Christine Tao, Haas undergrad alumna, co-founder, and CEO of Sounding Board shares her insight with host Sean Li. She talks about how coaching and development led to her rapid career advancement in Silicon Valley’s media, mobile, and tech sectors. Discover what inspired her to create Sounding Board with her co-founder Lori Mazan.
Learn why leadership development creates a direct impact on business outcomes in the episode and how she made leadership development coaching accessible to all levels of an organization.
Her inspiration for building Sounding Board:
“I ended up seeing just the impact that coaching had on my own development. I brought coaching to the people on my team as well. I was able to build a team that was high-performing… The more people that got exposed to coaching, the better that they would operate. It’s great for companies to have a well-equipped leader.”
How can start-ups have access to coaching?
“When you graduated and your start-up needs coaching, check in with your alumni office. They often have a deep network of coaches, facilitators, and folks that can help support alumni around their coaching needs”
Why do people of color and women get overlooked for opportunities?
“You get overlooked sometimes because you don’t look and sound like the patterns that other people recognize as leadership, like the prototype…It also becomes easier if you have diverse people that are in leadership positions. There also need to be more women. There need to be more people of color on the other side writing checks. It starts there. Then from there what happens is you attract and impact the other people around in the ecosystem.”
- Christine Tao’s Profile at Sounding Board
- Lori Mazan, Co-founder and Chief Coaching Officer at Sounding Board
- Maha Ibrahim, General Partner at Canaan
- Sounding Board, Coaching Leaders for Business Impact
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
[00:00:00]Sean Li: Welcome to the OneHaas alumni podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today we’re joined by Christine Tao. Christine is the co-founder and CEO at Sounding Board. They help companies develop leaders through tech-enabled leadership coaching. Christine Tao is also an undergrad alum from the class of 2001. Welcome to the podcast.
[00:00:23]Christine Tao: Thanks so much for having me, Sean.
[00:00:25]Sean Li: Christine Tao before we start talking about business, can you share with us a little bit about your background and your origin story? Where you’re from and all the way up to what you did before Haas?
[00:00:35] Christine Tao: I am from Taiwan and I am a first-generation immigrant. I came when I was two. You know, culturally and norms-wise, I grew up as a California, American kid. I certainly have a lot of experiences growing up with parents that were navigating, coming to a new country for the first time, and finding their way. My dad actually came to Silicon Valley. In that wave of engineers that basically gave Silicon Valley its name. He came here and worked for iconic companies like AMD when they were designing chips that were getting designed onto Silicon wafers. And so, I think an interesting part of my history and heritage and my dad actually is an entrepreneur himself.
[00:01:25] So he went on to start a couple of companies of his own. And I worked for my dad after graduating from Cal in ‘01. I couldn’t get a job because 2001 was a terrible time to graduate right after the.com bubble. It ended up being an important formative experience for me because I basically did everything and anything for my dad’s company. When I worked I got to see firsthand what it took to build a business from the up. You know, the challenges of being a founder and entrepreneur. And then, you know, as it relates to my company Sounding Board also how you lead a company. And to be honest, a lot of things probably I wouldn’t emulate. It certainly formed my own experience of what it was like to run a company and lead a company.
[00:02:19]Sean Li: Where else have you worked? I notice that on LinkedIn you worked at a couple of places.
