Transform Your Org Through Conversation with Megan Himan

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re talking to Megan Himan, CEO and Founder of BrightStep Partners, to find out how her work with nonprofits have helped them transform what they do and what they’re capable of.

Join us as we talk about how to connect more effectively with leadership around their goals, why we should think of ourselves as managers, and how to own your role as an Awesome Admin.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Megan Himan.

Learning Salesforce when there were only 4 objects.

About 15 years ago, Megan was managing a nonprofit in Oakland. “I said I have this crazy idea, someone told me about Salesforce and I want to implement it for this organization,” Megan says, “which was revolutionary for our organization and also for my career.”

Megan originally heard about Salesforce through her husband because he was working Software as a Service, and had heard that the platform was free for nonprofits. After she got the green light to implement it, there was a lot to do in the days before Community Groups and Trailhead. “I’m a tinkerer,” Megan says, “so I really kind of built the platform and then I started teaching other organizations how to do it.” You learn by teaching, and so getting the opportunity to share skills helped her solidify her knowledge.

The conversations that engage leaders.

These days, Megan is a Salesforce consultant for nonprofits, “we come in talking about Salesforce and we leave talking about organizational transformation,” she says. “I could be the best technologist in the world but if I couldn’t learn how to have these conversations it didn’t mean anything.” So the focus of Megan’s work as a consultant is going beyond the technical skills to have those important conversations.

“My twelve-year-old son loves this game called Fortnite,” Megan says, “and he tells me about it in excruciating detail, to the point where my eyes glaze over and I don’t care and want to move on. I think sometimes when we’re passionate about something like Salesforce or the technology we can do that too, to our leaders and other executives and coworkers.”

Maybe the details of her son’s Fortnite game aren’t that interesting, but if he were to tell her about how he’s learning collaboration and problem-solving skills she’d get interested because those are skills she wants him to acquire. The same thing is true of conversations with executive leaders: you need to understand what they care about, and if you don’t then ask them. “OK, I’m getting all these Salesforce requests for the next quarter. I want to make sure that whatever I’m working on aligns with what’s most important for you in this coming quarter. It doesn’t have to be inside of Salesforce, but can you tell me more about what are the things you’re thinking about this quarter?” You can always then come back and talk about the technical pieces in the context of what they care about.

Thinking about yourself as a manager.

“One of the things that’s been transformative for me is to think about myself as a Salesforce admin as a manager, because even though we don’t manage anyone directly,” Megan says, “we need to have influence over others.” We manage a product, which is Salesforce, but we actually manage all sorts of business processes.

In order to do that, first, we need to stem the chaos by setting up some system to tame the tide of requests. That could be Salesforce Cases or a Google sheet, but you need to have some way of tracking and prioritizing requests. The other shift that needs to be happy is to “think of ourselves as technologists who don’t necessarily have all the answers but can know where to find them,” Megan says. Finally, you need to look forward at what it is you’re trying to accomplish and asking those key Why questions of yourself.

Put on your Awesome Admin cape.

The best leaders aren’t afraid of making mistakes. Megan touches dozens of orgs per year, “and it’s not a question of if I’m going to make a mistake, it’s a question of when I’m going to make a mistake.” So she backs up data like crazy to give her the leeway to try new things and experiment. “Doing courageous things means I’m going to make a mistake,” she says, “we think leaders aren’t afraid but it’s not true, they are afraid but they just keep moving forward anyway.”

“The way we talk about ourselves matters, it feeds into that confidence piece and that risk-taking piece,” Megan says, “that’s why I love the term Awesome Admin because it puts more power and courage in that origin story.” Accidental Admin can be a bit of a loaded term, and Megan thinks it can contribute to imposter syndrome. Instead, put on that superhero cape and be an Awesome Admin with courage and confidence.

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Full Show Transcript

Gillian Bruce:               Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you become a more awesome Salesforce Admin. I’m Gillian Bruce and today we are talking to an amazing member of our Salesforce Ohana, we are talking to Megan Himan. Now, Megan is in the Bay Area so it was easy to meet up with her in person and I wanted to chat with Megan ’cause she has been working to help non profits harness the power of Salesforce to help transform the way that they make an impact in the world for a long time. She has been working with Salesforce since the days where there were only four objects. Can you imagine only having four objects to work with in Salesforce? Well, Megan’s experience has really helped her transform a lot of organizations and talk about transforming careers and I wanted to get Megan on the podcast to talk about how we as Salesforce Admins can use our words to help transform our organizations, our careers, and use those words on top of those technical skills that we’ve gained.

