Expanding Your Circle of Influence

February 12, 2016 by

FountainBlue’s February 12 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Expanding Your Circle of Influence. We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around what it takes to be influential and impactful within an organization. They agreed on the following:

  • Knowing who you are, what you’re passionate about, and being committed to delivering results and getting things done are the heart of every influential leader.
  • Communicating who you are and engaging and listing others in your web of influence to join in and support goals and objectives comes only after the first step, but is also critical.
  • Reaching for more breadth and experience, being open to new people and learnings helped make our panelists the successful and influential leaders they are.
  • Taking the high road, seeing the larger picture, and being open and accepting of others helps leaders navigate waters, which can be sometimes turbulent, especially when there’s a lot of change. And even when things are pretty stable, because of the nature of tech companies and the market changes overall, everyone needs to deal with a very diverse base of stakeholders. Learning the motivations of the audience, and communicating in a way they understand is also critical in order to be influential.

Below is advice from our panel for those who want to be more influential:

  • Don’t think that to be an influential you have to be a Dragon Lady. Be influential in a direct, positive, collaborative, win-for-all way.
  • In the same token, don’t hold back from trying to be influential because you want to be nice, because you don’t like conflict.
  • Get your facts straight and focus on the data to influence others on a course of action and decision.
  • Have a broad and deep network of connections, spinning a web across all those you touch. Use those connections to get the information, resources and connections you need to get work done!
  • Select a leadership team, company and culture that aligns well with your values, who you are, what you’re about.
  • Being trustworthy, authentic, goal-focused and direct will help make sure that you are worthy of the influence you wield.
  • Pick your battles. Know what you will focus on and change, work with what you can’t change. There will be those Dragon Ladies, those cows-in-the-road, but ignore and push forward to achieve that higher purpose. 

In the end, the heart of influence is a brand, a reputation for consistently and persistently delivering results, in a wide range of roles and settings.


Please join us in thanking our speakers for FountainBlue’s February 12 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Expanding Your Circle of Influence and our gracious hosts at Dell.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Megan Bozio, Sr. Director, Global Key Accounts Program Office, Oracle
  • Panelist Karen Randig, Director of Finance, Dell 
  • Panelist Nithya Ruff, Head of Open Source Strategy Office, SanDisk, President for Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) at SanDisk

Convergence of Industries and Technologies

February 5, 2016 by

AgePersonalizationFountainBlue’s February 5 VIP roundtable was on the topic of Convergence of Industries and Technologies! Below are notes from the conversation. Please join us in thanking our execs for sharing their insights and to our gracious hosts at Applied Materials.

  1. There are more similarities between ostensibly disparate industries within and outside tech than we think. Being open to conversations with leaders from other sectors will help build synergies, ideas and relationships.
  2. The leaders around the table represent a wide range of industries from telephony to semiconductor, from storage to software of many ilks. Their stories reflected the emergence and evolution of tech within Silicon Valley over the last 40 years, but the greatest convergence stories were from only the last five years – an indication of how quickly things are emerging and evolving, and how ripe the opportunities are right now.
  3. Tech companies from across the valley are generally involved in many industry sectors, leveraging the business process, IT, big data and others successes from tech and serving customers across the globe, across industries with services and products. 
  4. With the consolidations in the market and the commoditization of specific hardware and networks, and the sophistication of cloud-based services such as Amazon and Google, tech companies and their leaders need to look beyond the infrastructure level for the opportunities to provide consultations, services and customizations.  
  5. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC, see Geoffrey Moore’s article, with credit to Malcom Grant of Cognizant for the acronym) will be an integral element to creating opportunities as technologies converge. Companies need to leverage social communication patterns of today’s customers, provide solutions which work on the preferred devices of their customers, leverage big data to better understand and even predict preferences and behaviors, and provide solutions on the cloud which keep information and data secure, safe, scalable, and reliable. 
  6. Technology will affect every industry, every sector, every company. Adoption rates may be slower for some people/companies/countries, but it’s a question of when, not whether tech will be adopted.
  7. Technology solutions in one sector are interesting opportunities for those in other sectors.
  8. Leaders who are open to change, open to adopting new technologies through development and M&A will remain leaders.
  9. There are many levels of resistance around privacy. Some people are OK sharing aggregated information and some people are very private indeed. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, expect that it’s a given that many will know what you do/what you’ve done, others will want to do something you wouldn’t approve once they have that information, and still others will try to protect you from that second class of people.
  10. Leaders, companies, governments are all struggling with that privacy and security question, working hard to get what customers want – secure and broad yet private access.

