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1-2-3: Sidebar's Personal Board of Directors & Evangelists

1 Idea, 2 Posts, 3 Tools For This Week.

Happy Saturday to the 4k+ readers of the Collab!

If you are a Seed to Series A/B Founder or GTM Leader (or those that collaborate with them), this newsletter is written for you.

Here’s today’s 1 Big Idea, 2 LinkedIn Posts, 3 Tools to try.

Let’s dive in.

I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new (side hustle) position as Evangelist at Sidebar!

There are a lot of communities, but Sidebar has built something that hits differently from anything I've built or seen in the space.

The team and community are the smartest (and kindest) in the space. They've built the biggest companies and solved some of the hardest challenges in tech.

Out of seemingly 100k communities, why is Sidebar needed?

Because I personally don't have any professional groups that act as my own board of directors and hold me accountable to my goals.

I need this; and I couldn't find it. I know I'm not the only one.

Here's why they're unique:

Sidebar helps you build your own 'Personal board of directors' with:

1. Matching / Quality of Matching for micro-groups: by years of experience, stage of company, leader scope (to do matching) AI + human driven. High density of tech leaders.

2. Programming: help deal with day to day problems at their job that are tricky and hard through 3-year structured programs. Every 2-weeks you know exactly what you’re going to work on. Set annual goals and have programming to support them.

It's the difference between a gym and personal trainer. Focused on driving impact (and measuring it).

3. Facilitation: world class facilitators -  extensive learning and development backgrounds. The goal of facilitation is to hold space to deliver value. Everyone helps one another.

4. Accountability: holding you accountable to your goals.

I am so amped to level myself up. I'd love to find others who want to join me.

The Big Idea

Sidebar’s Personal Board of Directors & Evangelists

Lexy Franklin is the CEO and founder of Sidebar. Had the opportunity to chat with him about Sidebar and the Evangelist program they’ve put together.

Jared: Tell me a bit about what you're building with Sidebar.

Lexy Franklin: Sidebar is a leadership program that accelerates your career. You know, we match you to a group of eight to ten other leaders who. Who are the exact people for you to talk with, to learn from, and to really grow very quickly in order to accomplish your career goals.

Jared Robin: Can you unpack that for me?

Lexy Franklin: Think about it as a personal board of directors. 

And I think what's so powerful about Sidebar is, let's talk about work for a second. We spend 90,000 hours of our lives working. That's the vast majority of time we spend awake on the planet. And when we think about where do we spend that time? For us, what we believe is we spend a lot of that time solving tricky problems. 

Sidebar is where you go to solve tricky problems at work. And when you're solving a tricky problem, there's nothing better than to learn from your peers. You know, peers who've experienced that before, who have that insight, who's paid that tuition.

We're able to help you look at it in a different way and crack it so you can go and create value and move forward. And so that's what the personal board of directors gives you, is that team of eight to ten other kinds of Super Leaders, to help you solve really tricky problems at your job.

Jared: So, how do you group people with other members and what how does the facilitator come into play?

Lexy Franklin: It’s is a combination of a few things:

One, it's a facilitated group, so there's a clear facilitator. 

And two, matching is our expertise.

So we match you with people who are at similar scopes in their career, but are diverse across a variety of factors. Gender, race, ethnicity, whether or not they have kids, the type of, the type of experience they've had. 

So our core belief is that at any given time with your peers, nothing accelerates you faster in your career. You know, peers hold us accountable. They have insights that we haven't experienced yet.

You know, Jared, I could bring a prompt to you as a founder that you're like, I know the answer to this. That would save me three years of my life. And vice versa. Like, that's the magic of being surrounded by well matched peers.

Jared: Yeah, I love that. 

I’m an Evangelist for Sidebar and one of the things that intrigued me the most about this conversation is how you leverage evangelists for growth. 

This is just one way people are collaborating with brands. I’m a live case study. 

What led you to wanting to do an evangelist program?

Lexy Franklin: I think there's this beautiful quote that ‘people believe what you believe’, and I think that I just think it's really powerful. 

And, you know, what we were so excited about from an evangelist program is, Jared, like, your essence, like your mission, your focus, you believe in collaboration, you believe that collaboration is this path forward in the way for us to all learn and grow and accelerate and go get what we want in career and in life. 

And I think that we just believe the same thing. Like, our mission is really to accelerate people's careers. And I think what happens when you're able to work with other people who see what you see, builds a scenario where one plus one just equals fifteen. 

And we've seen this time and time again, which is that Sidebar members at these various points in their careers are finding so much value that they're bringing other members in. And I think when you experience that idea of this peer board of directors, when you experience getting to go to people for the tricky problems, when you think about that, your career is something very important to leave up to chance.

And it's so much more likely that you're going to get what you want in collaboration and learning from others and working with others and helping other people. It just felt like a really natural next step. We've been doing it for a little bit inside the bar, and it's been super successful. And we really wanted to expand the program. 

And our major focus was like, how do we work with people who believe the same thing?

Jared: How did you know you wanted to expand this program, how are you measuring success?

Lexy Franklin: So I think the way we think about this is our job is to create value for our members from day one. And so we really look at, you know, our best members come from recommendations from our community, and we define community, including evangelists, including members, including people who we've interacted with at conferences.

