Wes Kao 🏛 Profile picture
Tweeting spiky POVs on entrepreneurship, education, and marketing | Co-founder @MavenHQ. Previously co-founder of altMBA
Born librarian, avid dust collector. Profile picture Here for the popsicles Profile picture ✨🅼🅳 ❁ Profile picture Sercan Ahi Profile picture Brian Branagan Profile picture 32 added to My Authors
Aug 5 16 tweets 4 min read
Most people suck at asking for things.

Here’s an easy framework for how to ask (and get a yes): You and I can’t do everything on our own.

Sheer willpower isn’t enough to push something through by yourself. Trust me, I’ve tried.

90% of the time, you need other people’s support and cooperation.

At a minimum, you don’t want them to be a blocker.

You need their buy-in.
Jul 29 13 tweets 4 min read
Some people think they’re too important to do execution.

They “only do strategy” and pontificate with hand-waving ideas.

But strategy is not enough.

The best leaders can do both strategy AND execution.

Here’s how to be great at both: Be what I call an end-to-end operator.

End-to-end operators don’t worry about who’s responsible for "strategy” or "execution." They just get the job done.

Here’s how to become one:
Jul 22 12 tweets 4 min read
Improve your communication, improve your life.

Communication =
• better relationships
• stronger leadership
• winning negotiations
• easier buy-in
• closing more sales

9 ways to become a better communicator today: How to cut backstory and develop higher ROI communication:
Jul 8 15 tweets 5 min read
Most people struggle to lead engaging meetings & presentations.

But whether officially or unofficially, leaders fill the role of a teacher.

Here’s how to keep “students” hooked in a digital world: On a weekly basis, you teach & explain your ideas to those around you.

You might
• Teach employees
• Teach a guest lecture
• Teach via content/writing

It’s your responsibility to keep your audience engaged so they're motivated to pay attention.
Jun 19 14 tweets 3 min read
I used to feel insecure about my creative process.

Then I heard a story about Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen—and I instantly felt better.

Here’s the story: In 1983, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen met in Paris to discuss music.

They both went on to sell millions of records.

Their conversation perfectly captures two ends of a spectrum: the spectrum of how creators produce work.
Jun 12 22 tweets 6 min read
Public speaking is overrated.

75% of Americans say public speaking is their #1 fear.

But I think it’s more important to be persuasive in day-to-day conversations.

Here’s how to leverage everyday conversations (and move your career forward): In school and business, we’re taught the importance of public speaking:

There are thousands of books, YouTube videos, and L&D training workshops on it. And people are more afraid of public speaking than death.

But public speaking is not as important as it seems.
Jun 5 19 tweets 5 min read
Here’s a secret about managing up:

The more you manage up, the more your boss will recognize your value.

It’s a Jedi mind trick.

Let your boss think they’re managing you… But in reality, YOU are managing THEM.

Here are 13 principles for managing up: If you don’t manage up, you’ll waste time on:

· Needless back-and-forth
· Avoidable misunderstandings
· Confusion on how you’re adding value

Work is hard enough as it is. Not managing up makes it harder.
May 29 16 tweets 3 min read
Most people suck at receiving feedback.

But if done well, it can accelerate your performance and career.

Here’s how: Most of us learn how to give feedback to other people.

We learn frameworks like the sh*t sandwich & speaking with empathy.

But we spend a lot less time learning how to process feedback as the recipient.
May 22 17 tweets 5 min read
Most companies suck at communicating the value of their product or service.

Here’s how to instantly show your value: Pour salt on the wound.

No pain, no sale.

People will only value your solution if they value their problem.

If they don’t think their problem is that bad, they won’t pay you to solve it.

When in doubt, emphasize the pain.

Painkillers sell better than vitamins.
May 14 18 tweets 4 min read
Most online courses suck.

Here’s why cohort-based courses are the future of learning: Most online education “innovation” hasn’t created a better experience for students or instructors.

Cohort-based courses are changing the game because they are:

✅ Better for learners
✅ Better for instructors

Let’s cover why:
May 8 19 tweets 4 min read
Most companies suck at on-boarding new team members.