Gillian Bruce:               So, without further ado, let’s get Megan on the podcast.

Gillian Bruce:               Megan, welcome to the podcast.

Meghan Himan:            Thanks, it’s so great to be here.

Gillian Bruce:               I am so happy to have you on, we’ve been talking about doing this for a long, long, long time so I’m really happy that we’re here, we’re doing it and well I may know you pretty well. I’d love to introduce you a little bit more to the audience and one of the questions I like to do that is to ask you, Megan, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Meghan Himan:            I love this question. So I was thinking about this and I think I wanted to be Lin-Manuel Miranda before that was a thing. So, I had this tape recorder and I had a instrumental song I wrote lyrics to it and I would go … and like rewind on this tape recorder and then I had my friend sing the lyrics that I wrote for the song so I think that was like my biggest dream. Maybe it’ll still happen some day, I don’t know.

Gillian Bruce:               You never know, you never know but that’s really fun so okay so making new music, cutting your own tracks with a tape recorder, that’s pretty awesome.

Meghan Himan:            Yes, if I could find one that would be amazing to play it back.

Gillian Bruce:               Or I’ll ping you, I’ll ping you back for that. We’ll put that in the podcast at some point. Well, so how did you go from kind of cutting your own tracks to using your amazing cassette tape skills to now working the Salesforce ecosystem? Tell me a little bit about that journey.

Meghan Himan:            So, I was managing a non profit in Oakland, this was about 15 years ago. I had an amazing boss named Michael McPherson and I said, “I have this crazy idea, someone told me about Salesforce, I want to implement it for this organization,” and he said, “Yes,” which was just revolutionary for our organization and also for my career of course. There were four objects then; leads, accounts, opportunities, and contacts and it’s changed so much since then but my passion for the product and the ecosystem has not diminished.

Gillian Bruce:               How did you come up with this crazy idea to bring Salesforce to that organization at that time?

Meghan Himan:            My husband actually told me about it, ’cause he was working in software as a service and said, “I heard that they’re giving away Salesforce for free to non profits,” and I think that’s really the thing that all of us need an invitation. You know we don’t know what we don’t know about and just how we can do that for others is something I think about all the time.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay, so here you are, your crazy idea, you got the green light, now you’re in Salesforce. How did you learn yourself to get those Salesforce skills to actually make it work for your organization?

Meghan Himan:            I’m a tinkerer, like lots of folks so I learn by doing and at that time there wasn’t really community groups or Trailhead or anything so I really kind of built the platform and then I started teaching other organizations how to do it, and I think we also learn a lot by teaching other folks and I’d encourage others even if you don’t feel like you’re ready to teach, like you don’t know enough, to start teaching anyways and you’ll be amazed at both how much you do know and also how much you learn in the process as well.

Gillian Bruce:               Now I completely agree with that, that’s something that I know I talk about with my colleagues all the time. I think for me, when I finally started really, really getting some of these basic things about Salesforce was when they said, “Hey, Gillian go teach a workshop,” and so I had to understand it in a whole different kind of way and explain it in a bunch of different ways, and then you realize oh okay, I do get this, I do have a way to share this, I do have a way to help other people understand it and the way they understood it helps me get it, right? So that’s really cool.

Meghan Himan:            Exactly.

Gillian Bruce:               That’s great, so what do you do now in the Salesforce ecosystem?

Meghan Himan:            So I’m a Salesforce consultant for non profit organizations, which I love because we come in talking about Salesforce and we leave talking about organizational transformation and also just helping the leaders within those organizations really gain their skills and confidence.

Gillian Bruce:               So you’re working with non profits, that also must feel pretty empowering because a lot of the work that non profit organizations typically do aren’t necessarily focused on the technology and they’re not focused on making a thing, they’re focused on making an impact. So you get to help them amplify their impact with technology, which is pretty cool.

