#145: 10 Books That Will Change How You Lead

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This is a podcast episode titled, #145: 10 Books That Will Change How You Lead. The summary for this episode is: In this episode of Seeking Wisdom, DC, DG and special guest Maggie Crowley are talking about one of their all-time favorite topics – books – about leadership. We’ll give you an inside look at the books that have made a difference to us – from experts like Christina Wodtke, Kim Scott, Bernadette Jiwa, and Patty McCord. So, if you’re looking to up your leadership game in 2019, this episode is for you!

Speaker 1: All right, and we're back. I am pumped, wired up. We have Maggie here.

Maggie Crowley: What's up.

Speaker 1: The truth, Maggie, the truth Crowley.

Speaker 2: I like that. That works.

Speaker 1: How good is that?

Maggie Crowley: I'll take it.

Speaker 2: She is the truth.

Speaker 1: She is the truth. I just came up with that. So Maggie is the host of the Build podcast, which you should subscribe to and leave five stars. Six stars is exclusively for.

Maggie Crowley: I'll take five.

Speaker 2: I'll take five.

Speaker 1: Speaking of six stars. DG gave his annual presentation at the Harvard business school where Maggie is a graduate. And you know, he's been rumored...

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: To have won the best speaker award multiple years.

Speaker 2: One marketing lesson I've learned is you can, if you create the award.

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: You can win it every year. Yes. Consecutive.

Speaker 1: However, this was the first year

Maggie Crowley: Yeah. Consecutive. However, however, this was the first year hough, I knew, I didn't know you guys are going to be there today. And then when I was in the class...

Speaker 2: You heard the applause. You heard the( Yell)

Speaker 1: No, but I felt the force.

Speaker 2: Okay.

Speaker 1: I knew something was off.

Maggie Crowley: Feedback was coming.

Speaker 1: I knew. I got to make sure. I don't say I knew I, it was like being I knew the presence. And then, sure enough.

Speaker 2: You could feel my energy.

Speaker 1: Before the intro, Tom said, Tom Heisman. He said, and if you don't know...

Speaker 2: Professor.

Speaker 1: I didn't if I should call him doctor, professor, I call him Tom. And so he said, he said that you guys were down the hall, which I didn't know in a different building doing the first Drift case.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: The Drift case is now officially at HBS. Maggie now were, had a nice off the record conversation about HBS earlier. And it was.

Speaker 2: okay.

Speaker 1: It was cool. It was a good, it was actually a good learning lesson because the things that we talked about, that the things that seem obvious often aren't.

Speaker 2: Yep.

Speaker 1: And. I said to Maggie. It's not an HBS thing. I have this fear almost any time I speak or present something. I'm like, I don't have any secrets. Like, I'm going to tell you something. I always am worried people are going to be like, yeah, dude. It's obvious. And, Maggie was like, agreeing.

Speaker 2: What I loved about our format was it was a live case style. So was, you know, pose Mark Robergs was kind of leading it on my side. And then Julia was leading, Julia and Frank, was leading it on the other side and a look for Leah's in that class and me in this class. And what was cool about it was that it would pose a question. Then everyone would vote, interactive voting. And then, we would discuss like, we'd give like four fake scenarios or five fake scenarios. They would vote, which one they thought we had chosen. And then, I would explain the real choice and why I made that choice.

Speaker 1: That's cool.

Speaker 2: And every time, everyone voted for the other choices. Our choices were never the ones that were voted for. And one of the choices, which was how we commissioned the first salesperson, got zero votes. The actual choice.

Speaker 1: What were the options?

Maggie Crowley: Yeah.

Speaker 2: The first option was 50 50, which is like 50% variable, 50% fixed, which is the most common. The second was, like an 80, 20, but on revenue, the C, which was the correct answer was no variable. The third was 80, 20 variable only on logos, not revenue. And so, most people chose D, which is logical.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: So, all the choices that everyone voted for the most were the most logical, but also the wrong choices. crosstalk

Speaker 1: Which is awesome. Because the context of that though, was like that. You know, like that first sales hire here was great for us. Might not be great for somebody else.

Speaker 2: Exactly.

Speaker 1: You have somebody...

Speaker 2: Less than his age.

Speaker 1: He could the code. He was writing Java script. Like fixing the WiFi, and doing sales. That's a different profile.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Anyway, before we talk about what we're going to talk about today,

Maggie Crowley: Great.

Speaker 1: What's the word on Build these days?

