“I view my work team as if it were a sports team. Each member has a clear role and position. I played volleyball for many years and this stuck with me.”
Name: Anna N Schlegel
Current title: Director, Globalization Programs Strategy Office
Company: NetApp Inc.
Favorite business quote: “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”—Henry Ford
What is your leadership style? I view my work team as if it were a sports team. Each member has a clear role and position. I played volleyball for many years and this stuck with me. On a sports team, each teammate plays an integral part; keeping that in mind at the office, I coach my team on what the game plan is for the day. I make sure everyone is doing well, I make sure the “players” have the tools they need.
I am a fan of Patrick Lencioni from The Table Group, who applies similar principles for teamwork. It's crucial to give the team a vision and the tools to get there. Training teams to work (and play) well together, is a big priority.
“It’s crucial to give the team a vision... Training a team to work (and play) well together is a big priority.”
What tools or resources have you used that have been crucial to your success? I tend to lead big teams of contractors, hires, agencies, and consultants; for that, I must be organized! My teams always have one vision, one charter, and a series of programs and projects to get to that vision in the span of two to three years. We work on the processes to get to that vision. What will success look like after each project? Creating great repeatable processes that everyone on the team can follow is vital in my book. It takes time, but if you have a steady team, you will get there.
I am a big supporter of team building, an open door policy, and cross pollinating among teams. It is also imperative to work on what is important; it's essential to move the business forward.
“I am a big supporter of team building, an open door policy, and cross pollinating among teams.”
What steps are you currently taking to improve yourself, professionally? I always take a few management classes each year to remind myself how to be a better manager. And I usually have a new leadership book close by, to see new trends in management. I recently moved to a Product Team, so I am currently taking new product classes to get better knowledge in our product portfolio. After all, we are all here to sell!