CLAIRE HUGHES JOHNSON ’90 P ’24, ‘27
In 2014, CLAIRE HUGHES JOHNSON ’90 P ’24 ’27 left Google to become chief operating officer at a much smaller company, Stripe, which at the time had 160 employees and tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Now the company, which focuses on online commerce infrastructure, has more than 7,000 employees and billions in revenue. In her new book, which has appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, she provides insights “for company builders who value creating a long-term legacy and share a people-oriented viewpoint on the work they’re doing.” Featuring interviews with experts in the field—including the founders of LinkedIn and Zoom, and practical tools such as worksheets and checklists, the book addresses company operating fundamentals and myriad challenging management situations, ranging from firing employees to telling high performers they won’t be promoted. In its review, the Economist noted that Scaling People has “gone long on tactics and pragmatism, short on guff” and that “it is unapologetically practical.” She advises her readers to follow four essential operating principles as a basis for success: build self-awareness to build mutual awareness; say the thing you think you cannot say; distinguish between management and leadership; and come back to your operating system. She also outlines how to create and measure progress toward goals, how to hire employees and develop teams, and how to orient a company culture that invites feedback to foster improvement. The book ends with advice to managers on managing their own careers and finding fulfillment.
Claire Hughes Johnson became president of Milton’s Board of Trustees in 2022.