Lessons from the C-Suite: Andrew Barge

Andrew Barge, Chief Business Officer at Buzzer, Formerly at Twitter & ESPN, and shares some of his insight into the volatile job market, how to stand out, and tips on leadership and negotiation.

  1. What are some tips you want to share with those who are facing job search in a daunting atmosphere?
    • Create! Use the time to do independent research and cultivate a point-of-view. Developing a reputation as a thought leader has never been more accessible to us as individuals (e.g., submit to publications, email to people in your network, publish on LinkedIn, etc.). This work not only (indirectly) prepares you for your next interview & opportunity, but improves your visibility within your industry.  
    • Be humble. Challenge your legacy opinions – e.g., “my strength is X” or “I would never work for a company like Y” – as you’ll likely discover more value & opportunity in roles you previously disregarded.

  2. From your point of view, what’s one thing you think helps a candidate stand out?
    • Rigour. In this age of information – where effectively every company has a social media presence, active PR strategy, and network of employees & partners who do the same – there’s no excuse for not doing your homework, yet most applicants don’t. No matter the role’s level or function, make sure you build a holistic perspective of the company, its challenges, and where your hiring manager fits in the broader equation. Reflect this rigor in a cover letter or message to the hiring manager. By understanding with the company’s day-to-day challenges upfront, you’ll likely connect on a more personal level as a result. 
  3. You’ve led some really interesting deals and contract negotiations – what’s your secret sauce when it comes to negotiation?
    • Principles & empathy. 
      1. Taking time to establish your principles – i.e., the values that drive your goals, your non-negotiables, even the communication dynamics for the deal – helps frame the process upfront in a manner that builds trust with the other side. If things go sideways, go back & reference your principles. 
      2. Building empathy for the other side – i.e., deeply understanding their motivations & sensitivities – is essential in negotiations. You’ll be a more effective communicator, identify asymmetries (e.g., an immaterial point may be hugely important to them), and better represent their needs. Remember – leading a deal doesn’t only mean getting the best terms on behalf of your company; you have to effectively represent your partner’s needs internally to get to the most durable, mutually-beneficial agreement. 

  4. Working at a startup feels like everything everywhere all at once — what are some of your hacks to keep it together and be efficient and productive but *not burn out!
    • Find time to get away from screens during the work day. I go on a walk with my dog for 30 minutes in the morning – either keeping the time free of meetings or taking the meeting via phone call. Particularly if you work from home, find a way to break the day up & get sunlight.
  1. A top trend you’re looking fwd to in 2023 in your industry/ area of expertise?
    • Broadly, Artificial Intelligence-based applications will make their way into consumer products. Very rare & inspiring to see a new technology thrive in unforeseen use cases. 
    • On the deal front, the NFL moving its out-of-market games package from DirecTV to YouTube TV. As a sports media & American football fan, I’m really interested & excited to see what happens when a premium-yet-historically-under-utilized rights package meets one the most innovative technology companies ever. 

Views expressed are personal.

Feature Image by rawpixel.com

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