Sunday, January 31, 2016

1 of 2eLLLve. January. Social MEdia.

On January 1st, rather than make a series of resolutions, I opted instead to focus on personal monthly missions.  I selected twelves things to commit to for an entire month, in hopes of learning and shaping some new mental muscles.  While I'm not going to share what each is focused on until the month is over, they are meant to support and build on each other.  Ultimately, they aim to enrich my life and hopefully have some positive outcomes as well. With January's mission number one in full swing, I'm taking a few moments to stop and recap.

I spent the entire month of January trying to share more of my voice from a business standpoint.  it started with me preparing to relaunch my consulting practice; something I had been thinking about since I joined over five years ago.  As much as I love Rapid7, I had set the expectation when I joined that I would leave my permanent role after "the big event."  In other words, I thought once our IPO was complete, it would be my time to move on.  So while we searched for a new Chief People Officer, I continued to focus on my job while at work...and my new business when I was at home.

At the beginning of January, that came to a screeching halt.  My CEO - the one person on the planet who can actually stop me in my tracks and make me think differently without more than using just a few words - convinced me to stay on.  Remarkably, it wasn't a tough decision.  He made one statement that allowed me to think I could accomplish both continuing to be effective to our company, and balance achieving my own personal goals as well.  In other words, I'm staying.  I'm committed. And I'm reinventing.

One of my biggest drivers for leaving was the challenge I was having with maintaining vs. building.  I am a builder.  I love creating something from nothing, and then seeing it take root and flourish.  I don't much care for the editing, or the process or routine it takes to support these things once they are up and running regardless of how important those pieces are.   So I quickly realized that if I am going to grow and learn this year and stay in my role a while longer, I needed to rethink what inspires me about my work,and apply it in a way that works for me, and for the company.

So January became about building a bigger voice outside of my own head.

Every single person has some special gift; it's just a matter of whether or not you've tapped into or not.  I am not good at a number of things; but I understand company culture.  I understand people. I understand the need to have people feel like they have a control over their work lives.  While my executive peers have been building their brilliant careers by moving up the ladder and working their way to the top, I have essentially been playing the same role since I was twenty seven.  Granted, I've honed it and become better over the years.  I chose the "mastery" path intentionally, as I thought it was my best shot at balancing being a working mother and getting really good at my chosen profession.  It was a wise choice.  I love what I do. 

So this month, I was honest with myself. I have a lot of knowledge and experience.  I'm in a unique situation in that while "culture" is now a topic getting a lot of attention in business publications, I am someone with some serious street cred on the topic. I decided to get over the notion that sharing that voice outside the company is actually not show-boaty at all...instead, maybe just maybe I have something to share that someone wants to learn.  In other words, I needed to get over my own internal struggles about building a strong voice and contributing to social MEdia.  I have been focused my whole career on trying to build the "we," not draw attention to the "ME."  But I made the choice to get over myself.

I started writing more, and I agreed to write a weekly blog for Venture Fizz, a digital platform for technology, entrepreneurship, and career inspiration.  

I started taking Twitter seriously.  I started tweeting some of my own work, as well as pieces I found really interesting from others I respect.  

I created a calendar of weekly and bi-weekly topics to share to create a sense of regularity, and will attempt to build a following.

And I spent the month preparing for one of the most important talks I've ever given.  Attempting to help all 800 members of our Rapid7 team understand it's not just possible to "Scale with Soul,"  but internalize that we all play a role in doing that.  From what I understand, it landed pretty well.  I know of three people I made cry because they were moved.  I count that as a win. 

So ultimately, January was the month of getting over my own need to put being humble over sharing what I know to help other companies and people.  And I'm just getting started. 

I am looking forward to the next mission in February, while attempting to broaden January's simultaneously.

PS - If you are interested, here's a sample of my view of helping people to understand the role they play in building culture.  It's not about what I's about what they believe.

Note:  check out the "Moose Manifesto" video link under point's pretty cool. :)