That is the question I got tonight from a CEO I had just met.
And it’s a damn good question!
I am a Generalist (a person with a wide array of knowledge, as opposed to a specialist -Wikipedia), so it is hard to explain what I do – fortunately, companies that need my help can usually sense that I can help them.
But putting how into words has eluded me. I stumbled around a bit trying to explain it when this guy says, “OK, I think I understand – you are the guy that gets things done”.
I like that description – a lot. And it’s pretty accurate – I know enough about Development to make sure it’s on course, enough about Marketing to know how to measure it, enough about Quality to know if we’ve achieved it, enough about people to know if the team is competant, or complete, and enough about Sales to explain how to sell what we build.
I like being a Generalist, for a lot of reasons – the wide variety of things I get involved in maintains my interest level. The different peronalities/skill sets I meet in this role keeps me interested in the human aspect of whatever project I am involved in. And every engagement is an opportunity to learn more.
I’m easily able to switch from one issue that demands attention to another – delegating and monitoring where needed, driving things to completion where required. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking role – and it is perfectly suited for both my interests, and my experience.
So by the time I got finished with my meeting, this CEO had made me understand my own role better – and I thanked him for that. I think I always knew what I did that added value – he just helped me understand it enough to explain it.
So from now on when people ask me what I do, I am simply going to reply, “I’m the guy that gets things done”.