Episode 14

Leading Effective Teams in a 100% Remote Environment

Natalie Furness, CEO of RevOps Automated and Revenue Operations Consultant shares her journey and learnings along the way onto remote work and falling into the world of operations.

She speaks of finding your people through value alignment for both the work you do and the work environment you prefer. She helps deep dive into whether the trust has begun to break in remote work and what questions leaders should ask themselves to help mitigate this.

Website: www.revopsautomated.com

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So lead by experience, by experiencing it yourself, trust the people around you and leverage the right technologies. So those are the three key things I think I've learned.

In this episode

Today’s guest is Natalie Furness, CEO of RevOps Automated and Revenue Operations Consultant comes on to discuss leading through a remote environment. She has long been a proponent of working remotely and has picked up some learnings along the way to help any leader manage their team more effectively.

I’m excited to share this conversation with you because though we’re continuing to see folks return to the office, many continue to remain hybrid or fully remote. It’s become a new reality of work that every leader should be ready to handle. 

And it hasn’t gotten easier. With the quiet quitting movement we saw this past summer, leaders are worried and potentially distrustful of whether remote can continue to be the way.

Time Stamps

2:05 Remote post Pandemic

4:49 Reframing RTO Options

7:52 Tools and Technologies for Team Effectiveness

11:22 Leading Teams Remotely and Effectively

17:12 Navigating Team Trust and Remote Work

21:48 Tools: What Worked and Didn't

27:37 Natalie's Journey

31:14 Attracting your Team Through Values

35:59 Mistakes of Remote Leadership

43:35 Remote Leadership Skills

52:00 Asynchronous Practices

54:01 Asynchronous Work and Energy Flow

Natalie Furness

CEO of RevOps Automated

Guest Bio

Natalie Furness is the founder and CEO of RevOps Automated, a technology consultancy serving international businesses to scale revenue by aligning people, processes and data systems. Natalie is ranked in the top 10 Revenue Operations LinkedIn thought leaders worldwide. She is president of the RevOps Research Collective and internationally recognised author of The Annual RevOps Report. Alongside her day job, Natalie is passionate about inspiring people to influence positive change and evokes action through her keynote speeches and seminars.


Natalie (00:00):

So there's, first of all, experiencing it yourself and learning how to lead from your experiences. I think secondly, it's trust. Trust is a big, big part. Like you have to be able to trust your team because you are not gonna, you're not gonna be able to lean over their shoulder and see what they're working on. You're not gonna have to like, check back in and, and, and see them pick up their mobile phone or not. Like you have to have that trust. Um, and thirdly, it's just using the right technologies. I think, you know, we live in this world in which we have access to the internet interconnectivity, the world is almost borderless now when it comes to work. So you have to learn how to harness, leverage the digital technologies to make it work. So lead by, by experience, by experiencing it yourself, trust the people around you and leverage the right technologies. So those are the three key things I think I've learned.

Fahd (01:06):

Hello and welcome to the Unicorn Leadership Podcast. My name is Fahd. I am your host. And on this podcast is where we interview leaders on their journey of creating a high-performing team that scales on their journey of being an effective leader, where they bring you some of the insights, the tools, the stories, the mistakes that they've made, that we can learn from and their journeys currently, and what they're going through, and how we can apply that to our startups and to our teams. This podcast is brought to you by Unicorn Labs, where we transform managers into leaders who create high-performing teams at that scale. You can learn more about us at unicornlabs.ca. Today's guest is Natalie Furness. She's the CEO of Rev Ops Automated and Revenue Operations Consultant. And she comes on to discuss leading through a remote environment. I think it's a really interesting topic because it's real and we're all leading remotely.

But also we're now in a discussion as we kind of enter this, you know, post pandemic living with Covid era, whatever we wanna call it in. Do you do full of remote? Do you do hybrid? Do you go back in the office? All these questions, and we got a lot of opinions, but nobody really knows the true outcomes of some of these different, realities and, and, and how hybrid can best work because we haven't always done it. But in fact, Natalie kind of always works remote and she's always built remote. So she's one of those remote first leaders. And I found the conversation to be really interesting because of that. She has a, she's been a long proponent of working remotely, picked up some learnings along the way, and, and we get really into that. I'm excited to share this conversation with you because we're continuing to see folks return to the office and many continue to remain hybrid or fully remote.

And, and I wanna really get into that, actually, I wanna get into that and its impact on employee engagement, on the quiet quitting movement or, um,all the changes that we're seeing in layoffs in the big tech companies and, and all of how that affects employee morale,and the talent pools that you are pulling from. One of the things that comes to mind when we think of hybrid versus in-person versus remote, often people are,thinking about the wrong variable. Bear with me here. Most people are thinking about the variable of where are you working? That's how we're defining it. Are you working remotely? Are you hybrid where you work remotely and then you're at home,you're at home sometimes and you're at the office. Are you working at the office? It's being defined by the action, by the by, by where, but not by the output.

What is the result of a hybrid? What is the result of at home? What is the result of in the office? And so I believe what we're missing when designing for this new era of work is the intentionality. Are we intentional behind the design? So hear me out. Perhaps what we've all realized is that remote work is really productive. I get some deep work sessions where nobody bothers me, no one in the office is disrupting me, and I can really get deep and, and get some work done that before I couldn't get because of all the distractions that happen in the office. But at the same time, I'm missing on some of the collaborative opportunities. You can create collaboration online for sure, but there are moments where we're together, we're brainstorming, where we're debating or we're getting into something that truly being in person,there's nothing like it, but perhaps there's the opportunities.

So instead of saying, well, our remote, our, our new policies, you've gotta get two days into the office a week. Maybe the policy is actually we're gonna do three days at the end of every month where everyone comes together in the office. And those three days are collaboration days. You're not sitting in the office on your laptop, on a zoom meeting with someone who's not in the office, which is what you would've done at home. But if you're in the office, it's intentional purely for collaboration days. And so when we come in, it's for collaboration. And when we go away, it's for the deep work we use the environments for the value they create versus simply choosing the environment for the sake of choosing an environment, which is what it seems like and it sounds like these days. So we get into that discussion with Natalie and she's got some really good opinions. And I believe in this next quote that I wanna share with you. She shares a similar idea about how we're managing employees,

Natalie (05:47):

But then also I would say, how much do we focus on employees value output over busy work? And I think what I've learned from running remote teams is we did initially ask people to kind of track their time, but now we're kind of more focusing on tracking their value add to the business. Yeah. So they actually think about like, okay, what value have I added to the business this week? What blockers have I experienced and how has that like affected my time? And we kind of focused on the impact that they, they're producing for the business each week. And I think that's really helped us engage people. I think when we made that switch, that that really made a difference. So I can see like, the trust is hard because you can't track every little thing that they're doing, the engagement, if they're not focusing on telling you the outputs they're achieving needs, which yeah, that would be hard as a manager,

Fahd (06:50):

Natalie. So well describes, the necessary pieces to leading remotely effectively. One, she talks about in their first quote, about the experience leading from your experience instead of leading from ideas that you have about what remote could be or hybrid could be or, and all the theory no, from your experience, how do you know you get work done? How do you know you do well? Think about yourself and kind of lead your instincts. Kind of go into a little bit with your instincts as a leader. What are your experiences? But then also really gotta give trust here. You gotta be comfortable with giving trust. Trust is no longer, earned all the way through. we, we, people have to earn their trust as we go through. But we have to initially just give it, we have to allow them to play with it, which is different.

