🚀 Breathe.

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Guest

139

“I think that one of the best ways to deal and manage change and work with your people is to be open to experimentation and iteration. Things like really being clear on the problem you are solving and having a clear understanding of the goal. Make sure you're breaking that goal down into smaller chunks because if you break it down into smaller chunks, I think there's one more opportunity for celebration. “

In this episode

Having a people-first philosophy does not mean neglecting the health of your business.

Investing in people is a smart business decision. 

In episode #139, Felicia talks about Unbounce’s “people first” philosophy, which involves creating an environment where everyone can bring their best selves to work, learn collectively, and grow together to create their best work. 

Felicia Bochicchio has over 25 years of experience helping companies scale in high-growth environments. She joined Unbounce as Chief Revenue Officer in June 2018 and was promoted to President in 2020 after the company raised its first major round of funding, a $52 million deal. Today, she is the CEO of Unbounce. 

Felicia also talks about the importance of assessing whether people coming into the company share the company’s values, rather than training them on the values.

Tune in to hear all about Felicia’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


04:03

Playbook mistakes

11:38

People first culture

24:00

Being purpose-built

29:08

Being an adventure athlete

36:41

Hiring resilient candidates

42:16

Leadership is about bringing people together


Resources


Transcript

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 04:19

Felicia, welcome to the show.

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  04:21

Hi, thank you. I’m excited to be here. Thanks for having me really grateful.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  04:25

Yeah, super excited to have you on you know today you’re the CEO of Unbounced but you’re no stranger to tech, you’ve been in the tech world for a long time in varying roles from startup to publicly traded companies spent a lot of time at active network, for example. So lots of different experiences that we want to dive into with you. But the question we like to start with with all the guests on the show, is Do you remember when you first started to manage or lead a team and what were some of those very early mistakes that you used to make

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  05:00

I think the attraction and journey to leadership really started for me on the sports field playing softball and field hockey. And I think there, that’s when I found these opportunities to be a person who can step forward and kind of change the trajectory of the game by getting on base or scoring a goal or supporting another player by checking in or cheering them on. And I think I learned, there are opportunities for everyone to lead not just the person with the title of Captain. So, you know, over time, I think my ability to show leadership through things like action and results gave me the confidence to launch my career as a young sales professional. And after a couple of years of hard work and delivering a bunch of results, I thought, hey, I could help others achieve the same thing. So I went off, and I advocated to create a sales leadership role, and it was accepted. And that’s really how I started my professional career and leadership. And it gets really super interesting when you look back. And I can see this sort of thread between coaching and leadership and like being part of a winning team that’s carried on as a theme and in my life. And I think the idea of playing a role on a team to do something greater than you would be able to achieve on your own is a pretty lucky discovery. early in life.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  06:22

Yeah. So that’s super interesting. So you actually advocated for the role to be created in the beginning. So I guess, smaller company, the leadership role in the sales function didn’t exist, you advocated for it, which is very interesting. Normally, people are thrown into it, you went out and you know, you requested it, and you got it. So when you first started doing that, was there anything I mean, that you remember, that was maybe harder in those early days? Or just, you know, mistakes that you later on? corrected? Anything like that, that you remember?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  06:55

Oh, many? I think the point is, you know, can you course correct quickly? And are you aware, but yeah, I remember, one day early, early in my leadership career, I had my team in first meeting, and I put a playbook out on the table and was like, Hey, you just do this step. And then this step, and then this step. And if you follow these, we’re gonna be sure to close all these sales. So here’s the playbook. Just go do it. See in a month, and we’re gonna hit our targets. And you know, I had a lot of passion for what I did, and a track record of success. So I thought, like, certainly, this is gonna work like rinse and repeat. Then, of course, what do you think happened after that meeting? Well, it didn’t work. Like, of course, it didn’t work. Why not? Because playbooks are helpful, but it’s not about the playbook. And it’s not about trying to make your team bu I think what I learned pretty quickly, there’s a huge component around that your work as a leader is to really understand who your people are, and help them tap into what is unique to them, and special about them so that they can bring that to their work. And then you can apply a playbook to that.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  08:05

