Helen Yu knows of what she speaks. With years of experience as a strategist for tech startups, she approaches her new book – Ascend Your Start-Up: Conquer the Five Disconnects to Accelerate Growth – with an expert juxtaposition of both left brain cerebral and right brain altruistic. The two she argues share a distinctive symbiotic relationship when it comes to being an effective leader and, as a result, maintaining an effective business enterprise. is far as Yu is concerned, one’s fixations shouldn’t just be on being the best, having the best products, or working as hard as one can.
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There has to be a goalpost, an endgame in mind for which one will not just accomplish things, but be remembered for them as well. This requires a healthy balance of one’s personal and professional lives, as one’s personal life can have a distinctive impression on how one goes about the realization of professional passions. And while you’re on the road to that realization, Yu writes, it’s valuable to celebrate the small victories before the penultimate one. If nothing else, it just makes everything so much fun – and fun can be invigorating. “You don’t have to wait until you get to the peak to celebrate,” she writes. “In fact, you shouldn’t. Find measurable milestones and celebrate along the way. Why? Because celebrating gives you something to look forward to, and it makes the ascent up the start-up mountain a lot more enjoyable!”
True to form, it’s the personable side of Yu’s writing that lifts up the drier, more crucial informational aspects. She’s tirelessly expansive with her presentation, but never overwhelming when it comes to literary delivery. The language choice is intended to be heightened, but colloquially ranged. This is particularly effective with respect to the more immaterial layers Yu highlights about effective startup leadership philosophy.
“Self-assurance is not ego; rather, it is a quiet confidence that fills the void of being at the top, which is, by virtue of the position, a solo act,” Yu writes. “Scaling the tech start-up mountain is both a solitary and rewarding journey for C-suite executives. Not everyone you started the journey with makes it with you. This might even include family or friends. Colleagues who are not founders may not understand the pressures and challenges you face. This is another reason why making time for your family (and making time for yourself) is critical.”
It’s by making all of this tangible, concise, and succinct that Yu really shines. The concepts in and of themselves are died-in-wool, but Yu’s presentational qualities are not. Her ability to humanize even the densest and most exclusionary concepts described is what sets her – and the book as well – apart. All in all a solid achievement, and a highly recommended guide for the startup entrepreneur or otherwise generally budding professional…