To say that Paul Edwards is personable and friendly might be the understatement of the year. As one of our first consultants in the San Francisco office, Paul was a key player in building Propeller’s presence in the Bay Area. Paul was a child actor in British soap operas and now excels when it comes to large, complex and technical business solutions. But that’s just scratching the surface; let’s find out more.
Finding "Me" Time
“One of the small joys I get with living and working in San Francisco is the ability to walk to work. It might not sound like much, but the time feels like my own which I don’t think I’d feel if I were driving/flying to a client site. So, I’ll put on a podcast or audio book to keep me company.”
“For me it is the ability to not worry about where work and life meet. I see this in a couple of ways:
1. Managing my own schedule
Previously if I had to go to an appointment or my car broke down, I feared telling someone and being judged for it. At Propeller, you aren’t micro-managed – you’re in charge of your schedule, your PTO, your deliverables, and your relationship with the client. It’s up to you to ensure you’re being productive and setting clear expectations.
2. Feeling comfortable being myself
I know it sounds cliché but we are all individuals. Being allowed to be our whole selves (weirdness and all) with the people you work with is so refreshing. My colleagues know who I am and love me for it, not in spite of it.”
“Work for me includes a lot of face-to-face meetings with clients and counterparts. I work across multiple office locations and my client’s cross-functional teams appreciate in-person interaction. So, I’ll spend time with the teams who currently have the most critical deliverables and ask them how it’s going. My current program consists of about 15 different application teams, all of whom have different manager, scrum master and architect combinations, along with ~200 engineers. With that many people, good relationships are important for getting straight answers and being able to deliver.”
What It’s Really Like at Propeller
“I often say that being with a group of Propeller consultants makes me feel like the dumbest person in the room. Every one of them is smart, interesting, driven, and puts their authentic selves into what they do. When we work together, I am continually surprised by their ability to deliver far above my expectations – perhaps an insight into what our clients feel.
Propeller will take as much of you as you are willing and able to give. The company is growing in every direction and has so many functions that need to be led outside of the traditional leadership roles. The onus is on each individual to decide how they want to develop. Any time I have ever asked for more, Propeller has said, “okay, give it a try.”
“The running joke in our office is that I am a collector of hobbies. I pride myself on my ability to be able to have a conversation with anyone. This certainly helps in connecting with clients but also in the business development space, in which finding a common interest or connection with someone could be the biggest difference maker.
Computers and technology have always been big hobbies of mine which also help with technical client engagements. When you’re trying to extract and simplify very complex concepts from engineers, they have a lot more respect and patience for you if you’re able to engage with them on more than a surface level. This then helps you translate those complexities into more simple language to communicate to a wider audience.
Food & Wine! I need very little motivation to start talking about either or arranging time for them with my colleagues. I’ve been making a concerted effort to somehow integrate my love and appreciation for food & wine with my client work as a means to foster relationships. There's something about the two that really brings people together.”
Cheers, Paul! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Propeller alumnus Paul Edwards finds it hard to take a casual interest in anything. He immerses himself in each new project, surprising those around him with his desire to learn, willingness to take action and ability to exceed expectations. He thrives on helping his teams take on new challenges while working toward a common goal. He’s a lifelong learner, whether it be the intricacies of a transformation program or one of his numerous hobbies, which range from technology to flag design. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Manchester Metropolitan University.