Yeah, so that’s super interesting. So the playbook concepts make sense. And it makes sense that leaders would create playbooks as part of the role. And so the reason that you think that that didn’t work was because it needed to be, I guess, more uniquely applied to each person on the team, or what was the main downfall of the playbook?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  08:26

Yeah, I think everybody has like, their unique strengths and like unique way of being right. So in this situation, we were selling to people, people, you know, buy on emotion, they want to trust the people that they’re talking to. And if you’re not showing up as your authentic self, and you’re just like reading off of a playbook, that’s going to be pretty robotic. And I think that still applies in companies when you are not selling, but you’re at the table trying to develop and create product projects with others, you have to show up as your authentic self, and be able to bring who you are to the table. Right. So it’s not just about giving the answer. As a leader, it is about being curious and showing up asking questions that you think are the right questions designed in a way to you know, help people think through that. And so I think that a lot of life and work is about being okay with who you are and showing up as who you are. Right and then applying skills. And I think that’s why playbooks work, but it’s also in isolation. You can’t be that robotic.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  09:40

I think part of this is and I’ve heard this a lot of times as well, when you I mean, if something is outlined too much for someone, it does take some of the creativity or their ability to show up as their authentic selves, like you said, may take away some of that and over time You know, a lot of folks realize that it’s basically more about, you know, communicating the what and the why, and then maybe leaving more of the details to the other party. Yeah, but it is a fine balance. So you just kind of have to find this place in between.

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  10:18

Yeah, I think too, you need to give people space to move, right? Like, if you if you think about that, you, you can’t give them so much space where they might get lost. And so you could think about it as like playbooks or boxes to work in, if you’re a visual thinker, where it’s like, what are the boundaries here, because you want to give somebody space to stretch themselves, try something new, you also want to give them opportunities to maybe fail, you know, the dreaded fail word. But as long as you’re there to support them, then you can bring them back through, if there was a misstep, I really agree with you around this idea of creativity. And you have to give people some room, and that can be really hard as the leader because that’s scary, because you’re responsible. But you know, the opposite of that is that, you know, you really kind of douse people’s spirit, to some extent,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  11:13

yeah, it’s super interesting. And this is what I call the pendulum of management, it’s you swing one way and get too specific with the playbook. And then you’re like, oh, that didn’t work. Let me go the other way. And then and then you don’t provide enough direction. And then you realize, oh, I have to do it differently for each person on the team. I get it now. So

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  11:30

but isn’t that life? Like, isn’t the concept of iteration isn’t that life? Right? That’s how we learn.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  11:36

Absolutely. And so one thing that, you know, I’d love to get into some specifics, especially, I guess, more recently in your career. So today, you’re you’re the CEO of Unbounce. You’ve been working there for a while, how long? have you actually been with the company so far?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  11:52

Yeah, I started at Unbounce in 2018.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  11:55

Okay, so it’s been a while. And so today, you occupy the CEO role. One of the things that I found super interesting about Unbounce. And I think one of the things that drew you into the working there was this very people first philosophy and approach that they had. So maybe we can talk about what that means, so that everybody can kind of get the context.

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  12:20

At Unbounce people first means are dedicated to really co creating an environment where all of us can bring our whole and best selves to work, right, a place where we can really learn collectively, and grow together to create this idea of doing our best work. And for us at Unbounce. Today, this is why our purpose statement is unbalanced helps you grow smarter. So we’re dedicated to this idea of helping people and businesses grow in a smarter way. And this is, yeah, absolutely, it means our own announcers. But it also means customers partners. It means sitting here with you today, where we’re working together to have a conversation to help people grow and learn through your podcast and the content that’s being distributed. So people first for us is this idea of growing people, but it also something that needs to show up in everything you do, and how you build your products and how you support your customers and how we market and how we treat employees. I think one thing that’s important is that people first are having a people first philosophy, what it does not mean is that the cost of your business health, right, so the health of your company, and the health of your business, ideally, are in sync. And I can, you know, really tell you from experience in running a company you need to consider like many people, so like we said, customers included. And at the end of the day, I think relationships are complicated. So when you are in this people first environment, and you’re working, while you build the business to have deep and trusting relationships with your people, at the end of the day, I believe it’s just a better way to run the business and execute on your strategies. So all that to say, I think that investing in people is a smart business. I guess