Below are some predictions for opportunities ahead.

  1. There is a tremendous opportunity to bring tech into low-tech companies and industries – from updating and automating manufacturing processes to providing rapid-prototyping and design capabilities.
  2. Tech companies could help bring aging infrastructure up-to-date, working in partnership with local, state and federal governments. 
  3. IoT opportunities will continue to explode, and everyday objects in everyday industries will be ‘intelligent’, sharing usage and location data, and also touch almost everyone.
  4. Standardizations around platforms, protocols and interfaces will evolve, and once they do, IoT opportunities will further abound.
  5. Watch especially for consumer wearables, mobile apps in all areas, including telehealth and localization.
  6. Tech companies and Biopharma and medical device companies will partner with communities of patients to develop personalized diagnostics and treatments and even cures. 
  7. Hospitals will work with tech and healthcare IT and biopharma companies to better serve the needs of the patients and the community.

In the end, it’s about leaders with the vision to see what’s next in the industry, what would better serve the customer. Choose a company and a leader you can work with and for, and do your share to shape the future. Surround yourself with others with a similar mind set.

Choose a New Way

January 26, 2016 by

OldWayNewWayCan you feel that accelerated pace of business where you’re sitting right now? There’s going to be a tipping point where those in the lead will grow by leaps and bounds, and those fighting and resisting the inevitable change will be left in the dust. We certainly *are* at a nexus, because of all the changes in communications, infrastructure and technology that have come before us. I’ve worked with a wide range of both early stage and large established companies, and it’s my hope that this post will help more leaders and companies choose a new way of doing business.

  1. Choose to be customer-centric. Know and anticipate what your most desired customers want and don’t only deliver it, anticipate it before delivering it, exceeding even their high expectations. Gone are the days when we create a cool technology and tool, and customers have to figure out why they need it and how to use it!
  2. The internet of things is not just a buzz word, it’s about the technology embedded in real everyday things that will be an integral part of everyone’s lives. The leaders will be companies who can create compelling solutions which are easily used, managed and scaled, as well as secure and attractive for customers, whose lives will be easier and more comfortable because of these solutions.
  3. Expect that tech will reach all industries, no matter how mundane, everyday, disconnected, isolated, unromantic you once thought they were. From garbage to clothes, from drugs to books, from energy to food, from flooring to accessories, tech will touch it all, and customize it to the needs of the customer. The only questions are how, when, with whom. The leaders are the companies who can envision how non-tech can embrace the technology that will scale the growth for partner companies.
  4. Proactive management of data and processes will be an integral part of all successful solutions. Separating the noise from the critical data points, visualizing the trends from the volumes of information are critical to understanding what customers want and how to deliver it.
  5. Robust analytics, versatile security and cloud-based architectural planning to help ensure scalable growth and processing and optimize reliability and flexibility.
  6. Moving to mobile apps, integrated with web and cloud solutions is just responding to the needs and preferences of the customer.
  7. Making it easy for customers to communicate and connect with each other and the company will help company leaders keep their finger on the pulse, and empower advocates and ambassadors for the product and company.
  8. Separating what’s real and what’s vapor in terms of financials is just being honest with yourself and those who work with you and believe in you. Start with an honest assessment and real projections, and be strong enough to own up to discrepancies between actual and reported numbers. As Warren Buffet would say, ‘You know who’s been swimming without their shorts when the tide goes out’.
  9.  What I’m saying with all of the above is that we are in the Age of the Customer – and those who know that and live that and respond to that will be the companies and leaders who succeed.
  10. And lastly, what I’m saying is that it takes true leaders to respond to all of the above, and seize the opportunities in the new way business is done.

Your mileage probably varies! Please share your thoughts and perspectives. We hope that you choose and grow a company and leader adopting the New Way!

Choose This, Not That

January 26, 2016 by

Choose your wayIn this very competitive employee market, everyone is looking for that top talent that would best represent the company, best grow the business and best serve partners and customers. But most of us have experienced first-hand the folly and consequences of those bad-hires that have missed the mark – maybe not in a ‘bad’ way, but in a way that means lost opportunity, and lost time. Here are some rules of thumb I suggest, when you face two apparently equally-qualified candidates for that critical position.

