Hello Readers! It has been a couple of weeks since I published the last Life At Veritas Interview with Nikhil Patwardhan, a Financial Analyst, this week I caught up with Frederic Lemaire, Sales Director for France based in Veritas’ Paris office. In his #LifeAtVeritas interview, he shares how his father influenced his decision to start his career as a network consultant to now leading a highly successful sales team at Veritas. And that core to his leadership style is having a positive attitude that leads to a winning mindset and seeing his team’s achievements motivates and drives him on. Outside of his work at Veritas Frederic is an avid Paris St-Germain (PSG) fan, and believes one day they will win the UEFA Champions League. Having looked at the possibility of this, chances are slim in the short term, but at least he is hopeful on the possibility of this one day. Read on to find out more about Frederic, his career and what he enjoys most about his role at Veritas.
Zoe: Hi Frederic, thank you for agreeing to participate in the Life At Veritas blog series. Let’s kick off with my first question… What made you choose a career in IT?
Frederic: I have always been interested in technology and I chose to study physics and computer science. During the mid-90s, my father was Head of Research and Development (R&D) at a European telco company and he suggested that I start my career in IT. He told me “the future is the network” and of course at that time, from a technological and business point of view, I had absolutely no idea what this meant, as we were five years away from the internet wave. So, I started my career as a network consultant in a very exciting and disruptive period.
Zoe: What advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role?
Frederic: In this shifting fast-paced environment, I would advise those wishing to start a career in IT, to constantly keep learning, to be curious especially in the transformation period we are currently living in. Plus, all of this with a lot of passion and boldness, will help too.
Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Frederic: My role as Sales Director for Veritas in France is amazing! We have a great talented team! I enjoy meeting customers, listening to their challenges, understanding the major transformations they face in their business and market, and how we (Veritas) can contribute to helping them in achieving their objectives and targets. And of course, I also appreciate seeing my team progress and achieve their objectives.
Zoe: What leadership traits make a good leader? And what’s your leadership style?
Frederic: Well, in general terms, leaders must have a clear vision and strategy to lead sales transformation in an unpredictable market. Empowering people is very important to achieve targets and goals. Effective communication, perseverance, energy, respect and encouraging creativity are for me the key attributes to become a great leader. I would also add having a winning mindset. A winning mindset means individual belief in the company strategy, believe that it is the right strategy for the company, for the customers and for the team.
I would define my management style as direct, pragmatic and positive; It’s always very important to have a positive attitude as a leader, whatever the period you go through. I always try to focus myself on finding the right balance between three majors pillars; Company, Customers and my Team.
Zoe: Who are your role models and influencers?
Frederic: When I first started work I had the privilege of working at Computer Associates (CA) and EMC, these companies were led by great leaders bringing together values and culture, which has had an important influence on me. Otherwise, of course, I have tons of roles models and I could list some of them in different areas. Because I like reading history and literature, I would say, John F Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Primo Levi and Romain Gary have influenced me.
I’m also passionate about pop music and sports and I can list two British and one American icon; David Bowie for his amazing capabilities to transform his creation and himself while keeping a strong humility, Morrissey (a former Smiths singer) for his poetry and finally the 80’s tennis player John McEnroe for his constant pursuit of excellence. All these people are very inspiring and had a great vision for their future in their respective fields.
Zoe: What motivates you?
Frederic: The best motivation for me is having a good work environment. It means working with great people that you can learn from and superb managers that lead you to success. Watching people grow, develop and become successful in their roles motivates me and of course, last but not least, creating value for our customers by helping them to improve their business.
Zoe: Frederic, the Veritas South Team has had a fabulous year. How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams?
Frederic: First of all, success is achieving a goal! The pathway leading to success goes through establishing a clear target and vision with your team, to building and executing a plan. However, I think that success depends on your capabilities and attributes to own the company strategy and empower people you work with. Owning your personal vision to execute the strategy is a key factor of success. Indeed, the EMEA South region and especially France has had a great fiscal year 2019. I see several reasons for this achievement; hiring and retaining talent in every business unit and building a real team with the same objectives and monitoring progress of each on a regular basis within a sales cadence plan.
Zoe: Why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Frederic: Because we have a very exciting challenge in front of us! Firstly, Veritas has been completely rebuilt with a good leadership team and especially a massive investment in R&D and innovation since the split with Symantec three years ago. On the other hand, data protection and information governance will be a hot topic with all the new market trends; Artificial Intelligence, Machine and Deep Learning, Internet of Things… participating in the digital transformation we are currently living in.
Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution? Or product?
Frederic: I would say all of them!! As we sell a complete solution to help customers to protect and govern their most important assets: their data. But more specifically, I think that ensuring data integrity, availability, completeness, security within our governance software framework is key in an uncertain world, as we have seen many ransomware cyberattacks over the past few months.
Another important point, two months ago Veritas acquired APTARE a global leader in analytic solutions for both on-premise and hybrid cloud environments. This acquisition strengthens our offering to continue to help organisations mitigate the risks of their business data in a multi-cloud environment.
Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Zoe: Frederic, what do you like to do in your free time?
Frederic: I am a keen sportsman and I like; cycling, tennis and running. I also enjoy travelling, going to the theatre and art exhibitions with friends and family. Otherwise, I love watching football and I’m an old Paris St-Germain (PSG) fan for over 30 years! I really enjoy going to the stadium with my son to support our favourite team. One day… we will win the UEFA Champion League!! …I never give up hope! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Frederic: I recognise I can’t live without my iPhone!!
That concludes my interview with Frederic Lemaire, it was great catching up and thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. What stood out most from this interview with Frederic was the link between having a positive mental attitude and how this has led to building a successful sales team in France.
If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Frederic Lemaire, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
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