[00:02:23] Christine Tao: Yes. To be honest I ended up going from my father’s company to get my MBA. I did my MBA at Wharton. And at that time decided, I loved working in tech, but, semiconductors were hard and I wasn’t technical. I didn’t have an engineering background. So I really wanted to stay in tech, but do something where I really felt like I understood it. I ended up going to Google after I graduated from business school. Luckily I landed at YouTube right after the Google acquisition. That’s just an incredible time when digital content was moving online and all of these companies were navigating like a whole new platform. YouTube was growing like crazy and there was just a lot of learning happening, I think while I was there. From there I went to a few different startups. One of which ended up being my inspiration for starting Sounding Board. It was a mobile advertising company called Tapjoy, which also was opening up a new platform at that time. Facebook had created a developer platform. Sean, do you remember when you used to be able to throw sheep at your friends and play all these little games and apps on Facebook? That company was effectively helping developers monetize and distribute their apps on platforms like Facebook as they were growing. And then eventually, we moved into mobile as well. So I think, you know, when I look back that was kind of another theme. I realized that I somehow fell into always working at companies that were at the forefront of developing or opening up a platform. And then I was in sales and business development and partnerships roles. Whether it was a platform in the big company or eventually, the smaller startup. I was always out there engaging in the ecosystem in what felt like a very entrepreneurial environment, where there were a lot of people trying to build new businesses on top of new tech.
[00:04:31] And so definitely now, hindsight, it always feels like, “Oh, there’s different things that lead you to where you are”. And yeah, I think about that.
[00:04:39] Sean Li: I was just going to ask, what inspired Sounding Board?
[00:04:43]Christine Tao: What happened was after I left YouTube. And by the way, I always share this because I think oftentimes people look at careers and think, “Oh, you know, you just have this straight path forward”. I’ve restarted because I got laid off from Google and, it was during 2009, which was the other big recession, and I was very concerned about how was I going to find a job. I had all of these loans that I was carrying from business school that I had to pay off. Somehow navigate my way into this teeny tiny startup. We were 30 people when I joined, I had no idea what they did. Then, I realized, “Oh, we were sitting on top of a solution for the Facebook ecosystem”. As that platform exploded, we were doing mobile. That was when Apple went to market and Android went to market. I ended up getting to really scale and grow with that company. It was a company called Tapjoy. What happened was, in the course of the first three years, we ended up, more than 10 times our employee base. We scaled the business to over a hundred million dollars in revenue. And then I personally went from being a salesperson to running our entire sales team as part of our executive management team. I had just never done that job before, you know? It was these really big learning experiences and leadership experiences where luckily our CEO and our board, I think we’re pretty forward-thinking. They understood that this was a challenging thing for a new executive to navigate. So, they gave me a coach to work with, and that really ended up being the inspiration for Sounding Board. I worked with a coach to help me navigate all of these big leadership transitions and challenges that I was facing.
[00:06:33] At Sounding Board, our mission is to help companies develop their most impactful leaders and the connection really was me. The light bulb came on when I ended up seeing just the impact that coaching had on my own development. As a leader, I ended up bringing coaching to all of the people on my team as well. I ended up seeing that I was able to build a team that was a high performance, low attrition. I was able to do that with talent that I mainly developed from within. That was all really because of an early investment in learning and development and leadership. The inspiration for Sounding Board, that was a very expensive model. it was all onsite in-person services delivered.
[00:07:23]What about using technology to be able to deliver that scale. Now, instead of, sending someone to training that they’re probably going to forget two weeks later, you could give them a coach that will work with them. One-on-one over the course of a year, so you can have a real impact. And the experience is completely personalized too. Like what do you, need to be able to develop, to get to that next level, Sean? is it around your communication? Is it around how you’re managing your time? Is it how you are setting priorities for your team. I think for us, we realized and, I really believe that the more people that got exposed to coaching, the better that they would operate, and ultimately that’s good for business. It’s good for the companies that benefit from you being a much more well-equipped leader. The last point I will make is that my co-founder Lori is actually my coach from my last startup. I always joke around folks like it’s like the hair club for men, right? I’m not just the president, I’m a client. I loved it so much that Lori and I teamed up to bring this to more people. The interesting thing is that Lori she’s been a coach for over 25 years. She was one of the first of probably 300 coaches even certified in the profession because the industry is pretty new. Within our first year and a half at Sounding Board, we served more people than she had in her entire 25-year career. That was because we were able to do it at scale through technology. I think that for us, this is really exciting, being able to do this at sail and have that impact at scale.