If that scares you. Perhaps her hiring is part of the problem and you revisit one of our episodes and hiring. But if you're hiring people, you don't trust them off the bat to be able to get the things done and the job done, then perhaps that was part of the challenge in the first place. And then lastly, she talked about digital tools and digital technologies that we need in an office space. We always talked about, do you have the hardware, the computer, the desk, you have a chair that's comfortable, you have, do you have a coffee machine? We have all the things in the physical office that allow us to succeed. Well, the question is, do we have the necessary softwares to allow us to succeed the tools, be able to do the job, invest in the tools necessary, don't over tool. Cause that can be too much too.

But other tools that your team needs that can help them be more effective. And are we using those? So with Natalie, we dive into that, but then we dive into some other common questions that managers and leaders have been asking. I wanna share some of these questions cuz I think for some of you, they'll ring very true. One of the questions, do I really know whether my employees are engaged? How do you know? Are you getting a pulse check? Are are they, are they just messing around all day, perhaps? Is that, or how do I know if my employees are quiet, quitting? Are they doing enough work? Should I be giving them more work to make sure that they're busy? How do I engage All, all those pieces. Just some of the questions that Natalie unpacks, she's gonna,share some common pitfalls of remote leaders.

Um, slack, for example, the tool be both being a blessing and a curse. She's also gonna give us some of her personal favorite tools. Um, she loves Canva. She uses Canva for daily standups. That's an interesting one. It's a little different. Um, and you know, we're gonna get her best recommendations to someone who obsesses about making processes easier as a revenue operations professional, she is all about process and all about getting rid of busy work so that people can focus on the things that are most important. So I'm gonna get into this episode, and if you find this episode helpful and you like it, please share it as we get the word out more about the Unicorn Leadership Podcast. You can share some of our clips on social media. You can share,the link to our podcast to some friends. You can tag us on social media Faha Alhattab, and you can leave a review right on the platform that you're using to listen to this episode. And without further ado, let's dive into our episode number 14 with Natalie.

Hello Natalie, and welcome to our Unicorn Leadership podcast. I'm really excited to have you. we had a fun start to this right before we were recording , we, we had some power outages. We had to figure out lighting, we had to figure out a few things. So I feel like we're already acquainted at a personal level,that that is much deeper than, than some of our guests. So Natalie, welcome to the show, are excited to have you. I'm excited for our episode that's all about,leading remotely and a hundred percent remotely what that looks like in terms of culture, in terms of teams, and in terms of leadership. So welcome,

Natalie (10:40):

Thanks so much for having me. And you're right, I part of me wish we kind of recorded some of those bits as outtakes of the show but trust me everybody, it was wild. We had a great time and I'm glad we are here now, .

Fahd (10:53):

We're glad we're here. So, so let's dive into it and, and get to kind of the meat of the question that a lot of our guests will be on here for, you know, in your view, if you can, if you can look at kind of the, the, the biggest pieces when it comes to leadership and leading remotely. What are the most important insights you've come across in regards to leading teams remotely effectively,

Natalie (11:22):

Leading teams remotely effectively? Well, first of all, I have to say, what is there not to love about remote working? It's the one way that you can design your life the way that you want to. Um, no commuting, no going in. So before we talk about like leading effectively, let's talk about like loving it and then you have to love it, I think, yourself to be able to lead it. I think there is,

I have definitely seen the people that lead by example because they work very well remotely, themselves. They're able to almost just guide other people on how to do that. So I do think part of it is because me, myself, I love working remotely. So I've come up with a few tactics and I've learned from other people who also work remotely and we figure out how to become productive and then we share that stuff with our team. So there's, first of all, experiencing it yourself and learning how to lead from your experiences. I think secondly, it's trust. Trust is a big, big part. Like, you have to be able to trust your team because you are not gonna, you're not gonna be have to lean over their shoulder and see what they're working on. You're not gonna have to like check back in and, and, and see them pick up their mobile phone or not. Like you have to have that trust. Um, and thirdly, it's just using the right technologies. I think, you know, we live in this world in which we have access to the internet interconnectivity, the world is almost borderless now when it comes to work. Hmm. So you have to learn how to harness, leverage the digital technologies to make it work. So lead by, by experience, by experiencing it yourself. Trust the people around you and leverage the right technologies. So those are the three key things I think I've learned over the years.

Fahd (13:17):

Those are I think those are really good three. And, and we're gonna dive into them and, and I think we're gonna dive into them and get really specific. Like, I mean one of the first questions for me, Natalie came to mind was like, okay, but don't you miss a bit of in-person? Like, I'm remote, my team is remote, but man, sometimes I'm like, I miss being together. I don't know the, the like having people, the camaraderie of just like being in an office working on a problem. Like, I miss some of that and, but, and, and I don't disagree that remote's really good. But I feel like that, that piece that you told me, you gotta love it. I think that piece hit me cuz I was like, whoa, I don't know how much I love it. I find it convenient. I find it a good, but I don't know if I love it. That's, that's, that was interesting to me. Do you miss some of, do you miss some of the other pieces?

Natalie (14:02):

So in all truthfulness, I've been working remotely alone since about 2016. So like pre covid, I'm like a pre covid.

Fahd (14:12):

You're an OG.

Natalie (14:14):

You got as they call it, I think. And also I, very early on, so I got involved in the blockchain space in like 2015 16, which was pretty early on. And the only way to work with teams that were doing crazy innovative things was to work remotely because to find a blockchain developer was like gold dust then. And like yeah, then there's over the world. So you just, our focus became on finding people that we could connect with and have that kind of camaraderie and also share a love and passion for a greater goal rather than sharing a love and passion for being in the same room. Like we just valued slightly different things. I think, and I had a, I had my first trip back into an office like last week cuz I'm working on a client project specifically where they said, oh, you know, pop into the office.

Fahd (15:05):


Natalie (15:07):

It was nice to see people. It was lovely. I mean, first of all, they were all surprised about how short I was because you can't how short I'm on a, on a remote. Maybe that's why I like working remotely more.

Fahd (15:22):

How short are you? How, what's the secret here?

Natalie (15:24):

Actually I'm as tall as five foot.

Fahd (15:29):

As tall as five foot.

Natalie (15:30):

Oh, it, it's tiny,

Fahd (15:32):

But yeah, you couldn't tell, I couldn't tell. I wouldn't have guessed here from the video. That's, there's no way

Natalie (15:38):

No, exactly. And apparently I have a tall person's personality, but I dunno even know what that means. Um, but it was, it was lovely to see people, you know, and it was great to do the hugs, you know, like I do, I'm a bit of a hugger so I kind of miss those things. Um, and it was nice to sit down and have lunch together, but I went in with some objectives. I achieved zero of those objectives. But to be fair, I did achieve some other objectives that came out, you know, just naturally from being around the people, we were able to like start a new project and run that and actually get some good results from that. But I often wonder how productive I am in an office, I think. Maybe I have one of those spaces that says talk to me. So...