  1. Passion vs. Efficiency. Choose the one who is more passionate about the role, the task and the business. Sometimes you might find someone more efficient than passionate, and that’s good too, but the passionate one will more likely have more fortitude, more perseverance and more patience for the long run.
  2. Education vs. Experience. Some companies and hiring managers look for the right degree from the right school. But I’m personally more impressed by how someone has applied that education in the work context, to produce tangible results. (And I’m personally *not* impressed with companies and pseudo-leaders who are snobbish about educational pedigree.)
  3. In-depth knowledge vs. Openness to learning.  It’s wonderful to meet someone who knows the ins and outs of technologies, processes and solutions, and even more wonderful if he or she is open to learning new ways of doing things. But if you had to choose one or the other, choose the one who is more open. For anyone who thinks that they know how things are done/should be done may not be able to shift with the speed of business, especially when you need to do it quickly!
  4. Process vs Agility. Of course you want someone who is efficient and puts processes in place so that she or he doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel at every turn. But you also want someone agile and nimble enough to flex with the needs of customers and markets. Ideally you need both, but if you had to choose, go with those who are agile and customer-minded, yet efficient and process-driven.
  5. In the box vs. Out of the box. When you’re in-the-box, you know the ins and outs of the business, the technologies, the people around you. Thinking and acting out-of-the-box is good, when done well, but it can also be disrupting and disconcerting for those around you, so of course you need a balance. If you have to choose, select the out-of-the-box thinker and doer who knows how to communicate the whys and whats before making others around them feel uncomfortable.
  6. Speak vs. Listen. Any great leader is also a great communicator. But most leaders don’t know that speaking with impact comes only after listening to those around you. So get the quiet candidates to speak their mind, and don’t assume that they would be too quiet and too complacent for the job. And teach her or him how to speak after listening.
  7. Thorough vs. Intuitive. If your thorough candidate follows the 80-20 rule, it’s all good. And if your intuitive candidate is basing intuition on data, that’s also all good. And if you have to choose one or the other, for most roles, the intuitive who understand the data is better. The exception is when a role needs to be extremely thorough, and every nuance of data and task is important, and much rides on the data and information available, go with the more thorough candidate.
  8. And vs Or. You have candidates who are very competitive and speak to their greatness in delivering specific results. And you have candidates who talk about the efforts of the team and how together the team is greater than individual members. This ‘and’ thinking is the kind of collaborative mind set which will better help your company, than the ‘or’ thinking that characterizes how someone is trying to sell herself or himself over someone else who is equally qualified for the role.
  9. Inclusive vs Selective. You will have candidates who have a track record for working with disparate teams and people, and those who have a track record for working with people just like them. Both are good, but if you had to choose, the one with experience working with diverse people would be more open to working with diverse teams, customers, technologies and requirements.
  10. Breadth vs. Depth. Although doing a deep-dive in any one technology, industry, company or market is also a very good thing, breadth in education, role, experience, company and industry will bring you a more well-rounded candidate.

These are my opinions based on what I’ve seen over 25 years in working with tech business experiencing much change. I’m sure that your mileage will vary, and I welcome your thoughts! But I also hope that my thoughts above will help you weigh which candidate would work better for you.

A Work-Life Balance that Works for Life – in SF

January 23, 2016 by

JanuaryCollageFountainBlue’s January 22 When She Speaks-in-SF, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of A Work-Life Balance the Works for Life!.  We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around work, life and balance! They have each successfully grown their careers, continually reaching for new roles and positions and better education as well. Collectively, our panelists shared the following pearls of wisdom for those seeking work-life balance.

  • Embrace life and the opportunities in front of you with gusto. Target positions and roles where you have the skills and the passion to succeed, roles where the market values your contributions.
  • Be self-aware enough to know what you want, what you’re good at and confident enough to keep reaching for the skills and experience so that you can succeed in those roles.
  • Consistently deliver to your own high standards and you will have more negotiating power on how your work gets done.
  • Celebrate your victories, but humbly expect that there is much more to learn from everyone around you.
  • Life is a journey which takes constant reflection on what’s working, what’s not working, and what to do about it. Set a high bar for what you want out of life, and how work fits into that framework.
  • Know your values and expectations. What are your non-negotiables, and where can you flex?
  • Make quality time with spouse and children and important others in your life a high priority, even if it means you have to leave at odd hours during the day to be there for them.
  • Select a company and team that would support your work-life balance perspective, and work to make little shifts in support of those you work with and for, so that those around you feel fulfilled at work.
  • Make a job selection based on where you are in your life, and what you want out of life. For example, if you have very young children or heavy responsibilities at home, perhaps taking on international traveling schedules would present too much stress and conflict. 
  • Communicating your work-life balance needs and proactively negotiating to get those needs met at work is critical. Negotiating for the support you need at home is equally important, so that you can focus on what matters – having the time, energy and resources to perform at and deliver in both places.