[00:08:59]Sean Li: You know, for our listeners who may not have heard of Sounding Board. Who is Sounding Board for? Is it for the individual executive? Or is it corporations? Is this for startups? What’s your positioning here?
[00:09:10]Christine Tao: Great question. And so we are a B2B model. We sell into other companies and primarily today we sell into large companies. So call it Bloomberg, Conagra, or Intel. We also work with a lot of late-stage private companies at our hyper-growth. So think chime. Plaid, companies like bill.com that just went IPO. That’s because that experience very much mirrors mine. You know, these companies are scaling so quickly. You’re often promoting people into roles of leadership that you haven’t given them adequate training to be able to do those roles effectively.
[00:09:53] Sean Li: I have to ask this, along your journey, especially a startup, right? Where should startups go look for coaching?
[00:10:04]Christine Tao: Yeah. No, no. I look and we started out selling to a lot of startups, you know? So back to the founders’ journey. How do you get started? What did we sell to everybody and anyone that would take the solution? So today we still do work with startups and we have them like an SMB category, I would say, but I would say we’re a better fit. Because we have a whole platform around the coaching. It’s pretty robust in terms of even reporting. It goes out to stakeholders, how you involve and gather feedback assessments, measurement. We’re probably too, over the top for us, a small startup that you’re like, Hey, I just want a coach. But a few hundred employees starting to scale, that’s our sweet spot because, then you know, that value proposition makes sense. You care about all of the insights, the reporting. Someone in HR and learning has to justify and understand the impact of that investment. The scale and transparency become more important and then certainly, we’re always willing and able to refer smaller folks that may not necessarily be a fit for our solution back into our coach network.
[00:11:15]Sean Li: The only reason I’m asking all this is that you had this experience at Tapjoy, right? And Tapjoy, at the time was a budding startup. It was blowing up and then you needed this coaching you yourself am an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur. What are some of those resources that we can tap into early-stage founders coaching?
[00:11:34]Christine Tao: I mean, I think, the answer is not great for the super early-stage ones. What I tend to find is for at least startups that may have venture backing or investor backing, these investors really are seeing how important this is for founder health and support many VCs today have lots of relationships with they’re usually sole practitioners or individual coaches that they like and will refer and recommend to their portfolio startups.
[00:12:04] So I’d say start there, check-in with your investors or your VCs, and see if they have to have stable coaches whom they’ve worked with. Certainly a lot of folks I know that are recent alum. Say you just came out of Cal, a lot of our coaches work in career development or with career management at a lot of universities. Oftentimes alumni are looking right back into their alumni offices for coaching resources. So certainly whenever you’ve graduated, I would check in with your alumni office as well. They often will have a pretty deep network of coaches, facilitators, and folks like that, that can help support alumni around these types of needs.
[00:12:45]Sean Li: That’s a great plug for our alumni department.
[00:12:48] Christine Tao: That’s right. That’s right. Cal’s alumni department is awesome. Yeah. I just recently reconnected with Tenny and she’s great. She’s such an advocate for Cal and the alum here.
[00:12:58] Sean Li: That’s amazing. I want to ask a little bit more about your personal experiences. You know, this is AAPI I’m really curious. What challenges or what are some of your experiences working in Silicon Valley all these years? As an executive. And now as a founder,
[00:13:15]Christine Tao: Yeah. t’s been such an interesting time for us as a AAPI and I think a bit unprecedented just in terms of what’s happening out in the world today and the crimes that are being committed against, folks of AAPI background. But the other side of that is I’m also just seeing an incredible sort of connection and community being built around the AAPI community that I really hadn’t seen in the past. I think, has been something that’s inspiring to see and motivating as someone of that background. I think so many of us have just faced a lot of these challenges and situations and we’ve all have our stories around it. And most people probably didn’t share that. I talk a lot about my founder experience, but actually, when I first graduated from Cal, It was 2001, as I’d mentioned before, nobody could find a job.
