Episode 13

Leading Teams in High Growth, High Pressure Environments: Seth Weissman, Executive Coach

Episode summary

Introduction: 0:00 

  • Introducing Seth Weissman, Executive Coach at Weissman Coaching and Consulting, former chief legal officer at Marqueta, and former EVP and GC at SolarCity.

Letting unconventional thinking guide your career: 2:27

  • Knowing you want to pursue a career in law as early as childhood.
  • Starting off as a trial lawyer at 24, then realizing it wasn’t for you.
  • Re-establishing yourself in Silicon Valley to dive into a burgeoning internet industry.
  • Approaching your legal role like a business person to establish your capabilities.

Working in SolarCity’s mission-driven environment to commercialize solar energy: 7:20

  • Knowing that the key skill of a GC is to be comfortable with discomfort.
  • Pioneering a business in a new field without the opportunity to receive guidance.
  • Realizing the importance of mentoring and being mentored.
  • Navigating the transition from co-workers to mentorship through mutual respect.

Releasing IPO and selling to Tesla: 13:38

  • Relying on a strong and trustworthy team.
  • Driving the track in front of you, looking where you’re going and ignoring the walls.

Working with Elon Musk at SolarCity: 18:06

  • Benefitting from his brand to recruit top talent.
  • Considering Musk’s advice about the internet, truth, and consistency.
  • Treating your online customers the same way you treat your direct customers.

Turning a legal team of 4 into a division of 50 at Marqeta: 22:10

  • Developing a Fintech powerhouse in a work-from-home environment with COVID in the backdrop.
  • Relying on trust and vulnerability to solidify working relationships.
  • Succeeding as a leader by embracing the power of your team.
  • Reinforcing team structures to avoid turf wars and crossed wires.

Finding inspiration to become an executive coach: 31:12

  • Asking for help when you aren’t sure how to approach a high-growth environment.
  • Taking a two-and-a-half year sabbatical to return to school and become an accredited executive coach.
  • Explaining basic principles of executive coaching.
  • Drawing a line between coaching and therapy.

Finding an executive coach and justifying the expense: 43:35

  • Using your network to find the right coach for you.
  • Investing in emotional intelligence.
  • Dealing with your inner saboteur.

Final questions: 50:20

  • Learning to be present and intentional at high performance racing events.
  • Recommending books to understand emotional intelligence and build great teams.
  • Advice to your younger self.
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Tyler Finn
Head of Community & Growth, SpotDraft
Seth Weissman
Executive Coach & ex-CLO, Marqeta, Inc

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