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"A boss once told me to focus more on connecting with people by sharing experiences with them. I've found this to be very valuable with our channel partners, who need to work with a vendor who understands their pain. We must understand them before we can offer solutions."
--Sue Alexander, VP, EMEA Consumer and Channels, McAfee
"The best advice I received was from a professor in graduate school as I walked out the door. What he said to me was, 'As you go the corporate route and make your way to the top, don't be the last to know.' What he meant by that was to always be in touch with your people, and to always understand what is happening. Be a good communicator. Don't be the last to know what is going on. Don't surround yourself in a bubble so you don't know what's going on."
--Celine Azizkhan, Channel Chief, AT&T
" 'Hire people who are different from you and have the skills and talents that you do not in order to build a world-class team.' This was told to me by Gary Creighton at Bell Atlantic when I became a first line manager."
--Wendy Bahr, VP, U.S. and Canada Channels, Cisco
" 'Trust your gut.' This was from a terrific senior executive who acted as my career counselor and personal mentor for the bulk of my career at Accenture. I took this advice to heart midway through my career and it has not failed me yet in business and in life."
--Julie Bennani, GM, Partner Program, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft
"Be grateful every day, live your values, serve others and think big."
--Laurie Benson, CEO, Inacom Information Systems
"The best advice I ever received came from my mother years ago. When I was growing up she told me, 'You can accomplish whatever you want to if you set your mind to it.' That advice has absolutely shaped who I am, how I approach challenges and what I have accomplished to date. I learned at an early age there is simply no limit to what you can accomplish, if you want to do it badly enough and are willing to put in the investment to make it happen."
--Johnna Bowley, Sr. Director, Channel and Partner Marketing, Riverbed Technology
"Enjoy what you're doing, do it well, and strike a balance."
--Sharon Brindley, VP, U.S. Business Channels and SMB, Lexmark
"I had a manager once explain about people who thought they were indispensable (we were in the middle of a software implementation). He said that only if you could put your hands in a bucket of water and part the water were you indispensable. I have always remembered that."
--Linda Brotherton, Chief Technology Officer, Connectwise
" 'The means never justify the end--the means are everything' from my late husband, Bill Cage
--Jane Cage, COO, Heartland Technology Solutions
"The importance of getting broad experience to better position yourself for leadership roles in the future."
--Linda Connly, VP of Strategic Alliances, Americas, EMC www.emc.com
"My dad, Parker Smith, has given me great advice over the years. One piece of advice most memorable to me is, 'You can be who you want to be an accomplish most anything through persistence and hard work.' This statement has motivated me throughout my education and career."
--Leslie Conway, VP, Marketing, Digium
" 'If you can't do your job in eight hours then you are either not working effectively or you have too much work and need to delegate. Most people who work 12- to 15-hour days waste a lot of time.' This advice came from my father, who is a colonel in the U.S. Army."
--Michelle Drolet, CEO, Towerwall
" 'If you're going to do something, do it right the first time,'" from my father, John McPherson."
--Katie Dumala, VP, Marketing Services, Tech Data
" 'You are what you thought about, you become what you think about.' At my first job after college I attended a new employee orientation. One of the executives said this statement and it has stuck with me ever since. It is extremely important to visualize where you want to be--personally, professionally and spiritually--in order to continue to grow and accomplish all of the things you have planned in life."
--Dawn Duross, Operations Director, Federal Channels and Government Systems Integrator, Cisco
" 'Enjoy what you do and be nice to people' (from my mother!)"
--Julie Eades, Director, Channel Marketing, VMware
"I was encouraged by a colleague to read the book 'Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman: What Men Know About Success That Women Need To Learn" by Gail Evans. The book suggested that men often view situations in the workplace differently than women, and it pointed out habits some women have that can be misinterpreted. Another good book was 'Games Mother Never Taught You' by Betty Lehan Harraga. Although I was an athlete in high school and college and knew the lingo of a jock, the book prepared me for how the world of sports is integrated into many workplace settings--how work is often perceived as one big game."
--Julie Criscenti Heck, Director, Channel Segment, VMware
"The best and most unique channel advice I was ever given, from Ross Brown, was to stay maniacally focused on the customer. If you get wrapped up in watching and reacting to what the competition is doing, you aren't taking your clues from the right source. Satisfied, well-serviced and educated customers equate to a strong long-term business from loyal customers. Starting from the point of delighted and loyal customers and working back to a channel strategy has served me well in my 10-plus years working in the channel."
--Colleen Kapase, Director, Programs, VMware
" 'Move toward the pain.' It is the single most important thing I continue to learn and it came from my exploration of Kabbalah.
--Mary Gilbert, VP, Marketing, Mindjet
"Corporate commitment to continuous quality performance; embracing professional principles for highest standard of ethical behavior and professional integrity; and empowering employees' entrepreneurial spirit for innovation. In a backstage (green room) conversation with Jack Stack of SRC Holdings Corp. at the Washington, D.C., event where we shared a presentation on Keynote Panel: State of Our Economy: Securing Our Economic Future: The White House Conference on the Economy. This conversation made a lasting impression on me as he truly exemplified the empowerment of each employee's entrepreneurial spirit with his corporate model of human intellectual capital--'when employees think and act like owners developing success through a highly motivated and business-savvy workforce."
--Catherine H. Giordano, President and CEO, Knowledge Information Solutions
"I believe the best advice I received was from my parents. They always told me that I could accomplish anything--the sky is the limit. They told me never to quit--always give everything I can to ensure success."
--Tonia Gonsalves, Director, Global Partner Enablement, Hitachi Data Systems www.hds.com
"The best career advice I received was from my mom. She said, 'Find a position in a field that you like because you'll be doing it for a long time.' "
--Donna Grothjan, VP, Channel Strategy and Operations, Juniper Networks
"From Jack Thompson, the former CIO of McCormick Spice Company and a dear friend: He told me to focus. Sounds simple and always not so easy to do."
--Hope Hayes, CEO, Alliance Technology Group