A podcast for progressive leaders and teams

Learn from the best and become a better leader

The Teams at Work podcast will help you discover cutting-edge best practices for how to build a high-performance team. We feature leaders at hyper-growth companies and discuss the future of work, remote practices, leadership, and culture.

Our guest today is Kate Leo, a consultant & coach for product teams at both disruptive startups and Fortune 500 companies whose 25-year career has included product leadership roles at Yahoo and Moo.com. She’s also written a book on hiring product managers based on “EQ”.

In this episode, we dive deep into Kate’s journey from a product manager, to head of product, to a consultant and then a coach, and the most important lessons she learned along the way.

She shares her thoughts on the importance of understanding the emotional and human side of work, recognizing and overcoming imposter syndrome, and how to approach “change” in a team or across an entire organization by identifying “micro risks”.

Things you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to identify and overcome your “limiting beliefs”
  • A systematic approach to creating change with mini-experiments
  • The meaning of ‘human skills’ why they’re more important than technical skills

Our guest today is David Noël, ex-SoundCloud VP turned leadership coach.

In this episode, we had one of the most authentic, honest conversations about taking non-traditional paths to find your passion, admitting when it’s time to leave your job, and remembering what is really important in life.

David reflects on starting his leadership journey from a young age as a boy scout, how the transition from manager to leader isn’t always easy and gives actionable advice on what it means to be a leader.

Things you learn in this episode:

  • How communication, leadership & culture hold everything together
  • Walking away from great opportunities to find out who you’re meant to be
  • The courage it takes to be a leader
  • Disconnecting yourself from a title and role and applying your skills elsewhere to create new value
  • Being true to your principles & living by them (even if it might go wrong)
  • Integrating life and work experiences to avoid ranking work and career progression as something more important

Our guest today is Ryan Donovan, an experienced and passionate people leader and CTO of Hootsuite, one of the most popular social media management tools & a high-growth tech company, currently employing over 1000 team members all over the world.

In this episode, Ryan looks back on important leadership moments that defined his career. He reflects on the role of listening as a leader and shares successful tactics he deploys to improve collaboration between engineers, product people, and the rest of the organization. 

This episode holds many important & valuable lessons for engineering managers or anyone who is interested in learning what it takes to build successful tech and product teams.

Things you'll learn in this episode:

  • How to build relationships at work that help your team (s) grow
  • Best Practices on Managing Product and Tech Debt - Hood open syndrome explained 
  • Hands-on tips on how to help your team member grow 
  • How to make sure people are moving into leadership for the right reasons
  • How to become a really good listener


Disclaimer: Due to technical issues, the recording quality in this episode is not as top-notch as we like it to be. We believe the content however is very valuable and hope that you can bear with the from time to time challenging audio.

Our guest today is Steve Schlafman, an expert in leadership development and the Founder and Coach at High Output.

In this episode, we explored Steve’s decision to leave behind a $7.5 million angel fund to take a step back and focus on the things that truly matter. We zoomed in on the importance of taking breaks to recharge our batteries and the long-term benefit of doing so.

Steve gives actionable advice on how to strengthen the co-founder relationship and the role of impeccable agreements on being able to fully reveal yourself and being comfortable sharing your experiences.

Things you learn in this episode:

  • What it means to leave behind what doesn’t feel right
  • Using daily architectures to structure your day and include downtime 
  • The importance of investing in your co-founder relationship
  • The VC - founder relationship versus the Coach - founder relationship

Our guest today is Olivier Bonnet—though he’ll also accept “Oliver”—currently CTO of BlaBlaCar in Paris. Getting his hands dirty with engineering work first and then moving onto leadership roles, Olivier jumped into his tech career at Apple and then spent 12 years there in the US soaking up some of the world’s best engineering secrets. 


This is a rich episode where Olivier shares what it’s like to work in a variety of environments—from the USA to Europe, or large companies like Apple vs. high-growth scale-ups like BlaBlaCar. 

