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“there are three domains of leadership - authenticity, empathy and accountability and not are enough on their own"

Cameron Yarbrough is the Co-founder and CEO of Torch Leadership Labs. He brings 20 years of operational experience to his role as CEO, along with an extensive background in mindfulness and psychotherapy.  After a 2005 exit with a “click and mortar” retail company, Cameron spent time learning the principles of mindfulness meditation. Insight from those retreats were foundational to his development, and lead him to study the roots of Freudian and Humanistic psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.  Later, he founded the Well Clinic, a premier mental health company in San Francisco with more than 40 psychologists and therapists. The company is still thriving today with Cameron as chairman of the board. In parallel, Cameron built a successful executive coaching practice that leveraged his business and psychological background.  Cameron worked with CEO’s from some of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies during this period. While an executive coach, Cameron was a part time employee at the Stanford Graduate School of Business serving as an interpersonal dynamics facilitator, running communication labs for business students.

Cameron is a Y Combinator graduate and has to date raised over $13m for Torch.

Torch Leadership Labs was the natural next step in Cameron’s leadership journey, as it builds a software, analytics and coaching stack that helps senior leaders be most effective.  Torch's mission is to change the culture of leadership in the world. 

Talking Points

  • discussing the pain points of scale, culture and personnel, where conflict starts and getting a degree in psychology was the missing piece for growing his company 


  • "excitement masks all the interpersonal dynamics as company matures and issues come to the service - it takes a tremendous amount of psychological skill that brings them to fruition in a mature way


  • the three domains of leadership, empathy, accountability and authenticity - none are enough on their own 


  • discussing tyrannical leadership and churn rates


  • why VC are now paying attention and Y combinator looking at this, investing in founders psychological development - psychological immaturity has hit VC hard enough financially for them to take note (13)


  • discussing where Torch fits in with Culture Amp and Lattice, measuring performance, mirroring back to leadership team


  • ​discussing platform based coaching - a combination of software, behaviour science and live coach which is Torch - match coaches and clients with a 96% degree accuracy (18)


  • what is the difference between mentors and coaches - hard skills and soft skills, and the power of influence 


  • most senior executives get there because they have the hard skills mapped, what is holding them back is going to come through social and emotional intelligence 


  • how to choose your coach - choose your coach on their psychological maturity rather than the school they went to (28) 

  • how to balance coaching, and academia, workshops and offsites and to get you out of the 1:1 cynical work otherwise you will burn out 


  • discusing innovation in behavioural science and technology, how to get around anonymising the coaching, "if you have enough psychological safety then you can push the envelope" (35) 


  • similarities between The 5 Languages of Love and working with executive teams (38)


  • all teams need leadership 360's but psychologically safety is critical 


  • discussing a sense of agency - what does the future look like, behaviours and changes and how to manage your boss and look for red flags


"power dynamics can be so scary to deal with that you are more likely to dismiss your intuition" (42)


  • the curation of Torch clients, how the platform works and look at measurement of progress (47)


  • how to find co-founders - values aligned but skills asymmetrical (50)


  • culture setting at the beginning, over 60% of start up failures are due to people problems and lack of due diligence on their co-founders and team

You can contact Cameron by clicking on the links below:

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