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Aug. 28, 2020

#156: Will Houghteling, Founder and CEO of Strive, a Practical and Personalized Leadership Development and Management Training Platform, on Helping Emerging Leaders Reach Their Full Potential, Knowing When to Pivot, and Bridging Work and Ed

#156: Will Houghteling, Founder and CEO of Strive, a Practical and Personalized Leadership Development and Management Training Platform, on Helping Emerging Leaders Reach Their Full Potential, Knowing When to Pivot, and Bridging Work and Ed

Will Houghteling is the founder and CEO of , helping emerging leaders reach their full potential through personalized and practical management training. Strive's mission is to empower working professionals to find meaning, belonging and opportunity at...


Will Houghteling is the founder and CEO of Strive, helping emerging leaders reach their full potential through personalized and practical management training. Strive's mission is to empower working professionals to find meaning, belonging and opportunity at work. Strive was founded on the belief that transforming managers into leaders is an essential first step to building the more just, inclusive, equitable workplace and world we hope to inhabit.

Will is an analytical and conscientious leader focused on bridging work and school, with experience building marketing, partnerships, sales and operations teams, largely in education. Prior to starting Strive, Will worked at Minerva building a top-tier university from scratch, and on educational initiatives at Google and YouTube.

Connect with Will Houghteling

Some of the Topics Covered by Will Houghteling in this Episode

  • Will's passion for education and how it led to working at Google, YouTube, and Minerva
  • Why the university system is inherently broken
  • What inspired Will to start Strive
  • What Strive originally started as and how Will evaluated potential paths to success for the business
  • Raising the first seed round for Strive
  • Scaling and going from 3 to 25 customers in one quarter
  • Why and how the model for Strive broke
  • How Strive pivoted from a competency based hiring and training platform to management training and leadership development
  • How Will knew it was time to pivot
  • Addressing the pivot with investors
  • The best advice Will has received
  • How Strive approaches management training
  • Acquiring customers after the pivot, customer testing, and Strive's "leadership circles"
  • Strive's business model
  • Building out the team for Strive
  • Being rigorous with hiring and rooting out unconscious bias
  • The 3 things that are most predictive of job performance
  • The impact of managers on employees
  • Determining pricing
  • The ins and outs of Strive's programs
  • How Will is approaching acquisition and growth currently
  • The biggest challenges Will has faced on his entrepreneurial journey
  • The big vision for Strive
  • Will's experience with an executive coach and therapy
  • Will's book and educational recommendations
  • Will's takeaways from working at Minerva project

Links from the Episode