Natalie (16:25):

So people tend to talk to me. So it's nice, nice to be by myself so I can focus.

Fahd (16:30):

Yeah, yeah. Okay. Okay. Interesting, interesting. Um, I think I had a similar experience I reflect on, I had a similar experience. I had to go, I had to go in also and, and it, oh, I had to go in for a meeting at 8:30 AM and I had to leave my house at 7:00 AM It was an hour and a half commute. It's not, it's usually a 30 minute commute with an hour and a half, cuz it was just during the busiest time and just stuck in traffic and the bridge. And it was in that moment in my car and I was like, this is why I hate this. Like, what do you mean an hour and a half to get to this meeting that where I just sat there and listened for an hour and a half and participated for 10 minutes. Right. And I was like, okay, I get it, it's effective, but I miss my people.

Um, So, so I'm trying to figure that out. So, okay, so that was, that was one piece. You really gotta experience it yourself. You gotta love it yourself and maybe you gotta find the pieces that you love and really hone in on it. Then you got into trust and, and this is one's gonna be interesting, so I totally agree with you, but I think more than ever, the trust is actually, I think people started with trust when we first went remote. And it's actually breaking with these kind of quiet, quitting movements. I'm having more and more managers start to ask themselves, wait a second, do do I really know whether my employees are engaged? Or are they just, are they just messing around all day? Like, wait a second. They're started, they've been bit by the like little gossip of like, wait a second, what if my employees are quite quitting and I don't even know. And, and are they doing enough work? Should I be giving them more work to make sure that they're busy? Or how do, like what, and so they, they, it's ki the, the trust is actually breaking a little bit right now in society in remote work. What, what are your, what are your thoughts on that?

Natalie (18:11):

Yeah, it's, it's completely understandable, particularly if you went from that office to remote and then there's this weird kind of hybrid bit back in between. I don't know if any of you guys saw the whole like Brexit movement in like in Europe when they were like, of course like you go out but do go up but don't go out but do this, do this. You know, like I feel like we almost, we're almost like back into that point with work. So I'm not necessarily sure. It's like, I think people are a bit confused of like, what is the normal now? Cuz you've got like people that are like, we are a hundred like as a business, my business we are a hundred percent fully remote international across time zones. And we always will be like, that is our business values and what we will and will always do.

There is no confusion about that people. So we naturally attract people that love to work remotely because there's, there's no kind of here or there. And then you've got other businesses that like, we are all going a hundred percent back to work. And then they're kind of like, some people are like, oh, well now I don't wanna do that so I wanna go and find remote. Well actually that's fine for that business, you know, because if they want people that want to come to offices, they should, you know, they will attract those people. Then you've got this kind of hybrid thing in the middle, which is work from home, but then come in a couple of days a week to touch base with people. And I'm personally, I'm not sure how well that works mainly cuz I haven't experienced it, but I could imagine just as an employee, that can be a little bit confusing.

It's kind of like, oh, I work the days that I work from home here. I'll just tell out a bit, but then I'll work really hop when I come in the office for those days. Or, or you know, there's that, there's that kind of thing maybe. But then also I would say, how much do we focus on employees value output over busy work? And I think what I've learned from running remote teams is we did initially ask people to kind of track their time, but now we're kind of more focusing on tracking their value add to the business. So they actually think about like, okay, what value have I added to the business this week? What blockers have I experienced and how has that like affected my time? And we kind of focused on the impact that they, they're producing for the business each week. And I think that's really helped us engage people. I think when we made that switch that that really made a difference. So I can see like, the trust is hard because you can't track every little thing that they're doing, the engagement, if they're not focusing on telling you the outputs they're achieving needs, which yeah, that would be hard as a manager.

Fahd (20:59):

I like that. I like how you've, you've, you've shifted it, right? Like, you know, we are tracking hours, but now we're trying to, you know, what value are you creating for the business? Not, not just like what tasks have you completed, but what value is that actually creating? That's a, that's a really, really interesting shift and that will help with rebuilding the trust. I like this also acceptance of the reshuffling, the natural reshuffling, right? So some, some companies are gonna go back in person and staff are simply gonna leave and some will want to be in person some, and the ones that are saying, you know what, we're gonna stay remote. Some staff will be like, oh, I can't, I miss some in-person stuff. Actually I wanna do in-person stuff. They might leave also. So it's gonna be a natural reshuffling and reordering of employees and that's okay, right?

As they, as the employees choose the values they want with the, the, the companies that they want. I think accepting that as part of it is, is really cool. And so, and so then the third piece you were talking about is the tools we use. So, so we can get deep into this, but maybe what's, what's one or two like tools that you were like, this was a game changer, like this made it more fun for me and it's may, maybe it's, I don't, maybe it's an obvious tool of you're like, you know, we just use Google Docs better now, I don't know. You know, like or, or a non-obvious tool. Like what, what, maybe give an obvious one that you started using better in a different way and maybe a non-obvious tool. What were, what were two there? , I

Natalie (22:17):

Mean I can give the obvious tool that like started messing everything up. Um, and

Slack, you know, like, oh my god, good. You know, we put it in, we're like, great something, something to put into the teams that we can communicate live. And then all of a sudden you start with like, we'll we'll have three channels. They'll be for these things. And then before, you know, you've got four and five and 10 and 20 and then people are having sidebar conversations in dms and then they're dropping stuff on channels, then no one knows what they're doing. You can't search very well. Okay, you can kind of search but not very well. And yeah, it becomes, it becomes a pile of gossip, you know, but written down on a screen, like at least when you're in the office and you kind of gossip it like just disappears that you don't really

Fahd (23:03):

No record of it.

Natalie (23:05):

Um, whereas yeah, I found Slack was great to start with when we were a very, very small team when there was like, um, two, three of us. But now we've grown to up to like, I think at any one point, cause we have consultants and contractors that come in. We kind of have a General 10, which can like grow up to like 20 or 30 and down again depending on like what projects we're working on. So we decided, I've had, I've had to become a little bit more operations focused. I mean, I'm lucky cuz our business is revenue operations and operations are kind of my thing. So what I would say, I started looking at like, where are our processes falling down and what can we replace with it? And of course we, I wanted to use a bit more of this like agile, CanBan sort of like stand upy thing. I mean, I'm not a a in any way shape or form an expert in Scrum at all. I've studied Agile a little bit, but I really liked the concept of standups. And one thing that has made such a difference to us is standup boards on, would you believe it? Canva, the design tool.

Fahd (24:14):

Canva. Wait, wait. Standup boards on Canva.

Natalie (24:17):

On Canva. So yeah, how

Fahd (24:19):

Does that work? Yeah,

Natalie (24:20):

So, so basically I didn't know, but Canva has released a whiteboard function in Canva. So there's actually, so we use, we use other whiteboarding fun functions like on like Miro and Fig Jam and things like that.