Maggie Crowley: I got a couple of good ones coming up. I have an expert in conversation design, talking about how to bring voice to your products. I also have a founder of Superhuman, on product market fit. Recommendation from DC, on how do you measure that and when NPS does make sense. And then, I'm thinking about one on how to use video to 10 X, your product team feedback.

Speaker 2: Wow. That's pretty good.

Maggie Crowley: Deep in the current, how Drift builds products section.

Speaker 2: That's awesome. And if you were at, for those, you know, two or three people out there on the internet who have not listened to build yet, hit them with some of the names of some of the companies that you've had on so far.

Maggie Crowley: Well, we've had Christina Woodkey.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Maggie Crowley: Who might be making an appearance in this show.

Speaker 2: She's LinkedIn.

Maggie Crowley: She was LinkedIn, Zynga.

Speaker 2: Yep.

Maggie Crowley: Now, a professor at Stanford. We have just had Craig Daniel, our VP of product here at Drift.

Speaker 2: Okay. I haven't met Craig.

Maggie Crowley: We haven't had DC yet though.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I am going to have to listen to that one. Now I listened to today.

Maggie Crowley: It was a good one.

Speaker 2: Okay.

Speaker 1: In my notes about Christina, she also redesigned My Space and their profile pages.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah. She's legit.

Speaker 1: That's cool.

Speaker 2: That's a DC's. I mean DG's era.

Speaker 1: Oh yeah. Top eight.

Speaker 2: Yeah. My space.

Speaker 1: Give him the top eight. [ crosstalk 00:04:32] Yeah, go.

Maggie Crowley: We had... Yep. Some people were Amplitude person from Atlassian. We've had someone from Confluence. We've had people from, of course, I can't remember all of the other ones.

Speaker 2: Pluralsight.

Maggie Crowley: Yep. Pluralsight. All free authors of the product leadership book.

Speaker 2: It's pretty, pretty good podcast.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah.

Speaker 2: You should go listen to it. It's one of my favorites.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So if you don't get.

Speaker 2: Actually I like Maggie's podcast better than this one.

Speaker 1: Oh yeah, because it's more focused. If you don't get what you want out of us from general stuff, go to Maggie. If you're a product person, if you like building, you'd do like design, product management, engineering, all that stuff. That is your show for sure.

Maggie Crowley: Yep. Absolutely.

Speaker 1: What have you learned doing this show by the way? Like, do you think you've changed?

Maggie Crowley: I've learned a ton. Yes, absolutely. I think the biggest thing that I've learned is that what you were talking about before is that even things that you think were obvious are not obvious. And, people are doing just the simplest clearest things, but they're actually doing them. And, they're the ones that are successful. And, the people who are just talking about it, don't end up being as successful.

Speaker 1: It's also like a secret little hack. Which is like, if you have a podcast and you have guests on, it's like your own learning hack.

Maggie Crowley: Absolutely.

Speaker 1: You are learning these things. And then, you get to do your own show

Maggie Crowley: Right.

Speaker 1: And listen and learn. It's amazing.

Maggie Crowley: After almost everyone, we end the podcast. And then, I'm like, all right so I have these three things I'm working on. How would you approach this?

Speaker 2: That's awesome.

Maggie Crowley: What would you do?

Speaker 2: Yeah. That almost sounds like that should be a seeking wisdom t- shirt there. The obvious is not obvious.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah. What where you talking about with the kids at HBS was.. the questions I was asking them when I was reviewing their business plans where," Did you Google it?"

Speaker 2: Yes.

Maggie Crowley: How do I know if someone's going to pay? Did you ask them to pay?

Speaker 2: No.

Maggie Crowley: No.

Speaker 2: No.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: There we go.

Speaker 1: All right. So today we're going to talk about, there's a great article. So, so we do a lot of book reviews on this show. And, we dug into all the authors and for whatever reason, all the authors of those business books often tend to be dudes.

Maggie Crowley: True.

Speaker 1: And so, there was actually a great article in Inc a couple of weeks ago by the managing editor at Inc. His name is Jeff Haden. And, it was 60 Great Business and Leadership Books All Written by Women. And so, we thought we would pick off eight to ten of the best books that we read from this and talk about and give people a little bit of a hit list of books beyond what we always talk about on the show.

Speaker 2: Cool.

Maggie Crowley: Super cool.

Speaker 1: Okay. DC.

Speaker 2: I'm ready.

Speaker 1: You're ready. Okay. Number one. Radical Focus by Christina Wadkey.

Maggie Crowley: Woodkey.

Speaker 1: Woodkey. You know her?

Maggie Crowley: Yes.

