Strategies for Nurturing Alignment with Clare Hart

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This is a podcast episode titled, Strategies for Nurturing Alignment with Clare Hart. The summary for this episode is: <p>Clare Hart, CEO of Williams Lea, has a reputation for being a uniquely methodical leader. Today, she’s sharing strategies that help her keep her team aligned.&nbsp;</p><p>Her first piece of advice? It’s important to establish a cadence of repetitive and transparent communication with your employees. Tune in to the episode to hear all four tips. </p>
ℹ️ About Williams Lea
01:12 MIN
🗣 Communicate regularly and with a standard message
00:28 MIN
🎯 Share financial goals
00:59 MIN
🏆 Celebrate your wins
00:20 MIN
❤️ Rally around your values
00:41 MIN
🔁 Communicate the same message multiple times
00:29 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Daily Bolster. Each day we welcome transformational executives to share their real world experiences and practical advice about scaling yourself, your team, and your business.

Matt Blumberg: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. I'm Matt Blumberg, the co- founder and CEO of Bolster, and with me today is my friend Clare Hart. Clare is the CEO of Williams Lea. She's the former CEO of Sterling Talent Solutions. And welcome to the Daily Bolster, Clare.

Clare Hart: It's great to be here. I love this concept, Matt.

Matt Blumberg: So tell me first of all, or tell our audience, what is Williams Lea? You're one of the larger companies that most people have not heard of in the startup world.

Clare Hart: Yes. Well, actually we're a 200- year- old business, and we provide outsourcing services to law firms, professional services firms, and financial services firms. And the outsource services are business critical support services, whether that's administrative support, secretarial support, presentation and creative work, particularly for the banks and professional services firms, and document processing and financial support services for all the firms, but mostly the law firms. And a lot of this has been built on a foundation of what we call office services, which is pretty low tech, mail room and print and reprographics management for these firms. But we're obviously evolving our business into a much more tech- enabled business, where we support all of the services that we provide with a platform called Engage, which is our digital client platform, a workflow platform, which includes a data warehouse and reporting dashboard.

Matt Blumberg: Got it. And for those listening, Clare has a lot of career experience in media and data and digital, in addition to where she is now. And one of the things I've always appreciated about you, Clare, is you're extremely methodical about the job of CEO, and it is one of the things for a lot of the people watching this or listening to this who are early stage founders, they're way more kind of frenzied about getting the business going, and then realize at some point that they have to learn how to be more disciplined to scale their business. So the question that I wanted to ask you today is, in your career, as you have scaled businesses and scaled teams, what are a few of your top strategies for keeping employees aligned? It's much easier when you have five people sitting around a table together and doing a daily all hands scrum than when you have hundreds of people or thousands of people in multiple locations. So what are some strategies for keeping employees aligned as you scale?

Clare Hart: I think the first thing I'd say, and I learned this very early on, is with the right people, anything is possible. And when you think about people, you think about the three strategies that I consider critical when it comes to scaling a business. The first, and really one, two, and three, is communication. Communicate regularly and often with standard messages. Which actually leads to the second strategy, which is share financial goals, revenue and EBITDA over a specific period of time, articulate how they could be attained and how you're tracking the achievement. And in this section, it's really important to talk about what's in it for me, so employees understand that financial health drives flexibility in the business that you don't have without financial health. And that's why sharing the revenue and EBITDA targets, how you can get there. I remember in my early career, working at a startup, and the founder would have a quarterly call where we would talk about revenue EBITDA, and actually, his ambition was to take the company public. And we would talk about it. And really more, he did the talking, but we did the listening. And I think this resonated with me because I felt connection to the company. So I think sharing what can be shared with employees is critical. And in that same communication vehicle, focus on wins. What clients have we won? What product capabilities have we launched, and what product capabilities do clients love? What partner relationships have we formed? Marketing relationships? And just reinforcing a winning, successful company. And I think the final thing I'll say, Matt, on this is underpinning everything is cultural alignment. Starting with the executive team, what do we stand for? What are our values? How do we embody them as executives and cascade them into the entire organization? And I know that resonates with you, Matt, because having been to your offices and seeing how you promote the company culture on the walls, and just so people understand, this is what the business stands for, I think is critical. People want to work with people they like and they feel aligned with, as they're spending so much of their time with these people every day.

Matt Blumberg: Absolutely. So summing up, it's communicate early and often, be transparent about financials, celebrate wins, and lean into the culture.

Clare Hart: Yes.

Matt Blumberg: Those, that sounds like a pretty good formula for keeping people aligned. And I'll just add, when we wrap up here, the one thing that someone told me once. You have to communicate something over and over and over again, because people don't always listen. They don't always hear. They don't always absorb it. And by the time you are getting sick of saying it, that's just about the time where people are starting to get it, and you need to keep doing it.

Clare Hart: Yeah, absolutely. Someone once told me, people have to hear it three times before they really hear it. And so, you feel like you're boring people with repetitive comments, but you're not. And it also reinforces consistency, which people want.

Matt Blumberg: That's right.

Clare Hart: It gives them confidence.

Matt Blumberg: All right, Clare, thank you so much for joining the Daily Bolster.

Clare Hart: It's my pleasure, Matt.


Clare Hart, CEO of Williams Lea, has a reputation for being a uniquely methodical leader. Today, she’s sharing strategies that help her keep her team aligned. 

Her first piece of advice? It’s important to establish a cadence of repetitive and transparent communication with your employees. Tune in to the episode to hear all four tips.

Today's Host

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Matt Blumberg

|Co-Founder & CEO, Bolster

Today's Guests

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Clare Hart

|CEO, Williams Lea