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Introducing an experiment: A Club for the Glue People
In 2013, I had breakfast with a friend. We were both in our first COO-like roles after Facebook — his at a bigger company, mine at a small start-up. As we caught up, the general theme was — “this job is crazy!” It was such a relief and a sanity check to talk to someone else in a similar role who was having the same ups, downs, and round and rounds.
That breakfast led us to create something called the Breakfast Club. It was a group of wonderful people in similar roles — operating roles at scaling companies — that met monthly to talk about problems, solutions, and all of the craziness. It was a safe space to share what you were really experiencing and feeling. That monthly breakfast was an invaluable resource to each member at different moments and in different ways. I learned more from those people, our real problems, and our brainstormed solutions than I could have from any book or course. We kept it going for a couple of years, through many job transitions, company sales, IPOs, and more, and all of those people are still my good friends and mentors.
I often get outreach from folks going through their first bigger operating role and the outreach usually reads something like this: “This job is crazy! I need to talk to someone who has been through this before or who is going through the same thing. Will you hop on the phone with me?” Since I can’t hop on the phone 1:1 with everyone I want to, a friend (Sara Grotting) and I decided to create an experiment: what if we could emulate the Breakfast Club? What if we could build groups of peers who are going through similar experiences at work and help them learn and grow together?
Well, here’s our experiment: A Club for the Glue People.
We’re going to create a group (or groups depending on interest) of folks at similar stages in their head of operations / COO career that meets every other week. It’ll be a mix of sharing problems you’re experiencing, problem-solving together, and hearing from my own experience about problems that everyone is going through (or will soon).
If it sounds like you (even a little!), sign up! If it sounds like someone you know, send it to them!
And if you are lost or lonely in your job, one of the best things you can do is reach out and find a small group of folks (even starting with 3 is great!) going through similar experiences to meet with once a month. Let this be your push — put it on the calendar for 2023. It can make such a big difference.