Leaders Unscripted

Conversations with leaders about the challenges they’ve faced and what they’ve learned.


8: Navigating Culture in a Scaling Startup with TaxBit’s VP Brand & Global Communications, Michelle O’Connor

Episode cover image

Hiring isn’t cheap, but keeping hold of a wrong hire is infinitely more costly - not just to your finances, but to your company’s all-important culture.

The challenges of a scaling startup are many, and it’s in that challenge that Michelle O’Connor thrives as VP Brand & Global Communications at TaxBit.

In the latest episode of Leaders Unscripted, Michelle takes us through how to maintain the mission & culture through rapid growth, why you should slow down to speed up, and her love of the thrilling startup environment.

This Episode Covers:

  • Michelle’s stellar career trajectory, from receptionist for a badass CMO to being a specialist scale-up VP
  • Why she’s most fulfilled by the startup setting, and how the environment impacts the employee
  • Retaining your culture and mission as a growing brand
  • How a culturally ill-fitting employee can tank a team

Episode Highlights:

“I am a builder and I really enjoy having no guardrails. I like to get in, and ask a lot of invasive, annoying questions. I like to understand the who, what, where, when and why.” - 5:55 - Michelle O'Connor
“Culturally, I had to figure out how to slow myself back to that very early stage 10-20 person startup and how that works, and wearing multiple hats. I love it.” - 12:15 - Michelle O'Connor
“I am moving a million miles a minute, how do I step back and communicate what needs to be communicated to relevant peers? It was hard for me to slow down to be able to speed up.” - 18:20 - Michelle O'Connor
“It's the hardest thing if you bring someone in who isn't a culture fit from the start. People can evolve to an extent, but if you're not built for a startup, and you're joining a fast growing startup expecting a very narrow swim lane, a fast growing startup isn't for you. ” - 25:45 - Michelle O'Connor
“You have to be okay with it not working. Hiring is expensive, but it’s more expensive to keep the wrong hires.” - 30:35 - Michelle O'Connor

Links & References:

Constellary: https://www.constellaryhq.com/

Suzan Bond: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanbond/

Michelle O'Connor: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelleqoconnor/

TaxBit: https://taxbit.com/