Megan Bowen, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Customer Officer at Refine Labs is the personification of where opportunity and access meet persistence and personal responsibility.
Megan's story starts with moving from Los Angeles to New York City. Megan applied for a job at a hair salon in Manhattan., and initially did not hear back, even after daily follow-up phone calls for two weeks. Six weeks later, that 2nd interview finally happened. Much to her surprise, the salon owner, Julio said he had "post-it" notes all over from her follow-up calls. Julio took a personal interest in letting Megan know "why" she had not initially received the job and then took a personal interest in mentoring Megan to become the professional that was within her.
Julio went far beyond being her employer and provided Megan the advice, counsel, and even capital to fulfill her potential - a story of where persistence meets opportunity.
Many managers view the employer/employee relationship very transactionally, but many do not show the empathy, concern, and desire to treat each employee as an individual with unique needs and motivations. Megan finds satisfaction in helping others fulfill their promise and shared her framework to accomplish this.
First, it starts with sincere empathy for each employee (and customer) which quickly leads to trust.
Secondly, Megan believes a leader has the responsibility to share a vision and then communicate clear goals and expectations. Once that foundation is created, each employee should be provided the space and opportunity to figure out how best to achieve those goals. This creates a feeling of empowerment and results in creativity and performance that will amaze.
Lastly, Megan highlighted the importance of recognition. Most people thrive on private and public recognition. Moreover, most people also crave advice and mentorship to continue their growth, as a professional and even as a person.
Persistence meets opportunity and access! During our conversation, Megan shared the importance of personal responsibility, persistence, and even self-sacrifice. Another key lesson is that when first starting out, not to allow ambition to get in the way of progress.
Megan had been an account manager for seven years at one company. After hitting a ceiling at the current company, ZocDoc offered her an opportunity to join the company, but with a reduced role and even a reduced salary! Megan truly believed in the vision at ZocDoc and made the decision that taking a step back would lead to two giant steps forward. After 9 months in the reduced role, Megan developed a business concept and presented the value of a "post-sales" function to senior leadership. Initially, the response was not right now, but after a few more months of Megan's persistence, she was offered to build a team from no employees to 25, all because Megan took a proactive, persistent, and self-accountable approach to her own career development!
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of the qualities that Megan identifies as key to leadership success. EQ includes traits such as active listening, empathy, self-awareness, and emotional awareness. The conversation took a turn to discuss the differences between women and men, and if one gender has an advantage in the EQ department. This subject needs to be heard versus read, so take a listen.
Later in the conversation, we discuss the power of NO in building long-lasting credibility and customer relationships. Then we move to Megan's insights on the competencies required for the modern B2B marketer.
Megan is a fantastic listen to any aspiring early career professional and managers early in their journey to becoming leaders.