Hello, Intelligent.ly!

Boston’s startupRachel Waldmann community thrills me. I applied for dozens of roles across so many interesting companies in Boston before I accepted the role as Intelligent.ly’s Content & Community Specialist. I love that startups achieve big goals with dedicated, passionate teams and the work hard, play hard attitude has always been so quintessentially me.

After my first meeting with Abbie Waite, I went home to my roommates and told them I interviewed with a non-arrogant version of Gwyneth Paltrow–she was approachable, compassionate, blonde, and had me hooked with her passion for helping people lead, to win. When I learned about how Intelligent.ly Exchange solves the management gap that even I, a recent college grad, have experienced already in my career, I wanted IN!

In my new role at Intelligent.ly, I’ll be coordinating Intelligent.ly Exchange, sharing success stories and leadership insights on our blog, planning community events, and hopefully meeting many of you in person very soon!

Iggy WigglesSome fun facts about me: I’m from Long Island, I graduated from Northeastern last May, I volunteer with the MSPCA-Angell animal shelter, I have a pet hedgehog named Iggy (he’s a monster), I studied abroad in Prague, and my spirit animal is Liz Lemon. People always expect me to be taller when they meet me.

I’m passionate about content creation, visual design, and event planning, and am psyched to hone all of these skills at my new Intelligent.ly job (I love saying it…”my new job”).

But enough about me. I can’t wait to learn about you!

Rachel Waldmann

Rachel Waldmann
Content & Community Specialist

Be like Mike!

Mike Troiano“All the pain in your life will be caused by distance from the truth,” said Mike Troiano, CMO and self-proclaimed “Communicator-in-Chief” at Actifio. Think that’s profound? Now think about how a company that’s only 5 years old is already worth $1.4 billion dollars. With Troiano and a group of seriously intentional leaders at the helm, it’s no surprise that the copy data management company is rapidly growing into one of Boston’s biggest success stories.

On Monday night, Mike joined Intelligent.ly’s Abbie Waite for a fireside chat about leadership with 200 members of startup community. Perhaps most impressive about Mike is how he commands a room, like that funny uncle who you deeply respect and are also a little afraid of disappointing. In spite of huge success, he maintains his humility and charisma- admirable characteristics of a seasoned leader.

During the evening, Mike relayed sound words of advice. As a new professional getting my career off the ground, I’m making them words to live by. The resounding theme was that people are perhaps the greatest (and sometimes most difficult) part of being in business, and as a leader you have to establish enduring trust and open lines of communication right from the start.

Mike broke effective leadership into three actionable buckets:

Be Human
“Understand people, what matters to them, who they love, and what they’re afraid of,” Mike advised. Starting with the human side of management helps leaders motivate their teams, foster healthy conflict, and drive results.

Mike entertained the crowd with an anecdote about the epic difference between Italian sauce and gravy; sauce takes 20 minutes to whip up, while gravy is an all day affair, that requires slaving over a stove, and putting blood, sweat, and tears into the final product, but is worth every ounce of effort. The effort Mike puts into his gravy is paralleled only by the thought he puts into building relationships with his team. Ultimately, good business is good people, and exceptional leaders understand what motivates and challenges each individual member of a team.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Mike Troiano
Mike asserted that managers need to ask themselves, “What are the three most important things right I can do to grow our business right now?” Focus solely on doing those (and only those) three things. Take for instance, when Mike joined the executive team at Actifio. His first move was to identify key stakeholders, focus on understanding their needs and challenges, and create lists of each team member’s goals. Within the first week, he realized where the communication gaps were, and set a clear vision for moving forward. He asked himself, “What am I good at?” and set an actionable strategy for using his skills to fill in the gaps and add value to the team.

As a leader, you’ll have boundless opportunities, but Mike urged us to proceed with caution to avoid falling victim to the overwhelming choices that come with growing a company and a team. Choose a few areas where you can add value to your team, and give them all you’ve got. Prioritize.

Keep it Simple
Mike drove this home over and over: it’s a manager’s responsibility to set clear expectations for each team member right from the start. Communication should be clear, direct, and honest. This is the best (and if we’re being honest, only) way to retain employees for the long haul.

