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#LifeAtVeritas Interview: How Servant Leadership has made Johnny Karam his Team and Region a Success

Level 3

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 second interview with Johnny Karam, Vice President Emerging Market he shares his leadership and management style, how he has built a successful team and what he looks for when recruiting top talent into the business. Johnny was recently recognised as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Regional Vice President of the Year, find out what's the secret to Johnny's success in this latest #LifeAtVeritas interview. If you missed Johnny’s first interview read it here.

Meet #TeamVtas - centre left Greg Huges, CEO of Veritas and centre right Johnny Karam, Vice President Emerging MarketMeet #TeamVtas - centre left Greg Huges, CEO of Veritas and centre right Johnny Karam, Vice President Emerging Market

Zoe: So, Johnny it has been a year since we published your first #LifeAtVeritas interview and a lot has changed. You’ve been at Veritas for over two years and had some amazing results. How did you turnaround the Emerging region to become so successful?
Johnny: It has been an amazing and very fulfilling journey. We built a vision and remained committed to its execution. The vision has four pillars surrounding customer-centricity. 1) Become Channel Partners First Choice. 2) Become the Best Place to Work. 3) Create a ONE TEAM Culture. 4) Grow Faster than the market. Through focus and dedication, we managed to get closer and closer to those four pillars, which served our ultimate goal, which is customer-centricity.

Zoe: Has your management style changed in the past 12 months?
Johnny: My leadership style has a key signature to it, which is servant leadership. This is the core of how I manage the business, and during the past 12 months, I’ve spent more time ensuring this philosophy is at the core of every decision made.

Zoe: Johnny, how are you evolving your leadership style? Are you taking any courses or reading specific journals?
Johnny: I believe listening and learning allow us to evolve as individuals and as leaders. The opportunity to learn is always available if you have your heart open to it. I constantly learn from others because I seek it. I also learn intentionally from academia and business magazines such as the  Harvard Business Review. Where you learn from is not as relevant as the intention to learn.

Zoe: What do you look for when recruiting people into your team?
Johnny: Integrity, passion and team-players. Without the first one, the rest of the attributes are irrelevant.

Zoe: From a retention perspective, what are you doing to ensure you retain the best talent in your team?
Johnny: If you go back to the four pillars of our vision in the Emerging region, one of them is to “Become the best place to work”. This is achieved by creating an open and trustful environment; by developing career paths; recognizing and appreciating talent and having fun. And last but not least, to have a sense of greater purpose that brings the whole team together.

Zoe: How are you developing your strategy to acquire talent? And what are you and your team doing differently?
Johnny: Success breeds success. In the past two years, our success and also our culture have attracted more and more top talent to join our team. The other thing that is key to acquire talent, is to constantly have our eyes open on top talent, regardless if we have the headcount or not. Readiness on that front, allow us to move very fast with the right talent once the headcounts are available.

Zoe: Moving forward who is going to be successful at Veritas? What types of people are you looking for to join your team?
Johnny: I believe strongly that people who are team players, are willing to constantly learn, and are customer-centric, will surely win at Veritas. We have the best technology in the market, we have a holistic platform around data protection, we have the largest market share, and amazing brand recognition. Focused, team-players will almost always succeed at Veritas. 

Zoe: What are some of the benefits of working at Veritas?
Johnny: There are many benefits that I can list. First of all, working for a market leader makes the job more interesting and more relevant to customers. Second, the ONE Team culture makes it a great place to be. Third, Veritas believes in meritocracy where every individual has a chance to grow. Fourth, working in an environment where corporate social responsibility, volunteering support, team building activities and recognition are core to the culture is an amazing benefit every employee enjoys.

That concludes my second interview with Johnny Karam, it was great catching up and thank you 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.