Meghan Himan:            Which is amazing and it’s also fun because it’s a huge puzzle because there’s so many different ways to do it, it’s not about like optimizing one particular process, it’s like really digging deep into all the ways that the organization can have impact, from fundraising to program management, so it’s really fun.

Gillian Bruce:               That’s awesome. So, one of the things that I know you’re very passionate about and part of the reason I wanted to have you on podcast is you talk a lot about the power of conversation. Something you think about a lot, you’ve presented it at Dreamforce several times about this, tell me a little bit more about this idea of conversation and the agency that it has to kind of affect this transformation or change. Give me an overview.

Meghan Himan:            Well, like most lessons I’ve learned in my life it came from a hard situation that really forced me to wake up and I was giving an end user training session to an organization in DC and there was like 15 people in the room and one person just was like, “This isn’t gonna work for me, I’m not gonna do this,” and just kind of dragging their feet. And everybody’s frustration was rising and so was mine and so I had a meeting the next day with the executive director and I was like, “I need to be a truth teller here,” and I told this person like, “If you don’t get this person under control your whole Salesforce investment is gonna go down the drain.” And she essentially fired me at that point.

Gillian Bruce:               Ouch.

Meghan Himan:            And I didn’t regret having the conversation because I knew that that was the thing that needed to … I knew that was truth for the organization, but I also realized that I needed to change the way I had those conversations in order to be more effective. And I could be the best technologist in the world but if I couldn’t learn how to have these conversations it didn’t mean anything. I could build like the best workflows ever but if I wanted to be effective in the organizations that I was working in, end users and the leaders that I needed to really learn how to have new conversations, and I realized then that I could learn how to have conversations in the same way that I can learn any kind of technical skills. So that’s what I’ve really focused on learning for myself but also sharing that knowledge to other folks for the last couple of years.

Gillian Bruce:               Well yeah and we talk a lot about the technical skills and how you can learn those. You know we have Trailhead now, we have in classroom sessions, you can learn you know, bit by bit those technical skills but this is a skill that you definitely have to hone outside of the technology or in tandem, ideally but this is not necessarily something you can go learn on Trailhead. So, what are some ways that you I mean … in practice you’ve had to learn this, what are some things, like some moments that are some specific techniques that you’ve learned to help you transform the way you talk about things to help be more effective?

Meghan Himan:            For leaders, one of the techniques that’s really been transformative for me is this concept of connecting with what they care about. So, as I think about having conversations … I’ll give you the example, like my 12 year old son loves this game called Fortnite, I’m sure everybody knows about Fortnite, and he tells me about it in excruciating detail. To the point where like my eyes glaze over and I just, I’m like I kind of want to … I don’t care and I want to move on and I think sometimes when we’re passionate about something like Salesforce or the technology, like we can do that too to our leaders and to our other executives and our team members. Like, go into excruciating detail that they really don’t care about.

Gillian Bruce:               Because you’re excited about it, you want to share.

Meghan Himan:            Yeah, and that’s what user groups are for because like, isn’t it amazing to find someone to be like, you get me, right? Let’s actually have this in depth conversation about the power of [inaudible 00:09:28] fields. For our executives, for example my 12 year old son if he came to me and said, “Mom, I’m really learning about collaboration and I’m learning about problem solving,” I’d be like, “Tell me more about how you’re learning about this ’cause these are things I really care about you gaining as a person.” So when we think about conversations with our executive leaders like, understanding what they care about and if we don’t know asking them, which sounds like a simple thing but say like, okay, I’m getting all these Salesforce requests for this next quarter. I really want to make sure that whatever I’m working on aligns with what’s most important for you in this coming quarter. Can you tell me more about what are the things outside of Salesforce, it doesn’t have to be inside of Salesforce but what you’re really thinking about this quarter and then coming back to that and talking about whatever the technical pieces are in the context of what they care about.

Gillian Bruce:               So that’s, I mean that is incredibly powerful because when you are a great Salesforce Admin you’re also thinking about the goals of the company, right? And so you’re trying to figure out what technology to use to get there and you’re not gonna know what those are unless you have those conversations with your leaders.

