Oct. 9, 2018

EP 153: More Leading, Less Managing with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 153: More Leading, Less Managing with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

The Nitty Gritty

* Why making decisions as a collective aligns with Kate Strathmann’s business vision instead of the “this way or the highway” mentality
* How Kate pushed past her introvert tendencies to show up for team members and clients and the impo



The Nitty Gritty

* Why making decisions as a collective aligns with Kate Strathmann’s business vision instead of the “this way or the highway” mentality
* How Kate pushed past her introvert tendencies to show up for team members and clients and the importance of meeting face-to-face as a remote company every week, even if there isn’t an agenda
* How Kate sets healthy and strong boundaries with her team and clients — and how she supports her employees in bringing their full self to work
* Why Kate values flexibility and autonomy as company-wide values so her team does what’s best for them

Kate Strathmann’s company Wanderwell Consulting pays homage to Aloha Wanderwell, the first woman to travel around the world by car during the 1920s — and a woman who continued traversing the planet for the rest of her life.
That same adventurous, quirky, and unconventional spirit threads through everything at Wanderwell, from how Kate hires and leads to how she works with clients in a “pretty off-beat, feelings-oriented, and very non-traditional kind of way,” she says.
In this episode, Kate shares how she leads a remote team in a democratic way, how she faced her own limitations to become a better leader, how she approaches work and life, and, of course, more about rebranding under the name Wanderwell.
We release new episodes of What Works every week. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.
There is no “Right Way”
“It’s really important to me that we don’t have any kind of “Right Way” or top-down old school way of saying: this is how you do business. The word wander in a literal sense speaks to the spaciousness and openness to what we’re trying to do and the space we’re trying to give the folks that we work with to find their own way and to say that: you’re not going to figure it out right away. This is a nonlinear process. There’s going to be lots of ups and downs and twists and turns… it’s kind of an adventure. But at the end of the day, we want to well, do well, and feel well.” — Kate Strathmann
My way or the highway doesn’t work. “That kind of mindset isn’t as resilient over time,” says Kate. “It tends to be overly dependent on one person and their personality. Some of those businesses rely on charismatic personalities and we’re seeing a lot — especially politically — how that doesn’t work.”
What does work? Realizing that your business is less about you and much more about your customers and clients. “This business is about a larger mission in helping people do business in a different kind of way,” Kate says. “It would be really out of alignment for me to say: this is exactly how you’re supposed to do this thing — and you’re doing your business wrong.”
Where do you notice this rigidity in your business or mindset?
Flexibility matters — in life and in business
“One value that’s really important to me — and to my team especially — is that of autonomy and having a lot of flexibility for our whole lives to be supported by our work and our business.” — Kate Strathmann
Full-time workers spend the majority of their time… at work. When that’s the case, says Kate, it’s incredibly important to support the full expression of who they are at work. “I think a lot about how we can support folks to show up as full humans in the space where they spend the majority of their time,” she says.
At Wanderwell, for example, Kate’s created a strong vision of flexibility that plays out in the team culture. In a practical way, this looks like:

* Encouraging team members to take a vacation and go completely offline for a real, true break.

★ Support this podcast ★