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  14:12

like originally this concept came from let’s obviously put our people first. But then the concept, you know, applies to all the different people, partners, customers that that you work with? What are some specifics? So for example, if you were to point out some things that you tactically do at the company that exemplifies this value, what are some things that you would point to?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  14:37

One is employees and so announcers so for us? We run an employee engagement survey twice a year, and it’s a great way to make sure that you’re giving your people a voice and yes, some many people have a voice hopefully every day and what they’re doing but, you know, running a consistent survey twice a year gives people a specific point in time to really sit back and reflect on what’s happened since the last survey, what’s changed in the company, you know, what their company confidence is, what their confidence in leadership is? How they feel about their job, how do they feel about the culture. And so we’ve run this twice a year. And then this starts to give us some consistent statistics to start to take action, right, because what you’re gonna see at the end of that, is, hey, here’s a handful of things that you’re doing great at, here’s a handful of things that you’re not doing so well at. And you know, and of course, here’s the in between. And a lot of times, you know, there could be things in the red that you’re thinking, Okay, we need to really act now over the next, you know, handful of months, you sit down, and you can develop specific people priorities that you know, that are going to start to impact the engagement and participation of your people. So your people are motivated, you know, they’re going to work through the hard times, and they’re going to be ready to celebrate. So it’s one way and one tactical way that I think, is pretty critical. In an organization. The other for us on the customer side is in 2009, when Unbounce came to market, we really became the thought leader in landing pages, which is our core product, right? And we dedicated ourselves to educating customers. And so we still write blogs that’s around building your authentic brand. You know, we build a state of AI, business reports, conversion benchmark reports, but this is all in the effort to go out to market and help grow people and help educate people. So again, people first people feel educated, they feel like you’re helping them with their business. And then they’re like, hey, you know, what, what is it? This company does? Okay, great. And then for us, I would say a third thing, in terms of dedication to people first and dedication to this idea of growing smarter is that we take this into consideration in terms of building products. So if you look at our products, that all our products are specific to helping marketers succeed. So we’re helping marketers, digital marketers more specifically drive a better return on their ad spend and find more of their best customers. So when you’re sitting down, and you’re really looking through your roadmap, it’s like, what are we doing here to grow, help their businesses grow? Right? And so those are the three examples I would give around how you can dedicate and think about People First,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  17:32

one of the things that you mentioned is growing smarter. So this was this people first philosophy was something that when you joined the company, it was something that you thought about, is it still called the same thing at Unbounce? Or has it named changed or morphed over the course of time?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  17:50

Yeah, that’s a great question. It has morphed, I would say, it’s interesting. I came to Unbounce. In 2018. It was founded in 2009. Right? So there’s a long history pre me. But one of the things that I found incredibly interesting is looking back and hearing the stories of what happened in day one, right. So in day one, you at Unbounce, there was five or six founders. And generally what happened is, is that they sat around, and they really believed in community, and they really believed in working together with others. So in the early days, they hired people who are really a match to their own beliefs, right, like open door, let’s sit down and talk about what we’re developing. Let’s be creative, let’s experiment, let’s innovate, let’s be ambitious. And also let’s open our doors to not just announcers but but others. And they developed very early on this concept of, hey, if we take care of our people, our people will take care of our customers. And as a result, you know, the business will be healthy. And that was sort of the early statement, you know, and that still exists. But when you say how has it morphed, I would say that today as we’ve grown, and scaled as an organization, we’ve also matured that into this purpose statement of Unbounce helps you grow smarter. So you can see purpose is a greater kind of macro concept. But it really has stemmed from that original belief of take care of your people, and listen to your people. So it has morphed over time. And it’s, it’s really inspiring to see that it’s still there. And I would say to that we’ve been able to really hold on to a lot of our core values along the way as well, in thinking about, you know, the different growth stages and what’s needed through those stages. And as those stages change your company, your culture might change in different ways, but really like your core values and your purpose, don’t if you’re doing it right.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  19:58

