If I had to draft a team of managers in the digital media / ad tech sector, Polly Lieberman at Flashtalking would be one of my first-rounders. The headline quote actually wasn't the entirety of what she said when we caught up today, the actual quote was this: "The job I was hired to do wasn't a job...yet."
The big difference with those two quotes is Polly's attitude and approach, which is why she's having big success in her career. Polly understands the basic premise that it is up to her to create value in everything she does....every single minute of every single day. In her words, Flashtalking focuses on "programmatic creative" and one of her main charges is to work with the senior execs at holding companies to guarantee the work keeps flowing through Flashtalking.
"In my role, it's often hard to measure success and I'm not wired that way...I like to work with hard metrics," added Polly. Unfortunately, most of the jobs in the ad tech industry either don't come with specific success metrics assigned to them, or, mis-management means performance is not guided and/or measured correctly. (For more on how big-boy companies now view performance management, check out this interesting HBR article - I don't agree with everything in the article, but the perspective is important.)
Either way, Polly knows the secret: it's not up to anyone else but you to figure out that providing value always will equal success in a career. Why am I writing about a "no duh" concept? Simple, most managers I work with aren't as obsessed about providing value as Polly is, and that's too bad: be obsessive about providing constant value - to your peers in the company, your clients, those you manage...everyone around you - and success will flow naturally.
Thanks for the reminder, Polly....keep hitting those backhands up the line!