Here's how to on-board yourself when starting a new job: Many companies don’t have a formal on-boarding process.

It’s rare to get 3-4 weeks to just absorb and meet cross-functional team members.

You might have time for that at a bigger company––but at a growing company or smaller organization, there’s no such luxury.
Apr 23 11 tweets 3 min read
I’ve advised hundreds of course creators.

And seen every mistake in the book.

Here are 9 mistakes new course creators make (and how you can avoid them): Mistake: Failing to think about course-market fit

Before you start to build, make sure:

✔️ You’re the right person to teach this course
✔️ People will pay to learn what you’re teaching (market demand)

If yes to both, you’re ready. If not, keep refining.
Apr 9 19 tweets 4 min read
Analytical skills didn’t come easily for me.

In college, my least favorite classes were quantitative... It was a miracle I even scraped by.

Luckily, I found a way through.

11 concepts to sharpen your analytical thinking: I used to look at numbers and feel helpless.

Which is why when I graduated, I was shocked that Gap HQ wanted to hire me as an analyst.

The job was 100% about numbers.

I thought, “They want me to manage millions of dollars and optimize profitability? With real money??”
Apr 2 17 tweets 4 min read
Most people suck at answering questions.

They fail to think about the question behind the question.

Here’s a framework for impactful responses: You get asked dozens of questions per day.

Each one is an opportunity to show your credibility and build trust.

🚫 If you answer poorly?

They start doubting your competence.

✅ If you answer well?

They trust you and are grateful you’re on the team.
Mar 26 13 tweets 4 min read
Wow 100k followers… thank you!

I’m blown away and so grateful to know you in our little corner of the internet.

Here are 10 of my best threads and ideas you found most helpful.

Manage up, give better feedback, and tell impactful stories: Rigorous thinking:

What you'll learn 🧠

How to empower your team, create high standards, and decrease decision fatigue.

Mar 20 18 tweets 4 min read
Most people suck at managing up.

They waste their boss’ time with too much (or too little) information.

Here’s how to give the right amount of context: Star employees are exceptional at communicating and managing up.

This is even more important in a remote working environment.

They proactively communicate to show they've got it handled and prevent endless one-off questions.

Mar 12 15 tweets 3 min read
You might read 52 books per year…

But I’m more impressed if you read one book and let it change you.

Here are 9 tips to maximize your reading: 1. Understand why you’re reading.

More books isn’t the goal.

The goal might be to:

✔️ change your behavior
✔️ sharpen your craft
✔️ get into someone else’s head
✔️ validate what you know but need a reminder of

If that means reading one or two books a year? Do that.
Mar 5 24 tweets 6 min read
The best marketers can take projects from vision to execution.

Here are 19 ways to be an end-to-end marketer: End-to-end marketers don’t worry about who’s responsible for "strategy," "planning," or "execution." They just get the job done.

End-to-end marketers will

✔️ Parachute into unknown territory
✔️ Quickly assess a situation
✔️ Develop a strategy and execute
Feb 19 17 tweets 4 min read
Most people suck at storytelling.

Here’s an easy trick for telling better stories: When I’m telling a story, sometimes I get nervous.

I can’t tell what my audience is thinking.

Are they silently enthralled–or asleep? 👀

Ideally, you want the confidence to know:

✔️ Does my audience care?

✔️ How do I know what to say?

✔️ Am I giving too much detail?
Feb 13 25 tweets 5 min read
How to get customers excited, hungry to buy, and ready to say yes: As a marketer or founder, part of your job is to reduce friction:

• Make the button bigger
• Write shorter copy
• Give discounts to incentivize
• Send reminder emails

The problem? You made it easy…

But customers STILL don't want what you’re selling.
Feb 5 22 tweets 4 min read
Most people suck at giving feedback.

Here’s a framework for feedback that creates behavior change: Feedback conversations are typically reactive.

You’ve been frustrated for a while, so you see the opportunity to share feedback as a chance to FINALLY unload.

But your recipient isn’t sure where all the negativity is coming from.