Giving Thanks for the Best Job on the Planet

 One of my last posts, It’s all about Fit,” garnered a very compelling response by a curious reader named Adam Giovane.  Adam said that as a young person he had a dream of “soaking up knowledge and being paid to dispense it.” What a wonderful way of looking at the life of an editor.  And his timing could not have been better, coming just a few days before Thanksgiving. In asking the question below, Adam has given me a terrific opportunity to give thanks for having one of the greatest jobs I could imagine.  

* So do tell why your job is the best? 

There were other questions posed by this reader (you can see all,  but this was the one that caught my eye and my imagination on this day, just a few before Thanksgiving (you can see his comments under the posting called It’s all about Fit).  

My job is the best on the planet for many reasons—and Adam touched on an important one in his comments. First, my job immerses me in the world of new ideas everyday. I am like a lifelong student, but unlike even the best student, I get to  play a major role in deciding what gets published and what doesn’t (along with other key players on my publishing team). Which brings me to another reason my job is so fulfilling—it’s all about the team.  Portfolio—which is part of Penguin, the second largest trade publisher in the world—is a very special place to work. We are one cohesive and smart team, all in the same boat, rowing in the same direction. I work in a satellite office, but don’t need to be there all the time to know that we are not an organization weighed down by bureaucracy, office politics, pettiness, and all of the other things that kill organizations of all shapes and sizes.  

Our cohesiveness and absence of office turf wars are due to our leadership team. Adrian Zackheim, our President, and Will Weisser, our Vice President, are the Walt Disney and Roy Disney of the publishing world. Adrian is the visionary— while Will also brings great ideas and balance while making sure that all of the trains run on time. These two—and all of the people they inspire every day—account in large measure for the success of our division. And success in today’s truly terrifying economy is indeed nothing to sneeze at. Finally, both of these talented people understand that in these times—or in any times—we cannot afford to leave a single soul on the bench. We use the intellect of the entire company every day, welcoming new ideas from every part of the organization, regardless of the “stripes on their shoulders.” In meetings there is no rank, just intellect, and harnessing the collective intellect of the organization is today’s greatest managerial challenge facing every organization.  They both are secure in the knowledge that if you give people a chance to shine they will rise to the occasion. And our people prove it every day—by getting better every day.

Lastly, I think we have the greatest authors in the industry. There are way too many to mention here, but we get a chance to select the types of authors that we would invite into our own living rooms or to our dining room tables. They are a gifted and talented bunch, and work harder than any team of authors I have ever had the pleasure to work with.

So you see, when it comes to my work, I have much to be thankful for this year.  Oh yes, and Adam, I hope that answers your question!   


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