[00:14:19] People had their jobs rescinded because the economy was terrible. And so I found myself, I had thought I was going to take a year off and travel, and then 9/11 hit. Okay. So then my parents immediately said, “Christine, you come home right now”. So my travel plans got cut short. I went home and I found myself like, where am I going to go for a job? At the time I thought I wanted to do PR and marketing. I love to write and, thought that it sounded fun. And I somehow landed this internship where I got paid nothing. I don’t even remember now if I got paid. But I was living at home. I’m spending money on a train to get to San Francisco two days a week to just do absolute grunt work at a PR firm to try and build up some experience. I remember working so hard at that job. I put in everything I could but there was no full-time job available. I remember about probably three months into my internship, they opened up an entry-level, it was for an account coordinator role. And I thought “Oh my God, this is my chance”. You know, now they actually have something that I could try and get. I thought I was a shoe-in because they had given me this one project. I won’t go into the details of the project, but when they gave it to me, that sounded like this really exciting project. It was actually about trying to get samples of products onto an airline. So we represented a lot of like fruit associations. The funny part of the story was we were trying to get dried plums onto a sampling for an airline. By the way, dried plums are really prunes. So, you know, that was the marketing that we were doing. When they gave me this project, it sounded like this really exciting thing.
[00:16:13] I remember, calling around to see if I could find an airline that would sample these. I was talked to one of my coworkers about it. I still remember it this day. She goes, “Oh, they gave you that project, Christine, that’s the project they give every intern that walks in here. Nobody’s ever been able to do it”. It felt like it was the thing to keep me busy. I remember like at once feeling totally crushed. And then the second part, I’m also a very competitive person. I thought “You know what, I’m going to be the person that gets this done.” Lo and behold, they had originally scoped that project to just say like, it was one specific airline we were trying to get on. I thought “If this airline won’t bite, why don’t I just call a few others?” So I called others and I got us a sampling on a smaller airline, but it was still a sampling. Okay. So imagine you are a new grad intern. You get this done. I see the VP of the department send out an email to the entire company talking about this initiative that we were able to launch. They actually credited me as an intern for, helping open that door. I was so excited about it. So comeing back to the new position that had been opened. I had this kind of wind under my belt and I thought, “Oh, well for sure I would be a shoe-in for this job.” Right? Like I just did this amazing thing and they didn’t even interview me. It was such a disappointment. When I asked about like “Why can’t I be considered for the position? I got a lot of feedback. It was around the idea that I wasn’t quite ready. It wasn’t really the right step.
[00:17:50] You know, a lot of things that, to me, I did not understand because it did not feel tangible. Now looking back, they ended up hiring, a white woman into the role. I wouldn’t say that it was racism. When I look back on it, I realize that the thing that I hadn’t done, was I hadn’t been able to communicate to my manager in a way where she felt confident. In how I could engage and maybe it was the presence. Maybe it was how I showed up in a way. I didn’t look and sound like her. It wasn’t something that engendered confidence. Even though my work stood on its own. I think that’s a very common experience. I hear from a lot of folks with AAPI backgrounds. You know that you did the work you got the same done, but somehow you’re still passed over for the opportunity or the job or whatnot. I think, that certainly has happened even as I’ve fundraised for a Sounding Board. Look and sound like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. I do think that means that you get overlooked sometimes because you don’t look and sound like the patterns that other people recognize as leadership or, what they are used to as a prototype.
[00:19:09]That was a really long story. Sorry.
[00:19:11] Sean Li: It was amazing. Now thank you for sharing that. I’m wondering, obviously there’s a lot we have been doing and we still need to continue to in this area. There are some Berkeley students that I know that is putting this amazing summit. They started this organization at Haas called Berkeley Female Founders, plus Funders (BFFF) that was very cool, clever.
[00:19:33] Christine Tao: That is very clever.