Meghan Himan:            And it’s amazing this woman named Joni Martin, I’m sure you might have met her, she founded a group called Amplify and she said, “What keeps your boss up at night?” And she said, “If you don’t know ask,” and that is such a great question because I don’t think we always know the answer to that but we need to ask and you’d be surprised what you can learn in those conversations.

Gillian Bruce:               Or sometimes you think you know what they care about but then when you ask you’re like oh actually what I had in my head and what I was working towards is not actually what they really care about at this moment.

Meghan Himan:            Totally.

Gillian Bruce:               Okay so leaders, so there’s a certain kind of up leveling and focusing on what they care about, to talk to your leadership and kind of using your words and your conversation to be more successful that way. What other groups, ’cause you serve a lot … I mean, as a Salesforce Admin you work with a lot of different groups, what are some other techniques with maybe some other stakeholders?

Meghan Himan:            So when I think about end users particularly, I had a great conversation with a woman named Sylvie who’s the IT director and she talks about investing and having coffee with people, because trust is the foundation and so when I think about really getting folks on board, a lot of it comes through relationships. People are willing to try the scary new thing that you’re asking them to do because we’ve had coffee together and there’s a level of trust there. So that’s the one piece I would say is invest in having coffee with people.

Meghan Himan:            The other piece is something Mike Gerholdt talks a lot about. You know, Salesforce Administration by walking around.

Gillian Bruce:               SABWA.

Meghan Himan:            There’s an acronym for that SABWA. Sometimes we think we know what the problem is the way we think we know what our boss cares about, and then when we actually have them show it to us, it’s different and the other piece of that is really asking the why questions. So sometimes end users will be really descriptive, “I want you to build this new field. I want you to build this new picklist value that has you know, all the years in a picklist format.” Well why? Why is the question and getting to the heart of the why can help be more collaborative together and a part of that for end users too is involving them as solutioneers in the process.

Gillian Bruce:               I like that word, solutioneer.

Meghan Himan:            Solutioneer, I think I made that up.

Gillian Bruce:               I like it.

Meghan Himan:            So, not necessarily feeling like we have to have all the answers ’cause that as a admin was something that really brought me kind of … that humbled me a lot that I thought they would say something and I would have to like, come up with the answers right then.

Gillian Bruce:               You have to know it all.

Meghan Himan:            I would have to know it all, exactly, but having the humility to say, “Let’s figure this out together, I don’t know the answer to that,” can really kind of get them invested and also lead you to those bigger why questions of what they really want and how to get there.

Gillian Bruce:               Well and I think that speaks to a lot of what we do when we just develop software period, is it’s … you don’t want a solution before you really get to the root of like, let’s say the user story or what you’re really trying to work for and what you’re trying to solve. Say, “Oh I can build a process builder process for that.” Well hold on, maybe that’s actually … let’s not focus on that end result first let’s focus on working through what you’re actually trying to solve for first, and I think yeah, involving your end users in that gives them a little more skin in the game, right? Like makes them invested, makes them feel like they’re part of it.

Meghan Himan:            And they are part of it, right? Because they … oftentimes it’s the business process so it needs to change and not the technology around it and it takes awhile to lead folks through that conversation and having them come up with that aha moment is just as valuable as building the technical pieces around it.

Gillian Bruce:               Absolutely. Yeah and that relationship with them, I mean yeah, I mean we’re all end users in some respects, right? And like you said, kind of looking at the business process is usually what needs to change not necessarily the technology. That’s like that whole you know, Salesforce Admins, we are business analyst for our company, right? We get to get that whole picture, and so that’s a very valuable perspective to bring to it.

Meghan Himan:            One of the things that been transformative for me is I think about myself as a Salesforce Admin as a manager, because oftentimes we don’t actually manage anyone directly. We don’t have that authority over anyone, but we need to have influence over others and Mary Abbajay says that leadership in the 21st Century is more about influence than authority and I think for Salesforce Admins that is especially relevant, so when we transform the way we think about ourselves into managers and approach that and gaining influence and we manage a product which is Salesforce, but we actually manage all these business processes we can kind of revolutionize the way we interact with folks.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit more about that. So when you kind of give yourself that idea of hey, I am more of a leader, what are some tips and tricks to kind of transform that thought? You know, hey I’m in a [inaudible 00:15:50] company, I kind of get told what to do by all the people. How do I start kind of taking charge of that and shifting that mindset a little bit?

