April 2018 marked a difficult time in my career. The start up I was working at was refocusing. The CEO and board decided to move away from the e-commerce social platform and instead invest in an e-commerce site. I was lost. I love software and building platforms. I found myself in a reflective mode. I decided to write down what I want in a form of a Manifesto.
My mission is to build great products and teams that connect people through technology.
If you know me personally, you would confirm what I say below:
PEOPLE < PASSION < POTENTIAL < PURPOSE
People: I get my energy from people
Passion: I love what I do and I’m intense
Potential: I create the possibilities in me, my team and in the product
Purpose: I fight for my teams and the end user
I’m strategic and provide frameworks to help companies with their challenges. I build great teams that are united and motivated to work together. This is done through alignment, co- ownership and shared voice. I believe in bottom up and top down decision making and accountabilities. I get frustrated with consensus driven organizations or only top down decisions.
I am learning that I’m better at the beginning state of the businesses or as a senior leader. I can set up the team structures and connect the dots. I find barriers and impatience as blockers. I might just be a better fit for early stage innovation or fixing companies. Maybe because of the increasing evolution of agile and tech, I am not great at long term granular company investments. A shake up every 18 months is necessary! I love building relationships with my peers, teams and managers. Also our users!
My needs & my weaknesses:
- I can appear too emotional this comes from a place of passion and transparency.
- I’m too transparent, hard headed, assertive and direct to the point.
- I can’t hide my emotions.
- I’m not good in startups, I’m better at mid stage or corporate.
- I’m tired of hitting the ground running but not getting credit or support.
- I don’t like to be the center of attention or given the spotlight.
- I’m not always patient because I love to ship.
- I can’t stand any barriers or blockers and I’ll address them as soon as possible.
- I dislike immaturity from senior leadership that we depend on to be successful.
- I’m not a fan of leaders/peers who don’t bend or are inflexible.
- I need a manager/lead that provides me freedom, autonomy, and supports our needs as a business.
- I need someone who listens to my perspective because it is founded in experience.
- I’ll commit but I want to be heard.
- I’m looking to help the company/product benefit.
- I am not a fan of people not communicating their needs.
- If I’m wrong please take the time to help me see your perspective. I’ll listen
- My favourite leads help translate our teams work to better connect to the business needs.
Jobs that I think I would like:
Considering my background and needs: Music, social, products with a strong purpose, gadgets, devices, education and gaming. Interesting enough my conscious still wants to be VP, CPO or Head of Design, etc.
Locations to consider:
- Stay in Berlin for a few more years so we don’t have to move. (but I’m open)
- Europe: Paris (YES!) others are less likely, Ireland, Portugal, Spain for the right job. Maybe London but I’m freaked about travel time and cost of living for a family of 6
- US: Washington state, Southern California, North Carolina or South Carolina, Texas are more desirable. (NYC and San Francisco are not ideal for a Family but I’m open)
- Canada: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal are all exciting
- Australia: Melbourne, Sydney, etc
Today while being a product leader at Shopify, I’m reflective:
- I’m in Ottawa, Canada not the other mentioned locations.
- I’m at a hyper growth company which is a new experience for me.
- I’m okay at consultancies, startups, midsize or large corporations, but I miss certain aspects of each.
- I’m okay at all types of organizations.
- I did not stick with an exec or senior role.
I chose a learner path at Shopify. If you haven’t done a manifesto. DO ONE!!!! I dare you. Here is a framework for you to reference as a starting point.