This post was originally published for 99+, our company-wide intranet.
Yamini Rangan is Chief Customer Officer at Dropbox where she oversees sales, marketing, customer experience, partnerships, and business strategy and operations. When Yamini hit the half-year mark at Dropbox, she reflected on some of the personal changes she’s made to be successful as an executive and mom of two. Here’s what she had to say:
I’ve started doing roundtables with various groups across our Global Business Org, so I can get to know some of the people I don’t work with as closely on a day-to-day basis, and to give my teams an opportunity to ask me anything. We cover a wide range of topics, and recently, I got asked, “What’s it like being an executive?” It gave me pause because while I definitely thought about the change when I was asked to join Staff (our executive leadership team) last year, I hadn’t reflected on this in a while. Like Drew has said in the past, you don’t just wake up as a CEO; it’s something you have to learn and something you’re always working on.
Now I’m ending my sixth month as CCO (Chief Customer Officer), and it certainly has been an adjustment to my schedule. With one day a week typically spent on Staff sync and the rest of my time often spent in meetings, one area I’ve been more conscious of is managing my energy. I’m not talking about waking up feeling refreshed — that’s what my morning Orangetheory fitness classes are for — but managing my mood. I’m often in back-to-backs and constantly switching contexts based on the content. But while I was moving through my marathon of meetings, I realized was that I was carrying negative energy with me. If I got frustrated in one meeting I brought those feelings with me to the following meeting, which is not helpful or productive. So, I vowed from that day on that I can have a bad meeting, but I can’t have a bad day.
One really high-tech trick that’s helped me with this is a Post-it note I’ve taped to my laptop that reads, “Breathe. Let it go. Move on.” While simple, it’s an easy reminder to maintain perspective and be present in the moment.
As a mom of two young boys, I’ve had to channel this perspective and continue to work on being present at home, too. Though I aim to have a 48-hour response time to all emails, I do get home and try to spend a few hours with my family first — no smartphone. It requires another switching of contexts, but it’s incredibly important to me.
It’s definitely a work in progress, but something I’m committed to working on. I’d love to hear what other tricks or methods you’ve found useful in managing your energy.