Success 360: The Power of Focus
Aug 24, 2022
When Axon's customer success executive, Aminata Brown, enters the room there is a distinct first impression that she is uniquely both commanding and approachable. She shows up to do the work, yet she remains conversational and focuses on those around her. Like many at Axon, Aminata is always busy with multiple fast-paced projects that are all moving at a fast clip. Yet, regardless of the demands of the job and a sometimes hectic schedule, she maintains an agile flexibility about her day that allows her to prioritize efficiently and meet customer needs.
So what’s her secret? It’s simple, really. Focus and be present.
Aminata has cultivated a framework that enables her to thrive at Axon, where adaptability, perseverance and a deep connection to a personal mission are high-value assets.
Tap into some real-world wisdom from Aminata about how she has learned to apply focus for both her career and everyday success.
Individual Focus: A People First Approach
One of Axon’s six core values is called ‘Join Forces.’ It’s a call to action to work as one global team.
We believe creating the future is a team sport. When a company scales globally in 40 different markets with multiple technology stacks ranging from wearables and cloud to electronic weapons, you need teamwork. One of the ways we commit to our Join Forces value, is by operating with a people-first approach.
For example, Leo Rossignac-Milon, an Axon principle software engineer, recognizes just how much work-life balance and relationship-building are respected at Axon. “Six years ago, I knew I had found a place to call home. Axon invests in its employees, and it shows.”
Before Aminata arrived at Axon, she was already well-aligned with the “people-first“ concept. Her career began in change management, focusing on the impact of technology on people.
While working for the New Orleans Police Department as their Chief Technology Advisor and Chief Innovation Officer, she embarked on a heavy process of interviews about the demands of the job, understanding the tools they were using, and what was and wasn’t working. Informed by a deep understanding of the people doing the work and their daily needs, she then launched seven programs to transform their core tech systems.
The key ingredient to the success of her programs was a people-first approach. Where most people focus on the tech, Aminata focuses on the people and the challenges they face while doing their job. Once this is clearly understood, she applies the best possible tech solutions.
People-first, not tech-first, is the underlying concept that Aminata brings to her work. This approach has been transformational for her clients and employers. Axon shares the same modus operandi. While we are a public safety tech company, our focus is on positively impacting the communities we serve.
Joining Axon allowed Aminata to continue to focus on the work she was doing with a private sector company that shares her personal approach, values and mission.
Mission Oriented: Focus on Your Purpose
Most people work at a job that pays the bills. Many people work at a job that makes them feel like they are contributing to a solution that people benefit from in some way, shape or form. However, very few people get to connect the work they do with a true calling and higher purpose. At Axon, the everyday work people concern themselves with has the ability to save lives.
For example, when Michael Wilson had his first baby, it triggered the need to rethink his career. He not only wanted something that would align with a higher purpose, but he also wanted something to help him actively make the world a better place for his son. He’s now the Director of Artificial Intelligence at Axon. “While challenging, the impact we can make in the world and the opportunity in front of us far exceeds anything I’ve ever been a part of.”
Aminata - a multi-passionate, driven and entrepreneurial-minded powerhouse - also founded a nonprofit in West Africa that provides academic support for girls who had few opportunities and would most likely end up as life-long load bearers at marketplaces. In addition, she even started a women’s social enterprise to provide Ghanaian women from the country’s most rural areas with skills development and job opportunities to help fund the nonprofit, and create multi-generational success paths. Now, the program graduates are accountants, teachers, business owners and other professionals with real opportunities ahead of them.
Even more impressive is that Aminata did all of this on the side while she built a full-time consulting practice. She did it because she needs that connection with her purpose - to make a contribution beyond her job. Axon, like her time with NOPD, allows her to do just that.
“Rick released the book, The End of Killing. And I really got what Axon was all about - how this work can have a powerful impact. For me, coming from a consulting background where the bottom line is always counted in dollars and cents to the bottom line being counted in life and death, that was really all I needed for the transition to public safety to make sense to me. Now I have a much more holistic experience professionally.”
Rather than being divided between a satisfying, healthy career in the private sector and her purpose-led work in the nonprofit sector, Aminata, like so many, discovered she could develop a singular focus on both by working at Axon.
Mindset: Cultivate Distraction-Free Focus
Working in the tech industry can be challenging for a variety of reasons. There are a lot of brilliant minds with great ideas and competing priorities. The work itself can be challenging. Collaborating across a global workforce has endless possibilities and endless walls to scale.
And in life, there are endless challenges as we navigate recessions, pandemics, wars, and closer to home, communities, families, personal health and more.
But when it comes to focus, it’s really up to the individual to discover and maintain the right mindset.
Aminata has her own take on how to truly show leadership and advance her career. It’s centered on keeping the focus on her purpose and what she is about; to avoid getting distracted by people with competing worldviews or agendas. Focus on doing good work, and success will follow.
“I think very early in my career I had this mindset about being a young black female professional. I wondered who would listen to me. I believed in false limits that I heard about my potential influence. Over time, I learned to stop living in ideas about other’s thoughts and to focus only on my own purpose. My father also taught me to never take no for an answer. I took that to heart and it’s given me an unstoppable drive with less useless distractions.”
Aminata realizes there will always be blocks to overcome in life, whether people, systems, or resources, regardless of race or gender. Her answer is to commit to her own value; to shift her focus and mindset away from what could close her in, to what will get her through. To avoid making someone else’s limitation her limit. She learned how to apply this next-level strength and power from the women and girls that she worked with in Africa. And it was present during her time at the New Orleans Police Department.
“There are so many messages out there and the more we buy into the wrong ones, the smaller we make ourselves. I have purpose and with that comes fortitude. My job is to remain clear about what I am here to accomplish. I need to make sure I’m bringing real value to the work that I do. I’m here to be a force multiplier for all those around me because I have surrounded myself with people who deserve the best and who are doing tremendous good for our world.”
Aminata’s final thoughts for those who are looking for ways to focus on a successful career are:
We are on a mission to Protect Life. We’re building technology to change the world, pursuing society’s most formidable safety and justice issues with our ecosystem of devices and cloud software. If this sounds like a mission you would like to be a part of, check out our resources below:
- Follow us on LinkedIn.
- Read more about Axon Careers.
- Explore our benefits.
- Search for open positions.