By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.
Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature Jeff Reekers, director of demand generation for Handshake Corp. In addition to a long career in B2B marketing, Jeff is also a former professional baseball player and a long-time, active advocate & volunteer for animal welfare issues.
Jeff, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here in his own words is how he does it.
Location: New York, NY
Current computers: Apple 14″ Macbook Air
Current mobile devices: iPhone ‘
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? First, is my Kindle. I read everywhere and every chance I get.
Second is Zapier, which I was introduced to by our CMO. Since then, I’ve relied on it to send myself alerts, texts, and emails, along with complete repetitive tasks through triggering actions within all sorts of applications – text alerts for opportunities created in Salesforce, automatic placement of leads from Marketo into Google Spreadsheets, and others.
Third is Excel. I somewhat hate that I am saying this, but it’s true. Who doesn’t love a masterful Pivot Table?
Fourth is Marketo. I lived without it for a while after switching organizations, and recently led a migration back onto it with our Handshake team. I am glad to be back!
Fifth is the Moleskin. I use general notepads and legal pads for sketch work, and a Moleskin when I want to commit a note to memory or specifically flag information. I consider it the notepad for my top ideas, planning and notes.
What’s your workspace like? I have a standing desk. Rarely will anyone see me sitting. I feel like this keeps my energy high and keeps my mind more engaged with communicating with my team.
My desk is usually a mess. I have dozens of notepads, for example. I systematically clean everything every other Friday to prevent it from becoming too overwhelming and to reset.
What¹s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I am lucky to live fairly close to my office, so I run to work in the morning, allowing me to exercise and commute simultaneously. I’m fanatically religious about this, and I do it rain, snow, or shine.
That’s one example, but I constantly look at breaking assumptions and figuring out ways I can be more efficient with each moment of my time.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? I come into the office in the morning with a very focused mind on what I need to accomplish any given day, and assure I work in the “Non-Urgent,Important” part of my priority quadrant (from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) 80% of the time.
I believe this is critical to substantial long-term growth in any endeavor, and I too often see colleagues trapping themselves in the “Urgent, Not-Important” quadrant, or simply falling back on non-important busy-work.
What¹s your favorite to-do list manager? I am 100% pen and paper. For me, writing something by hand is a commitment, both to memory and accountability.
So I take 5-minutes to rewrite my priorities daily. It helps me refocus and recommit to each item as I write it out. I’ve tried apps, but I just haven’t yet received the same value.
What do you listen to while at work? I tend to listen to music in the early morning hours, while I’m focused on individual contributor work. During this time, I’ll listen to anything that produces some moderate level of adrenaline. The era and artists range widely: The Rolling Stones, Muse, Black Sabbath, Rise Against, Rage Against The Machine, etc.
Though I like current music, I can’t say I have any new bands in this particular domain I love.
What are you currently reading? There’s two I’m working through:
First, Thinkertoys: A Book of Creating Thinking Techniques. I’m only half through, and it has already altered the way I approach problems and enhance team communications.
Second is Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness. I’ve always been intrigued by Howard Hughes, and am additionally Donald Barret’s & James Steele’s
What’s your sleep routine like? I don’t have an extremely set routine. I always wake up by 5AM, but the hour I fall asleep varies.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Attitude=Altitude.
I’ve grown to use this as a daily affirmation. So much of life is how we respond to things outside of our control. The right attitude (backed with grit) can tackle any problem, and has allowed me to find uncommon paths to accomplishing an objective.
Anything else you want to add? Yes, I believe the most important component to how I work is in through systems-oriented thinking. Creating operationally sound systems that produce results (leads,pipeline,revenue) is the ultimately goal, allowing you to tweak small components, more easily identify bottlenecks, and create feedback loops.
There’s a book called, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donna H Meadows that I consider the most important book I’ve read to date for developing predictable-revenue through marketing.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. I would love to see Jon Miller of Engagio on here. He’s a marketer I’ve closely followed over the past few years, and I have found his growth of Marketo, and now Engagio, to be sources of learning and motivation.