Good morning, fellow managers and leaders ☕️

Today’s issue is packed with management wisdom and reminders to be human-centric leaders. Here’s my favourite quote from Nick Mehta’s article:

“The bottom line is that we want to treat all of our stakeholders as human beings first. And we strive to create an environment for everyone to bring their whole human selves to work.”

I hope you enjoy the articles and podcast episodes we curated for you this week.


Before we move to the usual programming, we have one quick question for you: is there a meeting template you’d like to use or learn more about? We’re working on a *brand new* meeting templates library and would love to add all your requests and suggestions. (It could be a template from a specific type of meeting, company, or person!)

Let me know by replying to this email! 📩


Now, here are this week’s hand-picked tips to help you on your journey to becoming a great leader:

🤝 The world needs human-first CEOs, not war-time CEOs (7 min read) | Nick Mehta 

TLDR: Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz famously shared the “Peacetime CEO / Wartime CEO” model in his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

In this article, Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight) argues that the war metaphor can be problematic, as it gives CEOs an excuse to forget that business is still fundamentally about leading human beings. Here are our top three takeaways from the article:

  • Businesses have stakeholders that aren’t just assets or transactions. We need to drive success for all of our stakeholders – from customers to partners, to employees and their families, to our shareholders, to our community.
  • Leaders must reconsider the makeup of their workforce and assess if their team representation is in line with the overall demographic mix of the population.
  • Companies must understand that their businesses can only survive if their customers do. Salesforce, for instance, allowed its customers to delay payments for 90 days after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This is a reminder to be empathetic and and ‘human-first’.

🌎 Work from anywhere: Shopify and Gitlab on a digital by default future (13 min read + videos) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: The world is changing and companies like Shopify are changing with it. Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant announced its transition to a Digital by Default model, allowing its 5,000+ employees to work from home indefinitely. Gitlab, on the other hand, has been an all-remote company since its inception. 

We interviewed Mark Bergen (Head of Revenue at Shopify Plus) and Darren Murph (Head of Remote at Gitlab) to get their tips and best practices for remote leaders and managers:

  • Adopt a hand-book first mentality: documenting all your company processes and policies in one place.
  • Shift from being a director and hand-holder to being open to feedback and an unblocker.
  • If you’re not hiring people you can trust to work when you’re not around, there’s probably a bigger issue that you need to look at.

🌲 Seeking the roots (8 min read) | Julie Zhuo 

TLDR: Understanding people’s roots and the reasoning behind their decisions is an essential skill for leaders. As Julie Zhuo (author of The Making of a Manager) argues in this article, you must ask the right questions to understand what makes people behave in the way they do today. Here are some questions you can ask to understand your team’s (and your own) roots:

  • What kinds of people do you admire and hope to emulate? Why?
  • What do you consider the greatest challenges in your life? 
  • What does a good life look like to you? Why?

💡 10 Expert tips for new (and aspiring) managers (10 min read) | Fellow Blog 

TLDR: If you’re on your way to becoming a manager or have just become one, you’re in the right place. To support you in your new managerial endeavours, we asked a panel of experts from companies like Intercom, Unbounce, Square (and more!) for their most valuable advice and tips for new managers. Here are three of their ten tips:

  • Learn to delegate and create opportunities to help your direct reports grow.
  • Figure out what kind of manager each person on the team needs you to be.
  • Explicitly write down your expectations for your direct reports and what they can expect from you as a manager.

🎙 New on the Supermanagers podcast

  • Episode 19 (33 min): Patrick Campbell (CEO at ProfitWell) reflects on his journey as a first-time founder and manager. Hear about Patrick’s early career-building days working at Google and the US Defence Department, as well as what life was like when he decided to go all-in and build ProfitWell in 2012. 
  • Episode 20 (39 min): Michael Litt (CEO at Vidyard) talks about the importance of exercising your mind, so you can execute your mission and your values as a leader. We talk about how leadership changes as your business grows, the importance of communication and structure to keep tasks on track, and having empathy and compassion for your team. 

And that’s it for today. I hope that the content we curated inspires you to continue growing as a leader! 🌱

If you enjoyed that, please share the newsletter with others. Share this newsletter on Twitter.

Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela and The Fellow.app Team

P.S. This week, we launched Fellow’s mobile and desktop apps, which will allow you to add talking points to agendas instantly so that you never forget to discuss something important with your team! 📲