"I get to help people understand their contributions to the world, and that feeling of really understanding your purpose makes the world a better place."
Q: What do you do at Gallup?
A: I'm an account lead, so that means I oversee client projects. As the primary point of contact for our clients, I'm responsible for delivering important insights, advising on key decisions, managing relationships and ensuring we provide value as well as expanding our partnerships.
Q: What type of work do you do with clients?
A: It definitely varies by client. One of my clients recently spun off from a parent company, and we're helping them determine who they are by helping define their purpose and values. The unique thing about what we're doing with this client is that we're doing it from the ground up -- we're listening to their employees and then sharing what the employees are saying with their executives. From there, the executives are making decisions based on the voice of the employees rather than vice versa, which is usually how it goes with corporations. We get to translate all the interesting analytics into advice that will help these executives establish a new company and nurture the soul of who they are.
With another client, we're running a large, in-depth study across multiple countries to understand people's social networks and the connections they make on social platforms. This research will be shared with the public so that academics and policymakers can make informed decisions about social networks and better understand the impact of these platforms.
Q: How is the work you're doing making the world a better place?
A: A lot of what I do involves helping people be their best selves. For instance, I'm working with an organization that has 30,000+ employees, and the crux of what we do with them is help the company understand their strengths as an organization, and then align individuals' strengths to the organizational strengths. So, for example, when an employee in one of their plants in Italy shows up to work every day, they can say, "I know exactly what my purpose is in this company, and I know how that makes me unique. Because of that, I know what to contribute and I know I'm making a difference." I get to help people understand their contributions to the world, and that feeling of really understanding your purpose makes the world a better place.
We are also helping people feel engaged, and when people are engaged, they're essentially happier at their job, they have less stress, they enjoy what they're doing and they feel a sense of accomplishment. We're helping 30,000+ people not only enjoy their job but also find purpose and meaning in their life like they never have before.
When talking about impactful work, though, I'd be remiss to not mention Walk Free,(opens in a new window) an NGO based out of Australia. Walk Free's goal is to end modern slavery in this generation, and we arm them with the data they need to make the case to create real change. Gallup does this through the creation of the Global Slavery Index, which tracks the incidence of slavery by collecting data and modeling that data in statistical ways. Our data has been used to successfully implement anti-slavery policies in the United Kingdom, so we're literally changing the lives of people by helping reduce modern slavery. It's incredible!
Q: What's a normal day like at Gallup?
A: Because I manage a variety of client projects, I typically join a handful of meetings every day. I like to ensure I'm continuously talking to clients and keeping a pulse on our relationships. Meetings can be weekly check-ins or more formal gatherings with presentations to C-suite executives. I meet internally with our subject matter experts and partners to discuss how we should position future work, and connect with research consultants around how we can make the work we currently are doing have the most impact in the world. And while most of my day is spent communicating with others, I'm also intentional about carving out "thinking time" for myself. I like to do a range of things, whether it be spending time at "sea level" or at 30,000 feet -- I may get altitude sickness sometimes, but it's fun.
Q: What is your background like before joining Gallup?
A: I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, specifically organizational behavior. After I graduated, I took some time off to do volunteer work in Ireland for a couple years, and then I moved to China to teach English. From there, I got an MBA and focused on organizational behavior. When I found Gallup, I was like, "Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for!" I was blown away by Gallup's book, "First, Break All The Rules" -- it was like someone finally cracked the code on how to lead and manage teams. I joined as an intern and then came on full-time in our Irvine office.
Q: How do your CliftonStrengths® show up in life?
A: I lead with Strategic, and that's critical in my role because I'm always thinking about creating the best path forward with clients. I love to explore as many options as possible and that pairs nicely with my Futuristic strength, as I think through the pros and the cons and prioritize decisions for the future. I also have Activator high -- I crave action when I'm working, and I don't like being idle. Communication is in my top five, and I joke it's a blessing and a curse -- I like to talk, maybe even a little bit too much. But the ability to talk succinctly and communicate confidently in front of executives is critical to what I do, and I lean on that strength every day. Strengths are truly natural patterns of thoughts and feelings, and I'm grateful I can claim mine.
Q: What's one of your favorite things about your team?
A: Gallup is unique in the sense that there are very few, if any, people that don't do their job extremely well. I enjoy the fact that people can balance the personal with the professional -- we can have a laugh and talk about something that can be light, but everyone is incredibly dependable and delivers amazing work.
Q: What what's it like working at Gallup?
A: I love that at Gallup, we're treated like adults. We all have important responsibilities, but no one is watching over your shoulder to make sure you get things done. Instead, you're given autonomy to do your job, and to do it well. I like to do things in my own way where I can leverage my talents, and so this is really important to me. As an account lead, I cascade this down to my teams, giving them a target and ensuring they have the latitude to get it done but allowing them to do the work their own way.
Q: What's your life like outside of Gallup?
A: Well, according to my wife, I'm very "can't stop, won't stop!" I have three small children, and I'm always balancing working and being dad -- walking my children to school in the morning and joining client calls immediately afterward, making family dinners and prepping for client presentations. I have two full-time jobs, and they're both very important to me. Outside of family time, I also enjoy mountain biking -- it's one of the sports that combines mud, blood and sweat. I just love that grittiness -- I feel like I'm alive!
Q: What type of person would be a good fit for Gallup?
A: I think the ideal ingredients for a perfect candidate are one part curiosity, one part drive. In my role, you need to be able to speak and understand the data language, and you should get really excited by collecting, interpreting, sharing and distilling data down into nuggets that are simple, powerful and profound. The data you work with can, quite frankly, change the world.
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