I was dying to hear from Angela Ahrendts what her first months at Apple (AAPL) were like.
The former CEO of Burberry — a legend in the world of fashion retailing and a gifted communicator — was not only dropped into Apple’s executive staff at the highest level, but she was writing publicly about the experience.
So I read “Starting Anew,” Ahrendts’ inaugural post as a LinkedIn “Influencer,” with great interest Monday.
What a let-down.
Not that it isn’t well written. Not that she doesn’t give good advice — seemingly from the heart — about how to handle the first disorienting 30, 60, or 90 days at a new job in a new sector, a new culture and a new country. (To a girl from Indiana, Silicon Valley “can feel like a country unto itself.”)
What’s disappointing is that she give nothing away.
I didn’t expect insider gossip or product leaks. She’s a professional, after all, who didn’t rise to the level of chief executive officer by talking out of school.
But she might have shared a little color, from her fresh eyes, about what life is like these days in one of the world’s white hot centers of innovation.
The only hint we get about how it felt to go from CEO of a $3.4 billion company to senior vice president at a $170 billion one is this, her first piece of advice:
“’Stay in your lane.’ You’ve been hired because you bring a certain expertise to the team and the company. Try to resist putting additional or undue pressure on yourself trying to learn it all from day one. It’s human nature to feel insecure about everything you ‘don’t know.’ By staying focused on your core competencies you will be able to contribute much sooner, add greater value long term, and enjoy and have more peace especially in the early days.”
It’s advice that by Tuesday morning had been read by 90,000 LinkedIn members and upvoted by 2,000.