What I Do, and Why You Need Me
Why you should listen to me: I work at Lucid, the world’s largest platform for human answers. If MacGyver worked at a tech company, he’d do what I do. I’m the CEO’s right hand man. I see everything and execute on most things.
This series has nothing to do with you. I originally started writing to organize the random notes I have in my Field Notes notebooks (if you happen to be reading this, Field Notes, let’s discuss sponsorship).
My current job requires me to balance many things simultaneously (thank God for Zest Tea). So, in an effort to form a habit of constant reflection, I began to write in earnest and with regularity. Now here I am, a bonafide millennial blogger telling you what you should be doing. I probably say contradictory things, or make claims that don’t align with your experiences. But that’s what the comment section is for — go crazy. The only credibility I have is that someone decided to give me two degrees in an irrelevant subject like philosophy (I’ll let you decide what to make of that), and I convinced the CEO of a tech company to let me in all of his meetings and do things on his behalf. The joke is on all of you.
Now that the why is out of the way, what the hell do I do? My Linkedin profile states:
“At Lucid, I execute the vision of the CEO while simultaneously supporting the entire executive team at a growing tech company.”
It actually doesn’t. But it should. I am just too busy overseeing a build-out of 30k sq ft, assisting in building out a marketing department, preparing board materials, providing the exec team with weekly financial metrics, picking cool company shirts, ordering office furniture, writing amazing TL;DRs of documents that are unnecessarily long, being a part of raising $60 mill (yes, a New Orleans company not in oil and gas did that) and a bunch of other things that will blow your mind away. So, essentially, when I say things it’s because I have witnessed it. I am literally in all the meetings, I hear all the things, and I see all things.
That’s right. ALL of the things.
Importance of a young impressionable intelligent employee
For this piece, I interviewed Patrick since I have no credibility. He doesn’t like words so I only had the chance to ask two (annoyingly general questions):
“Patrick, how has Andrew been helpful to not only you, but to Lucid as an organization?”
Great question, and I’ll answer in reverse. Andrew is a part of a two-year program called Venture for America. It is a 2-year commitment wherein he works on a range of projects to support the executive team and our organization as a whole. Having an individual that is unafraid to ask questions and press high level management on certain topics helps to keep them honest. Additionally, he serves as a pipeline to help get information from employees to the C-suite and vice versa. As we scale, ensuring communication and getting buy in from everyone is critical. Great ideas are nothing if there isn’t proper alignment across the company.
Personally, the CEO’s job requires balance. At this point, everything that crosses my desk is important. A significant challenge that I have is prioritizing what I do myself. Having an employee that I can trust to go out and get things accomplished with very little direction is crucial. Additionally, the more senior you get, the more people tend to walk on eggshells around you. Andrew has learned early on just what this role is. He is not here to kiss my ass, and his value comes in both being a sounding board and offering opinions when needed.
Well thanks, Patrick! Seems like I am doing swell here at Lucid. Perhaps I should ask for a fancy title that reflects my value.
Why you don’t need me
I could easily just give you the positive spin. However, there is always room to grow. Not everything is positive.
“Why should I not hire someone like Andrew?”
A part from the fact that I am in fact Andrew, and not Patrick?
(Honestly, do you think the CEO of a company has time to worry about what the hell I’m writing?)
“Yes, a part from that fact, which you conveniently forgot to mention.”
The simple answer, experience. The lack of experience has definitely enabled Andrew to feel empowered in ways that he probably shouldn’t be. He is not scared to voice opinions, nor is he hesitant to take things on. Although these are great characteristics, they only exist because he has no professional context. He takes his lead from our company leaders, individuals that have developed these skills over years. The downside of a lack of experience is an obvious one. At times, he just does not know enough to move at the speed we need. This is no slight against him, personally, he will get there. This job is greatly shortening that experience gap, and his two years here will be much closer to ten years of professional experience. For he will have not only witnessed, but been a part of the largest round of funding for a New Orleans company in recent memory. Impacted company strategy in ways that will exist long after he is gone. Instituted organizational changes that nobody will realize he has. But for now, the reason he is not the official Chief of Staff is because he simply has not had the necessary reps.
Yes. I pulled the wool over you. Patrick did not write these words. But I have the ability to be introspective and thoughtful. Although, that last bit sounds a bit like, “my greatest failure is that I work too hard.” Oh well. I’m a cliché now. It’s time I fully embrace it.
Why you should not listen to me: The fact that I am strikingly handsome, effortlessly cool, a semi-professional philosopher and humble amateur mechanic should mean nothing to you. I’m just trying to figure things out, so stop looking to me for advice. Go and make your own mistakes.