The Parenting Memo: Chris Sacca on Why We Are Breeding a Generation of Entitled Assholes, Harley Finkelstein on What Great Fatherhood Really Means, Deena Shakir on How Kids Make You a Better Investor and More from Anne Wojcicki, Ian Siegel, Eric Liaw, Scott Dietzan | 20VC with Harry Stebbings

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Key Takeaways

  • Don’t shield your kids from the world. Kids understand fairness and inequity; they will be better off having exposure to varying perspectives and experiences.
    • Due to overexposure to monoculture and struggle-free lifestyle, “we have a surplus of assholes coming down the pike right now” – Chris Sacca
  • Parenting forces work/life balance and efficiency on you
    • It taught Ann Wojcicki how to delegate; she realized she didn’t need to be a part of every meeting
    • In the words of Deena Shakir, kids give you “ruthless prioritization”
  • Kids value presence over everything.
    • Presence isn’t physical, it’s mental. Presence is your attention.
  • “Once you have children, the art of being a good parent and the art of being a good leader are the same” – Ian Siegel
    • Patience & Listening: You must be able to suppress your first reaction and think about the outcome you want to create
  • You can learn a lot about negotiation by becoming a parent
  • Micromanagement is a poor strategy in both leadership and parenting. You want to model behaviors rather than enforce behaviors.

Intro

  • This compilation episode of 20VC explores how becoming a parent can positively impact your work performance, operating mindset, and approach to leadership
  • Chris Sacca (@sacca) is the Founder and Chairman of Lowercase Capital, a successful venture firm with a strong track record of early investments in Uber, Stripe, Twitter, Docker, and more
  • Anne Wojcicki (@annewoj23) is the Founder & CEO of 23andMe, the service that offers a comprehensive analysis of your ancestry through DNA testing
  • Harley Finkelstein (@harleyf) is the President of Shopify, the decentralized e-commerce platform
  • Ian Siegel (@ZipRecruiterCEO) is the CEO and Co-Founder of ZipRecruiter, the innovative online hiring platform
  • Deena Shakir (@deenashakir) is a Partner at Lux Capital, a leading firm investing at the cutting edge of science and technology
  • Eric Liaw (@eliaw) is a General Partner at IVP, a leader in late-stage venture capital
  • Scott Dietzen (@scott_dietzen) is the Vice Chairman of the Board at Pure Storage, an enterprise data storage solution
  • Host: Harry Stebbings (@HarryStebbings)

Key Books Mentioned

Chris Sacca on How to Not Let Your Child Become an Entitled Asshole

  • Parents with less formal education tend to push education on their kids harder
  • We force overspecialization on our kids too much. Let them explore and narrow down their interests on their own.
  • Raising your kids with too much privilege and resources can cause them to lose sight of gratitude
  • Don’t shield your kids from the world. Kids understand fairness and inequity, they will be better off having exposure to varying perspectives and experiences.
    • Due to overexposure to monoculture and struggle-free lifestyle, “we have a surplus of assholes coming down the pike right now” – Chris Sacca
    • Chris says his organization only hires people who have had shitty jobs in the past
  • When someone is upset or struggling, don’t offer solutions. Listen to them and set them up with hypothetical questions to own the solution.
    • Example: What do you think we should do about this? How do we prevent this from happening again? What should we do going forward?
    • This applies to parenting and management
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
    • Explains the severe consequences of ‘helicopter parenting’
    • You can’t bail your kids out of all their problems
  • Check out the full Podcast Notes from this conversation

Anne Wojcicki on How Parenting Taught Her Delegation

  • “You never really know what it’s like to worry until you have a child” – Anne Wojcicki quoting Yossi Vardi
    • Having kids completely altered Anne’s perspective of risk and danger
  • You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child
    • Your brain is no longer just responsible for you
  • Parenting made Anne more efficient because it forced work/life balance on her
    • Taught her how to delegate, and she realized she didn’t need to be a part of every meeting
    • “You’ll never scale a company if you think you need to be a part of every decision” – Anne Wojcicki quoting Sheryl Sandberg

Harley Finkelstein on Being a Great Father

  • Originally, Harley just thought making bacon and pancakes on Saturday morning made him a great father—but that’s not true
  • Kids value presence over everything. Presence isn’t physical, it’s mental. Presence is your attention.

Ian Siegal on the Mastery of Patience

  • “Once you have children, the art of being a good parent and the art of being a good leader are the same” – Ian Siegel
  • You must be able to suppress your first reaction and think about the outcome you want to create
    • This is the mastery of patience, you can’t reason with a three-year-old
  • Simply put, listen before you think and think before you talk
    • Contain your excitement and always try to speak last

Deena Shakir on Priorities & Negotiation

  • Kids give you ruthless prioritization
    • “Everything you do, every moment that you spend, is a moment you’re not spending with your kids” – Deena Shakir
  • You can learn a lot about negotiation by becoming a parent
    • Deena actually recommends How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King as a business book more so than a parenting book
    • Give your kids choices rather than convincing them of a particular option

Eric Liaw on How Much We Influence Our Children

  • Eric tells a story of how his son used to bother him while at work and he would say “daddy’s working.” Now, Eric will go ask his son to play and he’s picked up saying “no, you’re working” when he doesn’t want to play.
    • It’s a sobering story for Eric to tell but it taught him a lesson about how much of an influence we have on our children

Scott Dietzen on Being a Model Parent

  • Micromanagement is a poor strategy in both leadership and parenting. You want to model behaviors rather than enforce behaviors.
  • Nature teaches us a lot about this. A lioness will engage aggressively if she fears for the safety of her cubs. Otherwise, she simply models the behavior that she wants.
20VC with Harry Stebbings : , , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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