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My Zone of Genius

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Reflecting on where I fit in
Published
Dec 12, 2021 10:22 PM
Last updated
Dec 18, 2021 12:17 AM

I’m thinking on paper right now.

What matters to me in my work?

1. Making a difference, making an impact.

I’m generally open to any problem space, any opportunity to have impact. My work needs to have a bigger purpose behind it—something built specifically to improve the state of the world. As long as a company is guided by greater purpose, I’m probably with it.

2. Having a lot of responsibility & ownership.

I‘ve always struggled with work where someone else tells me what to do. Instead, I shine most (due to my problem-solving nature) when I’m asked what to do.

My natural state of operation is to figure out what needs to happen, then how to get it done, then either do it or delegate it. I see the big picture in whatever I do, and take on the responsibility of making it happen.

I’m most valuable when I’m involved in discussions about problems and gaps, goals and ideal outcomes.

If I hear “We want you full-time,” my instinct is to ask, “for what?” If the answer is a job title, I have to get more specific. What problems or areas would you like me to take on in the business? What outcomes are you trying to achieve?

That’s how you extract massive value out of me.

My ideal role isn’t so much a role title, like Head of Product, but rather owning a chunk of the business—specifically, the experience of interacting with a brand, product, and company.

If your goal is to provide a remarkable, delightful experience to everyone who interacts with your company—from the very first interaction someone has with our brand, through lead nurturing, into product onboarding and activation, and all the way through customer support and internal culture—then I’m your guy.

Owning the entire brand experience

Thinking on paper like this has led me once again to this realization: I am a ”chief experience designer” through-and-through. My zone of genius is to make sure everything about our brand, products, and company is delightfully perfect.

From my perspective, this truly touches everything:

Brand interactions

Are we interesting to people? Inspiring? Helpful? Comical? Enjoyable?

How can we be all of those things?

Lead nurturing

Do people like hearing from us when we reach out?

Are we leading with asks and offers, trying to make the sale? Or do we focus on giving value and building relationships?

Product experience

What is it like to start using the thing we’ve built? Does it come naturally, or take effort to learn?

Is documentation/training available?

Customer success/support

Is there a human available on the phone, even just for a few minutes, for those who feel like they need it?

Are they pleasant, empathetic, helpful, even proactive?

Internal resources

Is working here enjoyable? Inspiring?

Do we make our teammates feel safe and comfortable to be bold, take risks, voice opinions, challenge beliefs?

Do we push, invest in, and support our people fully, knowing they will someday move onto another opportunity?

These are the questions I ask myself.

Wherever there is an opportunity, I use design (see: design thinking) to eliminate problems, refine processes and experiences, and ultimately co-create amazing brands, products, and companies that people are thrilled exist.

Again:

If your goal is to provide a remarkable, delightful experience to everyone who interacts with your company—from the very first interaction someone has with our brand, through lead nurturing, into product onboarding and activation, and all the way through customer support and internal culture—then I’m your guy.

I’m the guy who makes things eye-catching, genuinely interesting, enjoyable, and memorable.

Originally published @December 12, 2021

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