My taste is not important, what counts is understanding the preference of the consumer. This was a lesson I learnt in my first job when I was a sommelier in France years ago. To this day, this fundamental has followed me — even after I leapt into the brand new world of mobile marketing analytics — and is just one of the many principles that have guided me throughout my career.

Reflecting on my recent promotion to the position of Associate Vice President (AVP) of Customer Success in just seven short years, I wanted to share the three key takeaways I have distilled from my journey. Hopefully, there is something for all of us to learn.

Gender doesn’t define your career potential

The first important lesson I learnt during my professional career: be confident and look at the bigger picture. From personal experience, as women, we tend to doubt ourselves. Thoughts like “Am I good enough?” or “How will others feel about my opinions?” — these hold us back!

Living in Israel has shown me that females can be confident in sharing ideas and voicing opinions, which is something I believe we should encourage more of our Asia Pacific female community.

“Diversity drives innovation,” says AppsFlyer Chief People Officer Lisa Zaythik. “Gender diversity supports our core business objectives and has a long-lasting positive impact on people, communities, and society as a whole,” and I couldn’t agree more!

As a company, I’m glad that almost 60 per cent of AppsFlyer’s APAC workforce comprises females, and one in four managerial roles are held by women. Whether in leadership roles or not, women should always think big and have a growth mindset. It is very important that we all realise we can lift each other up and come together to achieve more.

Also Read: A woman among women: 27 female-led startups in SEA that are going places

As Facebook (now Meta) executive Sheryl Sandberg – and my personal inspiration – writes, “… in the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

Her advice in Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, has been my north star throughout my career journey and has undoubtedly been the mantra behind my growth from Account Manager to AVP.

Diversity and collaboration are critical to team health

The APAC team I manage hails from 12 different countries across five different offices and communicates in seven different languages. I’ve had an incredibly valuable experience learning to work and interact with colleagues from such diverse backgrounds and geographic locations.

While there have been some initial barriers to our communication, I’ve found that abiding by some basic principles has helped us achieve our goals effectively and nurture the growth of our talent. For instance, it is crucial to be very transparent in all communication, especially when everyone is decentralised and physically segregated from each other due to the pandemic. This is doubly important if you are a team leader relying on the trust of your team.

As a leader, it is also necessary to consider and act on your team’s suggestions to show them that their inputs are valuable. Proving to your team that you are invested in what they have to say will motivate the team to see themselves as a collective and function cohesively, as well as to encourage further input on potential areas of improvement.

Keeping an eye out for your team member’s personal growth and career paths also goes a long way in building a competent and harmonious team. Meanwhile, placing too much importance on titles and hierarchies may have detrimental consequences to a team’s structure. Delegation is critical; you want to empower your leaders in each region and build bridges between the headquarters and local offices.

Partnership is truly a great thing when you learn to harness its power for greater things. It feels amazing to work with talented people, execute plans together, and move towards goals together. Partners also need to rely on each other’s opinions and ideas. Things can only move forward when people are able to work together and contribute their ideas.

Also Read: Exclusive: She was the mastermind behind the Go-Jek app, now she’s out to help others succeed

People are management’s best investment

While we work to address unconscious and historical biases and stereotypes in senior positions, employee development initiatives are also essential to both employee and company growth.

This could be anything like the AppsHire programme we’ve implemented, which encourages internal mobility and its global exchange programme allowing staff to work from 19 global offices, or offering employees free subscriptions for the meditation app Calm which helps our staff alleviate possible mental health problems while working remotely during the pandemic.

Such efforts are also extended to management and leadership roles, for which we provide opportunities for development through initiatives such as Lumina – a programme that analyzes your strengths and weaknesses and how you behave in different situations. This has helped me realise important insights: when I’m in my comfort zone I tend to be soft, while in extreme situations I can become too tough. This guides me in recalibrating and improving my approach to working with others more effectively.

While these are the biggest takeaways from my career journey, it is also important to remember that there are so many routes to success and what success looks like can be different from person to person – what fits or works for one person might not work in all situations.

All in all, as Sandberg so eloquently puts it, “Fortune does favour the bold, and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.” And if there is just one thing you remember, it should be that we should always keep trying, pushing, learning, and growing.

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Image Credit: gregorylee

The post From sommelier to AVP of Customer Success at a tech unicorn: Lessons from my career journey appeared first on e27.

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