I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but last September, I became President at Adaptive Path. (Jesse is President, too. But we don’t call ourselves “co-Presidents.” It’s just that neither of us is *the* President. Anyway.)
I’ve had quite a few conversations about what it’s like to be President, how my responsibilities and activities have changed, thoughts and advice on management. All of which is a little strange, because I’m totally making it up as I go along — I’ve got some instincts as to what will work, and taking it from there.
The thing that I’ve said more than once to folks about being President is that in the role, I become intimately familiar with how the sausage gets made. A professional services firm is all about the people who work there, and so presidency is all about engaging with the people.
And when you’re engaging with people, no matter how great, respectful, and delightful those people are (and the people at Adaptive Path are all those things, and more), things get messy. You put any group of people together, and messiness emerges.
And dealing with that messiness is the most challenging aspect of the job. It can lead to feelings of defeat. I suspect a lot of people would buckle when faced with the perfectly normal messiness that is dealing with a team of people. The president’s job is to not get defeated by knowing how the sausage gets made, realizing that once you get through it, it’s going to taste great. Wait. Did I just compare Adaptive Path’s work to tasty sausage? Perhaps I should stop now. But you get the point.