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VMware COO Sanjay Poonen's Six Biggest Statements From CloudLIVE

‘Stay humble, stay hungry. I never want to lose the roots of that 18-year-old Sanjay who came to Boston Logan Airport and had 50 bucks in his pocket,’ says the chief operating officer of the Palo Alto, Calif., cloud computing and virtualization software and services company.

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What His 50-Year-Old Self Would Tell His 25-Year-Old Self

“I'd say the same thing I tell myself today, which is be a servant leader. Stay humble, stay hungry. I never want to lose the roots of that 18-year-old Sanjay who came to Boston Logan Airport and had 50 bucks in his pocket. I feel extremely honored and privileged. I grew up as a poor boy in a third-world country. Everything that I've been able to do is a gift. I did work hard. It's not that I had some kind of silver spoon. We have to work harder, especially when you have children who may have grown up with more than you've grown up (with).”

“(Servant leadership) is something that's changed my fundamental perspective in life. Most organizations are run...top down, and the poor birds who are sitting in the bottom of that rung look up, and you know what they get, right? It's like the CEO bird is just like crapping down on everybody else. Our job as leaders...especially the higher level you go, is to invert that pyramid. If you are serving a customer, if you're serving a partner, and if you are feeling like you're the lowest rung of that ladder, our job as leaders is to serve you and take the obstacles out of the way. And when you as a leader or a manager internalize that, you actually are a happier person when you give. When you serve other people, there's inherent joy.”

“I'll end on sort of this inspirational note. One of my heroes is an Indian poet writer, named Rabindranath Tagore, and he wrote this beautiful poem. It has three lines. He said, ‘I went to bed and dreamt that life was joy. I woke up and realized that life is service. I acted, and service is joy.’”

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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