If you're overcommitted, overworked, underpaid, & uninspired
in your job managing tech geeks... we need to talk
"Working with Jen and The People Stack team has helped me leave 'a job' and find a career that is perfect for me. I've never been this satisfied and challenged professionally in my working life. They were able to evaluate processes and identify missing parts of the puzzle and shift mismatched skills. They gently but firmly guided me to use better practices that encourage my team to shine."-Aurora, Sr. Web Developer
"I think that what is beneficial about having career coaches, like Jen and the People Stack team, is their non-biased perspective. It was really valuable getting feedback like, 'That's bullshit you need to change it.' That's about as unbiased as you can get to make sure that you're working toward the right direction."-Ethan P. , Dir of Product & Technology
"It was great working with Jen and The People Stack team because, without them, I don't think I would have respected my professional ability and my professional self enough to stand up for what would have been right or what I deserve as a professional in return for what I do. They helped me think about how I talk about what I do in a way that doesn't feel goofy, that doesn't feel fake or like bragging, but giving me a way to talk confidently about what I've accomplished."-Jackie L., Data Analytics Director
"The eight short weeks I spent working with Jen and the People Stack team were terrifically awesome! I leaned how to better manage teams, but the real magic is learning to Evangelize Your Excellence! As a result of learning to Evangelize my Excellence, I have gained confidence in putting myself out there, learning the art of negotiating a better offer in my favor, and how to 150% show the value I bring to the table."-Todd U., IT Director
Hey tech manager — I see you.
You've moved from an engineering position into a management position, and now you're realizing, Hey, uh, this is pretty different than what I used to do...
You genuinely want to be a great mentor for your team, but you feel like you're letting them (and yourself) down.
Even when you try to make an effort to do better, you can't keep it going for long because you're buried under meaningless projects. And your suggestions keep getting shot down by those above you...
Some days, you feel resentful because your ideas don't get heard and your successes aren't acknowledged.
On especially bad days, it feels like you might get demoted or even fired soon if you can't get your team to perform better.
But between derailed projects, petty team squabbles, and day-to-day drudgery, you just can't find room in your schedule for the big-picture planning you need to feel more in control. (Let alone knowing what that planning should actually involve, or what steps you should take to start fighting the overwhelm.)
You're exhausted from working late nights, going to useless meetings, drowning in trivial tasks, and dealing with petty politics.
Work isn't as fun as it used to be — and underneath all of that garbage, it can start to feel impossible to imagine things ever changing.
If any of these warning signs rings a bell, it's time for you to step up and learn to lead confidently and effectively (while getting paid what you're worth).
You're reading this because you're already working hard... but you're not getting enough traction.
I want to help you learn to leverage your wins to earn authentic recognition, secure your spot in the strategic inner circle, and cash the premium paychecks that reflect your supreme contributions.
Remember: Your paychecks are a reflection of the value that your employer thinks you add to the company.
Respect yourself. Respect your value. Make sure your employers see that value. Even if you're not motivated by money, your salary should matter to you.
My promise to you is a step-by-step strategy to earning $200-300K a year. These may seem like ridiculous numbers to you, but I promise you it's possible.
Right now, it starts with a single call — at a time that works for you and your busy schedule.
On our 60-minute, no-obligation call, we'll help you get clear on:
done Your exact salary goals — Name that number & it'll start becoming real
done Exactly what you'd do with that beefier salary — Want to buy property? Invest? Travel more frequently?
done What's holding you back from getting paid more — Whether you're holding yourself back, or something else is in your way
done And how to get past those problems — Logically & systematically, AKA the way you solve problems bestReserve My Free 60-Min. Coaching Session
Three years ago, Elyse was leading a data analytics team... and she was ready to quit.
When I asked her why, she told me her team's performance was subpar.
What's more, she was struggling to get her own work done around multiple meetings a day. She felt disconnected from her team because she didn't have a viable way to gather their feedback.
When she DID generate a win, she celebrated quietly to herself, without evangelizing her own excellence to the people who needed to hear it most (her bosses).
Elyse worked with me to build the systems she most needed. These were primarily feedback and meeting systems that would keep her out of unnecessary meetings and ensure she was always connecting with her team in a meaningful way.
"Before I started working with Jen, I really thought people management just wasn't for me. I was in my first role as a team lead, and found myself exhausted by the amount of work needed to manage both the team members and our projects. I found myself overcommitted and under-delivering, frequently working ridiculous hours to make up for the work I couldn't figure out how to delegate to my team. Then I sought Jen's help. She helped me realize I am absolutely a leader and showed me how to apply the People Stack Meta-System to ensure that my teams know what is expected, how to recognize success, and how to stay on track for outstanding results. I have stepped into 3 promotions since I began working with Jen 5 years ago, and I know that would never had happened had I not learned how to influence and lead with impact."
She's now assistant VP at a Fortune 500 company. She doubled her salary in 3 years.
Here's the kicker: Elyse is only in her early 30s! I'm excited to see how far she'll go.
It's simple. If you lead teams of geeks through long term, complex projects, I can help you find deeper job satisfaction, bigger paychecks, and a better balance between your laptop and your La-Z-Boy.
Our specialty is coaching tech leaders who want to run their teams like well-oiled machines.
Our coaching is NOT for you if...
If you're looking for quick-fix, Band-Aid solutions to systemic career problems, I can't help you.
You must be ready to make massive change in your career by taking inspired, intelligent action.
And you've got to be truly committed to building a thriving team.
