Episode 7: Scaling Culture and Community with Joanna Lee

by Michael Keeler

What if you were friends with a bunch badass business leaders and entrepreneurs and could ask them about their successes, challenges, and most valuable advice? That’s exactly what Business for Unicorns delivers. Join business coach and entrepreneur Michael Keeler as he speaks with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs who believe that a business can make money while improving the lives of their employees and customers.

? New Episodes posted every Monday. Start listening at businessforunicorns.com/podcast.

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Joanna is currently the Vice President of Marketing at WeWork, a seven year old real estate-meets-technology-meets-community start-up, originally founded as a shared office space provider – now on a mission to transform the way we work, live and play.  Before WeWork, Joanna spent over 10 years in the fashion world at brands like J.Crew, Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Wang, working across retail and digital marketing.  Joanna also did a brief stint on Wall Street, working on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs right out of college.  She did her undergraduate degree in French and Political Science at Georgetown University, and has a Masters in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design.

In this podcast Michael and Joanna discuss:

  • How Joanna’s eclectic background is her greatest strength.
  • What makes a great leader.
  • How to stay focused in a fast-past, rapidly growing business.
  • When and how you know it’s time to scale your team.
  • How to turn your customers into evangelists for your brand.
  • The challenge of scaling culture and community.
  • The role design can play in creating community.
  • The promise and peril of close friendships at work.
  • How millennials are driving new expectations in the workplace.

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  1. Jeff Blair

    Another good episode Michael!

    A few highlights for me:

    1. I enjoyed the “get to know them during hiring” discussion. Several good points in there. It made me think of the Google approach where they interviewed some people nearly 30 times before hiring! I think they have streamlined that a bit but my understanding is they spend more time making the right selection so they can spend less time training.

    2. Enjoyed the discussion about group interviews. I have never tried that but it makes sense since our business does “all happen in group conversations.”

    3. The “one thing to improve community” in employee’s eyes discussion was great. Reminded me of the discussion last week about the one thing that can improve service in the customer’s eyes.

    4. Thanks for the mention of the Gallup 12 survey. Going to check that out this week.

    5. I have been to a WeWork out here in LA. It seemed to do a great job balancing the relaxed, community feel people want with a professional and productive environment. Probably harder to do than it seems.

    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks Jeff! Another great summary of takeaways. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights!


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