Hi 👋 my name is Michael Preuss. My last name is pronounced like Rolls Royce … Royce … Proyce … Preuss. I know, it's German 🤷♂️ I'm the Director of Digital Experience at GitLab.
🤙 I'm born and raised on the West Coast.
🇨🇦 I live in North Vancouver, BC.
🔮 A psychic predicted I'd work in digital.
❤️ I love what I do.
📖 I'm a lifelong learner with a growth mindset.
😀 I'm enthusiastic and persuasive.
🦉 When organizing or planning, I'm both alert and easily distractible.
😋 Life is too short for bad food, bad coffee, or bad wine.
🍔 Cheeseburgers are a way of life to me.
👨👩👦👦 I'm a husband and father.
🐕🦺 I have a Bouvier des Flandres named Sebastian.
🏀 I roll deep with NBA knowledge.
🏎 I support the Scuderia.
🚴♂️ I ride my bike as much as I can (which fluctuates wildly!).
🏃🏼♂️ I've started running. It's not fun.
10 Books On My Bookshelf
I am energetic, ambitious, and adventurous. I welcome challenges and will not be diverted from my purpose. Instead, I am determined to work on a project tirelessly to bring it to completion. I take advantage of new opportunities better than most people. Life for me can be a vibrant affair in which I passionately pursue success, experience, and achievement. I am dramatic, idealistic, proud, and self-assured with a creative mind.
People love relating to me personally and professionally, whether one-on-one or in a group setting. They feel safe and secure knowing that I am:
Listening to their needs;
Taking care of business by putting a thorough action plan into place;
Intelligent and creative enough to solve any spontaneous problems by considering various options;
Capable of motivating and leading them toward successful outcomes.
I am an innovative thinker with an actively curious and very quick mind. With my talent for grasping abstract concepts, I learn new ideas quickly and easily.
I turn thought into action almost instantly. When I get an idea, I become excited, get others excited about it, then act on it. I can become so involved in my pursuit of success that I forget to tend to the necessary details and planning along the way. I must learn to discern good ideas from bad ones and, most of all, to make a clear outline of the steps, procedures, and deadlines needed to proceed successfully.
CliftonStrengths Top 5
My imagination is stimulated when I collaborate with future-oriented thinkers. I can reconfigure factual information or data in ways that reveal trends, raise issues, identify opportunities, or offer solutions.
I focus on strengths to stimulate personal and group excellence. I strive to discover peoples' unique talents, skills, knowledge, mission, likes, and dislikes.
I am comfortable being honest about myself with others. I will openly acknowledge my mistakes and shortcomings. I strive to make complex things easy to understand.
I help people see the opportunities and possibilities that await them in the coming months, years, or decades. I strive to figure out how different people can work together productively.
I feel more favourable about myself and life in general when I am functioning at an optimal level. I realize that excellence is the result of not only hard work but also top-quality people.
VIA Strengths Finder
Encouraging a group to get things done while maintaining good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.
Liking to laugh; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.
Thinking of unique and productive ways to conceptualize and do things.
Love of Learning (Wisdom)
Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge to add to what I know systematically.
Big 5 Personality
Factor I: Extroversion
I am outgoing and social.
Factor II: Emotional Stability
I am emotionally stable and calm and do not consistently experience negative feelings.
Factor III: Agreeableness
I'm friendly and optimistic.
Factor IV: Conscientiousness
I am intentional and attentive.
Factor V: Intellect/Imagination
I am open to experiences, adaptable, and do well with ambiguity.
I'm quick, independent, and firm when making decisions.
I take a goal-oriented approach to assigning work.
I'm comfortable with responsibility and ownership over results.
Blind spots (I'm working on these, please call me out if you're affected by any!)
I can be impatient when providing detailed instructions.
I can take too much responsibility for results that aren't in my control.
I can give insufficient structure for people who need definition.
Mind: 51% Extraverted
Energy: 59% Intuitive
Nature: 57% Feeling
Tactics: 54% Judging
Identity: 65% Assertive
Working With Me
I'm data-informed and performance-driven.
I'm responsive and independent.
I'm objective yet sympathetic.
I'm predominantly idealistic; I value cooperative effort and the concepts of trust, loyalty and team spirit.
I think and reason in terms of intangible benefits and prefer to minimize face-to-face, competitive rivalry.
I'm warm yet practical.
I'm flexible and enthusiastic.
I'm naturally friendly and, as a rule, am accepting of people.
I reserve the right to change my mind when given new information.
"Strong opinions weakly held."
I'm an advocate for Design Thinking.
One of the principles I live by is: "better is always better."
Behavioural economics can help us connect qualitative and quantitative information.