We dug into his personal leadership style, which is a great example of the classic principle “lead by example.” Olivier is a master of “walking the talk” so we’re excited to share his highly actionable leadership advice with you!

Things you learn in this episode:

  • What’s it's like to work in high-performance tech environments in both the US and Europe
  • What are the tactical day-to-day differences between large companies and high-growth, scale-up ones
  • How to lead a 200+ people engineering team
  • How teamwork and collaboration have impact in a fast-changing world

Our guest today is Ellen Wong, an expert in managing people and the Director of Engineering at Calm.

In this episode, we explored Ellen’s management path from senior engineer to managing director. We also discussed what it really means to lead by influence—something people talk about a lot but don’t really explain.

Ellen breaks down several of her recommendations to leading folks senior to her, how she builds trust with a new team, and what leading by influence means to her.

Connect with Ellen on LinkedIn to discuss her ideas further.

Become a better leader in 2 minutes a day with BUNCH, the AI Leadership Coach. Download it free on the App Store by searching “bunch coach.”

Follow BUNCH on Twitter: @bunch_HQ or subscribe to our newsletter The Weekly Briefing on Substack for more frameworks and resources

Things you learn in this episode:

  • What it means to truly lead by influence
  • How to lead people more senior than you
  • Using vulnerability to inspire others
  • How to enable and empower others to lead, too!

Our guest today is Mathias Meyer, a very successful executive leadership coach that loves to stretch technical founders and CTOs and he is also the co-author of the book “The Intentional Organization.”

In this episode we dove into Mathias’s journey from an impatient engineer to a founder, a CTO and a patient human that leads by influence.

We also discovered how important it is involving engineers early on in the product development process and talked about the right time to do that.

Connect with Mathias on Twitter: @roidrage or Linkedin. Check out what Mathias is currently working on & his forthcoming book here: https://intentionalorganization.com/

Become a better leader in 2 minutes a day with BUNCH, the AI Leadership Coach. Download it free here.

Follow BUNCH on Twitter: @bunch_HQ or subscribe to our newsletter The Weekly Briefing on Substack for more frameworks and resources

Things you learn in this episode:

  • How to become a patient engineer
  • Why seniority diversity on the dev team is important
  • What it means to be a high-performance team
  • How to grow from “what could be possible” to “High performance”
  • Why engineers should be involved earlier in the product development process

Our guest today is Pat Kua, a CTO/Tech advisor, Coach, and Mentor, who worked for companies like Thoughtworks, N26, and is on a mission to accelerate the growth of technical leaders through coaching, mentoring, and training.

In this episode, we dove into what makes the leap into management so challenging for engineers and what they can do to succeed. Pat also shared tons of useful insights around anti-patterns that hold engineering leaders back and how to tackle those.

We also discovered how tech leaders are the shepherds of systems thinking in organizations and how to ship quality at speed while scaling.

Connect with Pat on Twitter: @patkua or check out his website.

Become a better leader in 2 minutes a day with BUNCH, the AI Leadership Coach. Download it free here.

Follow BUNCH on Twitter: @bunch_HQ or subscribe to our newsletter The Weekly Briefing on Substack for more frameworks and resources

Things you learn in this episode:

  • How to succeed as a new engineer manager
  • The anti-patterns that prevent leaders engineers to grow
  • What to avoid when transitioning to management
  • Why engineers are the shepherds of systems thinking in organizations
  • The importance of quality when scaling

As Founder of House of Wise, CMO of Teal, and mother to 3, Amanda Goetz knows how to get sh*t done. Thankfully, she shares just how to do that with us all in this episode where we celebrate female entrepreneurship and discuss work done right.

Check out The Code of the Extraordinary mind - recommended by Amanda during the episode: https://www.vishen.com/codex

Veteran software developer and engineer James Trunk has had a long and notable career, starting at the tender age of 19 in his first internship, up until now, where he currently works as Head of Engineering at Znipe, while also transitioning into a new leg in his career as VP of Engineering at Griffin.

