Ken Rona on Making a Career Transition from Specialist to Generalist

In Chapter 7 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Ken Rona answers "What Do You Enjoy Most About What You Do?"  Rona talks about the rewarding elements of his progressive managerial responsibilities interfacing with C-level executives and his related career transition from more specialist-oriented job roles to more generalist-oriented ones. 

Ken Rona is a Vice President at Turner Broadcasting, where he leads teams across advertising sales, big data software development and business strategy.  Rona earned a BA and MA in Political Science from Stony Brook University and a PhD in Behavioral Economics from Duke University. 


Erik Michielsen: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Ken Rona: I notice a shift in my—in what I spend my time doing—in the last year. The team is functioning I think very effectively. Instead, my job has more evolved to—I have to communicate what the team does. Right? To people—to people outside the organization or even inside the division I’m in. To monitor what’s going on in the industry. To interface with our C-level officers.

So I think—I think that’s been a shift in the role and I found that very interesting. It’s no longer am I solely valued for my analytic skills or my product management, my analytic product management skills. Now my value is coming from how I communicate with our senior folk and other folks that are kind of in the industry.

And that’s been—That’s been very interesting. As I say it’s—it requires a bit of a shift in mentality. As I say, it’s like –It’s a seat change, or it’s a step change, in what I was doing. So I felt like this year in particular, my career has taken a—my job has shifted. That it’s—it still encompasses the old stuff but it has a much more of a component around communication.