Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 32 | Page 42

business ‘‘ TALKING //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// “ EGO CANNOT BE BROUGHT INTO THIS EQUATION . . . YOU HAVE TWO EARS AND ONE MOUTH FOR A GOOD REASON. great people who know the markets and then we can execute accordingly. How do you build trust within an organisation? You build trust by doing what you say, being consistent, being predictable and ensuring people are very clear about what you stand for. I have a mantra from the Army: ‘serve to lead’. You serve your people to lead. Is your background a technical or a business background? I wanted to join the Army from a young age and I wasn’t going into IT. I was going to go into something like banking. I joined Coca Cola and then I joined Cisco, EMC and then came here. I kind of fell into it but it’s about the management and the leadership qualities, making sure people know where they are going and showing that vision, is the reason I’ve done what I’ve done. I enjoy it. How do you ensure clear communication when you’re talking about IT out of the office? I always use the analogy of talking to my 13-year-old son and I’m trying to explain to him what we do in IT, how it benefits 42 INTELLIGENTCIO him and what is the outcome that we are looking for. If you can do that you’re probably halfway there. I just keep it very simple and grounded. Let me give you an example of NVMe (Non- Volatile Memory Express). In most worlds, people would have no idea of what you are talking about. I use an analogy of being in a football stadium with 64,000 people. In the legacy world everyone of those people would have to go through one exit out of that football stadium and you’ve got a bottleneck. With NVMe every person in that stadium has the option of taking 64,000 routes out of it that are dedicated to them so they can get out whenever and however they want. So it’s that sort of analogy I use with my kids to explain what I do. If you’re making a change how important is it for you to make absolutely clear why you are making it to your team? It’s critical. It’s getting back to the course correction. If I don’t get the buy-in from my team it doesn’t work. You have to make sure they understand the problem, specify what that problem is, break it down into its component parts, and then establish how we’re going to address those component parts and the vision we are going to put around it to ensure everybody is clear where we are going. It’s critical to get buy-in from your team. Always include your teams. What advice would you give to someone that wanted to follow in your footsteps? Again I would use the analogy ‘serve your people to lead them’; keep it simple, humour is one of the critical factors I think a leader has to have. Being an ex-military guy I’m used to hardship and humour was one of the things that got us through. Do you believe that arrogance and leadership don’t go together? Totally. It’s not about me and I am really particular; if we win something as an EMEA region it’s for the team and you almost have to reject praise and push it on to your team members, they’re the guys on the ground doing it. You might create the environment, but they are doing it. That’s really important, you can’t be arrogant as you get found out. If you’re egotistical what happens when you lose your job? Your ego has gone and you’ve got no respect, so you’ve got to be humble, it’s a team effort. n