Creating Feedback Loops with Co-Founders with Sherisse Hawkins
Intro: 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, co- founder and CEO of Bolster. I'm here today with Sherisse Hawkins. Sherisse is the founder and CEO of Pagedip. Welcome Sherisse.
Sherisse Hawkins: Thank you. Nice to see you.
Matt Blumberg: Yeah, good to see you. Our topic today is around co- founders and a lot of the CEOs and founders that'll be listening to this do have co- founders. Sometimes they have one, sometimes they have more than one. Fun fact, Bolster has eight co- founders, which is a whole different topic for another day. A lot of founders or founding groups have disagreements. They have a hard time syncing up, getting on the same page. Sometimes they have a hard time giving each other feedback as business partners. I know this is something that you have developed some routines around over the years, so would love to hear about that. What's your feedback loop process with co- founder?
Sherisse Hawkins: Yeah, I'd like to share it. We stumbled upon it in a really kind of unique way, but I think because it works so well for us and it's so simple that I feel like it's a wonderful thing to share. The co- founder that I had, we didn't really know each other before we started the company, so we were virtual strangers. We decided that once a week, it turned out to be on Fridays right after lunch, I highly believe in talking over food is another good place to give feedback. We would take sticky notes and write down three things about the week and the other person specifically that we appreciated, that had worked, and then three things that we wanted to change and we did it every single week. The point of it was not the number or not the categories, it was the practice of giving feedback, both positive and negative, on a really regular basis. I remember there were some times, the negative ones are the ones you can work on, I always say give me negative feedback or some criticism, I can work on those. The ones that were, even small ones, I don't like it when you chew gum or something. It just creates a process where you can have that open dialogue and change even small things that might be long- term annoyances.
Matt Blumberg: I love it. I mean it's great discipline and one of the things that I always felt about sort of old corporate America was the notion of doing a performance review for someone once a year is so not helpful. You getting feedback once a year, all you're getting is stuff that's top of mind for the person when they write it. I'm a big believer in a steady diet or a river of feedback, but that is great, great discipline. Let me ask you, did those Friday sessions ever, did they ever result in either great change or great difficulty?
Sherisse Hawkins: A lot of great change and absolutely no difficulty. We never had a conflict or an issue because of this, but we would do a joint pitch which is very difficult and often people will tell you not to. Our joint pitches became legendary because we gave really specific feedback on how we were delivering information in every single meeting and we became unstoppable because of it.
Matt Blumberg: I love it. Sherisse Hawkins, thank you for being on the Daily Bolster.
Sherisse Hawkins: Thank you.
Co-founding a company is a major commitment—not only to a company, but to another person (or people). Bolster has eight co-founders, so we know all too well the challenge of bringing multiple individuals together to accomplish one goal.
Today on the podcast, Sherisse Hawkins, founder and CEO of Pagedip, talks about co-founding a company with a virtual stranger and how they began their unique method of exchanging regular feedback—both positive and negative. This feedback loop, she says, is what made her and her co-founder unstoppable.