Speaker 1: Okay. She's done everything. Lecture at an HCI at Stanford, worked with Yahoo New York times on improving their website. She created the LinkedIn. How did you... She created the LinkedIn newsfeed, led a redesign on MySpace, and led design of the Zynga platform. So, that's one of DC's favorites out of this list. And I know now that is one of your favorite people.

Maggie Crowley: Yep.

Speaker 2: What did you think of the book? Radical Focus.

Maggie Crowley: I love the book because it's not only how to use goals in OKR, but she has a story in the first half the teaches you sort of exactly how one might use those goals in real life when you're actually working.

Speaker 2: Yeah. She uses the Patrick Lencioni. I always say his name wrong, but a kind of parallel style. Right. Which you mentioned on a podcast of teaching by telling stories.

Speaker 1: That's great.

Speaker 2: And so that book is great. I can still remember the story and they, and the whole thing that they went through in a way that I would not be able to remember it if it was just facts, facts, facts, facts.

Speaker 1: Okay. Another one, Powerful by the real homie, Patty McCord.

Speaker 2: Still one of my most popular podcasts ever.

Maggie Crowley: That one was one of my favorites.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: It was amazing. And I think it's okay. So Patty, if you don't know, she 14 years, she was head of talent and people at Netflix and I pulled to Patty McCord quotes because this says everything you need to know about who Patty is in the book. Patty believes, this is from her bio." Patty believes people come to work as fully formed adults with a desire to make an impact and be proud of what they do. And she's on a mission to spread the word that we can do this differently." There's one key word in that paragraph, adults.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: Because that's the whole book, right?

Speaker 2: Yep.

Speaker 1: And that's her whole mantra, if you listen to that podcast.

Speaker 2: It's a great book, highly recommended. We have that in our book club. But, I would recommend the book is like 50%. you have to listen to her. So listen to her on the podcast.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Episode will be linked below. Amazing. Still fan favorite. I think it's number one podcast we've ever done. Not because of us, but because of Patty. And then, go search on YouTube and try to find some talks that she's given. And I mean, she's just an amazing speaker. It comes through more than that book does.

Speaker 1: Because you want to talk to her?

Speaker 2: She's real.

Speaker 1: She doesn't seem corporate. She doesn't seem like who you'd think of as a seasoned HR Exec.

Speaker 2: Yeah. The first time I met her years ago, I was fascinated. Because I was like, how did she say all this stuff? And everyone's like, said,"YES". I'm like, if I said all this stuff, people would throw stuff at me. I'm like, I don't know. She can say it in such a great way and a that she really resonates and can connect with people.

Speaker 1: She's awesome.

Speaker 2: Note to self- connect with people.

Speaker 1: Third one is a Meaningful by Bernadette Jiwa. You put me on to her. Have you read any of her stuff?

Maggie Crowley: I haven't.

Speaker 1: I think it'd be right up your alley. We've got to break you out.

Speaker 2: Yeah. We have a bunch of her books in the lobby here. It doesn't help you if you're listening to this, unless you come to Drift. You can come in our lobby and get some of Bernadette's books. She's from New Zealand. Amazing early homie of a Seeking Wisdom and Drift. She's written a bunch of books: Marketing, Meaningful. I can't remember all these books, but...

Speaker 1: Yeah. Marketing, A Love Story was another one that we read.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And great. She was almost, in the beginning of starting Drift, she was almost like our muse. I mean like what she was saying was exactly the same in a much more eloquent way, what we were thinking. She really put that together. And, so we love her work. Again, she's a speaker. You can find your stuff on. She spoke at TED down in New Zealand and TEDx and listened to her stuff. But, her writing's amazing. And the first time I picked up a book from her, the intro is written by Seth Goden.

Speaker 1: Okay. So, this is the point I was going to make. This is a little hack that I found. Well, which is like Seth Goden, if you've ever read or listen to any of his stuff, she's one of the two or three people that he plugs over, over and over and over. And so there's always like, if you really want to learn, you want to find the great people who are making these spaces. If you go a couple levels deeper who's in... okay. So you've got somebody in product that you love or whatever. I love Seth Goden. If you find out who's influencing Seth Godin and then go read those books. That's how I think DC probably came crosstalk

Speaker 2: That's one of my favorite little hacks, if you want to call it that or tricks. It is to find the people that the people that you're look towards are always recommending. Like, what's the one or two names. Warren Buffet has this further hack. Which is he asked people when he's trying to understand an industry, if... So, he'll find like the top people in any given industry. Let's just say it's microphones, and he'll go to them, meet with them, and he used to do this a lot early in his career. And say, if you had to bet all of your savings to take care of your family forever, while you're gone, what's the one company you would bet on and why? And who is the leader in that company that you would bet on and why?

