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How to become a right hand to CEO

How to become a right hand to CEO | Felix Billy Lyell - Startup Wise Guys

On this podcast episode, host Cristian Dina engages in a fascinating conversation with Billy Lyell, the former right hand to the CEO at Startup Wise Guys. The episode delves into personal growth, the dynamics of becoming a CEO’s right hand person, and the intertwined lives of both the host and guest, revealing their unique, introspective journeys and professional insights.

Cristian begins by sharing his evolution from an introverted personality to one shaped by extroversion, underpinned by experiences that taught him valuable lessons in leadership and humility. He reflects on the necessity of setting aside ego to garner wisdom from those around him. Similarly, Billy introspects on recognizing his introverted traits and the importance of asserting his voice in professional settings, stressing the fundamental role of trust and freedom in professional relationships.

Both Cristian and Billy emphasize the critical perspective that attitude and optimism hold in their respective careers. From the willingness to learn, the duo discuss the proximity to success and realize that not shouldering the total weight of responsibility can be a profound game-changer in career trajectories.

Billy candidly shares his decision to leave his role at Startup Wise Guys to pursue his passion for rugby in New Zealand. This pivot underscores his belief in the value of perspective over opinion in high-stakes roles and decision-making, supported by specific anecdotes that highlight the significance of people, culture, and relationship-building in startup investment.

The discussion also encompasses the virtues of generosity in networking and the trials and tribulations associated with Cristian and Billy’s jobs. Cristian narrates his initial struggles with finding a marketing role due to his lack of experience, which ultimately led him to a fruitful position as a content writer at Tekpon. An opportunity at a conference in Barcelona showcased Cristian’s emerging extroverted side and catalyzed his career growth.

Startup Wise Guys Getaway

Both Cristian and Billy recount organizing a getaway in Bilbao for an assembly of 300 founders and investors, shaping it into a startup festival. Their relative inexperience in organizing such events did not deter them; rather, it offered a chance to learn and thrive. Billy stepped into organizing the event from internal work, displaying his multifaceted role in the company.

Billy recollects working multiple side jobs during university to support himself, although he felt overextended, giving more than he received and craving adventure. Supported by his mentor, Billy boldly embraced risk and followed his passion for rugby, revealing the challenges and personal fulfillment that come with choosing a path less trodden.

In the conference context, Billy envisaged an event transcending traditional networking, aspiring to create a unifying experience for the participants. Despite the logistical challenges posed by Bilbao, the event was carefully curated to promote engagement and provide value to the attendees.

Shedding light on the nuances of the executive assistant role, Billy articulates the necessity of humility and the privilege associated with operating behind the scenes. His narrative offers invaluable insights into the significance of gaining experience and comprehending the mechanics of project management as a right-hand to a CEO. Listeners are invited to absorb the lessons of the host and guest’s compelling narratives, which demonstrate the power of perspective, attitude, and personal growth in the startup management ecosystem.

Podcast Host & Guest(s)

Cristian Dina


Cristian Dina

Managing Partner & SaaS Podcast Host @ Tekpon
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Managing Partner & SaaS Podcast Host @ Tekpon

As one of the founding members of Tekpon, Cristian has worn many hats within the company, but perhaps none shines brighter than his role as the charismatic host of the Tekpon SaaS Podcast. Cristian is a community builder at heart, being the Bucharest city leader for SaaStock Local and the author of the best-selling book King of Networking.

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