Meghan Himan:            That’s a great question. I think first it’s kind of stemming the chaos because we can’t step back enough to think of ourselves as a leader and provide kind of strategic ends when we’re just swarming under water, so setting up some system to tame the tide of requests, like all the support requests whether you’re using Salesforce cases internally or a Google Sheet or whatever it is but have some way of tracking those and prioritizing. And then the other thing I would think about is really thinking of ourselves as technologists that don’t necessarily have all the answers but can know where to find them and that speaks to bringing in your end users together but the thing that has been most effective for me in my career is understanding that if I can’t figure out a formula, I will just tag SteveMo on the hub and I having that knowledge to find him and get the answer is just as valuable as me going deep into formulas myself.

Meghan Himan:            And the other part of being a leader is having those proactive conversations, like looking forward, what is it we’re trying to accomplish and asking those why questions of ourselves and of our leaders to move forward.

Gillian Bruce:               All right, so you’re not just asking the five why’s of all of your requests coming in but also looking a little bit deeper in yourself of why are you doing this, why it matters to you, that’ll help kind of maybe recenter and elevate a little bit how you’re thinking of your role in all of the … amongst the chaos if you will, right?

Meghan Himan:            Yes ’cause that’s the challenge is like with limited time, how do we prioritize what we’re working on and what we’re learning and what we’re thinking about and move forward.

Gillian Bruce:               Well and I think a lot of what you have talked about and what we’ve talked about is kind of touching on that, that we talk about imposter syndrome a lot and the idea of do I belong? Is this something that I really should be doing? Maybe I am really not that technical, I don’t have all the answers, I’m still learning how to go tag SteveMo and ask for help with a formula. A lot of this kind of the idea of taking control of the conversation and changing the way you communicate can help battle that in some ways, right?

Meghan Himan:            Well it starts with ourselves, right? That we have to start feeling the confidence, and I will tell you something, I wrote a whole blog about this, about the art of making mistakes. I touched dozens of orgs per year and it is not a question of if I’m gonna make a mistake it is when I’m going to make a mistake and so the thing that I do is back up data like crazy. Any time I’m doing anything I back up the data because I know it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when and having that transformative moment the way I think about myself as a technologist, that doing courageous things means I’m gonna make a mistake and moving forwards anyways. As leaders we think leaders aren’t afraid, but it’s not true they are afraid they just keep moving forwards anyways and so the technologists that I’ve seen make real changes are like wow, this could mess things up and I’m gonna tread carefully but I’m gonna go forward anyways rather than folks that are a little too afraid. You know, they’re the ones that have 14 installed packages in their instance that they’re too afraid of uninstalling because they don’t know what’s gonna happen instead of saying like, “Okay I’m gonna try to move the data to places I know this is gonna impact this other thing but I’m gonna work towards doing that.”

Gillian Bruce:               Kind of that idea of hey, risks are a good thing, right? ‘Cause you learn and you reap rewards from them, right? No leader doesn’t take risks like you just kind of said.

Meghan Himan:            Totally, and just the mid set that fear is good. Fear means that we’re stretching ourselves, everyone feels fear. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s really about how we move forward afterwards.

Gillian Bruce:               Yeah, absolutely. That’s so well spoken, I love that. They’re gonna pull some quotables out of that and put that on the headline of the podcast for the week. So, let’s talk also about something that I know has kind of come up in the community. This idea of being an admin and on top of all your jobs. Some people call themselves accidental admins, some people call themselves other kinds of things, talk to me a little bit about I know you have some thoughts about that term, about how you kind of think about yourself as an admin in addition to something else or kind of adding that on to your skillset.

Meghan Himan:            So when I first started thinking about this a lot was actually at the admin keynote two years ago, which was amazing. You just shined during that.

Gillian Bruce:               Oh, thank you.

