Being a leader is a lonely journey. COOs, due to their incredibly diverse job descriptions, are particularly at-risk of feeling lonely and unable to confide in people within their teams. This is what seasoned COO-turned-CEO Ben Branson-Gateley from Seedcamp portfolio company CharlieHR and Kelsey Traher from Marvel felt. In search of a community that didn’t exist, they teamed up to start their own support group. What started as a small pub meet-up in 2015 has now evolved into COO Stories, a London community of over 200 Ops Leaders. From that one community, there is now a collection of different communities across the London & Berlin tech ecosystems that all share the same set of community values, rooted in friendliness, openness, humility, and integrity.
In this episode of Precious on Community, Precious Oyelade sits down with Ben and Kelsey to discuss how they built COO Stories and what they have learned about building a healthy community during their time together. They dive into the drumbeat of their community, the importance of letting leaders emerge from within, and how the conscious decisions they made on membership criteria, the cadence of events, and platform for communication have shaped COO Stories into a space where members are truly engaged and collaborative.
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