In the end, remember that life comes first, and work can wait. But work is important, so select work that matters to you, work in which you can excel, and negotiate with your management so that work supports your current life goals.



Please join me in thanking our gracious hosts at Yelp and our panelists!

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Elizabeth Brown, Chief People Officer, Unity
  • Panelist Wendy Jennings, Director, Employee Shareholder Services/Stock Administration, AppDynamics, Inc.
  • Panelist Sonia Oliveira, Director, International (Localization), Zynga
  • Panelist Jodie Yorg, Chief of Staff to the SVP of Revenues, Yelp

A Work-Life Balance that Works for Life

January 16, 2016 by

FountainBlue’s January 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of A Work-Life Balance the Works for Life! 


We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around work, life and balance! They have each successfully grown their careers, continually reaching for new roles and positions and better education as well. Collectively, our panelists shared the following pearls of wisdom for those seeking work-life balance.

  • Know your priorities. The work can often wait, but embrace the opportunities to capture the joy of key moments with your loved ones, and make the effort to spend quality time with your friends and family.
  • Plan-fully setting boundaries and communicating expectations transparently and iteratively can help you both enlist help and support and set you up for success.
  • Remember that it’s a journey and not a destination – be fluid between the surviving and thriving spectrum, aiming more toward the right!
  • Be known for having high standards and consistently delivering to those standards. Then you can build a reputation that will allow you the flexibility to decide how and when things get done, so that you can embrace those precious life moments.
  • Select a company and a management team that speaks the talk, and walks the talk regarding work-life balance.
  • Expect that life will happen, no matter what your plans are. Be kind to yourself and the important people in your life so that you can navigate through the rough patches together, and enjoy the calm moments.
  • Having a supportive spouse makes a huge difference. Select one who wants to partner with you in achieving work and life goals.
  • You don’t have be be-all, do-all. There’s no shame in getting help, whether it’s a maid or nanny, or whether it’s ordering in or eating out, or whether it’s tapping on a family member or neighbor to help out with kids or chores.

In the end, the work work can wait. Don’t let it overwhelm you and compromise your health. Help those who work with you adopt the perspective that they are each more important than the work they do, for they are valued more for who they are.

Resource: Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family – Sep 29 2015, by Anne-Marie Slaughter


Please join us in thanking our speakers for FountainBlue’s January 15 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of A Work-Life Balance the Works for Life and our gracious hosts at EMC.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue – Coach, Adviser and Consultant
  • Panelist Angelique Egorerua, Sr. Manager, ECD Renewal Sales, Americas, EMC
  • Panelist Sara Hepner, Vice President of Worldwide Services Sales, BMC Software
  • Panelist Namrata Mummaneni, Director Quality, Core Product & Technology, eBay
  • Panelist Karen Pieper, Director of Software Operations, Microsemi
  • Panelist Sridevi Koneru Rao, Senior Director, Business Development, Cisco
  • Panelist Lisa Violet, Vice President, Internal Audit and Business Continuity, Hitachi

Negotiating Best Practices

January 15, 2016 by

star success partner vector logoFountainBlue’s January 15 VIP roundtable was on the topic of Negotiating Best Practices. Thank you to our senior execs participating in the discussion, as well as our gracious hosts at OCZ. Below is a summary of advice and pearls of wisdom.

  1. Be strategic and plan-ful about each negotiation, taking the time to understand the objectives and goals of various stakeholders, the motivations and drivers for each side, and work the relationship as you manage the process.
  2. Change is part of life in the tech sector. Understanding how people interact with each other, how success is measured, and how to work with various stakeholders through these changes is critical for the successful implementation of programs and projects.
  3. Today’s companies are international in flavor and scope, and negotiating with staff, business partners, customers, etc., to align goals, deliver results using a common standard, and make the top line and bottom line meet are critical to the recruitment, development and retention of your key talent.
  4. Build strong trust-based relationships with key stakeholders and partners and a relationship for communicating with transparency and integrity while delivering on results. 
  5. When negotiations get complicated, it may help to script out a conversation and do some role-playing to prepare for the negotiation.
  6. Ensure that your role and that of your team is one that facilitates communication and collaboration. 
  7. Have a list of musts, wants, and walk-aways, so that you can help manage the natural gives-and-takes when you have a yes-no-yes conversation. You can also think of it as a sandwich of good and bad things to communicate as part of the negotiation process.
  8. Don’t be afraid to make the ask, if it’s the clear and right thing to do, even if it’s awkward and uncomfortable to do it.
  9. Leveraging specialists and resources during tough negotiations, and always be actively listening and empathetic, especially when the egos of top execs are involved. 
  10. Speak the language of various groups to get them all engaged and aligned on the same goals – understanding and delivering what the customer wants.
  11. Be ready to say yes, but with conditions. (e.g., sure we can deliver by X date/integrate that solution, but we can’t hold to the standard of scalability and reliability we set)
  12. When reaching for the next rung on the corporate ladder, first consider do you want to swim with the sharks? Is it something you’re looking to do with the current company/management? If so, learn to confidently and clearly communicate your results with the right people and ensure that you get credit for the work you do. 

