He wears many hats here at LCS: Trainer. Writer. Documenter. Marketer. Teacher.
Get to know Chris G: a native of Middletown, Ohio who’s been making his mark here at LCS for more than four years. Named Employee of the Year in 2011, Chris immediately reads as humble and self-deprecating…in an earnest and endearing Seinfeld-sort-of-way. Find out how this self-proclaimed shy-guy came out of his shell and found his voice as a superstar public speaker…and that of our webinars.
So I heard you went to college in Michigan. What did you study?
Yes, Eastern Michigan University. I graduated with two degrees: Communications and Creative Writing. Apparently I wasn’t planning for my future…except that I met my wife there. And I competed on EMU’s Forensic Speech Team. We won several national titles/events…A friend of the family who knew about the speech team’s success said, I’ll hire you.
Phew! So you got a job out of college despite your less-than-practical degrees. Where?
I used to train and teach Teradata SQL. I like teaching….and I didn’t really care about the topic back then. I also wrote a lot of books, training books. So when LCS needed a technical writer I thought it might be a good fit.
So the Comm/Creative Writing thing ended up working out. You landed in software, unexpected, right?! How was the transition from Teradata training?
I was used to working from home and I didn’t interact with people unless I flew somewhere to train them. When I interviewed with LCS, I was in the mindset of treating both commuting and human interaction as something to be overcome. But now people are why I want to come to work. It’s like having a second family. I want to help people here and be part of this.
Is that part of what makes LCS a stand-out company to work for?
LCS focuses on getting the RIGHT people. And then we figure out what responsibilities to tie to them. I think it’s a really good way to do it, and that’s how departments form organically. One of the reasons why the company is strong is because people here have strong opinions and they care. The value and collection of people is what makes LCS so great.
Speaking of being part of LCS, tell me about your team.
My team, Instructional Resources Group (IRG), encompasses documentation and training. I work directly with other writers and I have a variety of responsibilities: internal training, conference stuff, webinars, helping other departments, juggling those tasks, and delivering the highest quality work I can. I want everything I put my name on to be impressive.
Your coworkers are impressed by your charisma as a presenter. Is it always as easy as it looks?
Not exactly. My first webinar…talk about being nervous! I wrote down everything, even my intro.
I’ve worked hard at it: I want more and more people to show up for the webinars. It’s a lot of responsibility to get things right, and it’s being recorded, so….
How did it feel being honored as the Employee of the Year?
It was unexpected. People voted for me. I was floored and humbled.
Scariest moment at LCS?
Finding out I had 38,000 errors in a project…. I thought I was going to be fired!
You’ve proven to be a pretty prolific writer, both inside and outside of work.
I love writing, and for the last couple of years I had a home project that was published in 2012. I would write all day at work and then go home and write more.
Most people would consider you a Creative, how are those needs met?
I still coach forensic students at EMU. They drive down from Michigan to meet with me. They ask me, Why didn’t you stay in academia? and What are you doing in software? It may seem weird, but when you combine the family aspect, my desire to produce high-quality work, and my passion for what I’m doing at LCS, the drive is more than enough to make me interested in my work.
On the forensic team I was focused: Write my speech. Revise my speech. Look for more sources. It’s still the same: Passion and loving my work is what keeps me focused.