Juliet de Baubigny, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Growth = opportunity.
“Go to a company ‘where the wind is at your back’ (i.e. seek out growth situations where the company is scaling fast): It creates lots of opportunities internally, so even if the original role that you are recruited for doesn’t work out, chances are you can pivot into something else if you perform. I learned this firsthand watching the building and evolution of Google.”
Be indispensable — yes, “lean in.”
“In a fast-growing, scrappy start-up, it’s ‘all hands on deck.’ Additional responsibility, raise your hand; chance to lead a team in a new area, raise your hand; learn a new sector, geography, raise your hand. It’s about being action-orientated, learning and proving that you are a leader and a team player. Many people who I highly admire, such as Omid Kordestani of Netscape and Google, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Emily White of Snapchat, Adam Freed of Etsy, and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo!, all built their careers in many such ways.”
Remember the old-but-true saying “You can’t coach height.”
“Go for smarts. Surround yourself with really smart people. Learn from the best, hire the best — and make sure that those around you exhibit really good judgment consistently. You will save yourself a lot of cycles worrying about integrity of decision making as you are scaling a company really fast.”