A few weeks ago, Tammy Perkins joined marketing and digital strategy firm Fjuri, bringing with her more than 20 years of HR and recruiting experience.
She’s held leadership roles at Amazon, Microsoft, and Appen, a company that makes speech and search technology tools. As a managing partner and Chief People Officer at Fjuri, she’s focused on bringing in new talent and driving company culture.
“In short, Fjuri is building a team that takes pride in thinking differently to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing CMOs and business leaders today,” she said.
Perkins shared what she’s learned during her long career working with technology talent with us for this installment of Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for her answers to our questionnaire.
Current Location: Seattle, WA.
Computer types: MacBook Pro.
Mobile devices: iPhone 6s.
Favorite apps, cloud services, and software tools: “Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Pandora are my favorite personal apps. Slack and Google Docs are great for work collaboration. OneNote is great for interview notes and lists.”
Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? “We are very flexible at Fjuri. My office now is very minimal — I need to decorate to add some personalization! We have a great location in Pioneer Square which makes me want to walk around for meetings. On a sunny day in Seattle, I will take my laptop and work from the roof. I’ve managed and worked with global and virtual teams, so I can work from anywhere now. Sometimes I enjoy being in the office environment and some work I do from home or a coffee shop, whatever makes sense based on what I am working on.”
Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? “I make lists at the start of my day to prioritize. Focus on what matters most each day and week. Protect time each week to create and learn, and unplug. Surround yourself with great people who inspire you.”
Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? “I am visual and love Instagram. For business, I use LinkedIn to source candidates and network.”
Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? “I’ve read all of them but have 4 flagged to respond that need more research, thought or coordination.”
Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? “Nineteen, but it’s a moving and growing number of changes because we are interviewing candidates.”
How do you run meetings? “I’m a fan of a structured format and operational rigor from my Amazon days. At Microsoft, I led the annual people plans and talent review meetings for my client organizations. I spent years obsessing over agendas and structure for talent processes. Now I obsess over the outcomes. I follow the meeting structure where there is a purpose, agenda and the participants have a role to play. I’m more flexible now with the details working with marketing professionals, but the vision and outcome really matter. I value the time of the team and don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings. I prefer to focus our time together on collaborative, decision-making, alignment, and strategy.”
Everyday work uniform? “I like to have fun with fashion and show my personality. As an HR leader, I try to be professional but relaxed — I can’t be too corporate. We are casual at Fjuri for day-to-day but I pivot from jeans, blazers or cardigans with heels — it depends on the day, the meeting and the client. I had a co-worker at Amazon who could predict my meetings based on my shoe type and heel. I went sassier for the bigger meetings.”
How do you make time for family? “I am more intentional about my family time. We will have dinner or spend time with each other and do something fun or special during the weekends. I also try to spend dedicated individual time with my son and daughter and date night with my husband. I try to minimize work on the weekends, although I will answer some emails.”
Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? “Workouts and yoga make a difference for me. Laughter also helps. So does a vacation.”
What are you listening to? “My playlist today is Guns N’ Roses, Journey, Prince, Van Halen and Foo Fighters. I’m going to see Guns N’ Roses again for the second time this year on their reunion tour and I am going to see Sammy Hagar in concert next month. I like to rock and appreciate a guitar solo!”
Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? “Huffington Post, GeekWire, NPR, The Muse, TechCrunch, Popsugar.”
Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? “The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington (as a reminder read). I have personal books on my kindle that are interesting or fun reads to relax. For learning or industry reading, I have leadership books to read and then share with colleagues.”
Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? “I am a more of a night owl, but value my sleep more and get up early. A good night sleep, exercise, and nutrition really make a difference in my day and life. My goal is to sleep in on the weekends, but after having kids I am wired to wake up earlier.”
Where do you get your best ideas? “Some of my best ideas came from the beach. When I can’t go there, I take walks with my dog to reset and focus. It’s good for both of us. At work, going to a different location (a coffee shop or walk with different scenery) will help me reset and think about new ideas. Great ideas happen when I brainstorm with colleagues.”
Whose work style would you want to learn more about or emulate? “I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from some amazing leaders and had great mentors and role models in my career. I’ve had leaders who inspired me to believe in my possibilities, which I want to follow.”