteristics Of A Good Leader

Practically, there is no perfect structure that explains how to be a good leader, but there are some basic characteristics that a good leader may project:

  1. Vision: It is the leader’s vision that the followers try to achieve by making it their own.
  2. Communication: Possessing good communication skills is the key to get people to work towards a vision. Communication skills not only include speaking skills but it also includes listening skills. As a leader, it is as important to listen to the followers as it is to communicate the vision.
  3. Confidence: Only when the leader is confident can the followers trust them. It is the leader’s confidence in themselves and their followers that motivates the followers to accomplish goals.
  4. Persuasion: A leader’s speech should be persuasive to influence people to work for them.
  5. Decision Making: Decision making is the most critical quality a leader should possess. Because it is the decisions of the leader that the followers look up to and it is their decisions that will affect the entire team or organisation for that matter.
  6. Empathy: Listening to the followers and understanding their problems will enable the leader to know why his or her team is not performing well and come up with solutions for the same.

Importance Of Leadership In Organisations

Leadership plays a vital role in organisations. Be it leadership at the senior most level or at the team level. Some reasons why leadership is important are:

  1. Keeps employees motivated: Effective leadership inspires and motivates employees to supersede their personal interests and work towards the accomplishment of goals set for the progress of a team or the organisation as a whole.
  2. Keeps everyone focused: Since a leader puts forth a clear vision for the organisation, it becomes easy for the team to focus their efforts to keep themselves aligned with the leader’s vision. It leads to channelizing the energy of the entire team in a single direction which increases the impact of the team’s efforts.
  3. Helps in conflict management: A leader helps to keep the team in coordination and harmony. Any conflicts that exist within the team can be resolved with the help of the team leader. Effective conflict management by leaders results in a team working with high productivity and with mutual respect for each other. It also leads to a positive and motivating work environment.

Types Of Leadership Styles

There are different leadership styles to suit different situations. Leadership can be categorised into the following styles:


Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is giving employees the freedom to be creative and take responsibility for their own decisions. A transformational leader communicates his or her vision to the employees and then let them work towards achieving that vision by letting them work in autonomy. This enables the employees to come up with new innovative solutions to achieve objectives and stay motivated.

Some characteristics of a transformational leader are:

  • Promoting creativity
  • Providing autonomy to the team
  • Clear vision for future

Transformational leadership is best suited for organisations that are looking to transform their brand image or bring about new innovative solutions into untapped markets.

Steve Jobs is one example of a transformational leader. He had a vision for Apple which was worked upon by the employees of Apple. He promoted innovation which lead to delivery of creative solutions by the employees.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional Leadership is the antithesis of transformational leadership. Unlike transformational leadership, transactional leadership works on the principle of punish and reward. It is about getting the employees to complete their jobs by a stick and carrot approach. The leaders constantly supervise and monitor employee performance. Transactional leader’s main aim is to get the routine tasks done in the most efficient manner possible.

Listed below are some characteristics of a transactional leader are:

  • Consistent supervision and direction
  • Extrinsic motivator
  • Rigidity in instructions

When an organisation is looking at increasing everyday efficiency of its team with consistent reporting, transactional leadership seems to be the best fit.

Bill Gates is one example of a transactional leader. It is said that he used to visit the product teams to make sure that the teams were on track with their activities and used to ask them questions until he was satisfied that the team is working correctly.

Charismatic Leadership

Leaders with a charismatic leadership style are the ones who use their personality and persuasive skills to get followers to do what they believe in. Their communication skill is the most admired by their followers. They are the ones who connect with their followers at an emotional level because they are profound communicators.

Charismatic leaders may have the following characteristics:

  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Persuasive and assertive
  • High Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Charismatic leadership is most effective in situations where the leader needs to bridge the emotional gap with their followers. Situations which require the leaders to empathise with their followers can be best tackled by adopting charismatic leadership.

Political leaders like Barack Obama and Narendra Modi are examples of people with charismatic leadership style. They connect with their followers on an emotional level and communicate their message in a very persuasive way.


Democratic Leadership

As the name suggests, democratic leadership style practices democracy. All the decisions are made after taking into consideration all team members inputs. Though the power of decision making lies with the leader, but he or she takes into account what their team members have to say. Such a style of leadership promotes freedom of expression in the team and encourages the team members to be vocal about their opinions.

Here is a list of characteristics that a democratic leader may possess:

  • Empowering the group
  • Fair decision making
  • Task delegation

A team that is made up of members who are opinionated and believe in team work can be best supported by adapting to democratic leadership style.

A jazz band portrays the democratic leadership style perfectly. Even though the band often lead by a conductor or bandleader who is responsible to ensemble various sounds and harmonies into one cohesive production, there are certain sections where each musician gets the freedom to improvise and show off their creative side.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic style of leadership is the one in which leaders generally tend to not accept ideas that are non-traditional. Bureaucratic leaders, just like democratic leaders, listen to their team member’s opinions and views but tend to reject anything that does not seem to be in alignment with a set guideline. Such a leadership style may lead to a lack of creativity in the team.

