Felix Steinke grew up in the cradle of the automobile: Stuttgart, Germany. The city is home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche and is where Bosch and Mahle auto parts are produced. Most notably, Stuttgart—230 kilometers west on the Autobahn from Munich—is where Karl Benz invented the automobile in the 1880s.
Given his hometown’s car history, Felix thought his career was paved before him. But his personality, defined by the mantra—”Leave your comfort zone and take risks”— nudged him outside the auto world and into a rewarding career as an account executive for Asana in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
Since joining in 2019, Felix has helped companies in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland find clarity, efficiency, and productivity more often.
Below is an interview with Felix. It has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
What attracted you to Asana?
Many factors attracted me to join Asana back in 2019. Some key elements were the culture, an incredible product that enables teams to move faster, and the opportunity to learn and grow.
Asana’s culture is based on solid values that resonated with me from the start. One of my favorite values is heartitude which means to me that you share memorable moments, inside and outside of work.
What was your journey to joining Asana, and how have you grown since joining?
I was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, well known for its automotive industry. Cars have been my big passion ever since, so I decided to study Automotive Business in Germany.
After graduation, I applied for jobs mainly in the Automotive industry to jumpstart my career. At that time (late 2018), one of our wonderful Asana recruiters reached out to me regarding the EMEA region’s second Enterprise Development Representative position.
I researched the company and product and found [Asana co-founder Justin Rosenstein’s] vision video, which truly inspired me. The fantastic interview process with the different stakeholders from our teams convinced me to pack my bags and move to Dublin, Ireland, where our EMEA HQ is based.
Ireland is well known for being the tech hub of Europe—it is also one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to (when it’s not raining). During my time in Ireland working at Asana, one of my favorite areas was visiting the Ring of Kerry in the country’s southwest. It’s home to beautiful landscapes, authentic pubs, and great seafood.
“My mentors and my manager supported me in learning the fundamentals.”
As an Enterprise Development Representative, I supported Asana’s Enterprise Sales team to drive new business across our region. My mentors and manager supported me in learning the fundamentals and core skills I needed to develop in the role. After 12 months in the role, I was able to move to the Corporate Sales Team, where I was responsible for the entire sales cycle. I started closing my first deals and got so much excitement from it. There is nothing better than a signed order form in your inbox.
Asana places a huge emphasis on career growth, so the continuous support from my manager and mentors enabled my sales skills to evolve over the two years as a Corporate Account Executive. As a result, I’ve been promoted twice since being hired.
I’m beyond happy that I decided to leave my comfort zone and take on a job outside my core industry, move abroad, and jumpstart my career at one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies. I have since moved back to Germany and am based in Munich, and it’s been exciting to see Asana grow our product and team in Germany.
What is something unique about your team in Munich?
Our team is special as everyone comes from different industries (fashion, tech, automotive, sport). Diversity creates value and expertise for us, and everyone is super supportive and transparent—especially when it comes to sharing best practices.
I love the energy and enthusiasm at our Munich office, which makes work so fun. Our office is located in the heart of Munich with loads of nice cafes and restaurants around.
We always try to gather outside work to spend time with the team on hikes, after-work dinners, and drinks. We went to Andechs Monastery for lunch on our last team off-site and hiked to lake Ammersee.
What is the most common challenge that companies in your region face?
The pandemic has changed the way businesses work. Organizations now have to navigate in-person, remote, and hybrid work models, and as such, how we collaborate has had to evolve.
Even with the shift to remote or hybrid work for so many companies, knowledge workers continue to spend 60% of their day on work about work (tasks like email or status updates that drain the day of productive, satisfying work. We want to help every worker achieve clarity in their working day and enable leaders to build more engaging, enjoyable, and productive workplaces.
What is your favorite success story with Asana?
I have seen many of my clients over three years at Asana who managed to improve their visibility, clarity, and productivity tremendously. One of my favorite success stories in our region is Awin. Awin is the world’s largest provider of affiliate marketing. The company is headquartered in Berlin and helps advertisers and publishers partner to drive sales.
Asana played a role in Awin moving to a four-day work week because of increased operating efficiency, which is truly impressive.
What’s your personal mantra, and where did it come from?
“Leave your comfort zone and take risks.” This mindset applies to my professional and personal life. Many new opportunities only evolve once you put yourself on the line. You won’t always succeed straight away, and you will often fail, but that’s fine; you either win or learn.
“Leave your comfort zone and take risks.”
I’m quite passionate about sports (road cycling, skiing, and windsurfing). That’s how my personal mantra started. The only way to get better is to train harder and push the boundaries every time you work out. When I started road cycling, I could barely complete 70 kilometers in half a day. After loads of training and dedication on the bike, I can exceed the 100-kilometer mark by far.
What is a piece of advice you give to new Asanas?
Own your career—you are responsible for your career progression. Think about where you want to be in the short-, mid-, and long-term.
Define clear milestones with your manager and work backward from there. Map out skills you need to develop for the next role or play you want to make and people and mentors who can provide guidance and support.
Read this article in German.
Asana Voices is a regular series that features one-on-one interviews with talented individuals on our global team. You’ll get to know the people inside the company, including the twists and turns in their career journeys, what it’s really like working at Asana, and what they value most about their extraordinary impact on our company, customers, and mission.