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--Nancy Kay Hedrick, President/CEO, Computer Software Innovations
" 'Be impeccable in your words.' The power of language and communication is critical in any leadership role. It's so important to be mindful of the words you choose to ensure that you are always driving positive responses, a culture of respect and exceptional teamwork."
Julie Hens, VP/Channels U.S. Canada Distribution, Cisco
"If you are going to dream, dream big. There are no limits to what you can achieve except the ones you set for yourself."
--Michelle Johnston Holthaus, GM, Channel Mobile Platforms Group, Intel
"One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to take the long-term view, both for business and for my career. This was from a senior vice president at Microsoft for the Developer Division. His name is s. Somasagar."
--Marie Huwe, GM, Worldwide Partner Marketing Group, Microsoft
"On risk taking: 'Path finders end up with more arrows in their back than their front. Stop occasionally and let me pull them out so you can run faster.' On leading a complex organization: 'Your job is to make it work and bend the structure and culture to get people to do the right things. Good people, good ideas and high expectations are what make the world go round. You can influence all three every day.' On basic business: 'Surprises are for birthdays, not business relationships.' "
--Lila Ibrahim, GM, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel www.intel.com
"Learn to take five-minute vacations."
--Felise Katz, CEO, PKA Technologies
"The best advice I ever had was from my mother. She had a saying that translated to, 'Don't say no right away.' Her advice meant that every move or action is a potential opportunity. Don't be quick to discard. It is better to investigate and only then make the wisest choice for yourself and others."
--Choo Kim-Isgitt, Senior Director, Americas Marketing, Websense
"If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. The key is finding what you love to do!"
--Erin Malone, Director, Channel Enablement, Websense
"When I first started at CDW, Michael Krasny repeatedly told his employees, 'People do business with people they like.' It eventually became a known saying around CDW internally. I'm glad that I learned this advice early on as it helped shape me as a sales rep and into a director of sales."
--Kendra Krause, Director of Channel Sales, Fortinet
"My uncle once told me to start my career at a big company vs. a small one. His rationale was that by working at a big company out of the gate, I'd gain exposure as to how a corporation really worked and have a lot more opportunity in terms of formal training and career paths. It was great advice that really kick-started my career."
--Carol Kurimsky, VP Marketing, Ingram Micro North America
"'Don't look down.' I'm not a natural risk-taker and yet here I am out on the entrepreneurial precipice. My amazing husband and business partner has helped me immensely over the years with his sound advice. This is only one example."
--Jane Linder, Principal, NWN
"No silent disagreements. When you have an issue with someone, anyone, you are obligated to discuss it with him/her. Brutal intellectual honesty is the only way to grow as an individual and as a company."
--Selina Lo, President and CEO, Ruckus Wireless
"Wake up every day and love what you do. That energy and passion will translate into exceptional results."
--Katie McAuliff, VP, Channels Americas, Novell
"Always keep your eyes and ears open because someone has already made the mistake you are about to make or has the best advice o how to successfully get to your goal--MBA professor."
--Bonnie McMenomy, Channel Marketing Manager, ESET
"I am not sure where I picked it up, but 'Making no decision is making a decision' is the best advice I have ever received."
--M. Cathy Morris, Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer, Arrow Electronics
"'Just do the best you can--that's all you can do'--my father."
--Ann Elizabeth Moser, Senior VP, Ricoh Americas
"Don't take it personally. Business is a game--compete to win. When you find yourself in a bad situation, think like a coach. It's third and 20, 15 seconds left in the game, you're down by 7--open up the playbook, look at the options and make a call. And from Mom: This too shall pass. It might not happen as you planned, but it will work itself out. Just keep moving forward."
--Carol Giles Neslund, Executive Director, Americas Distribution Channel, Seagate Technology
"From an early business mentor: "You' don't need to have a particular style to be effective. Some people are better cheerleaders, some are better coaches and some are better players. Be the best at who you are, it just doesn't work if you try to be someone else.' Another favorite piece of advice from my father when he encourages me to take risks: "The turtle does not progress unless his neck is out.'"
