David Gee in conversation with Glen Wilson, ICT solutions manager at JB Hi-Fi Solutions. Wilson’s career in the ICT sector has spanned multiple senior roles at a variety of technology vendors
Could you introduce your current role and key responsibilities? Do you have a favourite aspect of this role?
I recently joined the JB Hi-Fi Solutions team as part of JB Hi-Fi Group at the NSW State Office. The opportunity is to source and provide leading-edge technology based solutions to enterprise and government entities.
My role involves brokering new relationships with key customers to understand their current and future ICT requirements. Partnering up with strategic vendors to enable is what I love best within an ever-changing industry.
In your career you have worked across a number of business and technical roles. How does this now help you when you are dealing at a more strategic level?
I’ve learnt that conversations can be had across a myriad of [areas in a] complex organisation - by understanding the real business drivers, from IT to that of C-Suite, you are positioned to enable the best outcome.
Once you have this foundation of the entity’s goals and required ROI to achieve against projected costs and outcomes, this can make a real difference.
What’s the best piece of coaching or career advice that you ever received?
Always have a plan full of short-, mid- and long-term goals to enable success.
This will enable 360-degree review for yourself through the eyes of others close to you, whether that is from work or personal for that matter.
By having this mirror, the outcome will it enables ongoing honesty, roadblocks and hurdles to be overcome.
My belief is that leadership is an important skill and often not as common as we want. Could you perhaps illustrate the traits of leaders that you really rate?
Leadership encompasses strong direction with the ability to lead by example. The senior leader requires leading from the front and not from behind.
Then it’s all about simply follow-through on plans to action and show your vested interest by believing and delivering from the front.
When you think about your career path, how far forward do you try to plan?
I think it is important to look at 12-, 24- and 48-month goal setting and checking in within these periods to ensure that milestones are being reached to achieve against your projected plan.
In management, we have to deal with difficult situations, what tips do you have that has helped you to cope with these scenarios?
My tip is that is very important to be as transparent and honest upfront in any difficult situation is key. Always important to gauge with those around you prior to making a difficult decision to provide sound feedback from those in trust.
Honesty is always the best policy.It also helps you to cope with any stress that may come as part of the territory.
Personally I’ve learned from some good bosses and bad ones.Could you share lessons from a not-so-great one that still resonates with you?
I’ve observed that sometimes leaders maybe in a position of authority that perhaps they should not be in.
For instance, I have in previous roles throughout my long career had some leaders that would enable a high level plan, but was never close to the ground to understand the immediate and ongoing impact of the business. So just concentrating on the end outcome and never wanting to understand the ingredients on getting there is critical.
It is very imperative as a leader is to understand your marketplace, staff drivers and to own the delivery of your business to enable your staff to be engaged on the journey.
I’m curious, about your level of self-awareness — about strengths and weaknesses. Often one’s wife or partner are the best judges.What do you think?
I think there is a lot of truth in this as the values that you show your wife and family provides the DNA of what you’re general SWOT analysis would form as a foundation within the commercial world.So yes, I would agree more so than not that a happy and loving home life provides the foundational values required to be a committed and successful employee/leader/manager etc.