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Rule-Breakers: When It’s Time To Say No To The Status Quo

We asked the honorees on our 2021 Women of the Channel list to tell us the one workplace rule they always break.

There’s an old idiom that says, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Perhaps the same can be said of rules: You can’t get to the top without flouting a few along the way. We asked the honorees on our 2021 Women of the Channel list to tell us the one workplace rule they always break. Here’s what a few of them had to say.


Caroline Scott, Channel Marketing Director, North America, Dell Technologies

I generally do not subscribe to the old workplace adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ In my experience, there is almost always a way to look at something and take it to the next level. The goal should always be to excel, not simply just to get by.


Kimberly King, VP, Global Strategic Partners, Alliances, Hitachi Vantara

Adherence to hierarchy. I believe that anyone on my team (or any other team) can reach out to share an experience, ask for support, provide feedback or bounce ideas off of me. We should always do the right thing for our people, our customers and our partners, and that shouldn’t have to wait for a ‘chain of command.’


Cheryln Chin, VP, Global Partners, Alliances, UiPath

Never let them see you sweat. While I don’t want to appear exhausted and stressed by all of the things going on, there are times I want the team to have visibility and exposure into the issues at hand and how I’m dealing with them as a leader, or enlisting them to be part of the solution as a team, even if sweating it out. Bringing people along and providing the appropriate levels of exposure and transparency early and often has served me in building the trust and respect that are critical to problem-solving.


Marlena Fernández, VP, Marketing, Scale Computing

I don’t believe in upholding the status quo. When I ask a question about a problem, if the answer is, ‘This is how we have always done it,’ I continue to ask leading questions until we can come up to a better answer or solution. I embrace change as an everyday work activity if it will help us achieve our goals.


Anansha Roy Choudhry, Cloud Platform, Partner Engagement Leader, Americas, IBM

Ruthlessly prioritize, say no to what isn’t working, challenge outdated ways and don’t set 30-minute meetings for conversations that can be wrapped in 15! Create space and time for yourself and others to innovate.


Chelsea Rodgers, Sr. Manager, Partner Marketing, Wasabi Technologies

They always say you should have a dedicated work-from-home space for your office. While I do have the space, I prefer to work in my living room so I can be where my pets like to hang out!


Rashel Graves, Director, Channel Operations, Verizon Business Group

Never conform to business as usual! I remind my team that business as usual changes by the hour because the world is changing faster than ever. In our industry, change is happening at a rapid pace, and business as unusual is the new normal.


Heather Somerville Gonzalez, VP, Global Communications, Strategic Alliances, Technologent

Being ‘on the clock.’ I am a working mom. I don’t have a stay-home husband or someone to take care of the needs of my children while I am at work. So if I have to schedule myself around their doctors’ appointments, water polo games, basketball games, etc., I do. My company gets way more than the expected eight hours a day—they just might not always get it in consecutive hours. This is a rule that every working mom should break as you will not get these days back with your kids. Trust me, I have a senior!


Diane Serden, Chief of Staff, Strategy, Customer Experience, Tech Data

The rule I most consistently break is asking for permission. I have always been a self-starter, and when I see an opportunity to improve or create something that would benefit an individual or the organization as a whole, I most often jump right in and start creating a business case for change. The roles or projects that I’ve most enjoyed and gotten the most fulfillment out of were the ones that started as an idea or a thought, and I was able to bring that to reality.


Christy Prosapio, Director, International Marketing, Tripp Lite

Stay in your lane. This is not a rule necessarily, but it is important to remember that a journey sometimes involves detours. 2020 has taught us the importance of being flexible and adaptable in our plans and our execution. Become an expert in your organization’s ecosystem. Identify the ‘can-do’ players; they will help you to overcome the obstacles that keep you from achieving your goals.


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