Typical 24: Brian Kane, Sourcepoint
Human Resources

Typical 24: Brian Kane, Sourcepoint

07-05-2018-brian-kane-sourcepoint

 

Name: Brian Kane

Job title: COO and Co-Founder

Company: Sourcepoint

Location: New York, US

Years’ experience: Almost 20 years

 

  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    I typically start my day between 4:00 am and 4:30 am, and work for about two hours from home before commuting to our Sourcepoint office in NYC. My role as COO is a global one, so the early wake-up allows me to be responsive to queries from other regions, as well as our PR firm which is based in London. I spend this time reading emails and creating my action list for the day. I also review relevant social media feeds – primarily Twitter.
  2. Is your job varied?
    My role at Sourcepoint is to try to keep the company on the right path – ensuring we are executing and focusing on our operations cross-functionally – and importantly, not taking our eye off the ball at any moment. While my direct team is fairly small, I spend time with all of the teams at Sourcepoint, which makes my role quite varied.
  3. Is your job creative?
    I believe it is. There are always ways to incorporate new ideas and approaches into our existing business strategy. Whether it's through the employee programs we roll out, or client-oriented initiatives, we always try to bring a level of creativity to the work we do. I also encourage all employees in the company to share creative ways in which we can improve operations and better serve our clients.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    Traditionally, my role has varied depending on the company I’m working for and the set of priorities at any given time. For example, at Sourcepoint, we are currently evangelizing new and innovative approaches that publishers should be thinking about when it comes to monetization of their content, so our marketing strategy and messaging is critical. I spend a great deal of time on positioning and messaging, more so than I have in other companies.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    No, I’m not really a ‘desk’ person. We have a really comfortable lounge area in our office with a few couches, and I tend to spend more time there than sitting at my desk. People always talk about “work-life balance” in the context of spending more time with family but I think it works both ways so I also try to make the office more home-like.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I like to think so – although some of my creative characteristics are best illustrated in my life outside of work as I write and record music. As the head of our marketing group, I think I’m able to use some of those creative skills on a day-to-day basis, for example when I’m writing content or working on social media campaigns.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I try very hard to keep my morning routine the same – i.e. get up early, check in on global activity and updates, digest emails, etc. – before setting out on my commute, as it sets me up mentally for the day. It’s not a ritual per se, but I adopted an “inbox zero” philosophy a number of years ago and am fairly structured in my approach to maintaining this.
    Historically, one of my quirks was a pretty significant Diet Coke habit, although a couple of years back, I made a conscious decision to switch to La Croix sparkling water.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    I work closely with all teams at Sourcepoint.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    After many years of working full-time, I have strived to find that optimum balance between office time and home time. Like everyone these days, I’m connected all the time, and as a result, it can be hard to distance myself from work. But I do try to get out of the office at a fairly reasonable hour on a regular basis. I have three young children – a twelve-year-old and twin ten-year-olds – and I try to maintain an active, hands-on role in their lives by coaching their various sporting activities.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    It has taken a great amount of discipline, but I try hard to ensure that the meetings I’m involved in are sensible to attend, valuable in terms of input/output, and generally kept to a minimum. This frees up my time to concentrate on execution of strategic goals, as well as my zero-inbox policy and responding to staff queries in a timely manner. There are certain meetings which I deem as “can’t miss” and those are the weekly one-on-ones I have with those on my team. These are absolutely critical to ensuring there is alignment up and down the organization in terms of priorities, as well as helping to make sure I am knocking out any obstacles my team members may be facing.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    We tend to use Twitter fairly regularly, and occasionally Facebook. We use social media mostly to promote Sourcepoint news, product releases, and any up-and-coming events we’re involved with.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    Working with a diverse and expert team – I’m surrounded by those at the top of their game. 
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    Tuning into ‘David Gray’ radio on Pandora is my go-to escape at the moment.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    Lunch typically consists of a cup of coffee. I don’t tend to eat much at lunchtime.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    With a relaxed lounge area, our office has a pretty sociable environment, so it’s easy to grab five minutes over a cup of coffee. When it comes to socializing outside of work we make sure to organize regular team events.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Not really. There are however, some tasks that have been consistent and continue to be fairly stressful! One of them is sending out client notifications. I’ll never forget when I sent my first client notification at DoubleClick in ‘99, I accidentally put all recipients in the “TO” line, instead of the “BCC” line. To this day, each time I prepare client communications of any type – although it is nearly 20 years later – I think about that client note, and make sure we don’t repeat any dumb mistakes.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    I set my coffee machine for 4am the next day – essential for the early morning wakeup call!
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    I tend to unwind by playing the piano or composing music. I’m also taking up golf, although I have realized that mastering this sport may be the only thing more difficult than building a successful start-up from scratch.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Yes, I’m afraid so. It’s a habit I have stopped trying to break. Every once in a while, I attempt to enforce some ‘put your device away’ time with my children in order to set a good example, although this isn’t always entirely successful!
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    I do occasionally, although I try to work on those sorts of things before or after ‘family time’.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    I would probably tell myself not to open a restaurant (which I did when I was 26). Or at least if that was definitely going to be my ambition, I would do it in a more educated way. My restaurant stayed open for about two years, before it closed. While at the time it was not fun to fail, the lessons I learnt and the motivation it gave me are still very much with me today.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    I recently saw the rock band U2 and think it would be pretty interesting to be The Edge for a night or two.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    My MacBook Air. It’s my favorite, go-to device.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    Yes, my mobile phone is a personal device, but everything else I use for work purposes is company-owned.

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