From Start-Up to Grown-Up Book Summary - From Start-Up to Grown-Up Book explained in key points
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From Start-Up to Grown-Up summary

Alisa Cohn

Grow Your Leadership to Grow Your Business

4.3 (115 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

From Start-Up to Grown-Up by Alisa Cohn is a guidebook for entrepreneurs, offering actionable advice on how to scale a successful business, build a strong team and culture, and navigate challenges along the way.

Table of Contents

    From Start-Up to Grown-Up
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Cultivate self-awareness to become a better communicator and leader.

    Imagine you’re leading an all-hands meeting with your company. But as the leader, instead of sitting at the same level as your team, you’re standing on top of the conference table – and you’re holding a megaphone. 

    This may sound like an over-the-top way to run a team meeting. But the truth is, anything you say or do has a loud impact on your employees. As CEO, your voice is amplified, whether you intend it to be or not. 

    When you’re the boss, everyone is listening for cues from you. Always. Even when you’re just brainstorming under your breath, they hear loud directives.

    That’s why it’s critical to have a strong grasp on how you communicate. 

    The key message here is: Cultivate self-awareness to become a better communicator and leader.

    As the leader of your start-up, you must embody the culture you want to see. Before you can lead people, you need to be able to self-regulate. You should be able to motivate your team and hold them accountable, without losing your cool. 

    It helps to be aware of any blind spots in your behavior. Of course, you might not know your blindspots – the clue is in the name! – but you can be sure that your colleagues will pick up on them. 

    Take Charlie, a fintech CEO coached by the author. His CTO, Jack, had vetoed a proposal for new engineering processes. In Charlie’s mind, Jack was blocking progress. But what the author noticed was that when Jack tried to bring up a concern about Charlie’s proposal, Charlie's manner would turn aggressive. It was no surprise Jack wanted to drop the subject! 

    The thing is, Charlie didn’t realize he was being aggressive. He saw himself as a passionate speaker. And since he wasn’t aware of how he came across, he wasn’t able to convince Jack to his advantage.

    There's a chance that you, too, have blind spots that get in your way. Everyone does. But you can get better at identifying them by becoming more self-aware.

    It’s a skill that starts with self-reflection. How do you express yourself? Do you ask questions, listen carefully, and collaboratively explore solutions? Or do you tell people what to do and shift responsibility?

    Get familiar with your natural ways of communicating and your triggers. Once you understand your behavior, it’s time to turn inwards, as we’ll see in the next blink.

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    What is From Start-Up to Grown-Up about?

    From Start-Up to Grown-Up (2021) is a guide for founders and CEOs of start-ups that are on the way to scaling up. Combining the author’s award-winning coaching practices with collected insights from notable founders and CEOs, it outlines the leadership skills you need to grow alongside your business.

    From Start-Up to Grown-Up Review

    From Start-Up to Grown-Up (2021) is a compelling book that provides valuable insights on navigating the journey from start-up to sustainable business. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • Offering practical strategies and proven techniques, the book equips entrepreneurs with the tools they need to successfully scale their businesses.
    • With real-life examples and expert advice from industry leaders, it provides actionable guidance that is relevant and applicable in today's competitive market.
    • Through its insightful analysis and thoughtful exploration of common challenges, the book keeps readers engaged and motivated, ensuring they never find it boring.

    Who should read From Start-Up to Grown-Up?

    • Start-up founders
    • New CEOs and managers
    • People interested in boosting their leadership skills

    About the Author

    Alisa Cohn has been coaching start-up founders for over twenty years. She was named the Top Startup Coach in the World at the Thinkers50/Marshall Goldsmith Global Coaches Awards. She is also executive coach for the Runway Accelerator Program at Cornell Tech and writes regularly for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Inc.

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    From Start-Up to Grown-Up FAQs 

    What is the main message of From Start-Up to Grown-Up?

    The main message of From Start-Up to Grown-Up is how to navigate the challenges of scaling a business and becoming a successful company.

    How long does it take to read From Start-Up to Grown-Up?

    The reading time for From Start-Up to Grown-Up varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is From Start-Up to Grown-Up a good book? Is it worth reading?

    From Start-Up to Grown-Up is worth reading as it provides valuable insights and practical strategies for entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses.

    Who is the author of From Start-Up to Grown-Up?

    The author of From Start-Up to Grown-Up is Alisa Cohn.

    What to read after From Start-Up to Grown-Up?

    If you're wondering what to read next after From Start-Up to Grown-Up, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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