I kicked off the 2023 year with an aspirational post about my new role as the SVP of Innovation and Outcomes. Before embracing (and we always embrace) this new year, I thought it’d be good to do some reflecting on my gig this past year. Reflection facilitates growth.
As I mentioned last year, a core truth of entrepreneurship is that you will wear many hats. The hats were more varied this year (it helps that we have a growing team). I’m still renaissancing. And while I love being a team member who can step in and help in many areas, the downside is the potential for subpar performance due to divided attention. Staying focused is always a challenge.
Keep in mind this reflects my planned to do list – not necessarily what happened during a week. I tend to buffer 40% of my time to “crazy stuff that comes up with running a business.” I am told this is less likely to happen as we grow, hire people, put more systems in place, etc. I can’t wait for that day.
So what did I end up doing?
Client Success, Sales, and Marketing Took the Majority of the Time and Tasks
Given that these three categories are some of the most important ones for a company’s success, it makes sense they consumed the most time.
CX remained a home, albeit one that I’m stepping further away from, especially as the team grows. My role continues to shift towards one that provides a larger context to customer challenges and how Abre evolved to solve those challenges. We are an enormous platform. I sometimes forget how big of a learning curve it takes not only for our customers, but for our growing team. I still have a few customer accounts I stay close to, but I love having a capable and strong team running the show.
Regarding sales, I’ve had so much fun serving as a sidekick to many on the sales team. Give me any opportunity to preach how Abre is awesome, and I’m all in! I’ve especially enjoyed the strategic planning aspects of working with Superintendents and CSuites who grow excited about Abre solving many of their problems.
All that said, I expect to spend less time in both these areas for 2024 with Marketing taking more attention for areas of company growth.
The Other Areas
To be blunt, all other areas consumed a small amount of todos. I hope to change that this year. This is a reflection on the needs of the business. Also, this is an area of prudence and wisdom all leaders wrestle with – especially, I think, Chris and me. How much time do you give to the immediate needs of your company vs time given to the long term growth and success? We are finite, and tradeoffs are required.
Towards the end of 2023, I have found myself more involved in thought-leadership items and product (I love getting back to product roots). I’m particularly excited to work with James and the exec team in regards to preparing for the next Abre expansion phase. And now that we have a significantly growing team, I am thrilled to focus on employee and team growth. Partnerships remain key as well (and consumes an ever-increasing amount of time).
I will write more on next year’s goals in a future post. In general, this year will be about the bigger picture and the long-term success of Abre (involving our most excellent team). We’re doing this! And I can’t wait for this year.