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Sheila was at Harvard Business School, rifling through the Yellow Pages to find care for her infant son and her elderly father when she realized finding care should be easier. But unlike some Silicon Valley founders, Sheila wasn’t in a rush: instead, she prioritized building her leadership and management skills before she launched Care.com.
On Management Mistakes
Sheila: I was very intense in my style on deadlines. And I remember going to a meeting where a team that reported to me — and the deadline was that day — said they needed another week. My style was not understanding. And my CFO, who cared deeply about me, took me out to lunch and said, "You are getting in your own way, because people don't want to be around you." I was really shocked by that. And I owe them to this day.
On Prioritizing Company Culture
Sheila: We put a lot of systems in place for people management and performance management from the get-go from day one, so that we could get out of the way and focus the team on creating the product and the solution, as opposed to constantly trying to solve problems around people related issues. I actually think not investing on the people side early and having systems and clarity of roles, responsibilities, performance, measurement, making that systematize, I think creates challenges for companies that slows them down.
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