I mean I’d love to dig in None on some of that, too. But before I go there, I want to get a little bit more clear on this idea of purpose. So when you speak of purpose, is this very similar to, you know, what some companies would call a mission statement?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  20:14

Yes, I think they’re a bit interchangeable mission and purpose.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:18

Got it. Okay. So it seems like the purpose, you know, at its core is to help people grow smarter. And so in this particular case, your educational content, the product itself, and then it may be stems to all of the the employees at the company as well, because you’re also trying to help them advance and grow in their career to

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  20:38

even in, we’ve been going through a growth phase ourselves since about 2020. And when we sat down at a table, and we really thought about the journey of Unbounce, and what we had achieved over that period of time. And we thought at that point in time, like, hey, we really want to keep going in terms of building innovative products for our marketers, and we want to be able and we work primarily with SMBs, we really want to give the small and medium sized businesses access to data technology that they might not otherwise have, right, and we pretty passionate about small business growth. And today, you know, our products are for everyone. And but certainly in this SMB focus, that was a real motivator for us. And so we decided that we were going to go and start rebuilding really smart technology, using artificial intelligence to build smart tools like copy generation, smarter tools, with landing generative development for landing pages, and traffic optimization type tools. And when we had this in mind, you know, for us, this was really around, yes. One at the highest levels. Is this going to meet our purpose and mission of helping people grow smarter? To what is the ethos around what we’re building? Yes, we’re building AI products, what is our version of what we call that and so for us, you know, we call this conversion intelligence, which is about AI being a partner with the marketer. So, you basically the concept is, is you work with a marketer who has best practices and know how, and you combine that with the power of artificial intelligence is at the end of the day for a marketer to get to work faster for a marketer to develop better contact for a marketer to have higher conversions, and for a marketer to be able to find more of their best customers. But the ethos is about working together. So I give that example, because at the highest level is your purpose statement. And the early days of Unbounce, being people first moving into growth, and helping others grow, and then how you develop your products, even moving into these next couple of years. You can see how those threads are, you know, how that threaded together. And I think that’s important for a company to think through doesn’t mean it’s easy, but I think it’s purposeful. And I think when people come to our company, and they understand that purpose, they believe in that purpose. And you know, some people err on the tech side, some people err on the more personal side, but I think when people have purpose in their work, they’re more successful. And we’ve heard this, I mean, I think a lot of us are running tech companies, and you look at who you’re hiring, and you know, younger generations, they believe in purpose, right? They want to see that in the company. They want to know that at least you’re you’re trying, you know, it doesn’t need to be perfect. We have this saying like progress over perfection, right? And what you do,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  23:57

yeah, I really liked that progress over perfection. And so one of the things that you mentioned, so the purpose seems to be like this transcending, you know, almost guiding force for the organization, but then maybe you kind of hinted at it, which is in various stages of growth, maybe some of the values may change or something, you know, something maybe was more important before and now it’s less important, something takes place. I’m just curious, is there anything top of mind for you know, maybe a value that morphed or, you know, a new one that came in an superseded another one during the phases of growth that you’ve seen?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  24:35