--Lesley D. Norris, VP, Global Distributor and Reseller Channel Management, IBM
"Two pieces of advice that were given to me that I still use today. One: 'No one is looking out for you except you so you have to be the one to make it happen and ask for what you want,' given to me by one of my first managers out of college. And two, 'When thinking about investing in something and you can't afford it, that by doing what you do, it will turn out.' That came from my dad."
--Sheila O'Neil, VP, Channel, Panasonic
"To live a life that I can be proud of. For when I'm gone, I want to be remembered as a loving, caring, honest and happy person. I want to live my life to the fullest because our tomorrows are never guaranteed. Only I know the choices I have, so I need to make the right ones. I want to love and be loved, and to be successful under what I believe the definition of success is. My mother and I speak about this often. She has led a wonderful life and has experienced so much success. Her career aspirations were to be the best mother she could, and she certainly was. I could not have grown to be the intelligent, successful and caring woman I am today without her guidance and leadership."
--Amy O'Neill, Director of marketing, GreenPages Technology Solutions
"One of the best pieces of advice came from a manager early in my career. He said, 'You have two ears and one mouth and you should use them proportionately.' If we take the time to listen, we will learn more."
--Julie Parrish, VP, Global Channel Office, Symantec
"'Take one day at a time and be confident in who you are'--my mother."
--Wendy M. Petty, VP of Sales, FalconStor Software
"In 1989 I was seeking a management position and Tom Iannotti (now senior vice president at Hewlett-Packard) took a big chance and promoted me. I was thrilled but nervous, never having managed before. I asked Tom what my greatest challenge would be, and without missing a beat he said, 'There is no substitute for hard work, but you will be surprised how some people will not be willing to do what it takes and they won't work as hard as you will.' I have often thought of that through the years, and it really helped me to understand that my work ethic was mine, and I had to learn to motivate my team, not just do all the work myself."
--Mary Piehler, VP Operations, Systems Management Planning
"'Hope is not a strategy'--anonymous."
--Nancy D. Reynolds, VP, SMB and Channel Sales, North America, Trend Micro
"'To be here now,' from Scott Generux. I noticed Scott always had time when I called and never seemed to get interrupted. He told me this was his secret. It is simple advice, but much harder to do than it seems."
--Karen Sigman, VP, Worldwide Channels, Data Domain
"The best advice I received was from my father. He always said, 'Learn from your failures and always pick yourself up after defeat.' "
--Ramona Thibeault, VP, SMB Sales, Solution Partners Organization, Americas, Hewlett-Packard
"The best advice I received was when I first started out in my current role as leader for U.S. and Canada Channels Marketing. At that time, Paul Montford, a senior vice president at Cisco, told me to get out there and spend 90 percent of my time with the Cisco channel partners to learn first-hand what they needed, and then take that knowledge and use it to build a new Channels Marketing organization based on what our partners are asking for. Following this advice has allowed me to set a vision and develop marketing programs to most effectively address our partners' needs."
--Luanne Tierney, Director, U.S. Channel Marketing, Cisco
"'Don't forger the glitter!' From Kelly Higgins, my personal Pilates trainer who owns Body Wisdom, a Pilates studio in Rio Rancho, N.M. It makes me smile and keeps me grounded in my personal and professional life by reminding me to not take life so seriously and that I can keep my femininity in a man's world and be successful."
--Cheryl A. Turja, Director, U.S. Partner Programs, Sun
"Believe in yourself, care for others, and with a natural drive for results, you will win!"
--Allison Watson, Corporate VP, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft
"You can overanalyze things and worry about what might happen or you can just get off your butt and make it happen," from my mentor Glen Harmon, who would drill this into me any time I was hesitant to make a decision."
--Sharon Woolley, Channel Sales Director, SpectorSoft