SHIFT First Impressions: Meet Aaron Heinrich, San Francisco’s Managing Director

Two months to the date; that’s how long it’s been since I first started at SHIFT. So with 60 days and counting under my belt, I was asked to provide my initial impressions.  

I’ll start with the fact that so far I haven’t ticked anyone off…that I know of. Not that I’m prone to do so, but one never knows.  And the only thing that’s come close to getting my knickers twisted is the one (okay maybe two) times  I’ve tried to do something on my laptop and it told me I didn’t have enough authority. Bob, I just want to change the time zone on my calendar!

I haven’t always had such great starts in my “storied” career. Twice, I’ve started jobs where on day one my inner voice said, “Run, Forrest, Run!” I didn’t pay attention and ended up living La Vida Loca. I promised myself I wouldn’t make it three.  

What has impressed me most here is the genuinely welcome, open and collaborative nature that has greeted me daily since I first walked in the door. I’ve worked at other places that had a person or two whose sole purpose seemed to be to rub people the wrong way. But they were typically hidden from view like the gimp in Pulp Fiction, only to be brought out when someone needed to be “taken care of.” I certainly haven’t seen anyone like that here. 

What I have seen are creative, conscientious, hard-working people who welcome the new, celebrate each other’s wins, and react to individual team losses as a whole. There’s a camaraderie here that is hard to replicate, but worth the effort to preserve.

Most importantly, everyone seems to be having fun. I’ve worked in places where an entire office, from management to interns, took themselves so seriously they had to be reminded that “laugh” was five letters not four. 

Will I still be so enamored if I’m asked to look back 12 months from now? I hope so. All I know is that I’m not compelled to run, life’s not too crazy, and I can’t wait to see what we’re going to be doing when 12/06/12 rolls around.  In the meantime, keep the rubber on the road and your head above the pavement. 

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