Hello VOX Readers, I hope everyone is staying safe and well during the pandemic and various country lockdowns around the globe. Today, I’d like to introduce my latest employee interview with Pete Murray, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), based in our Sydney office. During his interview, Pete shares insights into why he chose a career in IT, and his career highlight. He also shares insights into what it is like working at Veritas, how he manages and motivates his teams remotely during this pandemic, and why people should work for Veritas. Read Pete’s interview below.
Zoe: Hi Pete, and welcome to Veritas! Thank you for agreeing to participate in the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. What made you choose a career in IT?
Pete: I actually started off wanting to be a chemical engineer but opened the physics text back to front one day at the nuclear physics section. After a self-realisation moment, I changed to doing Management Science and Information Systems under a Bachelor of Commerce. During my course, I learned about business processes, automating, and sharing information between them. I attended a guest lecture by Adon Kumar, from Unisys, who had this 4th generation language called Link that was going to change the way COBOL was being written, and I was hooked from there and have never looked back.
Zoe: What have been the career highlights you’re most proud of?
Pete: When I was at Dimension Data, we received Best Professional Services Firm in New South Wales from Hewitt, which reflects many years of hard work. The entire team created a rocking culture that inspired people to do more, attracted top talent, and got the balance of work and life right. I have taken forward a people anchored business ethic ever since.
Zoe: In your opinion, what leadership traits make a good leader? What’s your leadership style, and how has it changed during the pandemic?
Pete: My style has not changed during the pandemic; just the method of connecting with the people has inflected to a blend of virtual and when we can, in person. The traits of transparency, vision setting, and tearing down the barriers that inhibit success remain strong. I try to be a leader that enables my guiding principle of Ockham’s razor and the priority principles of the client, people, proposition, and fiscal.
Zoe: To some extent, we have been influenced by others in our personal and work lives. Who are your role models and influencers?
Pete: Top pick is Richard Branson. He has this quote “look after your people, and they will look after your clients.” I try to live by this quote every day. As a saxophone player, I have to put Kirk Pengilly in the mix; he’s an Australian Musician. My first ever live gig was at The Basement in Sydney, a solo playing INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart. It was a bit of a shocker, to be honest, but I was inspired to get outside my comfort zone and do the best I could, my band forgave me, and we are still performing. Now and then, I see Kirk on the streets where I live; one day, I will have the courage to go shake his hand and say thanks for inspiring me.
Zoe: How do you define success? And how do you build a successful sales team?
Pete: Building a successful team starts with cultural fit. Skills, prior achievements, and certifications, whilst important, have to come second to this. When an organization's collective culture works together to achieve its vision (and individual goals), it is an unstoppable force. Growth comes when you are an unstoppable force; it opens up pathways for people to achieve their personal success. I guess I define success as people achieving their personal and professional aspirations in life.
Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate remote teams during the lockdowns?
Pete: In the context of Veritas ANZ, I am motivated to set a mid-term goal with the team beyond the norm and expectations and then empower them to surpass this goal by tearing down the barriers that inhibit their personal success. Especially in lockdown, celebrating successes, be it individual or company, is critical to keeping everyone galvanised to the goal.
Zoe: Pete, you’ve recently joined Veritas, so why should people choose to work here? And are you recruiting people into your team?
Pete: We are recruiting, and have been since before I joined, and even if we are not recruiting great talent should still reach out to join Veritas, so that when we have a vacancy, they have the opportunity to jump the recruitment queue. I would hope that people want to join Veritas not just because we’re a technology leader that provides incredible outcomes to our clients, or that the role represents the next step in their career, but that they associate with our culture and aspire to be accretive to it.
Zoe: It’s early days for you here at Veritas, but what’s your favourite solution or product?
Pete: I prefer to think in terms of client outcomes rather than products, so in this regard, it is InfoScale. I love InfoScale because it delivers an outcome to our clients that assures them of business continuity in an era of cyber-threat that is independent of what clients would traditionally associate Veritas as being the world leader in providing data protection.
Zoe: Pete, what do you like to do in your free time?
Pete: Given free time is a precious commodity in my role, I love to spend it with my family and friends. I enjoy cooking, and I’m now teaching my daughter to cook (our last experiment was Pho, and we’ve pretty much got it nailed). If I am selfish with my free time and it’s all about me, I play my saxophone, and when normality returns, jam with the Moonshine Special band.
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Pete: I would struggle to survive without my coffee-making ensemble including the grinder for the beans, and my Bialetti Moka pot. Speaking of which, I must go make a cup.
Thank you, Pete, for participating in the Life At Veritas series. You have such a positive outlook and great leadership philosophy, keeping things simple. I wish you all the best with recruiting people into your team, they will be lucky to have you as a manager.
If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Pete Murray, 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, check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
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