In the end, the key to negotiation is to plan-fully create that win-win, to address your immediate and long-term interests while factoring in that of the various stakeholders.

Fail Forward

December 19, 2015 by

FailForwardIn Silicon Valley, where we wear failure like a badge of courage, we must consider that not all failures are *good* failures. Having witnessed first-hand and indirectly ranging from small to spectacular, my rule of thumb when experiencing failure is whether the failure moves you forward.

  1. Moving forward means that you’ve learned something new about yourself, and what you do well, and not so well.
  2. Moving forward means that you are less likely to do a similar thing again, for very specific reasons.
  3. Moving forward means that you build new relationships in your life that adds more meaning and perspective to what you do at work and at home.
  4. It also means that some important existing relationships are different and/or better.
  5. Moving forward means that you see the overall experience as a net positive one, despite the short-term pain and upset.
  6. Moving forward means that you are stronger and better and more grounded overall.
  7. Moving forward means people who know you and used to know you may see you now in a different light.
  8. Moving forward means that you can forgive yourself, and others involved and know better what to expect from yourself and those same others in future projects.
  9. Moving forward means that you have a broader, deeper view of the world, and the people and technologies and things in it.
  10. Moving forward means that you are better and braver and more prepared for the next adventure.

As we go into a new year, look for opportunities to succeed, reach for stars, and if you have to fail, fail forward.

Productivity Gifts

December 18, 2015 by


People remark all the time about how I can get so much done, so in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share my favorite productivity tools – no I have no stock in any of the products or services recommended and no, nobody is paying me to promote their product or service. I hope that you find them useful, and wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season!

  1. E-mail helps us all live and breathe – connecting and communicating with others. This year, I moved from an e-mail tool I used for decades on to Gmail. Yes, Gmail! I set up a corporate account using my domain name, and I find it better because: 1) the spam arrest is built in, intelligent, and terrific, 2) the nested conversations helps me organize and track, 3) the way the contacts link with the messages helps me see whom I sent what to, 4) the filters help me organize and track and plan, 5) the support is wonderful (yes, someone answers the phone and is knowledgeable and it comes with the subscription), 6) I can have multiple domain names to my account, and it appears just like another folder, … I could go on and on, but Google got this right! Check it out.
  2.  MixMax is a new app I tried this year, which has made my e-mails so much easier to manage! With MixMax, I can 1) better create and manage my drafts and templates, 2) better time-send my communications, 3) schedule meetings and appointments within an e-mail, 4) run polls and surveys, 5) better manage groups of people. I could go on and on. It’s great.
  3. It’s so much easier to collaborate on updating documents and spreadsheets through Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides! Whether you’re collaborating on creating a job proposal, sharing financial information, or just communicating the details about an upcoming event, there’s no easier way to document, coordinate, communicate with select people, while keeping records of versions and files.
  4. Google Voice has also served me well, as it directs all calls to several numbers – say your Skype, cell and office numbers for example – into a single phone number/point of contact. The translation of voice-to-text sent by e-mail or text is surprisingly good, and it also makes it easy to manage voice messages.
  5. Have you tried Google Photos? It is awesome if you take lots of photos, or in my case videos. It allows for unlimited unloads (if you don’t need those high-res copies) and is easily shareable as individual files or an album.
  6. My last Google plug – the new Google Wallet is also great, as it lets you easily pay people through their e-mail address. And if it’s done for non-business reasons, there are no fees. (IMHO, PayPal.me is also great, but doesn’t do the auto-deposit into account, although it does fine with the withdrawals.)
  7. Speaking of finances, you must try SquareUp for selling products or services and invoicing customers. It’s simple to set up and use and integrate, has reasonable fees, plus it does auto-deposits for you.
  8. LinkedIn is a tool I use every day – to expand and connect with the networks that matter to me. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out. (Thanks LinkedIn for letting me publish this article to my network, and beyond!)
  9. I love how Scoop.it allows you to collect and gather articles of interest to you, based on a theme you define. I’ve blogged on the topic of Age of Personalization and on Leadership for the past three years, capturing my own writings plus those of others on the same topic.  It helps you both define your brand and connect with people who share your interest.
  10. I started using Airtable this year, and I don’t know how I lived without it. It’s an online relationship database which lets you track, share and organize who you’re reaching out to for what purpose, and coordinate with others to reach those goals. It works well with LinkedIn.