We're really creating a movement like people who believe that collaboration and work is just the superpower that's where our best members come from. And if you look at it from just the caliber, from their excitement, from their ability to help other people, you know, Sidebar is a vetted community. It's not for everybody. And we really want to find people who are just having incredible growth mindsets, who are really strong leaders on their teams and who, quite frankly, are, at these times in transition, where they're succeeding so quickly. They have questions about how to do that, how to solve that next tricky problem in their life. 

And so for us, success is really measured just by how the people who are getting referred are super engaged. They're really energized. They're sharing it with their teams. 

We just launched Sidebar for your company. And that really came out of members who are already in Sidebar wanting to be like, I want to bring this to my team. And so the way we kind of think about it is, we know Sidebar is really special. Our members really care about it.

But before you've tried it, there's this question of, like, well, what is this thing? And do I understand it and how do I experience it? 

And our tactics with the evangelist program are that's a really powerful way to experience it. 

Evangelists can talk about their experience. Having their own personal boards of advisors and sharing that information really goes a long way to kind of helping people understand more about the power of something like this.

Jared: Can you share your playbook for picking the right evangelists?

Lexy Franklin:

Here’s Sidebar’s playbook:

  • Find the 5 people whose mission is aligned with your mission: we just talked to a lot of people really looking for someone whose mission was aligned with our mission.

  • There is no differentiating between evangelists and the team: evangelists are part of the team. There's no line where Sidebar starts and evangelist ends and vice versa. They're a critical part of the day to day operations of the team. 

  • Everyone has their own style, and so let them be themselves: we are such a big believer that we are learners in this experience, and so we really want the evangelist to come in and be like, this is how I talk to my audience. This is what this looks like. This is how I engage, how does that incorporate, how does that fit that in? 

  • Focus on the full funnel: this is really important because sometimes someone will be excited, but they're going to have follow up questions. We really empower evangelists to own the entire funnel to make sure that people feel comfortable with the questions that may come up. 

  • Iterate often: I can't tell you, how many times an idea we thought was going to work didn't, and vice versa. 

  • Always look for the win-win: think that this idea that evangelists are these people who are part of the team, and they were just here to learn from them and empower them to do what they're really great at, and we believe the same things. And how do we create these win-win experiences? 

Lexy Franklin: We were just talking about the example of Michael Jordan and Nike, and I think it's such a good example. Both parties won. That's why I think the evangelist program is one done really well. It's just a win-win situation.

Jared: We met through a mutual connection, Mollie, who's phenomenal and working fractionally for you. Between evangelists and fractional leaders, does this make up a big part of your team? And, what's your point of view on growing in your current stage in this, in this way?

Lexy Franklin: I mean you call it collaborative growth. And I think that, like, that's, that's the vision, is that it takes a combination of lots of different expertise to get the go to market really rolling in the way that we really want. 

And so I think we are super open and eager to work with people who are the best in the world at what they do.  And I think when you think about it from an evangelist, which in a lot of ways is a creator in so many ways, the conversations that I have with our evangelist team, they're, you know, they're founders. They're, they're running their own companies. They're creating these things from scratch. They're brilliant.

I'm just learning all the time. If we didn't have an evangelist program, we would be worse at our day to day jobs. If we weren't able to collaborate with people fractionally because we just didn't have the opportunity to work with them, we'd be worse at our day to day jobs. 

Our goal is to constantly be getting better every day at whatever we're doing. 

And our focus is that whatever we're doing is making people more successful in their careers. 

Jared: In closing, good artists borrow great artist steal. What are some companies you're getting a ton of inspiration from right now?

Lexy Franklin: Well, I mean, one of them is your company, for sure. Like, I just, like, I think your ability to just put community front and center is really inspiring. 

I think that there are quite a few companies that we get a lot of inspiration from. I love when a company has a really clear mission and a really clear vision, and the why is really clear. So we spend a lot of time figuring out how to make sure our mission and our core values really resonate and make sense.

That's something we spend a bunch of time internally. I've been really impressed. There's a company called Vanta that really inspires me.

And the reason I really like them is they're just really clear at what they do. Their value proposition is super aligned in every communication.  I'm really impressed. 

I think we also get inspired from people and what people are doing. 

So another person who really inspires me is Tobi Oluwole.

Tobi's actually one of the people who's part of our evangelist program. And Tobi has such clarity of vision of what he stands for and what he wants to accomplish in the ten year time horizon. Every time I have a conversation with Tobi, I'm like, what you're building really resonates, and it's really going to have a huge impact on the world. So that's another example of someone who I really admire.

Want to join me in Sidebar?

Send me a note once you sign up to let me know.

2 Posts

I. Set your goals and follow through.

II. Getting unblocked when dealing with incredibly challenging leadership problems.

3 Tools

I. PersanaAI

Find, enrich, personalize outbound leveraging 75+ data sources in one platform leveraging AI at it’s core to book more meetings. Team from LinkedIn responsible for building product to add $5 Billion in additional revenue is behind this. Check it out.

II. Scoop Analytics

Snapshot Data From Anywhere, Automate Any Analysis You Can Imagine, Use The Tools You Already Know. Think Figma or Canva with all your data sources plugged in to create dashboards and presentations that you can drill granularly into, in real time. Check it out.

III. Magical

Focus on work that actually matters with Magical's AI productivity app that automates repetitive tasks on any site. Check it out.

1 Action to help the Collab Grow

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Until next week,


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