Speaker 1: That's Amazing.

Speaker 2: And so we'd asked him that. He would basically frame it as like, you have to make a bet. Who is the bet? It can't be your company. Which one would you bet on? And so then, he would go around the entire industry and then end up being like, he would learn more than any one of those people, because he was getting a frame to understand who was the best in the industry and why, and what were the holes?

Speaker 1: I've seen screenshots from DC of like the credits page of a book, like page 317, the back page. And it's like all the footnotes.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Who's been footnoted the most. Who are they referencing all the time. And then, I try to find all of those people. Who are the ones that are common patterns there. And, those are the ones who are going to go look for the teacher of the teachers.

Speaker 1: All right. Another one on this list, a Radical Candor by Kim Scott, which is Kim led AdSense, YouTube and DoubleClick at Google. Then, she joined apple and built out all of their training. She has been CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrix, Twitter. Another book that we read at Drift.

Speaker 2: I feel like that's someone's you should have on your podcasts.

Maggie Crowley: Kim.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Maggie Crowley: I'd love to have her.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Kim if you are listening. The homie Kim. She says she wears one of our favorite t- shirts is a Drift t- shirt that we sent her. Yeah. So anyway, Kim Scott. Homie. Great book. This is a fantastic book. And, it's right up the alley. It's not about OKRs, but it's in the same game as Christina's book. And so definitely, someone who Maggie, I could see you, you guys kind of mind melt.

Speaker 1: It's all about all about feedback.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Maggie Crowley: Always. Yeah. crosstalk surprise podcast.

Speaker 2: Her, her... the way he loves it. crosstalk She has this concept in there that she calls radical candor. And I was like, Yeah, I love radical candor.

Speaker 1: What does she say? She said," Radical Candor is not about schmoozing, nor is it about endless extroversion that exhausts the introverts on your team or wears you out if you happen to be introvert. It's not about getting drunk or driving go- karts or playing laser tag." Then she said," the way you asked for criticism and react when you get it, goes a long way towards building trust or destroying it."

Speaker 2: You see why she has my heart?

Speaker 1: Yes. This is a great book. If you're a manager.

Speaker 2: Must read.

Speaker 1: This is a must a must read. And I think it changes the way that you will communicate at work. No doubt. I'm going to do one more. Because I want to link to this whole list and we'll give it to everybody. But, the last person on this list, a little gem is Behind the Cloud, who Carly Adler wrote with Mark Benioff. And, I don't know if you've seen the hit list. You have seen the hit list that she's written she's wrote Behind the Cloud, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, which is Dan Harris's book, Startup Land, which is the Zendesk story.

Speaker 2: Yep.

Speaker 1: And, can you guess the last one?

Speaker 2: Okay. I know them all. Hold on.

Speaker 1: You do? We got Behind the Cloud. We got Startup Land.

Speaker 2: Did she co- write Hard Thing.

Speaker 1: She wrote Hard Thing about Hard Thing with Ben Harowitz.

Speaker 2: Huh? That's a pretty pretty good one.

Speaker 1: That's a pretty good.

Speaker 2: She's badass. She's in New York. If you're listening to this podcast, shout it out. Let's hang out.

Speaker 1: We'll link to all this. We have the 60 great business and leadership books all written by women.

Speaker 2: Did you read any of those books? Which of those books?

Maggie Crowley: Radical Candor for sure.

Speaker 2: Yep.

Speaker 1: She wrote down a must read.

Maggie Crowley: I want to read... I haven't read Behind the Cloud.

Speaker 2: Oh my, what?

Maggie Crowley: I know. I just...

Speaker 1: That's going to be the Drift onboarding.

Speaker 2: G.

Speaker 1: Behind the Cloud. Did you read behind the cloud? Okay.

Speaker 2: G. Please.

Maggie Crowley: I'm reading the Fifth Discipline right now.

Speaker 2: You are?

Maggie Crowley: Are you reading that one?

Speaker 1: That's a deep cut. You already felt that is, that is 90% of the secret. If DC post a picture,

Speaker 2: How did you find that book?

Speaker 1: You posted it. Your Instagram..

Maggie Crowley: It's on top business books of all time.

Speaker 2: Is that how you found it though. How did you find it?

Maggie Crowley: Probably Googling what books I should read to better at my job.

