It is a little surreal to not go into the office this morning but after 5+ great years at Intuit, I am currently permanently on vacation. I figured the occasion warranted a blog post about 5 things (one for each year) I have taken away from my first and only job out of college.
1. People make all the difference – This is pretty obvious now, but at first I was convinced that a good strategy and project were more important. It is natural to focus on project outcomes, but it seems clear that the journey is what teams will remember.
2. The best question is “why” – You feel like a 6 year old kid, but constantly asking “why” leads to some valuable lessons. Don’t be afraid to sound stupid. Hell, if it helps, pretend like you are.
3. Don’t get wound up over things you don’t control – People make decisions that you may or may not agree with. It is pointless to get all stressed out over stuff you can’t control. Deal with it and move on.
4. Devil is in the details – The best product managers that I have learned from can adjust themselves depending on their audience. They can convey bite size, clear messages to management while getting their hands dirty with the gritty details.
5. Data is powerful – Not all people are as convincing as Steve Jobs so for the rest of us, data is the best weapon. Don’t underestimate the power of a customer testimonial. Warning: like most things, this should be also applied in moderation. Analyzing can become paralyzing… sometimes you have to roll with your gut.
(picture: compliments of Bernadette and her son who misinterpreted her instructions)