If this sounds like you, and if you're ready to take the leap to transform your career, then we should chat.Reserve My Free Coaching Session
A few years ago, I worked with Tom. He was in a lower-level management position where he was doing a decent job. Every now and then, he scored some big wins.
Tom and I worked together on a number of leadership skills and practices. Crucially, he learned to get comfortable talking about his wins and evangelizing his own excellence — so the right people started paying attention to him. He turned from a decent manager into an excellent manager.
Tom eventually moved to another company where, within two years, he became CEO.
Now, not only is Tom making more money for himself, he's also making more money for his company. Everybody wins (especially me, because this is the kind of outcome I love to help my clients achieve).
Shift #1: Commit to leading with total integrity
The first shift is to commit to leading with total integrity. Because let's be blunt: a good leader doesn't ever pass the buck, make their team pick up after them, or take credit for others' wins.
If you're a great leader, you admit when you're wrong. You sing your team's praises, and you selflessly help your employees earn more vacation time and raises and promotions. Which in turn means your team is loyal, invested, and respectful to you.
You might think that you already lead with integrity most of the time. And maybe you do.
But when you don't make an overt commitment — even privately, to yourself — there's no goal post. And when there's no goal post, there's no way to measurably improve.
Shift #2: LISTEN, model success, and model failure
Listening, REALLY listening, is one of the most powerful tools you have as a leader. You soak in every single word, and as a result your team knows they can trust you to help them.
You also have to model success. You don't just tell your team what to do — you show them. Part of modeling success is giving everyone on your team daily "Don't bother me" time. This is their time to get in the zone and build, write, think, and work. Give your team authority. Delegate your decision making. Every decision should have ONE owner, and more often than not, you should not be that owner.
Modeling failure is important, too. Explain to your team how you once completely derailed a project. Take the risk of being wrong in front of them, show them you can be vulnerable, and then encourage them to try hard enough that they might fail. This is called creating space for failure.
Shift #3: Build a better People Stack
Building a better, more effective team (or "people stack," as I like to think of it) comes down to 3 things: systematizing, optimizing, and downsizing.
The simple first step to building a powerful and adaptable people system is by starting with the team structure you already have. Keep what's working, and ditch what's not.
Then, you'll optimize your system. You'll collect some data in order to quantify what's working and what's not (for instance, do your team members feel heard? Are your mentees successfully getting raises and promotions?).
Then, based on what you learn, you'll make mindful changes to solve the problems you discover. (With the example above, you'd address what seems to be preventing you from being an awesome mentor.)
And I know you know this, since you're an engineer, but only make one change at a time. That way, you can easily see the results of your changes.
Finally, you'll downsize. Downsizing includes eliminating what's unnecessary, automating everything you can, and delegating what you can.
Shift #4: Evangelize your excellence
The final shift is to evangelize your own excellence. It's a hard truth to swallow for my fellow introverts out there, but if you want to leverage all of your wins into earning $200-300K a year, you have to be your own advocate.
The hard truth is that if you don't make this final, all-important shift, your hard work will be overlooked. You need to show key decision-makers the exact value, in dollars, that you're adding to your company.
Too many people never get paid what they're truly worth because they don't have the guts and the tenacity to evangelize their excellence. When you get this right, you'll learn how to confidently and unpretentiously communicate the exact value that you're adding to your company.Help Me Start To Make These Shifts
By now you're probably wondering who exactly is behind this People Stack stuff.
It's us, Jen Bunk and Rob Allen! Here's what you need to know about us:
Some of our clients achieved incredible, life-changing results — like going from earning $50K a year in non-leadership positions, to earning $200K a year as senior leaders.
Some of them earned pretty good results, like going from $100K as a tech lead to $150K as a tech manager.
And some of them just... couldn't hack it. They were never able to command a higher salary. They never felt truly fulfilled and confident in their work.
We thought it was so strange that some of these leaders thrived, while others just fell apart.
But as we continued to work with these folks for 18 years, we realized that the top achievers — the best of the best — were doing four very specific things. Just these four things.
It didn't matter what kind of company they worked for, how big the company was, or if the leader in question was an introvert or an extrovert.
The people who succeeded all did these four particular things.
After we identified these "Four Shifts," we codified them into a flexible system that we've applied to our work with all clients since then.
Our clients regularly go on to earn $200-300K a year, while enjoying least 20% more free time.
We promise it's not too good to be true. But it IS hard to get there on your own.Let's Talk About How You'll Get to $200K
So now you're all the way down here and you haven't booked your free call with us.
Why not? It's just 60 minutes. It's free. And it could mean a world of difference in your paychecks, job satisfaction, and career trajectory.
The way we see it, you have a choice. You can stay stuck. You can continue to struggle for the next year, or 5 or even 10 years, until your career is dead on arrival. That's choice number one.
Or, you can decide that you're interested in taking your team's performance to the next level. You can decide that you DESERVE a premium salary and that you want to lead a thriving, prospering team and genuinely love coming to work every day.
(And you can happily leave work at work, and go home every day knowing you're on track to meet your company's goals AND your own career goals.)
The truth is that everybody's work context is different. What worked for Elyse, Tom, and my dozens of successful clients won't work for you exactly the same way.
Let's talk about what WILL work.
No hard sells and no creepiness, I promise. Our team of awesome career strategists is ready to help you.
You'll get 60 min. of actionable advice that you can start to use right now to move your career forward.Sure, Let's Do It