Give Less Work

Posted Leave a comment

It’s easy for a CEO (or any leader) to feel like their job is to give people more work. More stuff keeps coming up, urgent stuff, and SOMEBODY has to do it. It just has to get done, and so you gotta give it to someone. But when considered carefully, the real job of a […]

When Your Rockstar Loses the Tune


At a growing startup we once worked at, there was guy who’d been amazing, been with the company since the earliest days, but who had somehow “lost the tune”. We’ll call him Rocky. Rocky had done a bit of everything, from programming to sales to customer support to graphic design. He’d been one of the […]

Purpose Driven Leadership

Posted Leave a comment

So last week I spoke on a podcast on technology leadership with the good folks at Teal Software about technology leadership, and kept finding myself iterating the idea of “falling back to purpose”. I have come to believe that the most important job of any leader, especially a CEO, is to embody and project the […]

Tell “Trouble” From “Different”

Posted Leave a comment

How can you tell the difference between someone whose unique way of doing things is actually trouble for your team, or is just a new and different (but effective) approach? As your team grows, you’ll naturally start handing off responsibilities to other people. In most cases, you just explain how you want the thing done, […]

Tech Team Check-Up

Posted Leave a comment

At Upspark our goal is to help Toronto startups do better. We help their technology teams grow and scale, avoiding the many common pitfalls that lie in their path. Many of those pitfalls are born in the communication between the senior leadership and the development team. Translating mission statements and business objectives into development tasks […]

Make Your Company Mean Something

Posted Leave a comment

The importance of having a clear, inspirational mission statement has been amply demonstrated. Employee engagement is higher, customer interactions are smoother, and business success comes easier. It’s important, even for a fledgling startup, to be very clear on what it is they do, and why that matters. But not all of us are inspirational writers, […]