Fahd (24:35):

Love Miro. Yeah,

Natalie (24:37):

Yeah. But there is, on Canva, there is a whiteboard and there's a really, really nice standup board, which is just like what I did yesterday, what I'm going to do today and what are my blockers? That's it. And the day before or the morning, five minutes before the meeting, everybody starts filming

Fahd (25:00):

Most likely. Yeah.

Natalie (25:01):

Yeah. Filling out their things. And you know, we jump on and we record our meetings now and we run through, um, the Canva cam, like the Canva standup board together. And like, we'll typically have somewhere between like five to 10 people on that call and we can do that in like 30 minutes. And it's really nice because it gives me, as a leader, an identification of what they did yesterday and what they're planning on doing today. And then usually what I'm blocking, cuz I'm usually the blocker in most things,

Fahd (25:27):

Um, it's usually let's what is the blocker, Natalie, get back to me.

Natalie (25:33):

There was, there was one week that I think I was the blocker for everybody in, on a couple of days.

Natalie (25:39):

But it's good fun. And we have a laugh and joke about it and you know, and we do that on Google meets. So, you know, we are a Google work. We're a Google workspace company. We use Google, um, like extensively. Um, we have a Google automation developer as well. So we automate quite a lot of stuff of like templates and things like that. Um, we use the meets, we use Canva. Um, we do a lot of our client-facing stuff on HubSpot. Um, and we do all of our project management stuff on click up. Um, because HubSpot's now got a native integration with click up, we're able to automatically generate project boards from click up, I mean from HubSpot into click up. Um, and I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to just make life easier for my team. You know, it's like how can I build this in operational infrastructure underneath them that they don't have to worry about the admin, they don't have to worry about like those little things, the nuances that kind of feel like busy work.

So I'm actually just taking all the busy work off them by automating it and then they can on the stuff that they really love. And yeah. And I think that's kind of how we've ended up keeping people engaged really well. Um, yeah, so Canva's been a big one as well. Canva, we do like all of our, um, we do a lot of slides and presentations on there and like, you know, we've got all of our team values on a, on a Canva like document, which she's got a link so anyone at any time can like, look at the, the values of the business and things like that and yeah. That's cool.

Natalie (27:11):

So that's it.

Fahd (27:13):

I love that. That's awesome. Okay, so, so Natalie, you haven't always been this brilliant remotely. Let's go back and let's, let's hear about your journey. Okay. So, so tell us where you're from. Tell us a little bit about your journey. What did you study? Where was your first job? Let's, let's hear about the, come up to what got you here and then what is here right now? We actually haven't touched on that too much.

Natalie (27:37):

Yeah. So, oh gosh. I'll try and do it in like, as briefly bullet

Fahd (27:42):

Points. No, no, don't be, you don't have to be brief. Tell us, tell us about it. Gosh,

Natalie (27:46):

You'll be here forever, . Um,

So I studied a science degree, um, in university or college in, as you call it, in the us. Um, and I also started my first business when I was 18. I started a dance company, um, teaching local people dancings, that's one of my hobbies. And,grew that business pretty well whilst studying, um, to become a physiotherapist at the time actually. And I moved and became a clinician in the healthcare sector and I actually became a bit obsessed with the way in which healthcare records moved through systems. I didn't like the way in which they operated, you know, this idea of being able to have your health record and taking it with you wherever, and it just follows you and it's like that single source of truth about your health. Yeah, no, that doesn't exist. So I was really on a mission

Natalie (28:36):

Of solving that problem. Um, but unfortunately with the red tape in healthcare, it, it, it's, it was very difficult to sort of do digital innovation and operation automation in that space. I did some clinical, um, operations for a while, um, before I found that actually a space that will let you do a lot of innovation and creation and automation and improving systems is the sales and marketing and customer service and CRM space where you are paid to op, like operationalize things and automate things so they can make more money. So basically, um, I ended up moving into that space because I ended up seeing the, you know, customer records. This one source of truth of a customer that moves from marketing, sales, customer success was very similar to a one patient record moving from doctor to nurse to, you know, very similar systems, but just completely different industry.

Um, and so then I started working in businesses in like the sort of marketing and sales operations department. And it was in, I think it was just as lockdown hit, well, just before lockdown, I left, left my job pretty much, um, and went freelance and then lockdown hit and I thought it was gonna be awful. I thought, you know, I'm never gonna find a job, I'm never gonna know like what to do . Like, and then all of a sudden everybody who was working face-to-face came into my digital world, my online world . And needed help. So all of a sudden I figured out that like,

Fahd (30:17):

Like, wait a second. I know this.

Natalie (30:19):

Yeah like! And actually, sorry to jump backwards a little bit. My dance company, I started when I was 18. I launched that from building relationships on Facebook back in like, you know, 2006, seven when like Facebook was sort of coming out. So I don't think I've ever really seen, I just see digital as another means of building relationship. I don't really see it that different from like the in person thing. It's just a different means of communication. And so yeah, jump back to kind of just pre covid and everybody's freaking out about that. And I've kind of like, oh, I've done a bit of this, like online communication from the blockchain company from, you know, my experience is working remotely. Like I'll try and get some some work. And I managed to get a few, um, jobs working as like fractional CMO sort of roles and then ended up building out their HubSpots and things like that.

And then I ended up having like almost too much work. So I was like, oh, well I'll find some other people that are remote and um, maybe they can just join my team and help me with some of these work. And it kind of like naturally developed from there until we decided we weren't to go full. Um, like all in on revenue operations and the, you know, the optimization of, of HubSpot, HubSpot ecosystems and integrations with Salesforce, things like that. And that's when we launched our brand. And would you believe it, I think 50% of my team are, are, are hires from Twitter

Fahd (31:48):

Interesting. How did that, how did that work? Did they, they were in a Twitter thread conversation with you and you said you want to come work for us? Is that, is that your recruitment strategy?

Natalie (32:00):

I mean, to be honest, I started tweeting about what I was building, you know, I just started sharing those and like, just like you would if you like, went out with some friends and sort of said, oh, you know, I've started, I've got this great idea, would listen to it. The difference is with the internet, it's like when you say something that you are doing, you've got a massive audience. If you just tell your friends that aren't interested in business or aren't interested in tech, what you're doing, they're like, oh yeah, another great idea, Natalie. Well done. Whereas I started telling people on the internet these ideas and they're like, wow, this is amazing. And like before I know it, I'm in like these amazing discussions and like finding the people who just resonate with, with some of the things I've been talking about. And people literally dmd me like, I want to work with you.

Tell me how I can work with you because I really love what you're saying and I wasn't sure about this to start with. So I offered internships, you know? Like, do you wanna like come and help me out? I'm like, you don't have to work any certain asset hours, just do as much work as you like whenever you like. And if you like it and I like working with you, let's then drop a contract and start working together. And this is the kind of way we've ended up building those. Now that obviously works very differently at this kind of like startup level where the CEOs have direct links with, um, with the people they hire. Or of course as you scale, it doesn't change that much though because I definitely see, you know, leaders who post on LinkedIn or Twitter and start building their audiences. If you build an audience to distribute your message online and you then have a job post and you push out the job, you're gonna get applications from people who already believe in the values in which you have as a leader so that you're gonna find them much easier to lead. They're not like people who have, have signed up to the brand, they've signed up to you. So yeah, it's been, it's been great.