A leader with a bureaucratic leadership style may demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Lack of creative freedom
  • Controlled and structured leadership
  • Abider of status quo

An organisation that wants to work as per the set rules, is resilient to change and follows a strict hierarchy can be effectively led by bureaucratic leaders.

An example of a bureaucratic leader could be Winston Churchill. During World War when Winston Churchill was prime minister of the UK, he led the country with control, structure and power. Though his bureaucratic leadership style resulted in a victory in the Second World War for them, it also led to his downfall after the war.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire is a French word which means ‘allow to do’. So Laissez-Faire leadership style means letting things happen the way they are and not interfering in between. Laissez-Faire leaders tend to leave the team to be on their own and do not exercise their control powers.

Characteristics of a Laissez-Faire leader may be:

  • Very little or no guidance to the team
  • Complete freedom of decision making
  • Facilitator of resources

This style of leadership when followed with employees that are self-motivated and self-starters would work best. But if adopted for employees that are complacent and need a push to do tasks, it could lead to the downfall of the team.

Warren Buffet is a famous example of a Laissez-Faire leader. He is believed to leave his team to work on its own and achieve results. He gets the resources managed by making investments and leaves it to his managers to achieve goals.


Final Thoughts

Some people are born leaders. But, it does not mean leaders cannot be made. Behavioural theories believe that leaders can be made by learning and observing various leaders and their leadership styles. One can always learn and practice the skills to be a leader. A notable point here is that it is important to match the right leadership style with the right situation for effective and quantifiable results.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on what is leadership in the comments section.


Feedough

Chief, the leadership network for women, raises $15 million in funding

Chief, the social network dedicated exclusively to women in professional leadership positions, announced today that it has $ 15 million in funding from its existing investors, including General Catalyst, Inspired Capital, GGV Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Flybridge Capital and BoxGroup.

The startup is a highly vetted network of women who are leaders in their business, either managing a budget, a large team or both. The women are often at the VP or executive level. The company has more than 2,000 members in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, from companies like Google, IBM, HBO, Chobani, Walmart, Visa, Teladoc, Doctors Without Borders and The New York Times.

Chief was founded by Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan, who saw an opportunity to bring community, mentorship and guidance to a very underserved client: the female business leader.

Childers was SVP of Operations at Handy and led the launch of Soap.com, serving as GM there through its acquisition by Amazon. Kaplan was on the founding team of Casper, serving as VP of Communications and Brand, before leaving to co-found Chief.

Chief members are placed into a Core Group, which is industry-agnostic, to receive training from one of the company’s contracted and vetted executive coaches alongside their peers. In these peer groups, members talk about their challenges and receive support and guidance from one another, as well as an executive coach. Members also have access to a community chat feature, and Chief’s events, which include leadership workshops, conversations with industry leaders and community roundtables.

Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on in-person features of the platform, such as Core Groups and live events. But Chief has moved swiftly to put all these core services on the web for members to attend and participate virtually.

The company has also fast-tracked the launch of its hiring board, which gives members the ability to privately list great candidates and open positions to the broader network.

Chief vets its members to ensure that the women on the platform “get it,” as Kaplan likes to say.

“We all know it gets lonely at the top, and it gets a lot lonelier a lot earlier for women,” said Childers. “Women are on panels or on the circuit and they’re exhausted. This is a community they don’t have to be the one in the spotlight and feel all the pressure, but can actually be supported in a network of women who feel the exact same way. These women are the only person or one of the few people in their organization who have hit that level of leadership, and really need support from people who get it.”

The company looks at the applicant’s experience, the size of their organization and immediate team, the reporting structure, budget size, awards and credentials, thought leadership and impact, as well as current member nominations.

Interestingly, no more than 9% of the Chief membership work in a single industry, which leads to cognitive diversity within the community. The average age of a Chief member is 43, and members manage over $ 10 billion in collective budget at their organizations and more than 100,000 employees.

Executive-level members pay $ 7,900 annually, while VP-level members pay $ 5,800 each year. Chief says that 40% of its members are Executives; the other 60% are VPs. The company says that 30% of its membership base are women of color.

Chief also operates a Membership Grant program, created to promote diversity of background and thought among members, that brings the cost of an annual membership down to $ 3,800 for folks coming from non-corporate or underfunded organizations. The company did not disclose what percentage of customers are on the grant program.

Some napkin math then tells us that Chief is likely generating more than $ 10 million in revenue in 2020, on the conservative end. Kaplan and Childers say that they have a waitlist of 8,000 to join.

The new funding will be used to accelerate growth to meet demand in new cities and support the build-out of technology infrastructure. This latest round brings Chief’s total funding to $ 40 million.

Startups – TechCrunch