Mark Graham on What Gets Easier and What Gets Harder

In Chapter 5 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Mark Graham answers "What is Getting Easier and What is Getting Harder in Your Life?"  Graham notes that since his last Capture Your Flag interview, he was promoted from senior editor to managing editor.  With the promotion, Graham faces new responsibilities that are pushing him to break out of old habits.  Now three years into working at VH1, Graham finds he has a handle on how to work efficiently inside a large organization.  Mark Graham is currently a managing editor at VH1, an MTV Networks company. Previously Graham worked in editing and writing roles at New York Magazine and Gawker Media.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English.  


Erik Michielsen: What is getting easier and what is getting harder in your life?

Mark Graham: I’ll start with the harder part. I’ll take part B first. I’ve—since my last interview here, Capture Your Flag, this is Year 3. In the last year, I got a promotion. I went from being a senior editor at VH1 to a managing editor at VH1. So one of the challenges and things that’s getting harder in my life is now that I have more people reporting up through me, staying on top of things and being organized is something that’s -- really I’m trying to learn a lot about. I’ve always been sort of a last-minute Louie kind of a fellow, you know, I really appreciate the pressure of deadlines and things like that, and so consequently I tend to do lots of things sort of at the last minute when it’s the 11th hour and the heat is on, like Glenn Frey used to say. 

So I’m learning to try to get more organized in my life and my approach, and so consequently dealing with personal responsibilities and professional responsibilities, and managing a team of people, that’s something that I’m—it’s a new challenge in my life and something I’m looking to get better at. 

What’s getting easier is I’m at little, about 3 years into my job at VH1 right now, so I’ve got a better grasp on how our organization operates, how people interface within the organization, how different departments work together, how to get the most out of different groups and to be able to communicate efficiently, and by having some time and some experience in the organization, I feel like I’ve got a better sense of things and there’s not as much learning process involved, it’s more about honing and refining rather than learning all of the steps.