Episode 7 - Jennifer Dulski, Rising Team
Jennifer Dulski is the Founder and CEO of Rising Team and author of WSJ bestselling book Purposeful.
Jennifer Dulski has a wide range of executive experience including leadership roles at Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!, and founder, CEO, and president roles at early stage and scaling startups. She is currently CEO and founder of Rising Team, a company that provides tools, data, and community to turn managers into amazing coaches that build happier and more successful teams.
Prior to Rising Team, she led Facebook Groups, used by more than 1.5 billion people each month to create and participate in communities that matter to them. Her team was responsible for envisioning, building, and growing the Groups product. She also led the 2019 redesign of Facebook, “FB5,” to put communities at the center of the app.
During our conversation, Jennifer shares her story of becoming the founder of a nonprofit when she was 21, how you can get fooled by thinking you have product market fit, why it’s so helpful for founders to spend time at large companies, work/life mashup, and her love of acronyms.
[01:49] Jennifer is a big fan of TED law. She loves sports, movies, and television in general because they constantly convey fantastic tales about people overcoming challenges and working together as a team.
[03:20] For Jennifer, it all comes down to how the people on the team and the extended group who use their product treat each other, especially in this unique and challenging time we’re all experiencing. Rising Team’s core values are that everyone has something unique to offer, and we all bring natural talents and abilities to the table. By combining people with similar talents and preferences, teams can be strengthened.
[05:30] Jennifer ensures that others can tell her the truth when she is not at her best and point out where she is lacking. Rising Team provides a leader kit product based on training and team-building activities around a specific leadership topic each month.
[08:45] Jennifer’s first business venture was a nonprofit organization she created shortly after graduating. Her first startup experience was relocating to a new location, raising all of the funds, hiring staff, and getting all of the logistics in place for this nonprofit. Her nonprofit is still running to date for 30 years.
[10:03] The organization was based on a student-teaching-student approach. Middle school and high school pupils are prepared for college, and the teachers, on the other hand, are all older students from high school and college.
[14:23] Jennifer developed technology that used natural language processing to analyze millions of local business reviews like a computerized version of Saget to create a consumer product.
[17:53] Jennifer’s corporate life taught her: No matter how many times you’ve done it as a serial entrepreneur or multiple founders, it’s never easy.
[26:12] Jennifer’s life goal was to build the “Rising team” firm. Her passion has always been to empower others and help them reach their full potential, which is why she became a teacher. A lifelong theme for Jennifer is empowerment. A tech product that specifically targets managers, helping the manager also helps the team, appears to be the most exponential way to go about it.
[37:25] Jennifer has acquired vital life lessons due to her brain tumor and witnessing a rather severe accident involving her child. On the other hand, those moments have taught us that life is fleeting and that we should make the most of it.
[42:55] Jennifer denies having imposter syndrome. Intense self-talk made her doubt herself. Jennifer’s strength comes from her self-confidence, a network of people who can offer advice and support, and sheer determination.
[49:55] Jennifer advises aspiring leaders to remember that we are in an unusual and demanding time. And the rules are changing everywhere. Everything we thought would work been turned on its head. This is a time for managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs to help those around them. That’s why they created the Rising Team. People who successfully start movements, businesses, or manage teams share three traits. The first is bravery; they are willing to jump. The third component is dedication, which means continuing to climb the mountain. Find a team to climb with and a summit destination you’re excited to explore.
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