Yeah, this is an interesting and I think, highly debatable question, in the sense that when I think about values, so the values that unbalance our values have cared. So courage, ambition, being real, empathetic and diverse. They were modified I think a couple of years in but primarily have stayed the same and I have a belief that throughout the stages of your company growth, whether its startup through established to enduring that your core values are your core values, similar to like, as a human, you have values, as you grow through stages of toddler and teenager and adult, you change as a human, you need to bring forward different types of tools and attributes and beliefs, because your beliefs are developing that are required for that period of time. But most of the time, your core values stay the thing. So how I think about it is is that unbalanced, our values actually have not changed, they are the same. And when we work with people who are coming into the company, we don’t necessarily train them on values, right? That’s not our goal. Our goal is to assess people who to make sure that they are bringing those values and they believe in them. And so of course, you can do that through very situational interviewing questions. Making sure these values are front of mind, but in my belief is somebody comes to Unbounce. With those values? Yes, we still need to support them. Now, what I do believe changes and accompany is the what you’re asking of your people, what you’re asking of your community. And I think these are in a way correlated to the kind of experience or maybe a better way to say it is at the growth phase, you’re at? What is life at your company, like for your people? Right? And how can you support that? And how can that person support that. And so I think much larger companies, you know, you might even be able to go onto their website, and you might be able to, you know, see, hey, life at Unbounce says this. And so this is something I’ve been playing around with, in the sense of values don’t change, however, the experience you want to create does change. And so part of our beliefs are things like performance matters, right? So we are leaders, we take action and are accountable to results. We want our people to think big, and really think about delivering value. We want our people to be able to accomplish great things together. And we want them to be able to change the lives of our customers. So when you think about these things, and you think about your values, you have to ask yourself, if people come with those values, can they successfully achieved these things? Right? So we’re saying our values, our ambition and courage? Do people have those because when we say to somebody, your life and Unbounce requires performance and accountability, and we know they have that value, they’re probably going to be much better set up for success. So that’s how I think about it. It’s it probably a little bit more complex way. But I think changing your values all the time as a company who’s growing is pretty tricky. I don’t believe values change.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  28:13

And like you said, it’s maybe the experience the changes, and there’s maybe different chapters, but it’s the same book.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  29:06

You know, one of the things that we were talking about just before we hit record was you know, being in tech is interesting, right? Because there’s always a lot of change. And I think this ties back to some of the things that we were discussing previously. But how do you think about how employees how leaders, you know what you tell your own employees about change? And how to adapt to changing environments?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  29:32

Do you have a belief that the only thing you can count on in life is change. So you can really start from that point? Yeah, in my late 20s and 30s. I migrated from playing a whole bunch of team sports over to outdoor sports and I competed in everything from mountain biking, trail running and Dorrance adventure racing and big long races like the eco challenge and adventure racing is probably one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences a human can have, because it’s really about not only physically your body, but there’s a lot of stress on your brain. And we would race for like three to five days at a time like nonstop through oceans, rivers, Alpine mountains, deserts, like climbing crazy cliffs, and you’d run into all sorts of challenges like sleep deprivation, you’d have weather changes, you’d also have a lot of emotions happening on the team all at the same time. With this adventure racing, you have to stay with your team the whole time, somebody drops out on your team, you’re out of the race. So this is also about managing your team, right? And regardless of how much training and preparation you put in, because, of course, you’re doing practice, you’re developing strategies, you’re creating priorities, something always changed. Like, there were times where we were racing in Morocco. And we ended up climbing this pretty large mountain about 13,000 feet, called, I think mountain lagoon or something like that appropriate name. And we ended up like hitting the top in the middle of the night, like it was freezing, right? And so like I said, weather would come in, somebody would be sleep deprived, but you’re dealing with all of these things. And so what do you need to do? Like you need to the ability to think differently, you need to have the ability to make decisions faster. My belief and going through these things, and then having a career in tech, since you know, 2000, specifically in tech is like building and scaling a tech business is not all that different, right. And we there’s a lot of analogies out there about climbing mountains and building companies. But it’s not all that different. Like you hit highs in your company, when you’re rolling out great products, you hit lows, or unexpected things like when we look at the economy right now, like trying to lead read tea leaves, right? All this to say is this that, I think that one of the best ways to deal and manage change and work with your people is to be open to experimentation and iteration. So you know, things like really being clear on the problem you are solving, right? Really having a clear understanding of the goal, right. And that could be the goal could be a pretty big goal over a long period of time. So make sure you’re breaking that goal down into smaller chunks, right? Because if you break it down into smaller chunks, I think there’s one more opportunity for celebration. And it’s more digestible, right? Like you can see it, it’s kind of like you break it down into these micro blocks. And we would do that when we were racing. Because imagine if you’re racing for five days, you can’t think about what’s gonna happen on the fifth day, you have to think about what’s gonna happen today. Right? Yeah,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  33:00

this is I mean, super interesting. I mean, I didn’t know that about you that you were you were an adventure athlete. That’s really, really cool. And so just to really explain to people how intense the things are that you’re doing. So, like on a given day, I mean, this is almost like doing like an ultra marathon every day for five days. And everybody on the team has to be on the same page. And it’s altering all times during the night. Like, how many hours of sleep are you getting during this time?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  33:27

