A bi-weekly newsletter on leadership, company culture, employee engagement and employee feedback by Claire Lew.

All issues

Issue 19 Interview with David Cancel, CEO of Drift


Every few weeks, I ask one question to a founder, CEO, manager, or business owner I respect…

A chat with David Cancel

David Cancel is the CEO of Drift, a conversational sales platform that has over 100,000 customers. Having started five companies previously, David shares lessons learned as a leader – including the importance of people, one-on-ones, and “no consensus” in teams.

Transcript of the interview is here.

Latest reads

The unintended consequences of a too-nice work culture
“Team members who hold contrary or novel information even begin to experience a type of amnesia as the pull of agreeableness focuses their attention on what the group already knows and erases potentially unique contributions from their memory banks.” Written by Jonah Sachs, Quartz

Conversations That Kill Your Culture
“Many companies have the same cultural issue: a constant flow of inaccurate but persuasive messages that take the enterprise in dispiriting, self-defeating directions.” Written by Jeffrey Schwartz and Josie Thomson, strategy+business

Amazon Annual Shareholder Letter
“How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There’s no single way to do it – it’s a combination of many things. But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it.” Written by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

How to Manage an Insecure Employee
“The challenge is that insecure people are so concerned with how they look and how they are perceived that they either fail to solicit critical feedback or completely ignore it when it’s given. And this robs them of the opportunity to improve.” Written by Rebecca Knight, Harvard Business Review

Favorite reads

The halo effect, and other managerial delusions
“Rather than search in vain for success formulas, business executives would do better to adjust their thinking about the context of strategic decisions.” Written by Phil Rosenzweig, McKinsey Quarterly

5 Lessons From Peter Drucker That Will Make You a Better Manager
“Sure, there are a lot of other books out there about management and leadership that are entertaining, but they’re all built on top of this one book.” Written by David Cancel (our featured Heartbeat guest this week!)

Employee Satisfaction Doesn’t Matter
“If you’re measuring the effectiveness of your culture by your workforce’s ‘satisfaction,’ you’re doing it all wrong.” Written by Jim Clifton, Gallup

Just for fun

Becoming a Magician
“Meeting magicians is the first step to becoming one – when you are attempting to learn implicit knowledge that by definition you don’t understand, it is important to have a bunch of examples in front of you to feed your brain’s pattern-recognition systems.”


The Watercooler Check out our online community for leaders - where almost 1,000 managers, executives and CEOs for all over the world candidly talk and learn from each other.
Knowledge Center Subscribe to our guides and leadership resources to learn to build an open company culture based on data and insights from thousands of customers.
Our Workshops Learn how to create a culture of feedback during our in-person workshops – invite our CEO Claire Lew to give a custom workshop to your company.