[00:19:35] Sean Li: And they have an amazing summit for Haasis and beyond because there definitely is a lack of representation and support for female entrepreneurship for founders and more so for funders, for the VC space. And this is an initiative that I just, I love promoting and we’re trying to plan some things to help them out. To create more content in the podcasting space to really share more diverse stories, female stories. I’ve been wondering what are some of the things that, especially during your journey fundraising with another female co-founder, what are some ways that you guys have been able to do this? This discrimination? I’m trying to find a word for it. It’s like hidden discrimination. It’s a subversive
[00:20:19] Christine Tao: I tend to call it bias. I don’t know that I’ve overcome it. I may have mentioned this when we spoke before. You know all of the investors at Sounding Board have been investors, that if you look at their track record have invested in non-traditional founders. Sounding Boards has pretty incredible statistics in the sense that, less than 3% of sole female-founded companies get access to and raise venture capital. And we’ve raised over $15 million. I’m in rare company. If you look at who ended up investing in us, our series a lead is a woman, you know, Maha. If you look, it’s Maha Ibrahim from Canaan and. If you look at her portfolio, one of her claims to fame is actually backing Kevin Chou, who is a very noteworthy alum. His name is on one of our buildings at Haas.
[00:21:25]She has a track record of investing in non-traditional founders. She’s Egyptian. I don’t know if that impacts her. I think that I don’t know if I overcame it because my investors really don’t look like typical investors. I do think that’s why it’s so important that, whether it’s this summit and this group that you were referring to. That just the conversation around this really needs to be elevated and talked about more. Because without it there’s like systemic change that needs to happen. One is just that there need to be more women. There need to be more people of color on the other side writing checks. So it starts there. Then from there what happens is you attract. Certain founders and entrepreneurs do because you look like them and you feel more approachable. Maybe there is an affinity there that allows you to actually just open up more access, to deal flow from diverse founders, because naturally of who you are. I really fundamentally believe that. I think the conversation is important because the more that we start to increase awareness of these biases, then, you start to impact the other people around in the ecosystem that have always been there. Just for them to be able to check their biases and know that that’s actually happening.
[00:22:51] Sean Li: That’s really powerful. Because as I share with him currently fundraising, and as I’m looking around at different investors there’s one that my friend had recommended that I applied to. It’s called the community fund. They have this Google form where you punch in your company information they can help recommend right. Some other funds that might be interested in your space. And I’ve been very conscious of this, especially going through Haas as an MBA. Diversity is one of our core values And right now it’s just, originally when we were building this team, it was four of us. we were very intentional about having a female representation on our team. Unfortunately, she had silver handcuffs and can’t leave her job. The easy thing to do would be just to say, “Hey, this is moving forward, right?” We tried and the most difficult thing is to say, “Hey, we really need to look at another female founder team member”. That this is something that we really care about. I’m telling the story because that further, got reinforced by this Google form where they have these questions around, “Do you have a female founder on the team? Do you have an LGBTQ founder on the team? Do you have a person of color on the team?” And obviously I want to say yes to those questions. It’s one of these things that is just really amazing that we’re moving this in the right direction to make sure that it’s not just lip service. That we’re thinking about diversity. It’s actually something that is not easy. Maybe, I’m overthinking it, but it’s not easy to be divers. Because the easy thing is we’ll just take whoever’s available, right nearby versus going out there and more time to find people.
