There are no bad employees, only bad managers – Claude Schuck
As the Regional Manager for Africa at Veeam, Claude Schuck’s current role is to head and lead a team across Africa. This is for the growth of Veeam and to strengthen its channel market not only in South Africa but also across the rest of the continent.
Schuck is an IT industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience and extensive expertise with the channel. In his previous role, Schuck was Channel Manager at EMC Southern Africa. Prior to that, he was Head of Dell’s Large Enterprise business unit for South Africa.
For Schuck, the best part of his job is about working with people, solving customer challenges and showing customers that Veeam can deliver on its promise. His work challenges include, trying to remain in control of the overall business across the continent and managing his frequent travel plans.
The most exciting part of his job role is watching people develop and grow, and taking on more responsibility. “I have also been privileged to have a hand in developing them as individuals and developing their individual careers as they move forward.”
On the reasons why, Schuck selected a career in technology, he points out, is that he stumbled upon the industry by mistake, but has not regretted if for a moment. “I was always going to be an accountant like my dad, but during my studies I secured a part-time job assembling computers. I completed my studies, but the technology bug bit and I worked my way up from building PCs to installing PCs and networks and finally into a sales role,” Schuck explains at length.
Schuck’s crystal ball gazing prompts him to point out that the software-defined enterprise, that offers anything-as-a-service to end-customers will be the hot technology talking point in 2018. Such an enterprise offers anything-as-a-service, without any physical barriers through the interaction, mixing and coming together of all back-end services, whether it is network, storage or application.
In simplistic terms, the software-defined enterprise starts with the modern datacentre, that means everything virtualised and everything as-a-service. Running applications in a virtualised environment brings many advantages for companies to help build efficiencies, provide reliability and a flexible IT infrastructure to ease management and free time and resources.
“As businesses evolve, we expect to see more demands on vendors to provide software and services to meet the expectations of the next generation of innovators,” he comments.
Schuck’s mature management style revolves around two approaches in his work life. The first approach in his work life, is what he calls servient leadership, which is selfless leadership. “I have a philosophy that I work for you and not the other way around, and it informs me how I treat every individual and how I approach every day.”
His second approach in his work life is his philosophy that there are no bad employees, only bad managers. “As a manager you have the ability to build and grow a team around you. This means that when you, as a manager, have done your job correctly, there should not be a reason, why you have someone that is not performing to their best ability,” he points out.
Schuck also creates a flat and open people structure, which generates mutual respect on both sides. He feels this is the role that leaders have, to make individuals comfortable within an environment, so that they can get on with their work and flourish, without any barriers.
For Schuck, being physically active is an important part of his life, as is his family, and this helps to keep him balanced. Schuck is active and enjoys most forms of sport. He enjoys training, playing golf, swimming and spending time with his family, as well. “I believe that the more you do, the more you get done. I start my day early, at five in the morning, with an hour’s exercise. This is my time to switch off completely and not think about numbers or quarters or weekly calls. It makes my life more organised,” he explains.
Schuck also manages the stress of work by keeping enough time to plan and prepare for work, a day or a week ahead. He believes in a healthy mind and therefore takes time off. “I take the necessary vacation and holidays to keep me refreshed. This combination helps with the demands and stress that a career requires of you.” His driving passions are people, leadership, mentorship as well as guiding and growing people around him.
With immense empathy for those who work with him, Claude Schuck approaches work with two driving personal commitments, to work for those around him and to be a good manager.