How this leader turned her learnings into leadership tools for others

Darja Gutnick
4 min readSep 2, 2021

The Bunch community is growing every day and we are so grateful to have an engaged group of leaders who learn and grow together. Among these leaders, we have some OG Bunch members who have been with us since the beginning of our journey building our peer-powered AI coach (which you can download free, here).

Merissa Silk, Chief Product & Technology Officer at fundingport, has not only been leading teams for over a decade, but she’s also one of our early adopters! The team wanted to shine a spotlight on Merissa’s leadership journey and show the ✨magic✨ of the Bunch community.

“Through Bunch I’ve met many amazing, experienced leaders. It’s helpful to hear how others are approaching challenges, and also to get feedback on how I’m approaching things.”

The story doesn’t start here

Merissa has been leading teams for over a decade. By the time she found Bunch, she was already well on her leadership journey. Early in her career, she often observed that she was seeing success with her teams, but she wasn’t sure why. After joining the Bunch community, she started to gain clarity on her strengths and gaps in her skillset.

“In being presented with daily leadership tips and challenges from other users, I started reflecting on my own leadership skills in a more dedicated way. I started to think about why I did some of the things that I do and how I could push myself to grow beyond what had become comfortable.”

As Merissa has reflected on her own leadership journey, she’s inspired 7+ leadership tips in the app and helped to perfect dozens more. Her leadership wisdom can be found in the Bunch app on the Explore tab in our “Top Community Tips” collection.

​Leading is a marathon with a lot of sprints…

Merissa understands that no one can become a leader overnight. Using the Bunch app allowed her to make small and incremental improvements and transform her leadership journey.

“Leadership is like building a muscle, which is why forming a habit is so essential. It takes a lasting commitment to grow into a leader and then continue leveling up.”

In our Teams at Work Slack community, Merissa often jumps in to support other community members with their leadership challenges. She finds it natural to empathize with others, think through situations from their perspectives, and offer guidance. As her contributions increased, Merissa created 2-minute actionable tips for the Bunch app.

“Through this process, I’m challenging my own established ways of approaching different topics, and discovering ways that I can grow in my practices. Seeing my tips in the app and knowing that they’re bringing value to other people has been truly meaningful.”

Merissa’s favorite tip is “Start your new team off on the right foot”, which is about facilitating a workshop using the Team Canvas. This activity prompts the team to commit to each other rather than committing to the work, which Merissa firmly believes is what creates high performance!​

And Merissa’s contribution doesn’t stop there! Being part of such a diverse community with access to leaders from other disciplines, she has been able to sense-check things happening in her organization and ask for targeted advice. Merissa’s connections even go beyond the Slack community, allowing her to building lasting relationships with several like-minded leaders!

Merissa is an active member of our community and you can reach out to her any time in our Teams at Work Slack. You can use this space to share challenges and ideas with thousands of leaders (including Merissa!).

If you’d also like to use Bunch as part of your leadership journey, you can get it completely free here. We will eventually be introducing premium features, but everything in the app as it is now will always be free to use!

Let’s keep learning and growing together!



Darja Gutnick

Co-founder, CEO at Bunch — Helping future leaders grow; bookworm, psychologist and relentless optimist. Grow | Inspire | Stay humble