MSP Summit/Channel Partners Leadership Summit: Secrets to Success ― Channel Women Speak to Cultivating LeadersMSP Summit/Channel Partners Leadership Summit: Secrets to Success ― Channel Women Speak to Cultivating Leaders
Women took to the Channel Partners Leadership Summit stage to empower their peers.
September 13, 2022
MSP SUMMIT/CHANNEL PARTNERS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT — The secrets to success in the workplace can be as simple as taking time for oneself. It’s a hallmark of a good leader.
That’s according to Jasmina Muller, vice president, global channel sales at ScienceLogic, who said finding the right balance at work means prioritizing your personal life, too.
“Take that time for yourself, or you won’t be successful anywhere else,” said Muller, who added that she shuts work off on the weekends so she can spend time with her family.
Cassie Jeppson, director of North America channel programs at Lenovo, said she had two secrets to success.
The first: Set realistic expectations for yourself. You don’t want to be unnecessarily hard on yourself and crash and burn if the expectations are too high.
Jeppson said her initial experiences at Lenovo were ones where she was insecure with the job duties. And that’s OK, she said. So, the other secret to success: “Fake it until you make it.”
Muller and Jeppson spoke Tuesday as part of keynotes at the MSP Summit and Channel Partners Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida. Tuesday featured a summit within a summit, if you will — women channel leaders took to the stage to empower their peers in the first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit.
The talks addressed what it takes to be a successful female leader, the ways DE&I initiatives can foster that leadership and ways to build a leadership brand.
The speakers addressed how their respective companies address diversity and inclusion, and how these initiatives can empower women in leadership roles if properly implemented.
Melanie Calabretti said she had been in the industry for 18 years and at times was the only female in the business room. As senior regional partner manager at RingCentral, she said things are different.
“RingCentral has done a fantastic job at really bringing diversity into the workplace,” Calabretti said.
“I think where companies fall off is not taking things one step further. While you can bring employees on and diversify, what are you really doing to collaborate and invest in those employees so that they are successful?”
She added that RingCentral has an 100% rating with the Human Rights Campaign for equality regarding their investment in their employees.
Pandemic and Leadership
Some people have cited the disruption caused by the pandemic as a reason for a decline in interest in DE&I initiatives.
Raquel Wiley, vice president of marketing, NetFortris, said that was unlikely the case and an excuse.
“I’m not going to blame it on the pandemic,” Wiley said. “I believe that for those who are not keeping their pulse on the finger when it comes to this thing really don’t understand the value of it to your organization. They just never will. Yet, they’re going to have to get on board because the train has left the station.”
The keynotes primarily represented the thoughts and sentiments of women in channel leadership roles. However, male counterparts also spoke of the importance of promoting successful female leaders.
Todd McNabb, president and CRO at ScienceLogic, spoke about his commitment to diversity at his company.
“At ScienceLogic, my team and I are very deliberate each and every day to drive stronger and stronger diversity,” McNabb said. “Many on my team know each day I talk about diversity, how important it is, not only to our customers but to who we are as a company.”
In fact, the company expects women and others in leadership positions to abide by something McNabb coined: inspirational accountability.
“You have to be inspiring to people, especially post Covid,” he said. “People want to work for individuals so that when the times are tough they know that they can rely on them.”
Building a Personal Brand
Part of being a successful leader, woman or otherwise, is establishing a “brand” for oneself. Empathy is a key part of it.
“There are a lot of variables that go into it,” said Cheryl Rang, executive director, advanced solutions, Ingram Micro. “The more that you can find ways to empathize with different people on your team, the more it will help you continue to build out that trust in that leadership brand.”
Empathy is a cornerstone of leadership and brand development, the speakers said. However, it is demonstrated from a top-down approach. Most bosses are left out of the empathy chain.
“Don’t forget to ask your boss how they’re doing,” said MeiLee Langley, senior director, worldwide channel marketing, LiveVox. “Very rarely do people ask that question at work. But the pressure mounts the further up you go.”
Empathy is also a component of being one’s true self, and authenticity is part of the leadership dynamic.
Kathleen Curry is global director, worldwide strategic alliances at AWS.
“Once you find being your authentic self, you want to lean into it,” Curry said.
Establishing a relationship with a mentor can aid in the process. They can help you cultivate the traits that you may desire to be an effective leader.
“They really listen to understand what your leadership skills are,” she said.
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