I got struck between the eyes last week during a meeting with my business coaches, who were explaining to me why my reaction to a development may have been counterproductive.
“You just dropped like five F-bombs in the last three minutes,” one of them told me, which is nothing even close to my personal record.
That’s when I realized that the skills that made me a successful manager of a newsroom perhaps don’t apply to my role as CEO.
My job has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, when I transitioned from being a simple editor to the president of a company.
So it’s fitting that I make some changes, too.
For instance, I don’t cut my own hair in my garage anymore. And I retired some of my older pairs of boots in favor of newer ones that actually have some traction on the sole. I spend less time with a notebook in my hands and more of it anticipating the marketing needs of the Triad, evaluating the performance of my staff and chasing down checks. I don’t even really write that much anymore, spending most of my days striking deals, crunching numbers and otherwise enacting the Big Picture that is slowly being realized for Triad City Beat.
I’m working on my boardroom chops even as I shed some of the things that got me here.
That means I’m doing things I have always avoided throughout my career: business lunches, community events, presentations and spreadsheets. I try to dress a little more professionally — or, at least, in a style befitting an executive in the alternative journalism world, which means jeans with a T-shirt is okay, as long as you don’t tuck it in. And I get up a lot earlier than I ever used to.
This has happened before. I’ve transitioned from shaggy Deadhead to longhaired bartender to newsroom rageball with several stops in between before landing where I’m at now.
My wife reminds me that Madonna has been doing this since “Borderline” dropped in 1983, and Bowie adopted a new style every decade or so, so I’m hardly a trailblazer in the personal re-invention.
But this should be my best metamorphosis yet, provided I can stop dropping those beloved F-bombs.