What do you do in your role?
As the Modern Workplace Director, my role is to help our clients find the right Microsoft solution for their technology roadmap and showcase the amazing talents of the team we have here at Involta. There are many options when it comes to migrating traditional infrastructure tools to the cloud. It can seem daunting, and our job is to help take that overwhelmed feeling out of it while providing best practices of what we as a collective team have seen work elsewhere and things to avoid along their journey.
Another key part of my role is to help our staff and our clients understand the myriad benefits of migrating some of their traditional infrastructure components to the cloud. Microsoft’s 365 product suite has grown substantially over the past few years, with a focus not only on work-from-anywhere scenarios and ease of collaboration, but also on security of devices and data. Finding the right fit for an organization’s needs and size is where we as the Modern Workplace team can provide real value to our clients. Finally, being a good partner, I feel it’s important to be open and honest with those we work with, providing them honest feedback and building that relationship on trust. I’ve found over the years that vendors and people who provided me honest feedback and looked at the entire picture and not just the task at hand were the ones I leaned on the most and that is what I want to provide to others as well.
What are your most valuable talents or skills?
I like to think I am a bit of a people person, although I am sure there are some who know me and may chuckle at that remark. But I am driven by others' success, so I want to help them succeed whether finding the right solution for their organization or helping them overcome an obstacle they are facing outside the scope they are looking at currently. The key is to stop and fully listen to what they ultimately want to do. Many times, if we take a moment to stop and listen to the full story we can help clear some confusion or roadblocks out of one’s path. We can help them see different approaches that will get them to their goal without creating more obstacles or roadblocks along the way. Another skill I learned from being a farm kid is getting your hands dirty. The best way to learn is to experience it yourself. I wouldn’t sit here and make a recommendation on something I haven’t tried to do or experienced myself in some capacity. Being willing to get your hands dirty to jump in and constantly learn makes you a stronger professional, a trusted colleague or leader, and instills confidence when you are talking about a subject that you have knowledge on yourself.
What inspires you to succeed every day?
The people I get to interact with and the challenges or opportunities that await me inspire me. I recently read a couple of books by Jon Gordon that really hit home in a lot of ways. The first was The Energy Bus, which talks about the energy we bring to different situations in our lives both professionally and personally. It outlines the importance of that energy and how not only does it affect your own approach to everything but the impact it can have on others as well. So, I want to make sure that the energy I bring is positive and helps not only energize my own life but the energy of others. The second book is The Carpenter where a man is trying to build his business but is not paying enough attention to the small details. He learns that it’s about the small details, taking the time, being present, and investing in the principles that make what you are providing unique. By doing those little things and taking care of each task, we not only build success, but also help build a successful team and a successful experience for our clients.
What top three things have contributed to your success?
I think the first thing is accepting failure and understanding failure is one of the best ways to learn. Too often we look at failure as a bad thing with a negative connotation, but failure can be one of the best learning opportunities we have in life and our careers. While I certainly don’t approach a task or project expecting to fail, I try to not let those hiccups stop me from trying or paralyze me when they do occur. Instead, look at what it was that led you to that outcome, learn from it, get back up and try again. I always encourage those around me that it's okay to fail sometimes, use that failure and learn from it and keep growing. Also, if you are failing it means you are looking for innovative ways to do something different and each of those failures is a lesson helping you learn and redirect you toward success.
Next is surrounding yourself with great people. I recently saw a quote from Leadership First on LinkedIn that said “We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.” I think that not only applies to the way I approach my career, not only who I surround myself with, but also how I view our interaction with our clients. We are here to help our clients succeed, to work together to find a solution that not only fits to their organization but provides an opportunity to showcase the wonderful resources we have here at Involta. Surrounding yourself with the right people, the right mentors (which I’ve been privileged to have many over my professional and personal career), and the right team has certainly contributed to my success.
The third item would be to never stop learning. The technology industry is constantly evolving and sometimes it seems at a pace we cannot keep up with. I remember starting my first job and wearing a pager to get alerts, then to a cell phone, then to smart phones allowing me to pretty much connect from anywhere. Things will continue to evolve and in order to change with them you have to keep learning to keep trying new things and keep exploring the next technology and the impact it can have across the landscape you serve.
What project/s from are you most proud of in your time at Involta?
All of them 😃! I’ve been with Involta for a little over 3 months now and I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with amazing people both internally and from a client perspective. The team has had the ability to showcase some of our talents and knowledge and I look forward to continuing that interaction as we continue to grow the Modern Workplace focus within Involta. Every experience is unique as every organization is different in the way they interact with each other and their clients. It’s been exciting to talk with our clients and help them find the right Modern Workplace solution to fit their unique needs. I look forward to continuing to help our clients grow and showcase the amazing ability Involta has to help offer great solutions to meet their ever-changing needs, in an ever-changing world.