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Human Resources

C-Suite Career Advice: Nancy Treaster, SVP and GM, Verint Systems

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

16-09-2014-nancy-treaster-svp-and-gm-verint-systems


  Name: Nancy Treaster

  Company: Verint Systems

  Job Title: SVP and GM

  Location: USA

 

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?

When Witness Systems was acquired by Verint several years ago, the CEO of Witness gave some invaluable career advice when he left, which still sticks with me now. He said that the single most important thing to running a successful business was its people – “Everything should be built around your employees”. So, if you have to choose between attending an employee update meeting and a customer visit, the former should be prioritised at all times. This is particularly important the more senior you get in your career. Taking the time to speak with employees informally to get to know them better is also essential, whether it’s in break out rooms or over lunch.  

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?

The main thing is to be open to anything and everything! This is what I tell my employees and even my children that are just starting their careers. Never refuse work and if you finish something be proactive and look for something else to do. In the early years, it’s so important to take initiative and have a ‘can do’ attitude. This is a great way to impress your colleagues and employer and really get noticed.

Within the technology industry, it is also important to read up and research your area as much as possible. It can be technical and challenging to get to grips with this at first, but the more you read and absorb in the early years the better!

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?

It certainly isn’t easy to get to c-level positions and from my experience it requires a lot of perseverance. Again, the focus on people and the welfare of employees is critical. Employee engagement initiatives should be a big focus. For example, making sure you are giving opportunities for staff to provide feedback and suggestions for the wider business and communicating that their thoughts are valued and acted upon will really help motivate the workforce. Building an inclusive company culture is a must.

Also, don’t be afraid to fail! At Verint we have developed a strong culture where people are encouraged to take an element of risk, but if it goes wrong to admit any bad decisions and learn from their mistakes. Playing it safe won’t get you to the Board!

I was once told to ‘be tough on problems, but soft on people’ – this mantra still rings true and is definitely food for thought for any aspiring c-level executive.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

I’ve seen many graduates and new entrants at Verint go on to achieve great things within the company, which makes me feel incredibly proud. What’s made them get that far? Showing initiative and proactivity. Finding things that need to be done and getting on with it is the key to success. Whether it’s developing a new phone list for the company or streamlining a lengthy report process.

Young people can show great potential, but it’s also up to the company to nurture this and give them opportunities to move onwards and upwards.

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