Yeah, I mean, this was back in the early days of, you know, endurance adventure racing back when it was like the early days in the Eco Tech Challenge, the red, Galois, those types of things. And so, if you wanted to be competitive, you had to come up with some pretty good ways to experiment on sleep, you would see teams sort of, okay, we’re going to go for 22 hours or 40 hours, I’m going to sleep a period of time, what we found work best after experimenting, is that small little amounts of sleep were the best, even if it was 10 minutes, right. And so, over time, you know, you may only sleep a couple hours a day. That’s Yeah, crazy. Yeah, I have to tell you like that, you know, when you do really intense things like that, you really understand the power of your brain, right? And you really understand, because at any point in time, what’ll end up happening is that your brain is going to have to overtake your body to tell it to continue on. And I think in day to day life, you know, we get overwhelmed, a lot of things come up or your project doesn’t come work out, as well as you you’d hoped. And sometimes you really just have to sit down. Be aware of how you’re thinking, be aware of negative thoughts and then, you know, really change your perspective around change your lens around and get yourself above the line. There’s this great book called The 15, commitments of conscious leadership, and they talk about being above and below the line, you can find it on YouTube, it’s like 15 minutes. But it’s a great way for individuals and teams to acknowledge where they’re at. So a lot of times, if you let’s just say you’re on working on a project, and project is not going well, or the results didn’t come in, sure, take a moment, take 10 minutes to sleep, recover, take a moment and just have a conversation like about, you know, below the line type of things, right, this isn’t the Sox it’s better law. Now get yourself above the line, change your perspective and say, Okay, what did we learn from this? Right? Let’s do a retro on this. How do we evolve this? And these are, I think, just general lessons in life, I just find in tech, because you’re stretching yourself, you’re trying to move so fast. You’re trying to as you grow as a company, there’s all different pieces that your as a CEO and leader you’re trying to bring together. It’s like a massive chess game, right? And these tools really help, right? Like they help to get your team mentally back to the place they need to be. And that’s, that’s going to get you to the end of the race.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  36:16

This is super interesting. And again, like very fascinating for me, because, again, I admire what you do. And sometimes I think like, do you think you finish your race like this? And everything else in life almost seems easy. And you’re like, well, this isn’t as bad as almost dying. The top of a mountain when it’s freezing, this is easy. All we have to do is launch this product or go to take this market. And so obviously, you develop a lot of resilience and reference points, right? Like if I was able to do that I can do these other things. How important is resilience in terms of what you look for in candidates? Like is this thing that you you care about, or in teams or people that you’ve hired that you look for?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  37:00

Absolutely, I think there’s another really good book out there. Remember, it’s called the attributes by a guy named rich, something. But he does this like deep level study on the right attributes. And one of his key learnings he believes is, is that he’s got a whole section on this idea of grit. And then underneath, it’s about hard working resilience and discipline. You know, adaptability? I think this is key, right? I mean, think, look, every business has to figure out what it is that they need. And I think that when you’re in tech, because of we’ve been discussing, things are constantly changing, you are most likely trying to drive innovation, you are most likely competing against bigger people, if you don’t have grit, people who have hard workers who are resilient, who have that courage, who are persistent, who can adapt, who can read a situation. And then compartmentalize like, these are things we’ve talked about before around micro blocks or breaking things down. We at Unbounce look for people who have courage and ambition. It’s not all about these in terms of coming back to people. First, we also look to make sure that we have people who are empathetic, right, because not everybody’s going to work through everything the same way. And this goes back to the first story around making sure you give people as a leader space to work through things in the way they need to work through them. And you know, yes, giving them tools. So 100%, courage, ambition, I think grit is incredibly important. I appreciate people who have a mindset around being competitive, but that competitive mindset needs to be based in team, not always as individuals, because that can lead to over promising and under delivering, right, and lead to isolation. But yeah, I think those are really critical aspects,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  39:04

