Over the past 23 years, my career has taken a circuitous route – from a research egg-head to tech geek, living high as quota-carrying salesman to living low as recovering academic, into product management, marketing and strategy, back to research as an industry analyst, and finally into executive management. Sadly though, I have never been a “ninja”, a “guru” or any type of hyphenated “maven”.
Throughout this journey there remained one constant thread – i.e., I help organizations find, analyze and leverage information to drive business results. With a master’s and PhD in information systems, and a few heady dotcom-era years as a VP of Technology, I developed a deep appreciation for the general messiness of organizational data. Luckily, as an ultra-marathon runner, I also have an extraordinarily high pain threshold. As an analyst and product strategist, I learned how to synthesize data into actionable strategies. But, as manager of over 250 employees, I am acutely aware that logic does not always prevail – sometimes, healthy debate and eloquent rhetoric are necessary to get things done.
As a marketer and salesman, I deeply understand the unmet needs of my customers and stakeholders; and as a sales leader, having managed teams of over 50 salespeople, I know that strategies are worthless unless they actually drive business results. If all else fails, I usually just rely on my black belt in kickboxing and certifications in Krav Maga to drive organizational alignment.