[00:24:53] Christine Tao: I think you’re right. we run into that as well, even at Sounding Board, as we are looking, we’re trying to hire as quickly as we can right now. And I’m under extreme pressure as a CEO to get these really critical positions for us to be filled, because they have a real impact on our ability to continue to grow and develop the business. It does mean you have to be intentional about it. I think the other side is true it also becomes easier if you have people that are in leadership positions. If you have people on the founding team that are diverse for that to continue to perpetuate as you grow because I read this really interesting tweet. I think it was a female founder, I think. I forget her name. She’s the founder of WayUp. And she had talked, she shared a stat. Since she started the company she’s made about 30 or so angel investments and some incredible stat, like 70 or 80% of them are female-founded. And then she said, “By the way, I didn’t even try”. Okay. So the whole point was that if you have someone like that in her position that is actively putting out there that she’s investing and writing checks. She’ll attract it. She has never had an issue with the deal flow because women will approach her. People feel comfortable approaching her. and so that really is why the leadership roles are particularly important. Because people I think underestimate how much, just seeing somebody that looks like you. Or, that you can relate to, can give maybe that one person, the courage to be able to say, “Okay, maybe I will try and apply for this job.” Or, maybe I will feel like this organization could be a place for me.
[00:26:47] Sean Li: Yeah, absolutely. You bring up something that’s very interesting around Sounding Board that I thought of in terms of a parallel. I’m starting to understand and see Sounding Board because I’m a huge coaching fan. I went through a couple of coaches for different reasons and purposes and loved Tony Robbins. One thing that you just made me realize is is that coaching is very preemptive. I was talking to some Somesh Dash he’s a ‘99, bachelor’s, you know, Haasis as well. Undergrad Haas Grad. He’s a partner at IVP. And we were talking about his investments in mental health. We were thinking about was that a lot of the telehealth that has come out of the pandemic is like medicine. It’s very much reactive in some ways, right? I think it’s great that these services there because we need them. The Sounding Board is very much so a proactive approach. in my opinion, do you guys see it that way? And what do you guys see around that mental health space?
[00:27:55]Christine Tao: Yeah.What I love that you say that we actually use a different word for a Sounding Board. So we call what we do developmental. Versus thinking of how coaching used to be used in the past, which was much more remedial. You have a problem with an employee. You have some challenge now you’ve to go fix that. What we’ve completely seen happen in the industry and shift. Coaching now has become almost the defacto model and standard for how you’re able to accelerate somebody’s development. Particularly around these really challenging human-to-human skills, leadership, communication skills that are best done through practice. Through direct application. Through having this very rich context. To be able to really have that deeper impact to change your behavior, right? And change your mindsets. What we’re seeing now is, as companies have started to understand. With solutions like ours, making that more accessible, available, and more cost-effective.
They’re now seeing “Hey, where I might’ve done a training or just delivered content or something like that to a set of managers before for very similar pricing. Now I can give them something that is highly personalized and actually much more impactful.” And so now that they see that. I think that’s really driving it towards this isn’t something that I would want to use on my low performers. I want to use this on my highest performers, help them accelerate. I want to use this on the folks that I think have a lot of potentials that just need additional support. It becomes more of a proactive model for development. I think just, prior to the pandemic with unemployment at its lowest levels. This massive war for talent companies had to really start to think about “How are you going to accelerate and develop a pool of leaders internally start to develop employees?” You just can’t find them outside of the organization or hire them fast enough. Your last point around mental health. So, Sounding Board, we focused on leadership development and we actually draw a distinction. Mental health is certainly an important part of a holistic view of you as a person. But, that’s a very different approach to be addressing your mental health than it is to be developing the right skills.
[00:30:32] You need to be effective at your job and be an effective manager. So we’re more on that spectrum. Certainly, I think the macro trends around understanding that people need a support system. People need all of these types of support systems in order to be effective and productive at work. I think come into play at least in terms of the importance of our market opportunity around Sounding Board
[00:30:57] Sean Li: And I think the wellbeing, the balance of that leader as well.
[00:31:00]Christine Tao: That’s Right. Because if you aren’t balanced, it’s hard to believe that you are going to be able to sustain long-term effective leadership. You might be able to get through it. But then on the other end of that is burnout, stress, things like that.
[00:31:17] Sean Li: Yeah. That’s exactly what I was, thinking along. That’s awesome. No, I’m really glad to hear that companies are having that shift and having that realization that’s top performers need coaching.
