Jan 6

Sounding Board's CEO Christine Tao on Why Everyone Needs A Coach

Episode 72

 
1.0×
--:--
--:--
Open in playerListen on);
Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.
Episode details
Comments

The notion that leaders are born and not made can feel oppressive to founders and others working their way up the business ladder. Leadership is isolating enough without the toxic mythology that you’re just supposed to know how to do from the get-go. Our guest today, Christine Tao, Co-Founder and CEO of Sounding Board, is working to normalize coaching for CEOs, Founders, and others who want to become better leaders. Sounding Board allows organizations to manage, scale, and measure coaching on one unified platform. Their AI-Powered admin tools and centralized data insights integrate with our proprietary, managed coach network to deliver coaching at scale. Sounding Board recently closed a $30M Series B funding round led by JAZZ Venture Partners.

About Christine Tao:
Christine co-founded Sounding Board in 2016 to solve the most challenging yet important part of her role as SVP of a fast-growing VC-backed startup: Leadership Development. Her experience as an operator at stops like YouTube and Tapjoy has helped guide at Sounding Board. She did her undergrad at UC Berkeley and her MBA at Wharton.


A word from our sponsor:

Ripple Ventures is always focused on helping our founders and CEOs find the best partners to work with. But before we introduce any provider to our companies, we always make sure we try the product first. And when it comes to managing business expenses at Ripple, we were super excited when the team at Jeeves came knocking on our door.

Jeeves helped get me and my team setup with physical and virtual credit cards in days. I was able to allow my teammates to expense items in multiple currencies allowing them to pay for anything, anywhere at any time. We weren’t asked for any personal guarantees or pay any setup or annual fees either. Not only does Jeeves save us time, but they also give us up to 3% cashback on our purchases including expenses like Google, Facebook or AWS every month. The best part,  Jeeves puts up the cash, and you settle up once every 30 days, unlike some other corporate card companies that make you pre-pay every month. Jeeves offers a truly all-in-one expense management corporate card program for international startups and we at Tank Talks could not be more excited to partner with them.

Listeners of Tank Talks can get set up with a demo of Jeeves today and take advantage of a $700 discount and skip the waitlist by visiting tryjeeves.com/tanktalks to learn more.


In this episode we discuss:

02:33 The difference between a coach and a mentor

04:51 The lightswitch moment when she knew she had to found Sounding Board

08:26 Why she decided to turn her coach into her co-founder

11:53 The value and ROI coaching brings to clients and organizations

15:23 How the Sounding Board platform is scalable for future growth

18:55 Solving the cold start problem with a marketplace

21:13 The ICP for Sounding Board and what leadership means to Christine

23:35 How they landed at that ICP

25:10 How Sounding Board integrates with learning platforms

27:02 The biggest challenges coaches and organizations saw during the early pandemic

28:32 How Sounding Board standardizes it caching approach across organizations and internally

30:32 The structure Sounding Board uses to contract and pay their coaches

31:37 Overcoming jargon and other industry-specific knowledge

32:34 The success and flexibility of matching coaches to organizations

34:00 What the future of the coaching industry looks like over the next 5-10 years

37:27 The broad appeal of coaching across the work/life spectrum

39:30 Plans to deploy their recent $30M Series B lead by JAZZ Venture Partners

41:51 The number of coaches on the platform today and the plans for growth

Fast Favorites:

Podcast
The Startup Chat
20 Minute VC

Newsletter/Blog
Mark Suster
First Round Review
Reforge

Tech Gadget
Logitech Video Cam

New Trend
Renting, not owning

RentTheRunway.com

Book
The Hard Thing About Hard Things By Ben Horowitz

Life Lesson
You should always just ask.

Follow Matt Cohen and Tank Talks here!

Podcast production support provided by Agentbee.Agency