Branden Wallake Transcript

Mr. Branden Wallake is the CEO of HyperSocial, a company facilitating professionals setting up a promotable Linkedin profile. Mr. Wallake has had quite a journey throughout his career by having been in several professions.

A Quite Interesting Professional Journey

Mr. Wallake comes from a family of two opposite schools of thought regarding professional routes. His father was a staunch supporter of an entrepreneurial path, while his mother advocated the safe course of attending a University and landing a profitable corporate job.

Mr. Wallake had many professions during his initiation in the employment world. Ultimately, after a spell in a bank, he decided that the entrepreneurial path was the one that suited him the most. His first entrepreneurial feat was buying and selling cell phones on Craigslist.

His next job was in Sales for the Commercial and Residential Construction Company, Aflac Sales. There, Mr. Wallake had considerable success as a salesman with the cold-calling approach.

His next professional endeavor involved conducting business in Instagram Marketing. This was an unsuccessful effort, and he lost his car and apartment. He managed to stand again on his feet with the offer from a hotel in the Dominican Republic, where his role was to provide Marketing services.

This position as Marketing Consultant led him to travel to many countries throughout Central and South America, such as Ecuador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In these countries, he facilitated many people to manage their Instagram pages effectively.

He realized that the cold-calling approach was not feasible in these countries due to the language barrier, and he oriented the advertising of his services via Linkedin.

Shortly after that, Mr. Wallake and his girlfriend founded the company HyperSocial, which facilitates clients setting up a thriving Linkedin profile. He remains an adventurous spirit, as he and his girlfriend travel in the USA and Mexico in a van.

A Controversial Linkedin Post

HyperSocial had to adjust to the COVID-19 era by reducing the cold-calling and in-face approach and orienting to Zoom calls with clients. Initially, they lost some clients, but they managed a sort of comeback, which was not enough to retain the positions of some employees.

HyperSocial, like many other companies, operates on a monthly revenue-expenditure system. They invested much of the revenue in hiring additional people and giving them all the necessary benefits. The recent pandemic and the disruption it caused in client payments caused the layoffs of some employees.

Mr. Wallake was devastated that his company had to make some of its employees redundant, and a testament to that was a post on Linkedin depicting Mr. Wallake in tears. This post was so hyped that it had approximately 11,000 comments.

Mr. Wallake states that his post was controversial because many people accused him of narcissistic traits and attention seeking. He believes that these negative comments are erroneous, as the post derived straight from his emotional state, and he is at peace with this decision.

The decision to let these people leave his company came at a high cost and was the most struggling period of his life. He had also recently witnessed his mother turning to antidepressants when she had laid off her entire personnel due to the restrictions of the pandemic, a memory that still hurts.

Leadership and Vulnerability

The unfortunate event in his mother’s company and that he had to release some of his employees constitutes a depressing time in his life. According to Mr. Wallake, genuine leadership entails letting some people leave your company when they are not fit for your mission.

Furthermore, a leader should always strive for the best working environment for his employees. Mr. Wallake advocates a human and empathetic approach when a matter arises, and he opposes the passive-aggressive behavior of several team leaders.

A passive-aggressive approach bottles a person’s emotions and destroys personal and professional relationships. His recent post was a mere expression of his feelings and a decision to be vulnerable in the face of this adversity. Slightly paraphrasing Mr. Wallake’s words: “I am willing to be vulnerable, so my employees can feel less alone in their pain”.

Overall, Mr. Wallake’s leadership perspective entails expressing his deepest feelings, leading to clarity of thought. The negative comments of social media users for his recent post derive from a new era where everything is black and white, and there is no space for a middle ground.


This episode is sponsored by Workplace from Meta.

Workplace is a business communication tool from Meta. Think Facebook, but for your company.

It’s part of Meta’s vision for the future of work. A future in which we’ll all feel more present, connected and productive.

Start your journey into the future of work at


Practicing Empathy for Leaders

Being empathetic is partly innate and partly an acquired trait, according to Mr. Wallake. He recalls from his early days that he was quite defensive in some subjects and solely focused on his own needs. He believes that his turning point for a different approach to empathizing with others was his affinity and effective communication with his employees.

Vulnerability without Prior Connection

A Leader can be vulnerable with his employees and have a positive response because they are people with an established prior connection. The difficult task is to elicit the same positive reactions in people new to a group or strangers.

Therefore, Mr. Wallake and his girlfriend implemented a strategy based on specific personality tests, which involved delegating tasks according to the employees’ strengths. Consequently, they succeeded in working collaboratively and effectively.

Advice on How to Be Vulnerable

Mr. Wallake shares some tips on how to handle a struggle within a team properly by showing vulnerability:

1) When a matter arises, two team members should not be passive-aggressive because the rift between them festers. They should be direct and solve the problem on the spot.

2) Different people process information in various ways; therefore, an effective leader should address it with the proper communication tactic.

3) A leader should create a safe environment for employees to express their struggles and concerns. A leader should also encourage his employees to criticize some decisions when they feel something is off.

In Wrapping Up

Mr. Wallake states that as long as a leader perceives himself as a flawed person, like all emotionally healthy humans, he/she has the capacity to be vulnerable. He also has his definition of vulnerability, which is the following:

“The willingness to know your flaws and fears and being able to put them out”.

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This episode is sponsored by Workplace from Meta.

Workplace is a business communication tool from Meta. Think Facebook, but for your company.

It’s part of Meta’s vision for the future of work. A future in which we’ll all feel more present, connected and productive.

Start your journey into the future of work at