Telle Whitney, CEO, Anita Borg Institute
For much of July, I was in Turkey and Greece,on a much needed vacation, away from email and cell phones. My first day back in the office, I moderated a panel for Leadership America! Yes, I agree this was a crazy commitment, but the efforts of this group inspired me.
Leadership America is a program of the Women’s Museum in Texas. It has been around for 20 years, and many senior corporate executives have passed through its program. What I like about their current offerings, is that it offers its participants programming in
three different geographical areas (Chicago, Silicon Valley, and DC). Because of this diverse programming, a participant would leave the six month program with exposure to very different businesses and business paradigms. They are also offering a trip to China later this year, which is very exciting.
The panel that I moderated brought together several technology leaders to discuss technology, and its impact on being a great leader. Participating in this panel were three extraordinary people, with diverse perspectives:
COO and Managing Director, Mayfield
James brings a wealth of knowledge about growing venture funding worldwide, as Mayfield has opened new funds in China and India over the last few years.
Norlander, Partner & Engineering Manager, Microsoft
Rebecca’s degrees are in Computer Science, and she has a deep technical expertise, but has successfully moved up the leadership ladder at Microsoft.
Farris, VP, Worldwide Sales, Jupiter Systems
Dorothy brings many years as a successful sales executive to the conversation.
We had a robust conversation about the role that technology plays in building leaders. Some of the words of wisdom that I heard
- Blackberry’s and Cell phones are tools that can aid
or hinder you as a leader. What is
most important in effective use of these devices is to ensure that you set
personal boundaries of when you use them, and they don’t become a constant
and unwelcome diversion.
- The world has become global, and many teams are
global in nature. This creates a
new set of problems that leaders need to understand and embrace, including
simple logistical issues such as conference call times that a team spanning
China, US, and Israel can
all make. Understanding your team constraints and finding solutions is an
important part of being an effective global leader.
- Innovation is happening, and it happening world wide.
Harnessing the power of innovation in multiple countries is part of what
will make entrepreneurs successful in this next century.
- Entrepreneurial solutions to sales, engineering,
investing and innovation are where all of our panelists found exciting
opportunities. None of them accept the status quo, but instead are looking
for new ways to approach their job.
Technology, be it social networks, or mobile devices, are part of
the innovation that they regularly use in their jobs.
I left the panel tired, but inspired by not only these remarkable people, but
the thoughtful conversation with the Leadership America participants.