For Dave Funnell, Manager: Cloud Provider at VMware, there are seven types of leadership style, and he falls into the strategic leadership segment.
Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?
I manage the VMware Cloud provider business for Sub-Saharan Africa. This is a rapidly growing business where Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) leverage VMware to deliver a variety of solutions and services to the market.
The size and varied maturity of the territory make the role challenging, but also very exciting. The nature of the programme means I get to work closely with the revenue generating business within the CSPs.
When you look back at your career what has been the most memorable achievement?
I’ve been working in ICT for over 20 years, and there have been so many changes over that period, that being flexible enough to adapt to those changes and stay at the forefront of numerous technology transformations is an achievement in itself. Along the way, I’ve been privileged to work with market leading vendors, partners and customers as they have benefited from these technology changes.
What made you think of a career in technology?
It seemed like a logical step when I made the move into the technology space. I had experience in a service industry and, allied to an understanding of technology and its benefits to business, it was a very attractive career option. With the constant change there is always the opportunity to learn and acquire new skills.
What style of management philosophy do you employ at your current position?
VMware employ highly competent individuals, so management is about creating the right environment for them to be productive. It is a highly pressured environment, so it’s important to keep energy high, encouraging people to succeed. We also need to support our full partner ecosystem as an extension of the VMware sales teams, and allow them to feel part of the organisation.
What is your style as a team leader?
It is said that there are seven types of leadership style and I feel that I most likely fall into the strategic leadership segment. This would make sense as I have both operational responsibility and I am targeted to drive strong growth within the cloud business.
What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2019?
Maybe not a hot tech topic, but I think the maturity of cloud adoption, as it moves from being an idealised nirvana that promises to mitigate all the issues of IT, to a fully operationalised model for the delivery of IT services, will be top of mind this year. The partner channel will need to adapt to this transformation to protect revenue streams and remain profitable.
What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?
My main interest is running, sometimes on the road, but mainly trail running. I will be participating in a number of ultra trails this year both in South Africa and Europe, including Ultra Trail Mont Blanc.
As part of trying to give back in a small way, I am on the committee of my running club, Randburg Harriers, and also host a social trail every Tuesday evening. The social trail also dovetails nicely with my other passion, craft beer, as the run is based out of a bar.
How do you cope with stress and demands of your career?
Running is a fantastic way to relax and mull over the stresses of a career, while having fantastic health benefits. I really believe a healthy body assists with a healthy mind.
What gives you great job satisfaction?
Creating an environment for success and seeing those objectives fulfilled both in the short and longer term. This is especially important with the partner community I work with, whose success is directly linked to my success in a symbiotic relationship.
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