On building research driven wellness products and founder training with Linda Ellison, founder of kaü HealthFeatured

juliachan's profile thumbnail
This is so inspiring to read and learn about Dr. Linda mentality. And it's superb to see and celebrate the success of another, among many, female entrepreneur! Thank you @jessicali for sharing :)I do have one question in my mind when I read this though, and it's actually I question I have in mind for a long time but still haven't been able to think it through. For a hands-on mentality like Dr. Linda who tries your best to help in anyway possible and even doing cup washing - how do you maintain the belief that you are doing the right things with the right approach without being taken lightly? I do feel that as part of a team everyone should take ownership of tasks even if it's not "his/her job", however whenever engaging on those tasks many people will just assume that's the limit of your capability / your job tasks actually are them.. I know it's a right thing to be hands-on and help out in whatever way. But the dilemma of not letting this curtails how other perceive my capability is something I don't seem to be able to solve yet. Any advice? @DrLindaEllison @jessicali & everyone in Elpha :)
jessicali's profile thumbnail
Hi @juliachan - great question and would love for @DrLindaEllison to chime in as well. A few of my own thoughts:1. This mostly applies to early stage startups (i.e. this would definitely not be relevant for someone working at a Google or Facebook - I doubt any employees are dish washing there haha; I know they both have very elaborate cafeterias and everything else). By being an early employee at an early stage startup, you naturally have leadership, agency, clout, influence, some good title, ability to do all kinds of work (menial and not), so your title, coverage, experience, impact, etc. is very broad and frankly as broad as you would like it to be. 2. In mid-sized organizations, this is a way to build trust with other people when you are just starting. In my experience, you never start off doing the glamorous tasks unless you come in with decades of experience as some C suite person. But after you build that trust, people in an organization with good culture will see your grit and ability and reliability and give you higher order tasks.3. If people do not see it (assuming good intentions and they are just busy with other things), I would mention it deliberately at a 1:1 (you do not have to wait for performance reviews) with your boss. Keep a running list of all the things you did and what you think your achievements show about your skillset and value and share that with your boss and ask for different projects to be able to apply and realize this value. 4. Do an intentional split for yourself. Look at your calendar and note down the time it takes to do each task. Make sure you are not going much above your threshold of more tedious vs. rewarding tasks. 5. Get more people to advocate internally for you. A lot of the more menial tasks improves everyone's life, so chances are you are creating value for a lot of people. Develop allies just through water cooler talk and building rapport with other people within or outside of your team. Have them vouch for you to your boss or other relevant decision makers. 6. I have been at companies where the manager utterly fails to recognize talent, and it is really unfortunate. Hopefully these are rarer cases (not the norm in the world) but I feel like it is more common than one would think or hope, even if not the majority. In these cases, I have started job hunting very early and switched as soon as I could. Hope this helps!
DrLindaEllison's profile thumbnail
juliachan's profile thumbnail
Thank you Jessica, that's very helpful! Love your approach with this.
DrLindaEllison's profile thumbnail
Jessica gave a great answer and I second everything she said! Very briefly I'd echo her and say: Go ahead and pitch in *if you are working at a beginning-stage startup* that is likely understaffed and everyone is working 24/7 boots-on-the-ground to make everything run (that's when someone needs to take a second to wash the cups and take out the trash and people should be taking turns, including founders, CEO...everyone), NOT EVER at a "startup" that is now a full-fledged company and hires people to do these tasks. When you do something to pitch in *ALWAYS* ping your supervisor or the person most senior to say something along the lines of "I noticed all the available cups were in the sink and I stayed late to wash them so we all have fresh, clean cups. I thought you'd like to know there is a clean cup for you in the morning." This is signalling that you take initiative, you care about the welfare of the team, and you are willing to go the extra mile. All of this will likely stick in that person's mind and be remembered when there is a position to fill or a project to delegate. You don't want to stay in a toxic situation where someone takes advantage of you and doesn't value your work and your worth so if you do extra work to be helpful and don't get recognized for it-- time to start looking elsewhere for a fit that will adore having a hard worker who cares and takes initiative. Be a team player, but not a doormat. EVER.
juliachan's profile thumbnail
Thank you both of you, thanks for showing me how to be an advocate of myself when I do somethings good!
jessicali's profile thumbnail
😊😊😊😊
ellenflanagan's profile thumbnail
What great advice (again). Thank you @DrLindaElisson! As an aside, your product, kaü Immunity Build would be amazing if we could add ~2 grams/kg protein and give it to presurgical patients to improve their surgical outcomes. Nestles and Abbott make Immunonutrition formulations specifically for presurgical patients- expensive, unnecessary ingredients ect.
ellenflanagan's profile thumbnail
Terrific post. Well done @jessicali. Thank you for sharing @DrLindaEllison. Jumping in and doing what needs to get done is a great way to break down barriers between leadership and staff. If “I” can do the dishes, any of the team can do it without it being demeaning or “not my job.” I love the concept of trialing people on a project to experience the chemistry and whether there is mutual respect. The last paragraph is so very helpful. Working on this after removing myself from a toxic situation.
jessicali's profile thumbnail
All excellent points, thank you so much for the read, @ellenflanagan :)