Fahd (33:58):

I love that. I love that. I think that's a really crucial insight there around just kind of your leadership experience, right? Like individual leaders beyond just the company brand, when they share their message, they share their philosophy, they share what they're building, they can attract certain audiences that believe in those same values and whether it helps their recruitment or helps with testing ideas or helps with future customers, there's a real, there's a real value there. That's, that's really,that's really cool. That's a, that's a fun, you've got a fun storyline there from dance company,you know, to, to rev ops. There's a full part of that that that goes through. So today you know, you your company helps,helps,you know,what, what's your primary audience? Who, who do you target?

Natalie (34:48):

Yeah, so we help, um, either pre, um, pre-seed to series B start in a revenue operations journey, but also Series B and Beyond. So from series B to enterprise to, to really optimize their revenue operations across their technology stack. Um, as I say, we typically work with people who have at least HubSpot in their stack. That doesn't need to be the only thing. Um, but we love figuring out complex problems and this kind of like, flow of information and data and, and really, you know, supporting people to produce that like amazing customer experience, but also an amazing employee experience so that they deliver the services that your customers actually want. So we do a lot of that.

Fahd (35:29):

Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Cool. That's awesome. Okay, so we've, we started with some really good insights on remote leadership, right? We talked, you gotta love it yourself, you gotta have some trust, you gotta use the tools. And we learned a little bit about your whole pathway. So I wanna come back to kind of remote leadership here, pieces. Um, maybe walk me through some of the biggest mistakes you've seen that happen about remote leadership and, and or maybe some of the typical mistakes that some of us might be making without even realizing it.

Natalie (35:59):

Yeah, I mean, I can, I'm happy to share some of, like, the big mistakes I've made. I mean, yeah, to be honest, as a leader working remotely, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that it's okay to listen to your gut. If you get that kind of inkling that, that you don't necessarily think the person you're working with is gonna work within the value system of your business or like, like kind of showing some signs that this isn't gonna go in the right direction. Try and figure out a way to manage that earlier rather than later. Because I think I've let this idea of like believing that everybody, you know, there's a greatness in everybody and everybody, you know, should give everybody an opportunity, which I do still believe, but there are moments in which I wish I had had conversa like difficult conversations earlier about whether this environment is the right environment for them to be working in. Um, or if they might be better suited to having a different style of working that doesn't necessarily align with our businesses. Because, you know, we've ended up with a couple of, just a couple of people that it didn't end as well as I think it could have. Yeah. Because I kind of just let it go on too long before kind of nipping it in the bud. Um, I think another common pitfall that I see is people not making that time to have non-work related conversations in a remote environment. Ah,

Yeah. You know, you're, we're kind of used to using and if you've only ever really sent emails or slacks kind of in the workplace just for like the worky bits and actually all your social stuff has been face-to-face, h . That's probably where you're gonna miss that kind of like, vibe of like the socialness because you are not letting yourself behave that way on the technology. It's like almost this technology creates this like, work persona for you. You know, you don't, yeah. Like, it's important to remain yourself no matter the platform. Like posting on LinkedIn doesn't change who you are as a human being. Don't turn into a LinkedIn ball. , you're on LinkedIn. I, this frustrates me like so much. And because it's so funny, you end up like talking to these people that post in a certain way and they're really fun, but they're like really dull on LinkedIn. You're like, just who you're on LinkedIn.

Fahd (38:35):

Just be more fun.

Natalie (38:37):

Just be yourself. And I think, and there's, there's also like the little check-ins and things like with your colleagues as well. And then there's also teaching the people you lead to do that. Because even if you are a leader that checks in with your teammates, you almost need to empower your teammates to check in with each other. So they feel like you are not the only person checking. Yeah. Every, there needs to be this kind of feeling. Um, yeah. And also, yeah, getting ideas from the team as well as how you can improve the environment. You know, you don't, as a leader, it's, you don't have to always have all the ideas like ask ask your team for ideas and how to make things better. Like, we had actually this morning we had a standup and I said at the end, I think we had 10 minutes left. I was like, anyone got any words of wisdom or, you know, anything to share, any learnings? And, and one of the team piped up says, I don't have anything to share, but maybe everyone could just share one thing that they're grateful for. I was like,

Oh my god, that's amazing. And it was, it was from someone that I wasn't really expecting to come out with that. And we went round the group and said one thing that we were kind of grateful for for the day and we all left feeling really happy and, and things like that. So give that, yeah. Don't kind of feel like you have to control everything. Like let empower people to come up with good ideas of how to make things, things better. And yeah. So the kind of having some face-to-face like video calls, um, regularly. I think you can definitely, if you don't have regular check-ins with people, I can imagine that they would start to feel like distant.

Fahd (40:30):

So how regular, right? Like what are you doing? You've got your daily standups, you doing one-on-ones?

Natalie (40:37):

Yeah, but, oh, I say, well when I say daily standups, I think, I think I'm going to about three a week myself now because I've kind of empowered my team to take that over to like keep . So I kind of drop in so I don't feel like I'm always there, but like I can see the canvas boards are being done every day and things like that, so I know it's happening. Um, then I have one-to-ones weekly myself with like three or four reports I think. and then I . get all my team members to do the same thing weekly. Yeah. So it's kind of a weekly touch base and it's usually just like a half an hour where they can kind of put blockers past, um, like kind of just like, kind of catch up and, and so, and occasionally I think we've just ended up like just getting on and I think, I think there was one evening we just all got on and like decided to have a beer, you know, and just chat.

Fahd (41:31):

I love that. I love it. I love

Natalie (41:33):

That. But we've, we've, I have never met any of them in the first in...

Fahd (41:42):

In-Person? No, never. No what?

Natalie (41:46):


Fahd (41:47):

That hurts my, that hurts you. But you told me you were a hugger, so you haven't even hugged your own teammates that have been working with you to build That's that. See, my heart hurts cause I think I'm just, I think I'm a, I love remote, but I definitely think I'm an in-person. Like, you know, just, I vibe differently. I think I, but I'm you know what, I'm learning a lot through this now that I gotta, I gotta say this cuz like, I recognize that I get on a call and I get to work. Okay, we're on a call, so this is what we gotta do today. I use Slack for work. Iuse the tools professionally and then, and then when I'm done, I'm kinda okay, I'm a, I'm done. You know, like I go into social mode, right?

Like there's work mode, there's social mode and I don't think I do social mode on, on any of these professional tools as much as I, as I should. I do a little bit with my team, they kind of really force me into it cuz they'll ask me the most random questions and I'll be like, okay, well yeah, I would do it this way if you're gonna ask me that. Like, and I'll, you know, some, some, some fun random questions. But like, I wanna see my team, I wanna hug 'em, I want to have meals together. I wanna, I think that's, that's part of my struggle, but maybe I have to learn to enjoy remote. I'm coming back to your first statement there. So let me throw another question, Natalie, at you. So I feel that the skills, so one of the, one of, one of the hypotheses that I feel like you're, you're carrying through is that the skill sets necessary for leadership in person are quite similar for the skillsets necessary for remote. And it's just a different medium is kind of what you're saying. Like you built relationships on Facebook, you're building relationships,online, but there's gotta be some skill differences that we gotta hone in on. And, and perhaps that's some of the, the challenges and the differences. If you are looking at leaders and they're like, I've, I'm looking to develop my skills for this remote world. What does next while looks like, what are certain skills our leaders should hone in on to help with their leading remote?

