Hey everyone, it’s Nathan. (I know you all know who I am, lol)

In January, I wrote about the state of the year for 2024 and the vision overall.

This is the Q1 Update to that!

So I’m going to:

  • Recap the Quarter
  • Explain H2B2’s flywheel
  • Explain why H2B2’s flywheel is important to Seconds overall
  • Explain how to invest energy into the flywheel

Recap the Quarter

I set out some ambitious targets for the year and the quarter, and honestly, I’m pretty excited about what got done so far.

  • Q1 Emails – 13/13
  • Q1 Meetups – 3/3
  • Q1 LNKD Posts – 55/70
  • Q1 BROAD Workshop – Done

Yearly – Board of Advisors started. (Thanks Chad!)

Yearly – Matchmaking work started. (Thanks Jeff!)

Yearly – 4 public speaking appearances (1 done, 4 more booked)

Explain H2B2s Flywheel

To talk about where we’re at for the year (as a recap to the quarter) I want to talk about the Flywheel concept for business (and engineering!)

The idea behind a flywheel is that it’s an energy storage unit that also serves to release energy very evenly, even if you’re applying that energy unevenly. It takes a LOT of energy to get a flywheel spinning, but once it’s spinning, it’s REALLY HARD TO STOP. And, once it’s spinning, you can add energy however you want, even in big spikes. You can leave it alone for a long time too, and it’ll keep spinning, because there’s so much energy stored up in there.

This is a concept that got transferred to business stuff by Jim Collins as a set of activities that, when any of them are invested in, they pour energy into the flywheel and the whole thing can’t help but spin. (and here he is explaining how it works cause he got pissed off about people thinking it was just a list of to-dos)

As you might imagine since I’m talking about it, I have a flywheel for How to be Second, to accomplish the mission. It looks like this!

H2B2 State of the year Q1 24 1
We’re seeing this work already as we’re pouring energy into it, to spin it up. 

Let me tell you a story!

I’ve been building a relationship with Scott Grausnick of Harbinger Partners for a year, and speaking with him about Seconds/Secondness. (Speaking with Community leaders) Scott is a “natural 1iC” and thought it was all very neat – and agreed with some people on his team that it would be a good topic for the Harbinger Executive Alliance.

Once the book was published, they let me speak to the HEA in January about Secondness! So, Seconds and Secondness was Amplified by the Community Leader, and somewhere between twenty and thirty iInterested people self identified and asked for their next step. 

I attempted to refer all of the people I met to the right communities and resources. Some I referred to our email list or others in the community and our meetups, and some also to hiring resources like VisionSpark. 

After so many referrals, it just made sense to try and speak with Alec Broadfoot (CEO/Visionary of VisionSpark) about those Connections, and our research. We DID speak, and now in May, David and I are sitting down with Alec and his Second in Command for a fireside chat that we’re both going to Amplify

Meanwhile, our community has Grown, which has allowed us to Research Secondness through more conversations with other Seconds, and I write about those learnings every week to support the Second community, and our teams.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t insanely psyched that it’s working – and I’m also insanely psyched because there’s energy in the flywheel now, and I’m watching YOU, the community, putting energy into it too. (Shoot, even“Liking” a post on LinkedIn is putting a little bit into the flywheel.)

And, it’s still in the early stages of spinning up – lots of energy in and just starting to move.

I see this benefiting YOU as the Second community overall because you’ll know more about you and can own your own value, you’ll have progressively more community, opportunities, and resources available, you can invest what you can when you can and it helps the entire community continuously, and you’ll have someone at the hub you can touch base with to get you in touch to anything else you need.

OK… so are we getting any closer to achieving the 2027 objectives?

Are we closer to H2B2 being

  • The place Seconds can reliably find community BEYOND the confines of a particular role? 
  • The FIRST place people think to point Seconds, and the first place a Second SHOULD go, when considering how to find their next job?
  • The place getting feedback that it helped a Second to own their value and clearly explain it to others, professionally and personally?


In April, our topic as a community is “being a Second, living in the First role” and we have people of all roles, org types, and org sizes in the community.

This quarter, almost 40 people reached out to talk about role transition and their Secondness, several of whom were referred to H2B2 by others. 

I’m excited by that, even if it hurts my heart that we don’t have opportunities to match people very often yet, and have to stick to providing resources for the search and how to make “agreements with self” to refine it.

Matchmaking is a key part of all of these things – including an emphasis on adjusting the instigating event to something that Seconds have more control over.

Overall I’m incredibly excited about what we’ve done so far and the energy that’s in the flywheel to continue supporting and championing Seconds. 

I’m struck that the work we’ve done so far is also just the beginning. I mean, if Seconds are 4% of the population, and always have been… that means in 2023 in the US, ~140K new “Seconds” were born who are about to live their first twenty or thirty years feeling JUST AS INSANE as we all have. And this community is investing in the flywheel that could make them feel that less.


How do you invest energy into the flywheel for yourself and fellow Seconds?

Here’s a bunch of ideas that I have but if you want to invest energy in some other way, let me know your ideas!


If you have job postings in your org that Seconds would crush, how do we get those out to the H2B2 community? Let’s talk.


Want to attend or Host a BROAD workshop? Hit me up.


We’re actively looking for more members on our Board of Advisors. Hit me up.


Would it make sense to do some Co-Amplification work with H2B2? Maybe you have something that’s good for Seconds, and Seconds would be good for your community to know about. We should chat!


Are you or your company working on your Operating Model (or working without one)? A common struggle of Seconds is having to invent and install operating model components on their own. We can help and can connect you to others who can, if we can’t.


Do you need to make a change in your relationship with your First and need support with that? We can help and can connect you to others who can, if we can’t.


Do you know someone who might be interested in bringing on a Second if they had a great relationship, but isn’t ready to draw up a job posting? Connect us for Matchmaking.


Do you know a recruiter who places Second in Command roles or Managers, and can’t say “Yes” to every client because of budget or core values or whatever? Connect us for a potential Matchmaking partnership.


Do you know someone / somewhere we could speak about Seconds? A podcast, email list, whatever?


Simple things:

  • Share the Email
  • Engage with LinkedIn Content
  • Share your own book report/testimonials/experience and tag us
  • Be part of the Second community (Meetups!)


Thank you again

Without you, there is literally no reason to do any of this. 

So, thank you for being on the list and opening the email, for making it this far, for being who you are at all.

And thank you for being or supporting those of us who (typically) prefer to serve from just left of the limelight.

Finding a Job as a Second

At any point, you may find yourself in need of new work. If you do, here are some tactical resources to get you accelerated in doing that.