Tag

company culture

A Bittersweet Goodbye to American Heart Association

Saying goodbye is always hard. Even if you’re excited about the future, you are sad about what you’re losing… or sometimes what you should have lost.

Today, I’m saying goodbye to a place I’ve called my work-home for the past five years – the American Heart Association.

When I was in elementary school, I participated in Jump Rope For Heart, a signature fundraising event for the AHA. To make it memorable, I won a purple t-shirt. Here’s the deal – purple was, and still is, my favorite color. So I wore it every chance I could. I probably would have worn it every day if my mom would have let me.

And that’s how I knew the AHA, until I applied five years ago.

It’s a funny story. I was looking to move from PR and into social media, but I didn’t want to work for a nonprofit. So when a friend sent me the job description, I hesitated.

Then, I thought I’d get in some interview experience along my job hunt, so I sent over my resume.

During the interview process, I fell in love with the team… the job… the organization… the mission.

And the rest is history.

The History

My last five years have been spectacular. I’ve gotten to work on a cause I love, in an industry that’s changing quickly, and work with a host of talented people who aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and say, “Let’s go.” I got to build a social media program from the ground up, work with influencers and celebrities, grow a passionate and thriving community, win a handful of awards, make a real impact in people’s lives, and advise on digital/social media for a host of initiatives, programs and campaigns for one of the most respected voluntary health organizations in the world.

When I put in my notice, I told my boss, “I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out to do in the beginning.” And now, as much as I love the brand and the people, it’s time for a new adventure.

New Beginnings

In April, I’ll start a new role – as a Senior Success Manager with another brand I love – Sprinklr. It’s a major shift for me – away from the brand side, away from directly managing a social media program, now to working with clients on implementing the best programs they can. As their trusted advisor, I will be there to help their brands be as successful as possible using our tool. The good news is: I intimately know what it takes, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

When I first thought about leaving I knew I needed three things to make a shift: A great culture, a great team and an exciting role. Working with the brand as a client for the past three years, I believe Sprinklr has all three. And I’m honored to join this part of their journey.

So What Does This All Mean?

Based on a few questions I’ve already received, here’s what you may (or may not) want to know…

So, you haven’t decided to be a stay at home mom?

No. If you need details, here you go.

What will you be doing?

Making it rain. No really – I’ll get to work with some pretty fantastic brands on growing their social media programs to scale using Sprinklr’s social media management software.

But Sprinklr doesn’t have an office in Dallas. Are you moving?

Heck no. My husband’s office is getting a makeover. I’m moving out the sports autographs and making way for all my technology… and my “Easy” button that has graced my desk for the last decade. I’ll be working from home and traveling when needed. Thank God for the internet.

Will you travel less?

It’s likely, but I’ll still get to travel to meet with some of my fantastic, new clients.

What about AHA?

They can’t get rid of me that easy. I’m hoping to stick around as a passionate volunteer, now joining the community I helped create. They still have great leaders and a talented team who I know will go on to do great things.

Does this mean I can apply for your role at AHA?

Why yes you can! It isn’t publicly available yet, but check back soon for the link or send me your resume to pass along to the awesome team there.

What will you do with all your work clothes?

While I’m stocking up on yoga pants, I’m probably going to do a little spring cleaning in my closet. I’ll keep some of the stuff I love (I refuse to ditch any of my Elie Tahari dresses). The rest… I don’t know… Burn them? Donate them? Make a quilt? Only time will tell.

Every End Has a New Beginning

I’m excited about the journey ahead of me, and will miss those who have made an impact on my career thus far. I’m taking with me the many memories that we’ve created together. Thank you for your role in my life.

Cheers to new beginnings…

The last supper... or lunch.
The last supper… or lunch.

A Lesson in Leadership: Things I learned from a great leader

When you leave an organization, what will people say? Will they gossip about your failures, or will they mourn your loss?

If it’s the latter, you are probably a great leader. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working for one. When he left, we definitely mourned. Over the last few years, my mentor managed crises, supported staff and inspired his team to do things we would have never imagined. I’ve watched closely, and have tried to implement those characteristics into my management style. He always made it look easy, but I know he made a conscious decision to care for his team every day.

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. Family first.

This one is easier to tell your team to do than to do yourself. Work is important, and if you love your job, it’s easy to do. But it’s a job. And it can’t take care of you when you’re old. At the end of the day, family matters more – every time. Turn off and tune in.

2. Learn how to tell a great story.

Stories can engage your imagination. One of my favorite talks from my mentor was about his vision for the future. Every time he gave the presentation he would read the audience and tailor it for them – speeding up sections if they were losing interest, or going more in-depth if the audience was engaged. And today, we still talk about it.

Another great example of fantastic storytelling are TED talks. They explain often complicated subjects in a very energizing and memorable way. This is one of my favorites:


3. Sometimes you just need to listen.

At the beginning of every update, my mentor always asked about the kids, my husband or what was going on in life. He also remembered what I told him. It was a simple gesture, but one that I will always carry on.

4. Be authentic and transparent.

He didn’t beat around the bush. You always knew what was on his mind. And for that reason, I always trusted him to be honest. I still do.

5. Be loyal to build loyalty.

A good leader fights for his or her staff. I often have crazy ideas – I’m all for “failing fast” or finding success and learning from both. I always think about one that went all the way to our board. He fought for me all the way up. I saw him do that for my colleagues day-after-day. And because he had our back, we’ll always have his.

6. Be visible.

He would always say to be visible. Practice what you preach. Show your team what you want to see in them. If you can’t live to your standards, they’ll never buy in.

7. Stay calm.

We’re in communications. We deal with crises. When we’ve been in the trenches and urgency is pressing in, he has always been calm and resolute. Even if I would be under a lot of stress, he would calmly help me think through a solution.

8. Take risks.

I came to the organization when social media and digital was still a new thing to the organization. My role wasn’t in his background, so I would often ask him to take a risk and trust me. While I “failed fast” a few times, we certainly nailed it a lot. And we’re better because of it. I taught him a thing or two. And he taught me it’s OK to trust and leap.

9. Show kindness, even when people don’t deserve it.

I watched this one in awe. Sometimes people make stupid mistakes that can be costly to their career or their personal lives. My mentor had a fantastic way of addressing an issue; but made it a quiet, teachable moment for people. As I work through my career, I often take a step back and think how he would address it. I always see better results.

10. Be hands on, but hands off.

He would bring coffee, stuff bags for media drops or pick up trash. Not once did he complain. But he gave us the space to do our thing and produce results. So, we did. By being willing to get the job done, he earned the respect and loyalty of everyone who worked with him.

 

Skip to toolbar