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Project Managers: Staying safe with the “Controlled Burn” in goodr’s Ecosystem

On season 3, episode 7 of CULTURE goodr, 80-year-old non-celebrity Miskell Spillman hosts the show, as the winner of NBC’s “Anyone Can Host” contest. Spillman is joined by musical guest, Elvis Costello, because evidently not anyone can be a musical guest. In the cold open, John Belushi and Gilda Radner fret that Spillman won’t be able to --- ahhhhhh crap-burger! That’s season 3, episode 8 of Saturday Night Live! (Yes, episode 7, not 8, and yes, a non-celebrity 80-year-old woman hosted SNL once, google it.) Let’s try again.

On season 3, episode 7 of CULTURE goodr, Shaun and Stephen do a deep dive on the Puppet Masters (aka Project Managers). This year (2021, for you time travelers), goodr is launching 120 sunglasses and over 40 pieces of apparel, plus throwing 6 major virtual and live events, PLUS opening an experiential retail shop on Abbot Kinney! (Yes, that’s really happening, and it looks AMAZING.) Believe it or not, 2022 will be an even BIGGER year, so goodr needs a team of bomb project managers pulling the strings.

Flock Leader Hanssie takes a break from reading every book on the f***ing planet to join Stephen and Shaun on the ‘cast. First, she shares a little about herself. She prefers dine-in to delivery, sweaters to hoodies, and her spirit animal is a panda. Before joining goodr, she held a variety of jobs, ranging from elementary school teacher to magazine editor to wedding photographer. (Psshh. The real money is in divorce photography.)

The Puppet Masters are “the controlled burn” at goodr, helping other flocks plan, organize, and execute projects. Without them, launches and events would spiral into chaos and disaster, like Khaleesi’s rampage at King’s Landing. (AND season 8 of Game of Thrones, HA.) Hanssie’s real title is Mother of Dragons, and her lame title is Lead Project Manager. “I will burn things down if I have to,” she says. We’re scared of her.

At goodr, we’re able to say yes to kickass projects on short timelines because of the Puppet Masters’ core values: Organization and accountability. Since they work with all the different flocks, there’s never a dull moment. They’re constantly solving problems -- like discovering a trade show booth didn’t make it to New Jersey 18 hours before the event starts -- and that requires creativity. Luckily, everyone is super organized, especially Hanssie, who is also goodr’s STD Coach -- whoops! We mean GTD Coach. GTD stands for Getting Things Done, a work-life management system that goodr employees practice, or Hanssie will burn them like Scorpion’s fatality in Mortal Kombat.

Carl’s Flight Plan is the planned route of a launch. Each quarter, all employees are encouraged to pitch ideas at Pitchapalooza. The chosen pitches get slotted into our 58-week launch calendar. Each one gets a flight plan, which contains about 140 tasks from pitch to live. To make sure all tasks are on time, the Puppet Masters use a red flag protocol system. 5 red flags indicate a launch will be delayed, forcing goodr to course correct. 10 red flags indicate we will panic, get drunk, go mad, playing real-life Hunger Games in The Lagoon, while SDL sits atop a golden throne, cackling with glee.

Hanssie says her biggest triumph is throwing goodrSTOCK during the pandemic. goodrSTOCK is the quarterly all-company summit dedicated to connection, information and having fun. When COVID hit, we were unable to meetup in person, so the PMs pivoted and threw awesome virtual events. (Sadly, we couldn't do the traditional Spit in Each Other’s Mouths contest, but fingers crossed for the IRL goodrstock 14 this July!!!!!)

Every launch has its own Slack channel with a link to the deck, which makes it easier to track things down. On Wrecking Ball Wednesdays, The PMs go through all projects with a fine tooth comb, looking for overdue deliverables or upcoming deliverables. They make fun a priority, although their job involves doing things that don’t sound fun, like processes, spreadsheets, audits, and keeping people accountable. Hanssie says her biggest fuck-up is not hiring an Asana coach earlier to improve the automation.

Aaaaand here’s Hanssie’s cheat codes for Puppet Masters / Project Managers:

1.“Anything can be changed and probably will be, even if you don't have your own demolition man. So make sure you're flexible and you have a sense of humor.

2.“Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour, and crying burns 78. So if you do both of them at the same time, you maximize those benefits -- the PM workout plan. That’s how we stay in shape.”

3.“Sense of humor. If you don’t have one, get one.”

That’s it for this week. Remember, nothing you do is your own choice. There’s no such thing as free will. The Puppet Masters are always pulling the strings.

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