[We asked several New Jersey CEOs and tech leaders to answer three questions about leadership. This article presents their answers to the first question: What is your personal definition of leadership?]
Anthony Curlo, Anthony Curlo, president and CEO of DaVinciTek
[An expert in top tier IT recruitment and staff augmentation, DaVinciTek specializes in world-class talent acquisition services that align emerging corporations and fortune 500 companies with IT professionals looking to advance their careers.]
Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Colin Day, iCIMS founder, president and CEO
[Matawan-based iCIMS helps businesses win the fight for top talent through the implementation of innovative Software-as-a-Service talent-acquisition solutions that are scalable and easy to use.]
I think it all starts with clearly demonstrating that you stand for the right things. For us, that’s great service, pure Software-as-a-Service [SaaS], profitability, etc. From there, it’s more about convincing leaders who are better than you to join you, the company, and the cause … and then getting out of their way. And pushing them to do the same under them.
Robert DeJean, president and CEO, Systech International
[Systech International, based in Cranbury, is a global leader in brand-protection and authentication technologies serving a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices, food and beverages and health care.]
A leader listens more than they talk. A leader communicates the “why we do it” much more than the “how we do it,” presents the plan, and lets his team get the job done and develop along the way.
Dean Guida, president and CEO, Infragistics
[Cranbury-based Infragistics offers rapid prototyping and user interface toolsets that allow developers and enterprise users to create amazing applications for the Web, Windows and mobile devices.]
To me, leadership is all about building a collaborative environment. At the end of the day, the most important thing we do at Infragistics is take care of our customers and solve problems. And to do that, I need a team I can count on.
When you build a great team of people and create a collaborative culture, leadership comes naturally. When you run your organization through that team, you’ll attract the A-players that want to get things done, and success will follow.
N. Robert Hammer, chairman, president and CEO, CommVault
[CommVault is a publicly traded data and information management software company headquartered in Tinton Falls. The company made its mark with the industry’s leading backup product, Simpana software.]
First and foremost, a leader must have a mission: a clear idea of where the enterprise is, where it is going and how it is going to get there. The leader has to inclusively inspire the whole organization to achieve the mission. The leader must embody the culture of the organization and proactively build that culture. Cultural attributes like passion, innovation, integrity, risk-taking and treating people with dignity and respect are critical to the long-term success of the enterprise. Lastly, the leader is ultimately accountable for the success and failure of the enterprise: they must accept praise on behalf of the team and take personal ownership the mistakes and failures.
Eileen Martinson, CEO, Sparta Systems
[Hamilton-based Sparta Systems, an industry pioneer and leading global provider of enterprise quality management software solutions, enables businesses to safely and efficiently deliver their products to market.]
To me, leadership is about not only developing new ideas, but bringing these ideas to fruition. Leadership is a commitment to customers’ success, direct and respectful communications, fostering a strong sense of team and shared goals, and empowering employees.
Chris Miles, CEO, Miles Technologies
[Since 1997, Moorestown-based Miles Technologies has been providing information technology, business software and web/marketing consulting services to organizations of all sizes and from all industries.]
Leadership is about planning, accountability, vision and compassion — it is about being a longsighted leader. To be a true leader, you need to assure your employees that you are all a part of the same mission. A leader is a person who says “We are going to do this and we are going to work collectively as team to accomplish this goal, and we are going to be awesome,” and then actually puts in the energy, organization, planning and motivation required to achieve success for everyone.
Jerry Passione, General Manager, Juniper Networks OpenLab
[Juniper Networks OpenLab, based in Bridgewater, represents a unique collaborative and educational approach that enables software innovators to engage with Juniper technology specialists and a suite of hands-on tools to push the boundaries of Software Defined Networking and programmable networking.]
A leader has the ability to inspire and harness the diverse talents and perspectives of individuals on a team to drive towards a common, well-stated mission and set of objectives. Leaders put the team in the best position to succeed, setting the direction while seeking to remove any obstacles that may stand in the way. Leaders recognize what they can and cannot control; set a strong example with their actions, and not simply with their words; and maximize the opportunities for attaining success.