Conveyer CEO explains how to be a strong effective leader

Carolyn Parent, president and CEO of Conveyer, joins Aileen Black on this week's Leaders and Legends to discuss leadership in the technology sector.

Carolyn Parent, president and CEO of Conveyer, joins Aileen Black on this week’s Leaders and Legends to discuss leadership in the technology sector.

Conveyor is a provider of an AI-driven document virtualization platform that transforms instructions into friendly, easy-to-follow, mobile-first applications that customers can retrieve with QR codes and view on any device.

Prior to joining Conveyor, Parent led companies at the forefront of SaaS technology innovation in real-time digital communications, mobile, AI, data and security analytics. She founded companies, managed new growth-oriented software technology business units, and helped navigate organizations through six profitable evolutions or exits (IPO, M&A, privatization and large-scale divisional spin-offs).

Throughout  her career, Parent has built high performance teams and led organizations to their highest levels of success. She did that by leading with “optimism and enthusiasm,” and keeping the lines of communication open so that all stakeholders from the individual contributors to the board of directors have the information they need meet their objectives.

According to Parent, she tries to ensure that there are “no surprises” during the decision making process. That way everyone knows where they stand and what to do.

She says “The more informed people are the better they can do their job.”

Parent believes that leaders of any organization must empower and support their teams then stand aside to let them find their own paths to success. She tries to lead by being what she calls a “velvet hammer” — strong but not abrasive. It’s a lesson she learned from a former mentor.

Parent said strong effective leaders must be able to “work with people and get to know them so they can see your point of view. Coming on too strong without understanding where or how that person may perceive it could cause issues. ”

She said leaders must always be able to adapt to change because “nothing lasts forever,” and she recommends networking with other leaders and executives as you make your way up the corporate ladder.

Networking comes naturally to Parent because she loves people and learns from everyone she meets. She added that networking has paid off over the years and has fueled her success. In fact, she said networking is the key to having a successful career.

Parent is passionate about helping the next generation of women leaders and she has some advice for them.

“Don’t let someone else pick your path,” she said. “Every company is a tech company these days. You don’t need to code to be in tech. You don’t need to be an engineer to work at STEM companies. They need sales, marketing and customer service people too. Remember if you can see it, you can be it. With hard work you can make anything possible.”

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Host Aileen Black interviews federal leaders who have left their mark on government and made a lasting imprint on the nation. Hear what goes on behind the scenes in the nation's capital and why working for the federal government is so unique. Subscribe on PodcastOne.