too. I guess, like the thing that I wonder is, I mean, this is a very useful, I mean, grit is very useful as a muscle to grow over the course of time. So my question is, have you actually like do you find in your own competing and as you’ve been doing this, obviously, you know, physically speaking, you can do things and if you do them enough, you get better at them? But have you noticed that you’ve gotten better just from like, the way that you compartmentalize or the way like the mental muscles that you use in order to calm yourself down or be able to get through the next obstacle? Like, have you developed better ways of doing that over the course of time?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  39:42

That’s a great question. Do you meditate at all?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  39:45

I have on and off meditated many times throughout my life, but not consistently. No.

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  39:51

They say and I am just a beginner but they say in meditation or you have this idea in meditation, you’re just gonna meditate And it’s just going to be kind of bliss. Like somehow your brains can stop talking to you and working and you’re just going to be able to sit in calmness, like Buddha, I guess, right. And that doesn’t happen, right? Maybe over time people have who reached enlightenment for sure. But I think that it’s about building habits, right? I think a bit a bit about being aware of your own ability to recover, right, so that you can get back to a bias for action, and having realistic expectations of yourself and of your people, right. So as a leader, you need to know your people, you need to watch them, and help them work through difficult times, and find a way to recover, right, as a leader yourself, it’s more important than ever been things are frustrating, and you are starting to spin that you have a muscle that says step away, take an afternoon off, take care of yourself, you know, do what you need, and then come back so you can be there for your team. So for me, I think it is about building the muscle. And what I have recognized over time is is that muscle allows you to react faster, and the tools that you acquire, help you to recover, and then move forward to get to that bias for action. But it’s work, right. And I also think, you know, the other side of is expect that that things aren’t going to go wrong. So work on that muscle as a leader because it’s your job to recover. And it’s your job to show up and lead. Right. So But over time, it could be age as well. Who knows? Right? Right?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  41:51

Yeah, we don’t like to admit that age has anything to do with anything. So. So yeah, no, that makes sense. But it’s very interesting. Like you have to work at recovering to and, and getting really good at recovery. I mean, we talked about it in sports, like there are things you can do to recover, you can stretch, you can, I don’t know, take a nice bath. And the same applies for for all of the management constructs and work itself. Felicia, this has been a super wide ranging discussion. I really, I mean, I enjoyed all of it. But I really enjoyed hearing about, I guess just all the things around being an adventure athlete and the lessons that you take into leadership. But you know, this podcast, we talked about purpose, and that leads to everything you do about growing smarter, progress over perfection, and of course, resilience and grit. So the final question we’d like to ask all our guests is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks, or words of wisdom that you would leave them with?

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  42:54

Well, I think leadership can be an incredible journey, as long as you’re willing to step into it, I think it’s a choice to be able to serve others and inspire them. And just to remember, this journey is about being able to bring people together to achieve greater things than we might be able to achieve on our own. And I think that is a pretty incredible thing to be working with a pretty incredible concept to embody. So I would say one is the best part of the journey is to be able to spend time to get to know your people. So sit down with them, put aside time to ask them, you know, what are you good at? What do you do in your non working hours? What triggers you? And what should I do at that point in time to best support you? And what kind of desired lifestyle eg you want? But make sure you get to know them? Like, don’t be on this journey? Without that? And then I would say in terms of leadership and personal growth, I say Don’t say no, for other people. Don’t say no for other people. So when you’ve identified somebody who inspires you take the effort to connect with them. So it gives us a great challenge. It’s like, go right now. Go to LinkedIn, and think about somebody who inspires you and reach out to somebody, because most likely, there’s a good chance that it will say, Yeah, I’m available for talk. I’m available to chat with you. And, you know, be prepared to make sure you know what questions that you want to ask them. But don’t say no for other people.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  44:30

Yeah, that’s great advice and a great place to end it. Felicia, thank you so much for doing this.

Felicia Bochicchio (Unbounce)  44:35

Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.

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