Gasp, I’ve come to the end, and haven’t mentioned my favorite PDF-editing tool, PDFEscape, my favorite people-in-the-news app Newsle, which highlights people in your LinkedIn profile who made news headlines, CamScanner which allows you to capture and edit photos on your phone. And how can I live without Google Calendar to keep me in line and manage my time and Google Drive to organize and track my files? (Woops, I mentioned Google again, and twice!)

There’s more, much more – but I’ve got to get back to work.

Happy Holidays!


Power to the Team

December 14, 2015 by

FountainBlue’s December 11 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event was on the topic of Power to the Team.


We were fortunate to have panelists representing different backgrounds, upbringings and perspectives around leadership, innovation, teamwork, diversity and team-building. Collectively, our panelists shared the following pearls of wisdom for team leaders: 

  • Insist that people treat each other with respect, trust each other to deliver, assume and deliver on responsibilities and assume accountability for their individual tasks and the project overall. 
    • Have zero tolerance for any individual(s) who would undermine the success of other people within the team, or the team overall.
    • Manage the brilliant mavericks and keep them engaged as this is critical to the success of any team. 
  • Bring out the best in all members of the team, knowing what everyone’s role is, knowing everyone’s value-add, and stretching everyone to contribute in specific ways, for the good of the project and the team. 
  • Communicate clearly and transparently in writing, to all stakeholders, what the expectations are and how the project is going.
    • The measure is any team leader is how well people feel heard, how good they feel about the project and about themselves. It’s almost as important as the bottom-line results delivered.
    • Building bridges between people and teams and empowering them with information and resources through constant, transparent, and clear communications is critical to the success of any project.
  • Select a team which is willing to be both process-oriented and agile. Having a plan of where you’re going and making changes on the fly helps teams succeed when the challenges are difficult, when the timing is tight, and when the stakes are high.
  • Be other-centric, focusing on the needs of the customer, the market, the team. Then develop a plan which takes into the account the motivations, expectations and expertise of all involved, managing toward win-for-all results.
  • Build on past successes by recruiting individual team members from prior successful projects, even if they are not quite in their sweet spot of individual team members, even if it’s not with the same company or industry.
  • Ensure that yourself and everyone on the team adds value in specific and necessary ways, wherever anyone sits in the org chart, working as a team to deliver measurable results in collaboration, moving beyond silos and a me-first mentality.
  • Expect to deliver with the team you have, rather than make excuses for any short-comings there might be. Of course you’re going to want to empower the team you have to deliver results, and to recruit more A players to your team, but rare is the leader who will deliver results even when B and C players are the majority, and rarer still is the leader who can convert these B and C players to also become A players. 
  • Know enough to be able to oversee and manage a project, but let your team be the experts in specific areas.

The team is only as strong as the individual players, but when led well, the gestalt of the team far outweighs the value of individual members, and it is these teams which are building and growing people, products, companies and industries.


Please join us in thanking our gracious hosts at Samsung, and our panelists for FountainBlue’s December 11 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of Power to the Team:

  • Facilitator Deb Kaufmann, Deb Kaufmann & Associates, Inc
  • Panelist Charlotte Falla, VP of Legal and General Counsel, Samsung Research America 
  • Panelist Andrea Kolstad, Sr Director Digital Platforms, Polycom
  • Panelist Leila Pourhashemi, Head of Product Operations, eBay Marketplaces
  • Panelist Renee Six, Sr Mgr, End User Computing, Dell Inc
  • Panelist Reema Vijay, Head Business Operations & Strategic Planning, Vertical Solutions BU, Software Platform Group, Cisco
  • Panelist Ruby Yip, Senior Account Manager, EMC


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