#35: Padma Warrior, Founder and CEO of Fable — The reverse journey of grown-up to start-up, what to unlearn to become a founder, how to get your initial hires onboard, and rituals that build culture

From Start-Up to Grown-Up

Feb 4 2023 • 1 hr 5 mins

Padmasree Warrior is the Founder, President and CEO of Fable, a mobile-first company that brings stories to everyone, anywhere. Previously, Padma was the Chief Executive Officer of NIO U.S., Chief Development Officer and Board Member of NIO Inc., a manufacturer of smart, electric, and autonomous vehicles. In this role, she scaled the company from start-up to a successful IPO NYSE:NIO in 3 years.

Our conversation was truly fascinating! We discuss her reverse journey from grown-up to start-up, what she had to unlearn from a large corporation to become a start-up founder, how you can get your initial hires onboard, and the rituals that build a strong company culture.

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  • What inspired Padma to become an entrepreneur?(03:36)
  • What she had to learn and unlearn when she went from being in a large company to becoming a start-up founder (06:14)
  • Tips to help you when hiring team members for your start-up (09:28)
  • What Fable does (14:45)
  • Why Padma started Fable (15:45)
  • The definition of company culture (22:48)
  • Why investing in company culture is important for your start-up (23:36)
  • The difference between hiring for experience and hiring for expertise (28:37)
  • The ‘Fika’ ritual and why it is a powerful ritual for developing the company culture (33:12)
  • Why she bans talk about work inside the Fika ritual (36:03)
  • What it actually means to bring your whole self to work (40:40)
  • How Padma made a mindset shift from a problem solver to someone who helps other people solve problems (44:35)
  • The decision-making framework she uses in her staff meetings at Fable (49:20)
  • The difference between being on a board and being on a management team (52:30)
  • 3 Things you should consider before you become a board member (54:36)
  • What Padma has learned from her board roles at Microsoft and Spotify (56:31)
  • Her experience with the impostor syndrome (59:38)
  • What Padma wishes she had known earlier on her journey (1:02:58)
  • Her advice for other founders as they embark on their journey to grow into leaders (1:04:05)

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