Technology CEO explains what it takes to be a stronger leader

Lynne Chamberlain, president and CEO of SUSE Rancher Gov Solutions, joins Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to discuss leadership and how to find your true id...

Lynne Chamberlain, president and CEO of SUSE Rancher Government Solutions, joined Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to discuss leadership and how to find your true identity as a leader.

Chamberlain brings more than 20 years of diverse technical experience as a sales executive. As president and CEO of SUSE Rancher Government Solutions, she leads the oversight for business matters to help public and private clients operate in a regulated sector. Her first assignment is to create a FOCI SUSE/Rancher Federal Organization for the parent company’s growing business in the U.S. market. SUSE and Rancher Federal are driving the SAP Hana and Kubernetes Container strategy throughout the federal government.

Previously, Chamberlain worked for 16 years at IBM/Red Hat as vice president, where she led the Government Capture/Business Development organization. She also served as vice president and general manager within the Federal Systems and Technology Division at Unisys Corporation.

Chamberlain said her goal as a leader is to create a collaborative working environment built around high performance teams. In order to do that, she said leaders must have a clear sense of their own identities. To illustrate her point, she quoted American singer and actress Judy Garland who once said you must “always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

Chamberlain also said empathy, transparency and clarity are keys to being an effective leader. Communications need to be clear and repeated often so employees understand what is expected from them. But she added it is important to show  your employees that you value them even when they are not on the clock.

“Pick up the phone and ask how they are doing. Show you care and if they are sick, check on them and send food,” she said.

According to Chamberlain, this is a challenging time to be the head of a fast growing organization like  SUSE Rancher Government Solutions. She said the book, “Team of Teams,” by Stan McChrystal helped her develop practical management practices that made her team more adaptable, agile, and unified.  Her team has grown to more than 70 people in a few months and it has the freedom to experiment and share what it learns across the entire organiza­tion. Chamberlain said this collaboration allows her team to respond more quickly, communicate more freely, and make better and faster decisions.

She offered some advise for the next generation of leaders saying the best leaders are continuous learners who are fearless and unafraid to challenge themselves when making make tough decisions.  To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

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