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HERstory: Ashley Faus, Content Strategy Lead, Software Teams, Atlassian

Hi ladies!  This week's #marketHER is Ashley Faus, Content Strategy Lead, Software Teams, Atlassian.
August 25 · Issue #30 · View online
HERstory by
Hi ladies! 
This week’s #marketHER is Ashley Faus, Content Strategy Lead, Software Teams, Atlassian. Her interview is chock-full of great advice, like how to switch roles or teams. Take 5 minutes to get to know HERstory. You won’t regret it. 😉
Oh, and stay tuned next week! Liz Gonzalez, Director of Product Marketing, RingCentral will share tips on breaking into leadership, negotiating a higher salary, and more. 💪
Jes Kirkwood
Founder & Managing Director

Ashley Faus is a marketer, writer, and speaker by day, and a singer, actor, and fitness fiend by night. Her work has been featured in TIME, Forbes, The Journal of Brand Strategy, and Hubspot, and she’s shared insights with audiences at Harvard Business Review, INBOUND, and MarketingProfs. She works for Atlassian, a collaboration software maker on a mission to unleash the potential of every team.
Follow Ashley on Twitter and LinkedIn.
How did you break into leadership?
I actually had a hiring manager take a chance on me, as a first-time manager and outside hire. She saw that I could connect the dots between different teams, marketing elements, and audience types, and determined that she could coach me on the management front. I made it my mission to unblock my team, which enabled us to deliver both quantity AND quality work. The combination of formal team management and dotted-line management chains allowed me to showcase my ability to help my team thrive.
There’s so much more to the story…
What unique challenges or obstacles have you faced?
To be honest, I haven’t really faced challenges due to my gender, but I have faced challenges due to my age. People tend to think that younger folks aren’t ready for leadership roles, but I would argue that leadership is a different skillset than technical or craft skills. Leadership is about understanding and motivating people, setting a clear vision, and connecting the dots to help your team move work forward.
There’s so much more to the story…
How do you switch roles or teams?
I recommend having internal “networking” sessions with your colleagues. Not only will you get a sense for how your team and your work fit into the bigger picture, you’ll form relationships with other teams. The relationships are key if you’re looking to make an internal move.
When possible, raise your hand for cross-functional projects. This gives other teams visibility into your skills and work product, helps you build relationships across the company, and gives you insight into roles or work that might be a good fit for a future move.
There’s so much more to the story…
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
I would tell my past self to be less focused on the specific industry and company. I had this idea that I wanted to only work for a company where I used and loved the products or services, but that’s not realistic. I’ve found that I can fall in love with the customers for just about anything, and that’s what matters. I would also do more informal networking.
There’s so much more to the story…
What's been the highlight of your career thus far?
What a tough question! I’ve been fortunate to work for some amazing companies and outstanding managers. A few highlights include working on the launch of “Illuminate” during my time at Duarte, introducing live stream video to several companies, and now my time at Atlassian. I’m currently working with some of the smartest folks in the business, and our CMO is a truly outstanding leader. I’ve also been able to bring my passion for performance to my professional endeavors by hosting and interviewing our customers and other thought leaders.
Ashley's parting gift
The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson is a must-read book. It’s all about the power of intersectional and divergent thinking. It includes fascinating stories of innovation by bringing together unlikely experts and disciplines, as well as practical, actionable exercises to unlock your creativity and unblock your brain.
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