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Scaling People


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Promotional Information


  • Targeted pre-publication mailing to influential founders, VCs, executives, and senior leaders at technology companies and high-growth startups, including a signed note from Claire
  • Creation of promotional material such as excerpt PDFs, bookmarks, and promotional images and video for pre-publication distribution online, to influencers, and at speaking events
  • Galley and advance copy mailing to the author’s and Stripe’s network of influential founders, executives, VCs, and senior leaders at technology companies and high-growth startups
  • Promotion on Stripe Press and Stripe social media channels, including paid performance marketing
  • Promotion in the Stripe Press newsletter
  • Cross-promotion at internal and external Stripe events
  • Initial print run of 20,000 copies
  • Outreach campaign targeting coverage in top newspapers, magazines, podcasts, broadcast, and digital media focused on business, leadership, management, finance, and technology, supported by Fortier PR
  • Landed feature in Fortune (February 8, 2023)
  • Article authored by Claire Hughes Johnson will publish in HBR Ascend on March 7, 2023
  • Confirmed launch-week excerpts in Fast Company, CNBC Make It, Rotman Management Magazine
  • Confirmed podcast interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek, First Round In Depth, The Business of Learning, Grit, Coaching for Leaders
  • Confirmed interviews with Quartz, Financial Times Working It newsletter, Leaders Magazine
  • Confirmed speaking engagements at SXSW, McKinsey Author Talks, Talks at Google, Ivy
  • Pending media interest from Financial Times, Forbes, VentureBeat, The Information, NPR Marketplace, Wall Street Journal
  • Claire Hughes Johnson speaking with Laurene Powell Jobs at a book launch event hosted in partnership with CapitalG (Alphabet’s venture growth fund) and Emerson Collective in San Francisco

Table of Contents


  • Setting your metronome
  • The core frameworks
  • Who is this book for?
  • How to read this book
  • Exercises and templates
Chapter 1
Essential Operating Principles

  • 1. Build self-awareness to build mutual awareness
  • 2. Say the thing you think you cannot say
  • 3. Distinguish between management and leadership
  • 4. Come back to your operating system
  • Exercises and templates
Chapter 2
Core Framework 1: Foundations and Planning for Goals and Resources

  • Founding documents
  • The operating system
  • Operating cadence
  • Exercises and templates
Chapter 3
Core Framework 2: A Comprehensive Hiring Approach

  • Recruiting
  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Hiring mistakes
  • Exercises and templates
Chapter 4
Core Framework 3: Intentional Team Development

  • Team structures
  • Diagnosing team state
  • Team changes and restructuring
  • (Re)building the team
  • Creating the team environment
  • Team-building complexities
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Team communication
  • Exercises and templates
Chapter 5
Core Framework 4: Feedback and Performance Mechanisms

  • Hypothesis-based coaching
  • Giving hard feedback
  • Creating a culture of informal feedback
  • The formal review process
  • Compensation
  • Managing high performers
  • Managing low performers
  • Managing managers
  • Managing out, firing, and layoffs
  • Some final thoughts on management
  • Exercises and templates

  • Manage your time and energy
  • Foster relationships
  • Consider your career
About the Author

About the Author

Claire Hughes Johnson is a corporate officer and advisor at Stripe. Previously, she was chief operating officer at Stripe from 2014 to 2021, helping the company grow from fewer than 200 employees to more than 8,000. At various times, she led business operations, sales, marketing, customer support, risk, real estate, and all of the people functions, including recruiting and HR. Prior to Stripe, she spent 10 years at Google leading business teams, including overseeing aspects of Gmail, Google Apps, and consumer operations, as well as serving as a vice president for AdWords, Google Offers, and Google’s self-driving car project. She serves on the boards of Ameresco, the Atlantic, Aurora Innovation, and HubSpot, and is a trustee and current board president of Milton Academy. She lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and two neurotic dachshunds


“Claire Johnson gave me some of the best feedback of my career: ‘You don’t ask for help often enough.’ Whether you are a new manager or a CEO, there are going to be moments when you feel alone and need help. Odds are, the advice you need is in Scaling People. You are going to pull this book off your shelf over and over!"
—Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor and Just Work

“The practical guide to running a world-class organization… Claire has demystified how you run a large, high-performance organization, with clear concepts and practical templates that you can start implementing today.”
—Jason Citron, founder and CEO of Discord

“I was excited to learn that Claire Hughes Johnson has taken her many years of operating excellence from Stripe and Google and distilled it into a new book. Scaling People is a key book to be added to the shelf of any people leader and manager.”
—Elad Gil, entrepreneur, investor, and author of High Growth Handbook

“Scaling People is approachable, entertaining, and exceptionally useful, with lots of heart and humor. Claire leverages her years of unparalleled experience to provide a deeply helpful resource to read and revisit again and again.”
—Aileen Lee, founder and managing partner of Cowboy Ventures

“Through the entire history of startups and entrepreneurship, the world expects founders and young executives to succeed and thrive as their company grows larger and larger. Yet no one takes the time to give them the skills and processes that are necessary to achieve great leadership. Now someone has—hats off to Claire Johnson for writing Scaling People.”
—Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark

“If you want to scale your business from 10 people to 10,000 without losing the things that make it special, Scaling People is the handbook you need.”
—Ravi Gupta, former CFO and COO of Instacart, general partner at Sequoia Capital

“There’s a lot of reinventing the wheel in a startup environment. Scaling People offers strong frameworks, sound advice, and tried-and-true processes that any company can use to build stronger foundations and sustainable success.”
—Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, partner at Greylock, host of Masters of Scale

“Claire Hughes Johnson is the ultimate operator. She distills two decades of management and leadership expertise into one accessible volume with real-world examples and actionable guidance. Scaling People proves that it’s possible to operate in a high-growth environment while simultaneously focusing on and caring about developing people—and that doing so also leads to a fundamentally stronger business.”
—Mallun Yen, founder of Operator Collective

“Everything you need to know about building and scaling a company, being an exceptional leader and manager, and getting the best out of your people in one empathetic and enjoyable package—with easy-to-use worksheets and templates to boot.”
—Frances Frei, author of Uncommon Service and Unleashed, professor at Harvard Business School

“Claire Hughes Johnson has been in the catbird seat at two companies: Google and Stripe. She participated in Google's transformative journey in the decade following its IPO. Since then, she has helped Stripe develop from a two-floor office into a global, multibillion-dollar infrastructure company on which millions of businesses depend. Two eras, two companies—one Claire.”
—Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital

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