How I Lean into my Arts Background to Make Quality Personal as Director of Product - Internet Creations Blog

How I Lean into my Arts Background to Make Quality Personal as Director of Product

Howard shared his love of photography by starting the IC Photo Club, where co-workers get together over lunch to learn about photography and share images.

Howard shared his love of photography by starting the IC Photo Club, where co-workers get together over lunch to learn about photography and share images.

My path to Internet Creations and the Salesforce ecosystem certainly wasn’t a straight line. However, I use what I learned in music school every day in my role as Director of Product.

Cue the flashback…

It was just after 8 AM on a Monday morning, my second lesson with composer Samuel Adler at the Eastman School of Music when he started fixing the first piece of music that I would write that year.

“Let me give you a little birthday present… at measure 7, change that to a B-flat.”

How did he know? We ran through it again, this time singing the phrase with his “gift,” and it was better.

“This next phrase just seems so plain. You’re not lazy, you just aren’t in love with this piece yet.”

Again, I knew that he was right, and I watched him almost literally tear through the staves, crossing out notes, changing note lengths, having me sing alternate versions, and crushing my rapidly shrinking ego.

“Dr. Adler, I’m not sure that this is the piece that I wanted to write.”

He turned away from the piano and now looked right into my eyes. He could tell I was very uncomfortable.

“That is your name at the top of the paper, yes?”

I nodded.

“You love writing music, don’t you?”

Again, I nodded.

“Before you came in this morning, did you truly love this composition?”

“When you do work in any phase of your life, let the work fill you with energy, and be ready to sign your name to it.”

Howard Yermish

I barely moved, but he was right, I didn’t love this piece yet. I knew it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, and his suggestions and changes sounded better than what I had originally written.

“Howard, you must love your melodies. If you don’t, why would anyone else love them?”

And there it was, some of the most impactful words that I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

He could tell that I needed a little break. He pulled out a piece by Aaron Copland and talked about how the energy of that particular work filled everyone with joy, but that ‘Uncle Aaron’ would feel more energy than anyone when he conducted his piece. And he talked about how that energy lifted the musicians around him, which in turn lifted the audience.

He flipped to the end, pointed to the closing double bar.

“When you write the double-bar and put your name on the top, remember that you have a responsibility to everyone that might hear your piece ever, but first to yourself. It is your work, and it is your name.”

(I’m not quite sure that this is exactly what he said, but it is the movie script version.)

Whether a short piece for solo flute or an hour-long symphony for an orchestra, every note of every measure requires the composer’s love.

Every brush stroke, every pixel, every frame, every word, every line of code…

When you do work in any phase of your life, let the work fill you with energy, and be ready to sign your name to it.


The IC Way #25: Make Quality Personal
Demonstrate a passion for excellence and take pride in the quality of everything you do. Pay attention to the details, double-check your work, and don’t accept mediocrity. Always ask yourself, “Is this my best work?” Consider how your actions affect our collective reputation and be a proud ambassador for the company.

Do you love to make quality personal? Howard is adding a Sr. Product Manager to his team! Learn more about our Salesforce applications here and the opportunity to manage them here.


More About Internet Creations’ Weekly Fundamentals – The IC Way
Each week, a different team member at IC circulates an internal email or a piece of content that brings life to one of our 29 fundamentals (The IC Way) from their perspective. This provides our team with a unique lens to view the weekly fundamental – through a co-worker’s eyes. These internal messages have made a significant impact on our workplace culture, and in an effort to spread this impact around to our customers and our community, we’re sharing more of The IC Way with you.

Howard Yermish

Director, Product at Internet Creations
In addition to his responsibilities as the Director of Product at Internet Creations, he is a seasoned presenter/speaker, an avid photographer, music composer and all around groovy human. Howard is a member of the Lightning Champions program.
Howard Yermish
Howard Yermish
Howard Yermish
In addition to his responsibilities as the Director of Product at Internet Creations, he is a seasoned presenter/speaker, an avid photographer, music composer and all around groovy human. Howard is a member of the Lightning Champions program.