I believe in the power of the "3 Cs":
Co-create: Our purpose is to engage, work with, and empower users and our business. Our goal is to generate ideas that lead to the best solutions.
Collaborate: Good ideas come from everywhere. We start from yes, plus up each other's ideas, and live into possibility.
Coordinate: Amazing products are the result of teamwork. We need to communicate effectively as a team and coordinate our efforts to deliver a product that our customers will love.
Clay Christensen's Jobs To Be Done framework is an effective way for us to frame what matters.
The Experience Economy was written in 1998, and I believe it's more relevant now than ever.
How I Perform
I am a listener.
I learn by doing.
I work well first on my own to organize my thinking and then collaborate to elevate the work and identify blind spots.
I am a strong coach and lead teams effectively.
I produce results as a decision-maker.
I work well under stress, but my communication skills may regress.
I work best in medium to large organizations with good funding/budgets.
Where I Belong
A position that enables me to inspire others by:
Leading through influence.
Enabling people to achieve their full potential.
On a team that values clear communication.
Building shared understanding and meaning.
Helping to motivate and deliver impact through clarity.
A company that seeks innovation.
Fostering a climate of discovery, questioning, and exploration.
What I Can Contribute
I have a positive attitude toward personal growth and development. I'm motivated to make contributions and exercise professional or managerial responsibility.
I'm positively committed to relationships and organizational goals necessary for advancing in the organization and corporate structure/culture. I'm dedicated to and identify with the corporate initiatives that require significant individual and team commitment.
I'm adaptable to people, social situations, and corporate and legal rules. I have a positive attitude toward others and an ability to withstand extended stress. I meet unexpected changes in an optimistic, tolerant manner and extend trust to others easily.
I value and support social conventions in my social groups. I provide and support stability in work, family, legal and social relationships.
I can give 100% to new things or follow the pattern, whichever is most appropriate.
My preference is for combining organized and systematic methods with a flexible approach.
I utilize abstract information, experience, intuition, and knowledge to find fresh and imaginative solutions.
I use candour well and am sensitive to the feelings of others.
I'm decisive and can synthesize information quickly.
I'm objective with a preference for honest and direct relationships.
I find it easy to come to the point without beating around the bush.
I enjoy debate and active, participative discussion.
I'm self-directed and flexible when giving or accepting direction, resisting close control and rigid schedules.
I am a charismatic leader, constantly in motion, seeing possibilities, inspiring people, and promoting action. My strengths involve Explore, Excite, and Execute energy:
I see the Big Picture, recognize possibilities, generate awareness, and find meaning. Qualities and skills of Explore leadership include resourcefulness, innovation, patience, curiosity, fairness, seeking harmony, and sympathizing with and helping others.
I foster open communication, encourage and motivate others, spread enthusiasm, collaborate, and build strong teams. Qualities and skills of Excite leadership include relationship building, social and speaking skills, presence, humour, inspiration, and motivation.
I am efficient in providing clear instruction, focusing efforts, taking practical action, and achieving results. Qualities and skills of Execute leadership include delegating, challenging, decision making, time management, confidence, and determination.
What I Do
Inspire teams with a sense of purpose to create psychological safety and a shared, strategic vision.
Involve teams with authentic relationships to develop connection and commitment.
Protect teams by building a shared understanding to create meaning, clarity and predictability.
Catalyze teams with decisive confidence and directed movement to create fulfillment.
These are your meetings, and I want to listen.
I prefer shorter and more frequent meetings; let me know if that works best for you.
We'll start with weekly 25min meetings and potentially shift to biweekly 45min meetings once we're in flow.
Please come prepared with 4-5 things you'd like to discuss.
You can expect I'll ask the following questions from The Coaching Habit. I find them incredibly useful:
What's on your mind?
And what else?
What's the real challenge here for you?
What do you want?
How can I help?
If you're saying Yes to this, what are you saying No to?
What was most valuable to you?
Help me calibrate my leadership style by sharing what I should be doing more of/less of (I have thick skin, don't worry 😀).
Please do not feel you have to wait for a 1:1 to bring anything up; my door/calendar is always open.
Allow me to use initiative and autonomy; impose a minimum of routine.
Challenge me. I thrive on pushing my limits and will work tirelessly when challenged by someone I respect.
Utilize my strengths; avoid exposing my weaknesses.
Be organized. I can be impatient with confusion, vagueness, and lack of time integrity.
Immediately present the goals, objectives and expectations. Be sure to articulate what success looks like.
Express appreciation personally but without excessive sentiment.
Categorize. I organize information in mental boxes for quicker recall.
I want to improve. Criticize and correct me gently, and be reassuring.
The way I see it, life is short, we're all trying our best, so let's make awesome sh*t together.