As part of our Life at Veritas blog series, I am catching up with various team members across the business to find out how they got into the tech sector and why they decided to join Veritas. In this first interview with Johnny Karam, VP of Emerging Markets he shares his career journey, what inspires him, how he manages his team and how he achieves a work-life balance with travelling across the huge region he manages.
Zoe: What made you choose a career in IT?
Johnny: On my 10th birthday I got my first computer, an Atari 800XL. It was during the summer and I spent my days and nights self-learning basic programming language. I was fascinated by the ability to “create” out of writing code. This is how my passion for IT started all those years ago.
Zoe: How did you work your way up to where you are now?
Johnny: I have been very fortunate throughout my career to be surrounded by amazing mentors who believed in me and helped me grow. I also credit my development and growth to a mindset of learning. I am an eternal learner, always looking for ways to develop my skills and be the best I can.
Zoe: What has been your career highlight to date?
Johnny: There are many highlights to look back at during my 20 years in the IT industry. However, the one thing I enjoy the most and take the most pride in is the several situations where I turned performances around. I have found myself put in multiple situations to lead teams that had the amazing potential for growth but were not delivering to the best of their abilities for various reasons. Working with those teams on building the right vision, culture and winning-strategy have paid off in very short times turning the performances into best-in-class teams. Nothing gives me greater joy than being part of transformational teams.
Zoe: Why did you choose to come back and work for Veritas?
Johnny: Veritas is a unique company with a unique offering. Since its inception, it has focused on helping organizations manage the performance of their critical applications and manage their data regardless of what systems they ran on. Commoditizing systems and storage and giving the customers the option to choose. Veritas reinvented itself to support those customers in today’s multi-cloud world. Veritas finds itself in the same unique situation where it’s helping customers move to the cloud, manage multiple clouds and be agile moving from one cloud provider to the other without losing control. Being able to help customers embrace cloud strategy while remaining in full control is crucial to our role at Veritas.
Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Johnny: Working with customers on setting their information management strategy is the highlight of my role. Veritas can help customers set their strategy and execute on it regardless if they want to use on-premise, virtual or cloud environment without any hardware or cloud provider lockdown. We are the agility element of their information management strategy.
Zoe: What would you say your management style is?
Johnny: I am very inclusive in my management style and empowering to my teams. I surround myself with passionate, hardworking and smart people and do my best to serve them and remove obstacles from their way. If I do my job properly, then they can deliver their best performance.
Zoe: What would you suggest makes a good leader?
Johnny: A good leader is a leader that is someone who serves, enables and coaches his or her team Being able to listen and being comfortable in changing your views is essential.
Zoe: Who are your role models and influencers?
Johnny: Compassion is one of my core tenets and my life guiding principles. Many people have influenced me throughout my upbringing and career, but the Dalai Lama’s teaching has reinforced this deeply into my being.
Zoe: How do you motivate your team?
Johnny: Painting the big picture and helping teams put things into perspective is a very powerful way to motivate any team or individual. Doing this is only possible with a positive attitude.
Zoe: How do you define success?
Johnny: I define success when goals are met or exceeded and most importantly when each team member is successful as part of the bigger team success. Winning is not a one-time thing, success needs to be sustainable
Zoe: How do you achieve a work-life balance?
Johnny: My job requires long hours and constant travel. So, I find putting personal goals that force me to find time such as my marathon training program helpful. I also plan my family vacations quarterly, so it gives us something to look forward to and keeps us motivated.
Zoe: Why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Johnny: Veritas combines the best of two worlds. A company with a long and successful history and at the same time, it is a startup that is shaping the Multi-Cloud era of today’s information management.
Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
So, that concludes my interview with Johnny Karam, it was great catching up and thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts. If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post, 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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