C-suite career advice: Emma de Sousa, Insight

We ask industry leading C-suite professionals for their expert career advice...

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  Name: Emma de Sousa

  Company: Insight

  Job Title: UK Managing Director

  Location: UK


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
By far the most valuable piece of career advice I have ever been given is that the glass ceiling was only put there to give us all something to aim for – something I have strived to make a true statement.

Throughout my career I have been surrounded by knowledgeable leaders and I have received several other pieces of solid advice. One such piece of advice was this: “As a leader you only achieve true success with a cohesive team but a cohesive team is only achievable through strong leadership.” This echoes the statement that you are only as good as your people. Finally the line, walk in the shoes of your customer and your staff, has been invaluable to me throughout my career; gaining a wider perspective will always open up ideas and possibilities.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
The worst piece of advice I have ever been given, and one that I will strongly advice against, is to keep your head down and keep quiet. Every individual within an organisation adds value and a unique element which cannot be utilised and embraced without letting them shine.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
The tech industry is continually evolving and therefore brings some of the most exciting opportunities. If you are excited by change, then the industry is made for you. I would advise those within the industry to embrace this change as their careers will be a roller coaster ride, but also a thrilling experience, perhaps more so than any other industry. 

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
If you have a C-level position in your sights the most valuable thing you can do is to surround yourself with the best people possible. Additionally, you shouldn’t be afraid to have an opinion as you progress; speaking up and sharing your views will help to not only develop your ideas but your reputation and role within your organisation.

Fundamental to your progression in any role and especially in C-level is to be passionate about what you do. This will not only help you to see the value within activity, but also make day-to-day tasks thrilling and enjoyable.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
At Insight we strongly believe that every individual at every level deserves development and career advice, this is as the core of our culture. Talent forms the building blocks of every business and as mentioned previously, you are only as good as your people. Therefore we strive to grow our employees as early as possible helping to build from within and create a supportive and thriving culture.