[00:31:31] Christine Tao: That’s right. I mean, you look at Steph Curry, right? I mean, just the sports industry is like an incredible analogy for us. If you’re on top of your game, arguably best in the world and what? You still need a coach. Because, the thing is, your environment changes, your situation changes, your team changes, right? All of those things have an impact on your performance. So it is something you have to continue to work out.
[00:31:56] Sean Li: Tell people when they’re like, “why do you have a coach?” See, the late Kobe Bryant, he had a coach, Kobe was at the top of his game. He had a coach. The Williams sisters, have coaches, right? And they’re at the top. Oprah has a coach and they’re at the top of their games, they have coaches.
[00:32:12]Christine Tao: A big part of that really is there is something just profoundly impactful about a third party perspective because every person you, as a human, you have your own blind spots. You may not always understand the impact that your behavior or your actions are having on others. If you can have a really agnostic third-party perspective, somebody that has no skin in the game, except for wanting you to be successful in whatever it is that you’re trying to accomplish. The ability for that person to help you raise your awareness about that and then be in a position to help you develop the right skills. To be able to impact that differently is just so powerful.
[00:32:57]Sean Li: This is my last question around this. For people, then let’s say the corporations, the companies that you work with, the leadership recognizes that this individual, this manager needs coaching. I feel for people to receive coaching, they need a level of awareness that they need to improve. But sometimes personally they just get stuck. I know something needs to improve, but I don’t know what it is. How do you guys around that?
[00:33:23]Christine Tao: So there’s a simple answer. And then there is, what takes time to do one simple thing really is just, how do you start to understand? What might be happening that you may not be aware of? Oftentimes that’s just asking for feedback. A core part of our model really is around feedback and feedback at the start. As well as, whether it’s assessments or profiles that help you better understand yourself. Those types of things can at least generate you and give you a little kickstart, right? So just even understanding some feedback from your manager, or maybe your peers, things like that. And then as we go along, some of that feedback and some of that guidance might come from your coach because coaching really is a skill. There’s a lot of work and skills that coaches develop around observation pattern recognition. Being able to help you raise your awareness about developmental areas of opportunity. And then we also will continue through our technology. We will continue to survey, pulse, and allow for you to collaborate with others, to keep getting that feedback into your development. You’re right. That it’s not always easy to know. Really, I think it’s, it’s, you know, a combination of the right tools as well as the coaching itself.
[00:34:41]Sean Li: That’s the first thing I’m going to do today. After this interview going to ask my co-founder for feedback.
[00:34:49] Christine Tao: [00:34:49] Just be ready to receive it.
[00:34:50]Sean Li: I can’t wait for it. Do you guys do that often between the two of you?
[00:34:56]Christine Tao: All the time. All the time. I mean, look Co-founder relationships are probably, next to my marriage, is the most challenging relationships to navigate. Because you’re doing these really hard things together and also spending just a ton of time together. Then, you have on top of that, the stress of those decisions and the business. I think my advice really is what’s worked for Lori and me, certainly doesn’t mean that there are days that we drive each other nuts. But we make sure that we have time. We carve out consistently to engage, to connect to realign. Then, also like a commitment to working through issues and challenges when we have them. Of course, coaching helps too.
[00:35:45] Sean Li: That’s great. thank you so much, Christine, for your time. I’m really looking forward to the episode. I’ll follow this. Our interview with Roy Ng, another fellow Haasie and entrepreneur.
[00:35:58]Christine Tao: Thanks again for having me, Sean. It’s a pleasure.[00:36:01] Sean Li: Thanks again for tuning in to this episode of the one Haas podcast. Enjoyed our show today. Please remember to hit that subscribe or follow button on your favorite podcast player. We’d also really appreciate you giving us a five-star rating and review. Really looking for more content. Please check out our website at www.haas.fm That’s spelled H-a-a-s-.-f-m. There you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter and check out some of our other Berkeley Haas podcasts. And until next time. Go bears!