Why I joined Asana: Lily Guy, Customer Success Manager
March 20th, 2020
Welcome to our monthly “Why I joined Asana” series! Every month, we talk with Asanas across our teams and offices—from Dublin to Sydney—to get to know the people inside the company and learn why they chose to work here.
After starting in our San Francisco office, Lily Guy, Enterprise Customer Success Manager, was our first Business team member in our growing New York office. Learn more about the Customer Success team at Asana, and why empathy is one of Lily’s core principles—in her own words!
What was your journey to joining Asana?
I previously worked for a small startup where during one of our first big product launches, it became clear we needed a tool to take us through the entire launch. We evaluated a few options and Asana was one of our top three. I was part of the evaluation team, where I familiarized myself with Asana and its values. I found myself drawn to the company, with its emphasis on transparency, diversity of thought, and co-creation. At the time over four years ago, it was also an opportunity to join and grow a small Customer Success team and the challenge that came along with it were incredibly appealing.
I also was very impressed that one of the first leadership hires we made was our Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Sonja Gittens-Ottley. I’m lucky to work closely with Sonja as a co-lead for Team Rainbow, our Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ Asanas and allies. I love bringing more of the D&I presence to our regional and global offices as an ERG lead!
What team are you currently on, and what are some of the most interesting aspects of your role?
I am on the Customer Success team in New York and I’m here to make sure that my customers feel successful with Asana and continue to find value in the tool (and hopefully grow that across teams within their company). In my role, I host meetings with everyone from individual contributors to CEOs and founders, I facilitate workflow design sessions, and I create formal change management plans for deploying Asana. What I love about my role is the deep partnerships I am able to grow by being in close proximity to some of our largest customers on the East Coast. I’ve always found the day-to-day work engaging as the variety of industries and use cases I get to work with is so varied. I am driven by fostering relationships, and I love working with my customers to celebrate their success with them along our journey together.
I’ve also been involved with our Employee Resource Groups in some capacity my entire tenure at Asana. I’ve been a co-lead of Team Rainbow for almost 3 years and involved in the AsanaWomen and Gradient committees. Being part of these groups has allowed me to work on some amazing projects and initiatives. I’ve helped plan our annual Pride events, I’ve developed content and enablement around how to be a better ally, and have scoped ways to bring more of the queer community voice into Asana through volunteering and educational events. With the help of my fellow co-leads and the amazing committee, we’ve established a true community.
Now in New York, I’ve gotten the chance to work behind the scenes to establish an ERG presence in this office. As Asana grows globally, the importance of supporting ALL Asana scales too. I’ve been really lucky to work with Sonja as my mentor in this. I can continue to learn from her and I get to keep co-creating the Asana I wish to see!
What led you to becoming a Customer Success Manager?
Since I started working, I’ve always been in some type of customer service job, so the common thread has been relationship management. Customer Success is a new industry and still being defined in a sense. The way that my previous company outlined my Customer Success role is very different to how we think about that function at Asana. I have been able to take my more formal background in marketing and content creation, combine it with my service history, and apply a lot of these skills to Customer Success. I don’t take full credit for getting to where I am now, as I’ve had immense help through mentors, supporters, and a little bit of luck.
What are you most excited for as you grow in your role at Asana?
I am excited that I am one of the first members of the Business team in our New York office! It’s given me an opportunity to have a more strategic vision about what a new regional team within an organization can look like. I love being able to contribute to the planning stages of this and collaborate on a broader strategy. Working in a new market has greatly expanded some of my foundational practices and tailor my workflows and processes to the NYC ways of business. I am looking forward to approaching learning new skills in non traditional ways. For example, I’m focused on thinking quicker on my feet and feeling more comfortable public speaking. I’m so grateful that Asana supports me as a whole human, and one of my priorities is attending courses and conferences that sharpen my emotional intelligence and boundary setting.
What’s it like to use Asana the product everyday?
I love the access and transparency that using Asana gives me. I can self-serve updates on work, follow up with cross-functional stakeholders without having to send emails, and consolidate my to-dos so everything is in one place. Seeing how the majority of people do work today, I am constantly reminded of the old way of working (emails, spreadsheets, walking by someone’s desk) which is validating for the future world of work we’re co-creating.
What principle have you carried with you along the way, and where did you first hear it?
Not a day goes by where I don’t think or talk about empathy. It’s something I value highly in myself and others, and it’s a trait that makes me really good at what I do. I’ve found empathy to serve me in any role I’ve had over the years. It doesn’t take much to listen critically, look people in the eyes, and try and meet them where they are. This is something we’ve woven into the fabric of our culture.
If you could give a new Asana one piece of advice, what would it be?
Asana is a community, so get involved. We’re building something together, and we want you to add to that. Bring your full self to work—whatever your background, we will support you. Your ideas matter, and your voice needs to be heard, so speak up!
How would you describe your experience at Asana?
My experience at Asana has felt unreal compared to any other working experience I’ve ever had. That’s because I work with some of the smartest, most creative people that have pushed my boundaries and expanded my skill sets. I have been given opportunities that I never thought I would have, and forged friendships with some really awesome humans who I expect to know for a long time to come.
Come work with Lily and the rest of the Business team in San Francisco, New York, and Dublin. We’re looking for passionate, creative people to help us grow. Check out all of our open opportunities!