Meghan Himan:            Seriously, that was just an amazing moment. I still have the hand clapper from that. And there was a couple different admins that were interviewed and one was Eric from Tuffshed and his boss talked about how he had a great attitude and was fearless and that’s why he chose him to be an admin, even though he didn’t have a technical background. And the other admin that was interviewed was Bindu who’s amazing and I hope I get to meet her some day, and she called herself an accidental admin and then made the comment that she realized that all of us feel like accidental admins and it was at that moment that I realized that that term was less about how someone came to be in terms of their technical background and was more about the organizationals relationship with technology, and that if an organization had a more kind of strategic view then maybe you’d be in a situation like Eric where someone tapped him and said, “I think you can do this,” as opposed to another organization where someone was thinking, “Oh I need to figure this out on my own and guess what I love it too.”

Meghan Himan:            The way we talk about ourselves matters, it feeds into that confidence piece and that risk taking piece and when I think about our origin stories, you know my kids went camping and they went around the camp fire telling origin stories. How the jaguar got its spots, right? And even the first question you asked me was an origin story, how do I think about myself in the Salesforce? And when I look at some of the MVPs especially kind of some male MVPs they’ll say, “Somebody said go figure this out,” and when I look at some of the other folks, oftentimes women and people of color, we say, “Here I am and how this just happened by accident. I didn’t have someone tap me on the shoulder and say go figure this out and guess what I figured it out anyways.”

Meghan Himan:            And so, the way we talk about ourselves matters and influences the courage and the risk taking we have later and that’s why I love the term also admin or awesome admin instead of accidental admin because it puts more power and courage in that origin story that really can drive us forward.

Gillian Bruce:               I agree and it’s … so when the first time you brought this up and you kind of explained this to us and a lot of other people on our team was like, I had never thought about that and I think it’s really insightful and when you … it gives you that kind of that power of hey, no I may have not … like I maybe did not set out to be a Salesforce Admin, the opportunity presented itself and I owned that and I rocked it and now here I am, and like you said kind of the organizational prioritization of Salesforce is reflected in the whole like, well nobody else was doing it so I took it on and now I’m rocking it. Saying like yes, I am an also admin because I’m also these other things instead of kind of like oh this is like an accidental thing, no one was doing it, it wasn’t really prioritized and I’m kind of doing it … like got tasked with it X, Y, Z. I can kind of hear it’s a very different attitude about the role, about what you’re doing, about the place in the organization.

Meghan Himan:            I think we all want a sense of belonging and so when we hear the term accidental admin we think, “Oh yes, other people feel this way.” But I would challenge all of us to think about this. Let’s say we show up at the New York World Tour and someones talking, they say, “Okay, we’re gonna divide the room in half. Accidental admins go over on this half and everyone else go on this half.” How would that feel? And does that term still serve us? And if it doesn’t, let’s take off that backpack and put on something that feels-

Gillian Bruce:               Your cape, your super hero cape.

Meghan Himan:            Yeah, your super hero cape, your awesome admin and just realize that like Bindu said, all of us have that origin story. Salesforce didn’t exist 15 years ago so guess what, all of us came into this either as a second career or from some other way so we need to kind of just like get over ourselves and the imposter syndrome of that and just move forward with courage.

Gillian Bruce:               Amazing, so well said. I’m so glad that we got to talk about this and share this and I really, I hope that people listening kind of get some great nuggets out of that. That are really gonna help them help you listeners to kind of amplify and kind of shift your focus and how you think about yourself and how you think about your role. Speaking of which, Megan you have just kind of a top couple tips for folks that are maybe kind of like what are some first steps I can do to kind of start shifting this focus for myself? What are some words or something I can use? We talked about also admin versus accidental admin, what are some other tips you have for folks?

Meghan Himan:            Well you said there’s no trail on Trailhead for this but there actually is for all these skills. It’s called Manage The Salesforce Way and again as we think of ourselves as not as order takers but as managers, there’s a lot of great tips in there so I would encourage folks to take that trail. There’s also of course I have a shameless plug for my own blog where I write about making mistakes and like failing forward and just thinking about the way we communicate and that’s at brightstepleadership.com. So those are two places that I would start.

Gillian Bruce:               Great, I will definitely put those in the show notes and thank you for correcting me, of course use everything in Trailhead.

Meghan Himan:            But we need more, we need more.