Natalie (43:43):

Great question. And I need to put it out there to say I don't think I've had as much experience leading in person as I have leading remotely. So I'm gonna, I might struggle with like knowing the key differences, but I can certainly share what I can. And I think every leader who leads remotely needs, if you are in an office and you're leading remotely, the first thing you need to do, go and do is go and work remotely. Like go and understand the challenges that remote workers face. Like that's the first thing. Like empathy, like empathy for what it feels like to lead a remote team. Um, so understanding things like the importance of like putting schedules in like Google calendars or giving people the tools to show what they're doing without feeling like you're intruding on them. So one example I think we were struggling with, there was a particular member of the team that struggled to prioritize tasks.

So I just said like, look, share your calendar with me. Just like I'm not, I'm probably not even really gonna dive into it, which to honest, I don't think I have much, but I said like, block out the times in which you wanna be doing stuff. I, and I share my calendar with them. Like they can see, I mean if you could literally, I think I get like 30 minutes for like lunch and 30 minutes for like a dog walk and stuff and I'm pretty much back to back with the time blocked. I'm not always doing, I'm sometimes I'm doing like focused work and I'll put in focused work. So that means like people know not to disturb me during that time. But like if you, if you help people understand how to like map out their day and then you as a leader feel like, oh, what are they doing now?

Like you can literally just look at their Google calendar and like, oh well I know they're doing something around this topic. Maybe like tomorrow I'll check in with them and be like, oh, you know that stuff you were doing on that? Like how did that go? You know it. Yeah. And it's kind of without having to like always be checking in, you're giving them a way of showing you what they're doing. Um, and the same thing I would say with, with click up we have the kind of to do like backlog doing to do done. Like we have tiles that move through those. Yeah. And we've actually set up some really interesting automations. So when anything moves through a stage or changes, it actually alerts to a channel on Slack. So like we have alerts of like everything

Fahd (46:10):

You've got all the automations, of course .

Natalie (46:13):

So I mean if you are a leader trying to learn how to lead either learn automation or hire, like get a, get some sort of like automation or rev op person to like come alongside with you and tell them the stuff you wanna build and get them to help you build it. Because that's gonna help you with your systems and learn. Yeah. Learn how to have fun on remote calls.

Fahd (46:39):

So let's go through that one. What's the, because I think that was the first one. What do you do to have fun? What makes, what do, what makes it fun? So you talk a little bit of silly questions, you know, kind sometimes just having the, the regular banter. Do you like, is that just cuz you guys, is that just cuz you're fun cuz you seem like a fun personality, you're laughing, you're, you're hanging out. Or is it, is it, you know, designed fun? You know, is there an element of intentionality behind it?

Natalie (47:08):

I think people were overthinking it. Like

Natalie (47:12):

Just, you know, you know when you walk down a corridor and you bump into somebody and you just start a conversation and it just like, you just yourself, it's like that. But online. And I think this idea, I've seen a lot of these like tools of like creating fun and like doing that. But then when you orchestrate fun in such a orchestrated way, people go like, oh, I've gotta go to that thing because they're making me have fun. You know,

Natalie (47:43):

And I think it, it is more to do with relationship building. It's you're asking people what they're up to this weekend, what they're gonna have for dinner. Like, um, like getting to know them on like a deeper level. Like, oh actually we did a really amazing thing, which I totally forgot we did. We got everybody to take their laptop and do a tour of their house on their laptop.

Fahd (48:08):

No, they're actually?

Natalie (48:09):

Yeah. Cause we were like talking about how we always see the same background and like, we've never been to each other's houses before, so we just literally stood up and gave each other a tour around each other's houses. I mean, this wasn't planned, it was just, it was just one of those things. And like we have one of our team like works in South Africa and he lives in like, I mean I actually thought maybe I was paying him too much because he just like lifted mansion. You know, all of a sudden we're sitting there like, Hmm, hang on. And we've got someone who's based in like center of Johannesburg in a much smaller place and you know, we just, but we have fun about it. It's like, and that's like the same thing as like, if you're inviting your work mate around to your house to have a beer, like you'd show them around the house, you'd show them where you eat dinner, you, you know, you'd do those things.

So it's just kind of trying to recreate those things. And we do, like, I take, you know, sometimes we might have a meeting on a Sunday, like, um, just because we work very flexible hours and like some people prefer to do some weekend work and stuff and I'll take my laptop to a cafe and maybe even have like a beer or a glass of wine. Like while we're having like a little meat on a weekend, like trying to create like, you know, those after work where you go for a beer and kind of talk about business but then talk about other stuff. It's like trying to create those things like in a virtual world.

Fahd (49:28):

See I think, I think so many of our teams are overscheduled that, you know, our standup's 30 minutes we need to just get through it. I don't have time for that extra talk is it sometimes happens, right? Like it's like I'm overscheduled day to day and blocked off all this time that , you know, the extra 15 minutes of the extra thing, it's like, okay, well I gotta go, I gotta go right on the hour. So can we just wrap this up, right? So you get into a bit of that, but I'm, I'm hearing you creating, cuz it's true after a meeting that it was in person, when you're done the meeting, everyone sticks around for like 2, 3, 4 minutes. Oh, how was this, how was last weekend? What'd you do? Right? Like you have the informal pieces that happened once the meeting is done, but right now, once we're done we click leave.

Right? Okay, we're done leave. Right? Like it's like,you exit the room and you vanish. Right? Like before you had to physically walk out so you couldn't just vanish. So, so people could talk to you and, and you could have some of that. Okay. So that's, that's, that's really interesting. You know, the other thing I picked up here, Natalie, and I really like this. You you said, I've had more experience leading remote than I have ever in person. And I think that's the reality we're gonna come to. I think eventually the experience people are gonna have is, is I have experience leading remote. It's a skillset now it's, it's different and it's a different type of leadership experience now it blends over. But there's definitely differences. But it is now a skillset that people can hire for or look for because you know, some people will have spent more time leading remote than, than in person and they'll be on these remote teams and, and that'll be part of their skill.

And while there is a translation and, but there's a little bit of learning curve, I think there's, there's key things to, to note there because what, what I'm hearing is there are some nuances that aren't scheduled. Social time that you have to learn to you gotta create transparency with your calendar, transparency with your task lists on click up and, and that key transparency of what's happening to make sure that everyone's on the pulse. Because the challenge is, is synchronization, right? You couldn't play effective team sport virtually. Right. Basketball, you know, virtually you, you need people all there cuz you've got live feedback and it's all happening. It's a very reciprocal collaborative team environment. And so the higher but going

Natalie (51:42):

ESport like that's eSports like a thing.

Fahd (51:45):

But they did it. They did it. Yeah. With eSports they did it and so, and so there's, I think, I think there's times for full synchronization and there's times for full a synchronization and I think that's part of the, the learning right now happening in remote. So what do you do as a team that's fully asynchronous where it's kind of, you know, we're, we're not synchronized and this weekend and everyone does their bid and gets to it and, and how do you make that distinction?

