TheBridge profile: Michone Johnson
Name: Michone Johnson
Current city: Washington, DC
Current job: Vice President of Federal Government Relations, Verizon
Past job: Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, US House Judiciary Committee
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Downtown, it could be Paul's or Pret, not as crowded as other places. If I am on Capitol Hill, it is about convenience - the Senate chef or Dunkin in Longworth.
Q. Describe one way a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your new job. My old boss wanted you to give him three points that mattered to the person you were addressing/advocating- I try to begin with that. People respond to what is important to them.
Q. Job advice in three words? 3 words?! Understand your limits- A fancy way of saying know what you don't know. I think people are okay if you say upfront that your don't know something but will look into it.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? Some days I feel like the most important part of my job is helping people understand what future endeavors will mean to them. Not just the tech savvy people, mind you, but the luddites. If you can explain to someone how something could enhance their life, what once was perceived as problem can be viewed as a solution.
Q: How many hours of sleep do you get? 6 1/2 but I am really try to get to bed earlier so I can get 8 hours. I feel so much better with more sleep.
Q: Most underrated virtue in an employee? Curiosity. People who are interested in how things- an organization, a new technology- work are often the people who can help make it better.
Q: What can Silicon Valley teach DC? That it is okay to be disruptive. Really innovative folks come to DC with new ideas and then they conform. SV seems to celebrate thinking outside of the box, which can be helpful in DC.
Q: What can DC teach Silicon Valley? You should try listen to everyone, even those who are against you. Someone who is against you on one issue may be your biggest ally on another.
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