Ask an Avenger: How Inspire's VP of Product ‘Coaches It’
A Q&A session about mentorship, Inspire culture, and leading by example
Next up in our ‘Ask an Avenger’ Series is Chris Brereton, our VP of Product, who was recently recognized as our Avenger of the Month for ‘Coach It’.
Avengers light a fire within others, not under them. As coaches, we expect our teams to push the limits of possibility and performance. We give timely, direct feedback. We foster trust by getting to know each other as individuals.
Our products are designed to empower consumers to control their homes and the energy that powers them, so it’s no surprise that our own Avengers have a knack for empowering others too. Everyday, Chris prioritizes and facilitates projects that meet our technology needs— always leading by example. We sat down with Chris to get the inside scoop on how he ‘Coaches It’, the mentors who influenced him, and what’s next for our product team in 2018. Check it out:
Q: You won Avenger of the Month for ‘Coach It.’ What does Coach It mean to you personally?
Our product team at Inspire is rapidly growing, and I have deep roots in that world so it’s been an opportunity for me to share my war stories, experiences and best practices—and point out problems and solutions as we approach them. ‘Coach It’ to me means that I have been able to share my experience and lessons with my team in order to help move the needle in a way that has been well received and appreciated.
Q: Who is your most influential mentor?
I would say my Dad, otherwise known as my pseudo Dad. He’s been my mentor since I was 14. He’s an entrepreneur who has run his own business. As I’ve grown up, he has been a sounding board for me, and he’s been there to guide me professionally, and personally by teaching me about what marriage, commitment, and being a good man truly means.
Q: What has this mentor taught you that you bring to Inspire?
He’s taught me a million things, but one thing that sticks is him saying to me that nothing really matters that much. What he means by that is: you don’t need to take everything personally; there's always a way to work around something and solve problems—it’s not life or death most of the times for us in our jobs. It means being ok if something doesn’t work, or we don’t get the outcome we were looking for. We learn from this, iterate, and get it better the next time. Failure doesn’t mean you stop; it means you learn and try harder.
Q: What are you looking forward to going into 2018?
I’m looking forward to seeing our platform and app come to life. It’s been really fast making this tool, but rubber meets the road when it goes into the wild and people actually get to use it. I’m excited to see how the real world reacts to it, compared to how we envisioned those reactions. We don't really know until we get there so it will be fun to see people say “Yes, I want that” or “No, I don’t want that” or, “This is the best thing since sliced bread.”
Chris truly embodies what “Coach It” means at Inspire. The best type of work culture is one that encourages mentorship and recognizes that there is always more to learn, no matter your level or position. At the end of the day, it’s your people who drive your company’s culture—and we’re proud to encourage an environment where everyone is given the opportunity to ‘coach’ others and lead by example.
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