Natalie (52:11):

Yeah, that's good question that you're getting me to think about some of the things we do that I think we just do without thinking these days. I am a big fan for like documenting everything. Yeah. Um, it, it is kind of like a culture I'm bringing into the businesses. Like, you know, whenever we have meetings with a client, like, you have to take minutes, like you have to write it down. If people are like, oh, but they spoke so fast, so I didn't know. I'm like, okay, go and download auto AI onto your mobile phone, for that next four, transcribe it, then just click that one button and then put that transcription onto a Google Doc and therefore you have the whole meeting transcribed and you can just, there go done. Like, think about things like that. We record meetings and kind of saving things like that. Um, I'm gonna be brutally honest. What, what was the question?

Fahd (53:06):

What do you, what do you do for asynchronous communication?

Natalie (53:10):

What would I do? Asynchronized? Oh gosh. Asynchronous. Okay. So documenting everything is very important. . Um, and we use Google Docs for this. So if someone sort of says to me, I'm gonna go and work on this, and they slack me the answer, I'm like, this isn't, I'll just say like, this isn't the place for this message. Please put that on a Google document and then tag me in it to review or add it to a click up and then move it to like quality assure, and then I will automatically get tagged and I'll review it. Same thing with emails. I've really tried to cut down on emails being sent internally. I don't like emails. We'll do them for external or for our clients, but I want to try and get rid of them internally. And again, it comes to someone's like, oh, I've got a great idea for this and I wanna do this, this, this.

I'm like, great. Put it in a business plan, put it on a Google Doc. Hmm. That's it. Like everything is in a Google Doc in his folder in its place, which means that people get used to working like that, which means someone could like write content for, I don't know, a ton of automated emails that we're going to send out. They'll do it on the template I've created and then they'll just tag me in it, like Natalie to review at, you know, as you can do in the Google Docs. Then when I come into work, cuz like they're on American time, I'm on UK time, I'll just come in ready to review it by the end of my day. I've reviewed it while that's time they start, they can then put it onto like HubSpot and automate it and things like that. Yeah. So actually we've kind of got this like 24/7 working team, which works asynchronously. However, there are challenges to it, and I like remote working and working asynchronously and working over multiple time zones. But I also like doing a little bit of work between like eight and 11. Then a little bit of work between kind of like 12 and four, and then a little bit of work between like five and six, and then a little bit of a break and then a little bit of work between eight and 10:00 PM.

Fahd (55:09):

Sound like you work quite a bit . Yeah.

Natalie (55:12):

But, but it's split up around like taking the dog for a walk, going to the shops, like yeah, maybe going clothes shopping, maybe going for a coffee with a friend. Like it's not, I'm not working a nine till five. Yeah. So I'm kind of dipping in and out as a leader because that's how I choose to do my work, you know? And that

Fahd (55:35):

Helps you with the time zones. Is that, is that intentional so that you can be around in the different time zones here?

Natalie (55:41):

Well, I don't think it's actually intentional. I think I learned from working at home myself that I had pockets of energy that lasted in different parts of the day. Because, you know, when you've been working alone pretty much since 2016, you kind of get to know like, when am I most creative? When am I most innovative? When am I most focused? When, when can I have podcast conversations like this.

Natalie (56:03):

I think I'm kind of relaxed on these things. It's like, this is the evening for me. Like, we're just like chilling out, having a bit like this is the kind of vibe I'm in now. Um, and then yeah, I think it works for me, but it doesn't mean it works for everybody. Um, and I've got some team members that are kind of very clearly like, or they'll say, look, I won't be available after this time and that's fine. And I've got other teams members that are like, oh yeah, I'm like you, I like wanna work. Yeah. A bit here, a bit there. Like, just send me my activities and I'll just work through them when I can, how I can. At the end of the day, as long as the work is done, it doesn't matter what time of day or night. And if you have developers on your team, if you know developers, they like to work through the fight. They're just night people. Yeah. I mean, I don't, I don't really understand. Maybe like we should all hire developers from the time zone in which it's night when it's our day and then they'll be awake when we are awake. I don't know. That's it. Maybe that's the way of hiring them.

Fahd (56:58):

That's, that's awesome that I love that. Um, no, that's, that's cool. I really like, I actually really like that because I think here's, here's an insight that you've come up with that perhaps doing remote work allows you to work based on energy cycles and not time cycles. Yeah, for sure. And, and, and that is a, is a key productivity, happiness, and engagement tool that is so underrated, right? When, when we're nine to five, I'm trying to shove, and especially, you know, especially when all your clients are nine, like in the same time zone, you also feel like, okay, I gotta cram them all in during the working day hours. So then your working day hours has eight meetings in it and you're burnt out and you're like, I don't have time for anything else. But you've, you've kind of spaced it out and, and, and you're looking at your energy levels and the dips and the highs and, and how to re-energize throughout the day. And, and I think that is the skill of remote leaders. There's a skill energy management, um, beyond just time management. And, and that's, that's key also for, you know, in-person leaders for sure. But it, but I think there happens to be an opportunity for all our remote workers to do that more effectively.

Natalie (58:13):

Yeah. And I think you can learn a lot from, from like burning out yourself. I definitely, I had a period of burnout in my life and I learned a lot of like understanding. And that was when I was working in London and, and commuting every day and going into the office and, and, and coming home and being exhausted. And I think after I had that experience, I, and I knew, and I'd worked remotely before. I was like, no, I need to, I need to stay remotely. It's, it, it works for me. Um, and you know, I've had meetings at 11, 12 o'clock at night and, and I've had meetings on like Saturday, Sunday. Is it? But that, it works for me. It's not. Yeah. And I think if you have a business, it's the same way they teach us to create this culture and these values that are really unique to our business.

Like why not create the working schedule uniquely to your business to reflect the leadership, to reflect the kind of skill sets you wanna and the kind of people that you wanna and remote's not for everybody, you know? And it's fine if you wanna be an office person, you wanna be an office company, that's also fine. There's tons of people that just wanna be in an office. So I,I think, I think you kind of brought this up before in terms of saying like, you know, be the company that you wanna be and, um, and it's okay to, to choose one or the other, or one either.

Fahd (59:33):

Awesome. Well, Natalie, we're getting to the end of our episode here. I wanted to give you a chance for any last kind of piece of advice for all our managers out there who are working remotely. I know you've given a lot, maybe, maybe it's your fundamental leadership lesson. Maybe it's your leadership philosophy, maybe it's an insight you've come across today. Maybe it's a thing that you're most grateful for that you think we should all, we should all hear about. I'll give you the last, last word. Or, you know what, actually we've even done the last rant. Do you have a, do you have any rants that you want to go off on? I've kind of, kind of given you the last moments here of the episode. The way that we to glimpse an insight as as to Natalie.