Speaker 2: What!?

Speaker 1: It was literally last week I saw a picture of you with the book.

Maggie Crowley: I think it was when I started thinking about product strategy. And then, I needed to think about systems thinking. And I ordered it several months ago.

Speaker 2: I ordered a stack this big that's on my desk and we'll post a shot of all strategy books. First one that I picked off up to top was Fifth Discipline. And, the author is a professor at MIT. He doesn't teach that much right now. But in the business school. And get this, I'm going to show you something here, just for the people. Get ready, people.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: Get ready. Are you ready? Who's ready. All right. So I post that in my Instagram stories. I don't know if Maggie follows me though.

Maggie Crowley: I do. You don't follow me though.

Speaker 2: Oh my.

Speaker 1: Oh, there's a clip for you right there.

Speaker 2: You know why? Because in my defense, Maggie is one of those private people. So, I never request anyone who's private.

Speaker 1: True.

Speaker 2: It'd be like DC's creeping on me. He's creeping. He asked for access to my feed. So I have a rule no up to the way it works at a Drift. Just so everyone knows in case you wonder.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: If you have a private feed, as Aleus will request 100% of the time.

Speaker 1: What? It makes him want it more.

Speaker 2: More. DC will never, ever request if you were part of 100%. So if you wondering. So, Maggie is private. So, I will not touch that. I will not. No, do not request. You want this all dude, creeping on you. All right. So I'm going to find you something here for the people. Because I liked these people. So I posted that on my Instagram feed. I get a note in my message. I got a lot of DMS here. I'm sorry.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah.

Speaker 2: I get a DM from my boy over here. See, I posted this. So, you know.

Maggie Crowley: Aw, look at that.

Speaker 2: I was at Deer Valley.

Speaker 1: We didn't talk about that.

Speaker 2: I don't want to talk about that. That was legit. So I post that and then I get a note here. It says nice choice. My dad wrote that book.

Speaker 1: Let me read one more thread. I get a message.

Speaker 2: This is one of my homies who follows me.

Speaker 1: I get a message from Ian. He goes...

Speaker 2: You know Ian?

Speaker 1: My CrossFit coach.

Speaker 2: What!?

Speaker 1: Smallest world on the planet. So, ian messaged me. He goes, he messaged me and we'll have to pull this up. He goes DC, just. He goes, oh my God. He messaged me on Instagram. Oh my God, DC's reading my dad's book. I'm not sure what to do. I think I might have to slide into his DMs.

Speaker 2: He did. He slid into the DMs. For Ian, I have a public profile. I don't want to friend request Maggie because she's going to pick on her slide into the DM. So no. Negative.

Speaker 1: So there you Ian. You made on Seeking Wisdom.

Speaker 2: Right here. Look at him. CrossFit coach.

Speaker 1: Here he is.

Speaker 2: His dad wrote the book.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Ian, if you're listening.

Speaker 1: He's listening.

Speaker 2: Tell your dad to get on the show. We need him on the show. Bring in Papa Sanji, and we'll have them on the show.

Speaker 1: All right.

Speaker 2: All right.

Speaker 1: Send us,

Speaker 2: Send us out of here. Maggie's going to send us out of here. She's legit.

Maggie Crowley: All right. We need six stars for this team. Tell DC to continue to not follow me on Instagram. And, let's get some more books by ladies. Shout out who your favorite.... What I want to see in the reviews, I want to see books written by women about business who are also not white.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Please post those.

Speaker 1: By the way, I've been trying to read your notes. I thought this said plus more, but it said plug more. Like you wrote yourself, like going into today's show. Like, I'm going to plug this.

Speaker 2: Can you zoom in on this screen here?

Maggie Crowley: With self promotion?

Speaker 2: From my defense, Maggie Crowley's account is private and who follows her, Aleah Torres.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Of course.

Maggie Crowley: Yeah. He also calls me on Saturday. It's just because he knows it makes me uncomfortable..

Speaker 2: Look, this is our private. So let's see this. I will never touch this requests, follow back button.

Speaker 1: All right. I love it.

Speaker 2: See ya. Six stars only.

Speaker 1: See ya.

Maggie Crowley: See ya.


In this episode of Seeking Wisdom, DC, DG and special guest Maggie Crowley are talking about one of their all-time favorite topics – books – about leadership. We’ll give you an inside look at the books that have made a difference to us – from experts like Christina Wodtke, Kim Scott, Bernadette Jiwa, and Patty McCord. So, if you’re looking to up your leadership game in 2019, this episode is for you!