Gillian Bruce:               We need more, that is a great module. I have done that and I totally didn’t even think about that so thank you for highlighting that. All right, before we let you go, Megan, I have to ask you a lightening round question. ‘Cause when I don’t ask a lightening wound question I get in big trouble. So, it’s a really silly question, first thing that comes to your mind, no right or wrong answer. Are you ready?

Meghan Himan:            Yes.

Gillian Bruce:               All right, this is a fun one. You’ve been to a few Dreamforces, what is one of your favorite Dreamforce bands you’ve seen?

Meghan Himan:            Bruno Mars.

Gillian Bruce:               I like it. That’s a great one. I didn’t actually get to go to that one because the keynote was the morning after for me but, I heard it was amazing.

Meghan Himan:            It was.

Gillian Bruce:               That’s great. Well, Megan, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and I really think some of these concepts are gonna help transform the way people think about themselves and being an admin and so I so appreciate you, the work you do and for joining us today.

Meghan Himan:            Thanks for having me.

Gillian Bruce:               Well you could probably tell that I really enjoy talking to Megan so I was very excited to be able to get her on the podcast and share with you listeners some of her amazing insights. Couple highlights for me were the idea of connecting with leadership, so understanding what your leadership care is about, ask them what their goals, what their things that they are tracking are, ’cause by understanding that, it will help you communicate better with them. I mean imagine if you understand oh my manager really cares about making the sale cycle quicker, well, then that’s gonna help you prioritize what you’re doing in Salesforce. What things can you automate? How can you help close business quicker? And by understanding what your leadership cares about, it’s gonna help you communicate better because you’re gonna be able to speak their language and you’re gonna help them get done what they want to get done so that’s a great way to kind of start thinking about communicating in a more powerful way.

Gillian Bruce:               Another thing I thought was very interesting is thinking of ourselves as Salesforce Admins as managers, even if we don’t actually manage somebody. As a Salesforce Admin, we manage a lot. We manage not only the Salesforce Org but we also manage all of our users, our stakeholders, and there’s a lot that comes with that. It gives us a lot of opportunity to kind of be a leader, to learn how to build and gain influence with others and by doing that you’re gonna get others to be able to buy into what you want them to try quicker. By building the trust with your users and with your stakeholders when you come up with a new idea or something that you want to change, they’re gonna be more willing to take that risk and try that new thing because they trust you because you’ve built a relationship with them.

Gillian Bruce:               Some really easy ways to do that are by doing coffees with your users or stakeholders or you know, the famous SABWA; Salesforce Administration By Walking Around. You know, going and talking to your users and your stakeholders and finding out how they’re using Salesforce. And then finally we had a really great conversation about the term accidental admin. Now, this is something that I know many previous guests on the podcast have self identified as and I think you know if that serves you and helps you feel powerful then that’s great, keep using it but I would encourage you to kind of take heed to some of the things that Megan talked about.

Gillian Bruce:               The idea of accidental might be a little disempowering. None of us probably set out to be a Salesforce Admin to begin with but here we are finding ourselves in this position and instead of saying, “Oh it accidentally fell in my lap, oh I accidentally got here,” really taking that role of an admin and owning it and being an awesome admin gives you a lot more power. Gives you a lot more ownership of that role so I encourage you to think of that, that especially as we come towards the end of the year and I know some of us are probably working on some New Year’s resolutions, maybe think about starting the year changing the way you view yourself. Maybe you don’t view yourself as an accidental admin anymore, but you truly view yourself as an awesome admin.

Gillian Bruce:               Thank you so much listening today, I encourage you to share this episode with your friends, with your Salesforce Ohana. You can find episodes, blogs, events, webinars on admin.salesforce.com so make sure to check that out. Also, please remember to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you get the latest and greatest episodes delivered to your platform or device of choice the moment they are released. If you want to learn a little bit more about what we talked today on the podcast with Megan, we have some resources for you. As mentioned there’s the Manage The Salesforce Way module on Trailhead, definitely check that out and check out Megan’s website brightstepleadership.com. Both those links are in the show notes, amazing resources to help you truly be an awesome admin. You can find us on Twitter @salesforceadmns no I. Our guest today, Megan is @meganhiman and myself @gilliankbruce. Thanks so much for listening to this episode and we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.

 

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