Thoughts On Business Leadership By Pamela Pelletier

Small Business Canada

Pamela Pelletier is a National Sales Director with Dell EMC and a part of the senior leadership team. She has a proven leadership track record and more than15 years of experience driving sales growth in the technology industry. She thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach. Pamela coaches and mentors colleagues at Dell EMC and within the broader IT industry by leading several groups that aim to help women in tech reach their full potential.


What is your definition of Leadership?

Leadership is something that often gets misconstrued. A leader often time gets interpreted as someone who is in a position of authority. It’s important to distinguish the difference between managing and leading. To me a manager is more of a title, where someone is responsible for a group by way of that title, however, that’s not to say a manager couldn’t be a leader. Leading is more of a reflection of influencing people to act towards a common goal. I see leadership as a means for providing direction, guidance, motivation and inspiration. The best leaders are able to instill confidence in their people. And to do that, leaders must empower others through a combination of leading by example, providing guidance and listening.


What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader?

For me, the three most important characteristics every leader should demonstrate are integrity, confidence and trustworthiness. I try to show integrity in all aspects of my career, I believe it’s very important, to be honest, and to show selflessness coupled with a desire to do what’s right even when faced with a tough decision. And part of doing that is being confident, even if I don’t have all the answers. My team looks to me when they face challenges, and so I always want them to feel they can come to me and feel at ease knowing we can get through anything together. Lastly, I believe that increasing trust really acts as a force multiplier. My team needs to trust me, I need to trust them, and together we need to trust each other and the entire senior leadership team at Dell Technologies. Trust is the glue that holds everything together.

The concept of leading in ways that act as a force multiplier can be very impactful. Lately, I’ve been especially inspired by my team as we navigate working remotely (because of Covid-19). For example, during one of our virtual team meetings, I asked members to share some of the new ways they are working, as well as share how they are adjusting and keeping healthy both mentally and physically. I was so inspired by the feedback, and it helped me personally navigate through this difficult time. I was equally as inspired by the creativity, innovation and willingness to go above and beyond to help our Dell customers as well.


How do you encourage the development of your employees?

I like to look at development in two ways. First, in terms of career development which would include the various programs that we offer at Dell Technologies at the global and local levels. And secondly, as active development, which consists of day-to-day coaching and providing feedback. Leadership matters now more than ever, and as a leader, it’s important to be able to provide informal mentorship alongside development programs and doing so must be a fluid process. Day-to-day coaching and feedback, for example, should be frequently programmed into a leaders’ schedule, while career development programs offered by Dell are ways of investing in team members and highly encouraged by leaders at all levels.

Something I’m passionate about is ensuring that all team members, regardless of gender, have equal opportunities to learn and grow. As a leader, I’ve discovered that women and men respond differently to coaching and feedback, and as a result, I’ve tailored my approach, especially as it comes to career and personal development. This is supported by Dell’s stance on gender equality: it’s a business imperative that requires our collective action and shared ownership. Personal action from our 145,000 Dell team members, including me, is one of the ways  Dell Technologies has a diversity moonshot goal of having 50 percent of our global workforce and 40 percent of our people leaders be those who identify as female by 2030.

Reaching our 2030 gender diversity goals will require closely examining how we build, develop and retain female talent in our workforce. Through strategic partnerships with organizations like Girls Who Code and programs like Girls Who Game, we’re building tomorrow’s talent pipeline by enabling girls and female students of all ethnicities to see the path to a career in technology. We’re also opening doors through initiatives like Dell Career Re-Start and our Diversity Leadership Accelerator Program that ensures women at every stage in their careers can build their tech and business acumen—whether they are re-entering the workforce after taking time away or looking to take on a management role.

As a leader, I feel that it’s not only my responsibility to mentor my teams but to also continually seek out new training and development for myself. For example, last year I participated in a year-long global development program tailored to my specific division and expertise. It was such a rewarding experience, exposing me to some really amazing content where I learned new methods and ideas for leading my team.

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