Yesterday I had two opportunities up on stage – but talking about very different subject matters in the two.
First was on stage with our customer – Kevin Bailey from Symantec – talking about how Symantec uses real-time intelligence and FirstRain monitors to provide unique, instant customer intelligence to their sales force – and how FirstRain is integrated into their SymBrain portal. Great fun – and I get a huge kick out of customers talking about FirstRain. More to follow on this – we’ll put up some video from his talk shortly.
One example: FirstRain powering the competitive matrix pages in SymBrain
Second was on a panel at Astia in San Francisco – speaking to a group of young women entrepreneurs about leadership. It is always both humbling and energizing to be asked to talk about my experiences and views on leadership. This panel was part of week long event for 43 women to help them get their businesses started and connect them with people who can help them raise money.
Three terrific women on the panel with me:
- Robin Edwards who is a partner at SNR Denton,
- Renee Knee who is WW VP/GM Commercial Sales and Growth Initiatives at HP,
- Karen Riley who is a member of the Angels’ Forum
- Greg Ketchum of Talent Planet (Panel Moderator)
It was fun and inspiring to talk about leadership with a hungry, smart group of young women – although as usual I was the most controversial. I do enjoy being provocative — but I was also the token CEO on the panel so I had some fun with that.
I really enjoyed listening to Robin, Renee and Karen’s perspectives. All such different backgrounds and yet we had many shared opinions on how to grow into being a leader. We talked about the importance of being confident, of setting boundaries and acceptable behaviors, of not needing to know it all yourself, how to manage stress (my input: work out and great red wine) and how to build executive teams who compliment your skills.
The most helpful for me was hearing Karen talk about how she took two years to care for both her parents as they fell ill – she cared for them herself in her house for the last 6 months of their lives – and she applied all her leadership and operational skills to make the end of their lives as comfortable as possible. As I navigate my way through the murky waters of ill parents it is comforting to realize I have skills and resources I can bring in to help make their lives easier.
Renee, Karen, Robin, me and Greg