Hello Everyone! I hope everyone is staying well and healthy. Some of you may already be on your summer break or about to head off for a holiday, best wishes for a happy summertime with your family and friends. I’d like to introduce the latest #LifeAtVeritas summer interview, I recently caught up with Eric Waltert, Vice President of DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), based in Zurich, Switzerland. During this interview Eric shares his management style, tips on how he has been managing his team remotely during the pandemic and why he joined Veritas five months ago. Read Eric’s interview below.
Zoe: Welcome Eric, thank you for agreeing to participate in the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. Let’s kick off the interview with my first question… What made you choose a career in IT?
Eric: I am a technology person wholeheartedly with a strong business focus. I am thrilled by what technology can do for the economy and our society. IT is one of the fastest moving and most exciting industries to be part. Additionally, I like the type of people who work in IT too.
Zoe: What career advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role?
Eric: Don’t try to take a short cut! There are some roles that may impress you with the salary level or a title attached to it. Don’t get too impressed by that, choose a company and role that gives you the opportunity to learn and build up the experience you need to achieve your career aims.
Zoe: In your opinion what leadership traits make a good leader? And what’s your leadership style?
Eric: A good leader inspires people and gets a team to perform at its best. The leader knows what she/he is doing, is a good listener and leads by example. She/he respects people and has good social competencies. My personal leadership style is democratic, inspirational and transformative.
Zoe: To some extent, we have been influenced in our personal and work lives by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Eric: In terms of my social framework and character building, for sure, my parents and my extended family and friends have influenced me. In terms of business and leadership, I was strongly influenced by my 20+ years at Cisco, especially by John Chambers. He was the CEO and Michael Ganser, my direct manager for most of my tenure at Cisco and one of my best friends in the meantime. In the technology sector overall, there are a lot of impressive and inspirational leaders like; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk. Having said that, I admire them for their business achievements, but they don’t necessarily serve as role models in terms of character and social competencies for me.
Zoe: How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams across your region?
Eric: First and foremost, success means achieving or overachieve a goal that has been set. With a wider perspective, it means to achieve that goal in an inclusive way and leaving a positive footprint behind or even building a base for future success. Building a successful team starts with selecting the right talent. The team then needs a clear vision or goal and has to work out a strategy and execution plan. The members of the team respect, trust and support each other to achieve that goal.
Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate remote teams across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland?
Eric: I am motivated by being part of a strong and empathic team to drive the desired impact. This applies both for a private or a business context. In terms of motivating a team, I believe in self-motivation. The role of the leader is to create an environment where self-motivation unfolds. Having said that, spicing up the environment with a clear target and timelines, helps to keep the self-discipline in place. Creating this self-motivating environment in a remote setup and under COVID-19 circumstances, has proven to be challenging. I usually lead a lot with a personal touch, local interaction, and live team dynamics, this now has to be replaced with virtual interaction and video communication.
Zoe: Eric, you recently joined Veritas, why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Eric: Veritas offers a lot and is a very attractive company to work for. We are a cornerstone of the IT industry, a heritage brand. Our customer base, industry position, trust level, and product portfolio are very compelling. The market demand and momentum for our Availability, Protection, and Insights (API) offering are fuelled by digitisation, the move to platform economies, and the increased cyber risks, resulting in the growth and importance of data. Additionally, I like the people, spirit, and culture at Veritas.
Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution or product?
Eric: I like our core product NetBackup (NBU) and the new Flex Appliances a lot, they are state of the art and really hit a sweet spot for what our customers demand. From a business perspective, I like APTARE. It delivers direct business value and opens up doors to new discussions and decision-makers.
Zoe: Eric, what do you like to do in your free time?
Eric: I love to spend time with my family and friends, whether that’s travelling or eating and drinking together. I like sports and being outside, especially skiing, running, hiking, and golfing. I have a little addiction to g-forces that I live out in riding my motorbikes or fast ski runs.
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Eric: Motorbikes, the internet, and mobile phones. In that order.
I really enjoyed this interview with Eric! My key takeaway from this interview is having a talent first approach is essential to building successful teams. In this pandemic, it has been imperative to maintain team morale and motivation through regular check-ins, virtual and video conferencing. Maintaining, developing, and deepening those connections internally with the team is how we will succeed.
If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Eric Waltert, 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.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.