When a team member lacks success, leaders need to take a good hard look at the mirror and think about why this person’s results are not measuring up to the expectation. And then you have to think about what you can do to support each individual on your team. Do you need to clarify your expectations? Provide your team member with a tool or resource to improve their performance? Is there tension within the team? Whatever it is, it’s up to the leader to provide clarity. It’s as simple as that.

Preach, Mike. Preach.

Rachel WaldmannRachel Waldmann
Content & Community Specialist

Special Event: Libations + Leadership with Mike Troiano

There’s a reason Mike Troiano is ranked as one of the top 1% of influencers on Twitter: people TRUST him.

Libations + Leadership with Mike Troiano

Helping to cultivate major brands (Ogilvy & Mather), leading a company from inception to record-breaking exit (m-Qube), and growing a billion dollar business (Actifio) are all pretty impressive pursuits. But what really knocks our socks off is how Mike so effortlessly enables people to act.

Join us on December 1st for Libations + Leadership to learn how Mike builds lasting relationships with colleagues, inspires greatness in his teams, and creates a unifying vision that drives results.

We’ll kick off the night with winter beverages and small bites, jump right into discussion, and then hand it over, so you can ask Mike the questions you want answered most.

Button: Register Today

This fireside chat format is a fundamental component of every Intelligent.ly Exchange management development session. Now we’re giving you inside access for a chance to get personal with one of Boston’s strongest leaders. Tell your bosses, bring your friends, spread the word – Mike is truly an exceptional leader to learn from.

Truth: The first time I met Mike, the whole dynamic of the room changed, the office stopped, and people listened. He wasn’t even saying anything, but people knew they were in the midst of someone great! I’ve seen Mike in action and am honored to sit with him (and 100+ of our favorite Intelligent.ly friends!) for, what I’m sure will be, a stellar evening of libations + leadership lessons!

Photo: Abbie


Abbie Waite
Executive Director

Turning TWO and Launching Something NEW!

BIG NEWS: Intelligent.ly is Turning TWO!
…and to celebrate, we’re rolling out new programs just for you.

After hosting almost 200 skills classes for over 4,000 Bostonians and launching Intelligent.ly Exchange for high-potential mangers in scaling start-ups, we’ve seen and learned A LOT. You’ve told us what you love, what you need, and shared some of your biggest challenges and greatest successes. Thank you.

To continue best serving you, we’re thrilled to focus our attention on management development and special events that build Boston’s broader start-up community on a large scale. What more could you want everyday than a great manager and a cold beer?!

Let’s get Intelligent.ly.

Our Approach:

Intelligent.ly Exchange brings together top-performing new managers from high-growth companies to collaboratively grow their management skills. It’s limited to companies to enroll their teams, and is launching its third cohort in June. Learn More and Sign Your Managers Up for Success.

Our newest Management Development Workshops tackle key curriculum topics at an affordable price and are open to people whose companies may not be in a position to enroll them in Intelligent.ly Exchange but still believe investing in their professional development is essential. Learn More and Enroll to Become Exceptional.

Special Events: We believe a strong networks create strong leaders, and are proud to bridge connections with awesome events. We’re going to keep supporting (and hosting) the kind of events you love. Next up: Tech on Tap, RSVP Now.

Join us for our Community Potluck


This summer you’ve dealt with blistering heat, pouring rain, and even a rainbow or two. Now that August is upon us and the summer is almost over, let’s send it off in style with a celebration that the whole community’s invited to.

If you’ve been working your tail off all season and haven’t had much time to cook yourself a meal, we’ve got the event for you. Come network with some of Boston’s finest, while enjoying a meal and a drink. The best part? It’s FREE.

What will you bring? We’re bringing the booze – some ice cold PBRs and some of Spain’s most delectable red and white wine. You bring the bites.

Join Us for the Intelligent.ly Community Potluck Dinner
Thursday, August 15, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 pm
500 Harrison Avenue, FL 3R
Boston, MA 02118

No freeloading! Bring food. Eat food.

Make sure to tweet @Intelligent_ly and let the world know you’re coming! #ILYpotluck

Together, we can collectively realize the goal of giving up Ramen.