Key to Thriving Work From Home Teams

Help Your Remote Team Thrive Next Week

March 2020

If you are new to leading a remote team, (or company!), then this may be the best insider resource you will find. Actually, even the most experienced remote leader will learn a new trick or two. 

After all, the next two weeks are going to be critical. If you can’t your teams focused, thriving, and happy, you will have real problems. 

“We have won awards like #3 on Glassdoor and #2 on Fortune’s Best in Tech Bay Area lists, despite almost half of our team working from home and the rest spread out across five global offices, and with me being a remote, work-from-home CEO living in Sedona, AZ.”

15Five Founder/CEO David Hassell has been a dear friend of mine for about a decade. As has his co-founder and Chief Culture Officer, Shane Metcalf. Together they have created one of the most successful distributed teams and cultures in the world. 

David and Shane spent a lot of time last week organizing their best practices into a detailed how-to guide that I want to share with you

David sent me this email. 

Hey Michael 

I just published a comprehensive guide for CEOs and leaders on how to prepare for an extended period of remote work.

It’s basically everything I know about building an extraordinary distributed team and culture (that’s both high performing AND socially connected) which I’ve done over the past 9 years in building 15Five.

We’ve won awards like #3 on Glassdoor and #2 on Fortune’s Best in Tech Bay Area lists, despite almost half of our team working from home and the rest spread out across five global offices, and with me being a remote, work-from-home CEO living in Sedona, AZ.

Thankfully we didn’t miss a beat with this move to shelter-in-place, and I’m hopeful I can help other leaders quickly adapt.

Jamie Wheal of the Flow Genome Project and author of Stealing Fire shared about it, 

“Amazing piece David — one of the most thoroughly useful, practical and credible guides to the whole remote org building I’ve ever come across. Engaging, humble, optimistic, evidence-based, and illustrated with your own examples of walking this talk. While everyone and their mother rushes into offering new products/posts about remote work, you guys have been at it all along, and the depth of expertise and commitment blazes through. Glad to know you and Shane, and I am sharing this with friends and clients. — Jamie”

If there’s anyone you know who you think could benefit, feel free to share!


I hope you find this helpful! 


Michael Costuros // Executive Coach

Leader’s guide to making great decisions during a pandemic

Leader’s guide to making great decisions during a pandemic

How do you make great decisions in a state of total uncertainty? Important decisions for yourself, your family, your employees, your company and your investors, all on the same day! This may be the greatest leadership challenge of your life.

Allow me to share what has been working for my CEO clients and what DIDN’T work for me.

I’m ashamed to admit that I came a bit unglued yesterday. Looking back, I can see that fear hijacked my thinking. What bothers me most about what happened is this.

While it was happening, I had no idea. I thought I was on my game! But really, my thinking, decisions, and actions were distorted by fear. Fear that I didn’t realize I was experiencing.

That scares me.

Luckily the only downside was overbuying food on a Sunday afternoon and insulting my father. (Sorry dad!)

As an executive coach to CEO’s, it’s my job to be on my A-game! If this happened to me, it could happen to you.

I wrote this best practice guide based on what’s working for my clients and what I learned not to do. If only I had written this two days ago! Truth is, I couldn’t have written it without yesterday’s experience. Viva paradox!

#1 Limit your news and virus research intake! Nothing will distort your thinking as much as a news binge. One hour spread across an entire day is enough to grok what you really need to know. Set specific times Resist the urge to look

#2 Pick three people who think differently than you and sanity check all your big decisions with them. I am getting calls from clients asking “Hey Michael, what do you think about this, am I being paranoid?” Now that’s smart.

#3 Decide here and now that you CAN NOT BE SURE what will happen. You DO NOT have a crystal ball. Even the experts are not sure and the internet will not make you an expert. If you are feeling SURE, that’s a sign that you are under the influence of fear. Fear craves certainty so it will create it. Apply rule #1 & #2 immediately.

#4 Calibrate for fear distortion. Whatever you decide is the worst-case scenario for a given situation, reduce it by 10-20%.

#5 Don’t share information unless it has been validated by a news source you trust.It could be fake like that text about the lockdown. Spreading fake news is embarrassing. I know. I have done it twice since the crisis started and I don’t like admitting that.

#6 Maintain your daily wellness practices. Exercise, meditation, break dancing, whatever gets you out of your head and into your body. Do it more than once a day. Use this time as an opportunity to connect with nature and spirit. You need to be more YOU than ever. Your followers need YOU, not your fears. Do what it takes.

#7 Choose entertainment that takes your mind off of what’s happening. Stand up comedy, romantic comedies, movie classics. By all means, don’t watch Contagion or anything else that might feed your fears. Fear seeks food so it will want you to do what feeds it. Resist!

The fact that you have earned the position you have means that you have what it takes to lead through this. I hope these guidelines help keep you and I on our A-game.




Wake Up To The Power and Quality of Sleep

Wake Up To The Power Of Sleep

Since I can remember I thought I knew all I needed to know about sleep. Most of my opinion oriented around the overachiever motto, “I’ll sleep when I drop.” Boy, was I wrong! Little did I know that our ability to realize our full potential is directly linked to the quality and quantity of sleep we get. 

I’ve spent the last few months learning about sleep best practices and testing them out. I’m excited to share my most valuable and actionable insights with you. 

You are about to become a fan of Dr. Matthew Walker…

He is considered the world’s foremost expert on sleep science. The following videos were made while he was promoting his world-changing book, Why We Sleep.

Here are the videos I recommend in order of priority.

Appetizer: 5 min introduction to Dr. Walker’s thesis

Main Course: Dr. Walker presenting at Google – Will blow your mind!

Desert: Studies show naps work better than caffeine – TEDx

Interested in learning about power naps and more?

I have made a YouTube playlist for you containing the best quality and most inspiring educational videos on mastering your sleep.

Take a look and see which titles intrigue you most. The video playlist is unlocked, so if you have a favorite sleep hacking video to share please add it to the list!

DJ Sets That I Am Loving

A while back my friend Mike Normand sent me a link to a DJ set on Soundcloud by Heimlich Knüller. I’ve since listened to all of his published DJ sets and have come to love every single one!

I’ve selected one for you. Click here.


I hope you enjoy Heimlich half as much as I do.

DJ Deckard’s Summer Jams

In the last week, I keep coming back to three sets that DJ Deckard has on his Soundcloud over and over. I recommend that you start with the 70’s & 80’s hits mashup jam!

The ’70s & ’80s hits mashup jam

My Definition of Chill Vol. 6 Jukebox Hero by Deckard-DJ 

The funky retro mashup jam

Pool Mix #20 Greg Wilson by The Pool 

The retro hip hop and rap mashup Jam

Deckard – Party People 5 Space Cowboy Saloon Edition