Natalie (01:00:13):

I don't think I have a rant. I do have a lesson that I wanna share, and that's to all the managers out there that we are all still learning to lead. Like, I don't believe that we ever become a leader. We're always trying to get there. You know, we are always growing, we're always, we're always learning. We're always trying to improve. And like leaders, most other leaders don't know what they're doing. They're just trying to figure it out. You know, you're not on your own. And just don't be afraid to reach out and like, talk about your failures, talk about your mistakes, be vulnerable. Try and get, like, understand how other people have dealt with it because we all make mistakes. We all get things wrong. The only time that you know it is not good is when we don't learn from them. So, you know, it's, yeah, it's a big, big learning thing. And I'm, I'm very far from being like where I think I should be and I think we all are. So, um,

Fahd (01:01:18):

What do you do to learn? What do you do to learn? So if, if we're all in this learning journey, what's, you know, are you a big book person? Are you a podcast? You take courses? Like do you have mentors? What's your kind of, how do, how do you learn? I know a lot of learning is on the job, so, you know, you just gotta try things and throw things, but what do you intentionally take time to learn?

Natalie (01:01:39):

Yeah, I think I'm actually a bit addicted to learning. I think that actually might be addiction. Um, I, well, I did, I studied a, well, I started a master's in leadership and management actually. So I studied a little bit of the like, leadership theory back in the day. I don't think that particularly helped me . Um, I think actually the biggest thing that helped me was, was the practices we were taught as healthcare professionals on reflective practice. Um, which is this idea of, of like almost like stepping outside yourself and looking at a situation and saying, you know, what did I do? What did that person do? How did I feel? How do I think they feel? And how could I have maybe interpreted this wrong? How could I have done it better? What could I have done better? And what could have the result been if I had done that better, what would I do different this time?

So you're almost like having that internal dialogue with yourself. Yeah. Like this reflective practice. I mean, they say you should write it down, you don't have to always write it down. But I think just like constantly like thinking about that, that helps me. Um, also like going to my team and asking like, what can I do to help you? What can I do to make feelings easier? Like asking people and, um, yeah, and, and talking to other leaders, I think, yeah, so self-reflection, speaking to the people you lead and speaking to others who lead are the key, the key things I think. And of course I mean I love reading, I love psychology. I'm very into like, yeah, psychology, sociology of course as a like ex marketer. Like, we study a ton of that stuff. How to communicate, to drive action, negotiation, those sorts of skills. Like, you know, go and learn all those standard skills as well from like, reading books and, and yeah. But just remember when you try them to reflect on trying them, think about how you did, how you could do better, because it's that bit, it's that reflective piece and the kind of like improving yourself, how you could do it better. That I think changes things

Fahd (01:03:38):

Well, I like that it's kind of like, read about it, learn about it, try it, reflect on it, ask your team how you did with it. Cuz they might have some feedback on how you did that. And then talk to peers about how they go about implementing that. Right? Like, there's a whole chain there that, that you could kind of follow as as, as you were walking us through your, your thought process. I really, I really like that.

Natalie (01:03:59):

And I actually, I should drop her like, um, a shout out to, um, oh gosh, I think her name's popped up. Brian, is it Brianne Brie who did the Dare to Lead? You might

Fahd (01:04:10):

Oh, Brene Brown. Brene Brown. Brene Brown.

Natalie (01:04:13):

I do have to say one, like, well I'm actually dyslexic, so I do struggle with, um, all good with names as well. Um, but yeah, um, Brene Brown Dare to lead that, that definitely helped me become a little bit more vulnerable as a leader, but also stopped me from, there was another book that I read recently about leadership that stopped me seeing as my team as a family, but a bit more, bit more like a sports team. And it's all about driving that performance and like getting people like to work as a team. But I mean, we could do a whole nother pod podcast about that. So I'm not gonna drive.

Fahd (01:04:43):

I love that. I love that. No, I agree. It's sports team. And you know what, when you talked about leaning into your intuition and having to let people, let people go, I always say the word firing is so like, like why do you fire people who you put people on fire? It sounds so dangerous, right? Like, why, why don't we say that? Like, why, why don't we just trade people in sports? We trade them. You go find another, you find another team, you're not good for this team, we're gonna trade you, right? So I'm all about trading people why we gotta fire people. That sounds so, so hurtful. But I love that. Natalie, thank you so much for just being so authentic, so real, so honest with,the realities of remote work and leading a team in remote telling us about your story, sharing your very practical experience, your frustrations with Slack, which I think every team has these days, and, and, and your wins and and, and all the pieces that you've learned in between. This was,such a wonderful conversation. Thank you for being here. And Natalie, a little plug, where can people find you? What's, what's the name of the company? What's the website?

Natalie (01:05:45):

So we are rev ops automated.com. So you can find us if you're interested in anything, revenue, operations, HubSpot integration, automation processes, operations, whatever you're like, we're there to help as well as revenue reporting. But in terms of like people connecting with me, please do. Um, I am available on LinkedIn under Natalie Furness, and also Twitter, Natalie underscore Furn, f u r n. So either of those places I do tend to like talk a lot. I love building relationships online, um, because I'm a remote person. Um, and yeah,I look forward to meeting you.

Fahd (01:06:20):

I love it. I love it. So you're still one of those big Twitter users. Hot Take. Are you happy about Elon Musk taking over Twitter or how you feel about that? Totally random end of episode. Blooper. You know? Yeah.

Natalie (01:06:31):

Oh my God. Yeah. I mean, I have, I have swings and roundabouts of moments. I love Elon Musk moments. I just think he's a beep

Fahd (01:06:41):

He's, he's a li he's, he's, you can't, you can't drink your own Kool-Aid when you drink your own Kool-Aid for too long. Yeah, you become a little bit like that. That's part of the problem. But thanks Natalie for, for sharing that and  , we'll, we'll let it, we'll let it go here. Awesome. Thank you Natalie, so much for a wonderful episode. That is a wrap. Natalie shared with us everything from building trust to digital tools, to how to be remote first, how to, how to create, how to create fun, how to have those water cooler moments that perhaps were missing in a remote environment, um, to not lose sight of our personalities and, and, and not be so robotic, but to create and foster social bonds online through work. Natalie has a ton of energy and a ton of fun, truly a wonderful guest. Thank you to each and every one of you that have stuck with us throughout the episode and listened all the way through.

I hope you were able to take some key nuggets from the episode that really,you're able to apply. I know it really helped me personally in my remote leadership experience,and, and kind of journey a a few things that I was missing,from my team. So if you've got any more questions,and you'll what some other topics, feel free to send us a message at fahd@unicornlabs.ca That's it for today. Thank you so much for tuning into the episode of our Unicorn Leadership podcast. Our show notes and transcript, as always, our unicornlabs.ca/podcast. Be sure to rate, subscribe, hit the bell notifications if you're on YouTube. Um, get the notifications for our next episode. Join our newsletter if you haven't joined our newsletter, um, to learn more about the work that we do at Unicorn Labs and tell all your friends, I'll leave you with this one thought. What is it that you used to do regularly with your team when you were in person that you do not now in remote? And what is it that you now do in remote that perhaps you didn't do before when you were in person? Reflect on those. Maybe there's a good thing, there's certain things we're not doing anymore. Maybe there's some things we're missing and some things that we can change.

That's all for now. Thank you.

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