Join Darja and Anthony as they chat with James and discuss about the most notable parts of his career, sharing anecdotes and important insights in his journey that took him from software development, to his first gig as an inexperienced team leader, and eventually to his current role, where he uses his unique approach to management to build effective engineering teams to tackle any challenge.

Jan Hase started his career as a coder and now finds himself as co-founder and CEO of Wunderflats. 

His company is on a mission to make housing more accessible and less discriminatory all while building a diverse team that serves a diverse market. 

In this episode of lessons learned, Jan shares the fuckups and aha moments from building a diverse tech team. Tune in to hear how you can leverage similar tactics to build more diversity into your team, too!

Renita Kalhorn is an Executive Performance Coach who has been coaching leaders for the last 14 years. She's a mental trainer for the Navy Seals RDAC, has an MBA from INSEAD, and mentors startup founders and corporate executives alike. We talked about the new leadership landscape, the VUCA world we're living in, and what it takes to succeed in this environment - so you won't become anyone's bad boss story.

Things you'll learn in this episode:

  • Overcome volatility by making things concrete

  • Counter uncertainty with daily rituals

  • Unravel complexity with common sense

  • Give ambiguity the boot with clear de-briefs

Karl Alomar is Managing Partner at M13, a US-based VC that's invested in companies like Lyft, Pinterest, Daily Harvest and Capsule. A 2-time founder himself, Karl has worked with many young tech companies and helped build Digital Ocean from the ground up as COO - ultimately reaching 500+ employees and $200M in revenue. In this episode, Karl shares stories and learnings from leading companies through 2 different economic crises in 2000 and 2008, and shines some hope and optimism on the current global crisis.

Things you'll learn in this episode:

  • How to communicate tough decisions and motivate your team
  • Why it's important to see both play both "offense and defense" in a crisis situation
  • The impact of the current global crisis on startups

Alex Weber is Chief Growth Officer at N26, the unicorn digital bank with an ambition to change the way banking is done around the world. In this episode, Alex reflects on his 6 year journey at N26, and the lessons learned while going from an Entrepreneur in Residence at a tiny startup to a C-level executive at a 1500 person company.

Things you'll learn in this episode:

  • The keys to creating a successful team

  • How to grow fast enough as an individual to keep pace with a hyper-growth company

  • Why being able "unplug" makes you more effective

Liz Daldalian is Head of Business Operations at Truffle Suite, a 100% remote team building "sweet tools for smart contracts". In this episode, Liz shares practical tips for how to overcome those usual challenges that tend to get amplified when you're running remote: from building trust and connection in the team, to coordinating work, and navigating tough conversations. Running a remote team yourself?

Things you learn in this episode:

  • Rituals to help remote team members feel included
  • Quick tips for how to communicate better on Slack
  • How to coordinate work effectively with a remote team

Dizzy Smith, VP Engineering of Packet, shares his amazing insights from his 15+ year career in engineering about culture building, communication structures and diverse leadership in distributed teams. 

Things you learn in this episode:

  • How to set up a great structure of communication to ensure great collaboration
  • How to build a diverse organization by picking a diverse leadership team
  • How to decide between an engineering specialist or management role

Raffaela Rein, the founder of WildWildVentures, Vitalute, and CareerFoundry, was named amongst the Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes. In this episode, she shared her insights on building and scaling successful teams and cultures.

Things you learn in this episode:

  • Why building a culture entirely free of management does not necessarily create the best outcomes
  • How to build team culture the design way
  • How to create a cohesive culture in remote-first teams

Together with Mark Frein, the former CPO at InVision and now CPO at Lamda School, the host Darja Gutnick (Co-founder and CEO at Bunch) uncovers behaviors that make leaders successful in 2019.

Things you learn in this episode:

  • What makes leaders successful today in comparison to the previous decade
  • Which behaviors make leaders successful in the fast-paced, ever-changing technology sector
  • Which leadership behaviors matter in distributed companies and teams

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