A Most Engaging Interviewer
If you haven’t heard any of Aileen Bennett‘s podcasts, you are missing out. Aileen has to be one of the most engaging people I’ve ever met, meaning that she truly and honestly is interested in other people’s stories.
I had the honor of being invited to participate in a 30-minute podcast with Aileen and my co-interviewee Chuck Wood with Delta Media this summer. The podcast was taped for a program called Out To Lunch for KRVS 88.7FM. It was great fun to chat with the two of them, telling stories about my experiences growing up in technology. Chuck shared with us how he began in radio and how he got to the position he is today with this local multi-media company.
We also talked about how others influenced us in our journeys. I personally had a number of important mentors over the years, but two came to mind that I discuss in the interview – Don Bacque and Dr. James Oliver.
Don impressed on me the power of community involvement early on when I returned to Lafayette in the mid 1980’s. Among other things, he encouraged me to apply for the first year of Leadership Lafayette, which was a program he helped to bring to Lafayette. The new Chamber of Commerce president Phyllis Mouton made it part of her platform for her term. Leadership Lafayette was a life / business – changing experience for me.
Dr. James Oliver, Phd in Chemistry, and UL President Ray Authement, Phd in Mathematics, were the original visionaries behind the buildout of UL’s strong Computer Science department. At about the same time Don was mentoring me with respect to community, Dr. Oliver was helping this young woman in IT get her business off the ground. Dr. Oliver was a true gentleman and a wonderful advisor.
A Female in the Tech World
Aileen probed me about how I was able to achieve what I did, despite being a female in tech. When I started as a Programmer/Analyst for Ford Aerospace in 1977, there certainly weren’t a lot of women in the business. During my stint at Price Waterhouse in the 1980’s, the partner in charge declared that I could be one of the first female partners of this somewhat traditional multinational firm. As managing partner of ADP Solutions, a Salesforce Consulting Partner, I sometimes wonder if there is a doubly whammy – gender and a more “mature” age. But it hasn’t seemed to hamper our success.
It’s a Wrap
At the end of the interview, Aileen succinctly wrapped it all up by saying: In the end, it’s all about people isn’t it? Business is all about relationships. She’s correct of course. Businesses succeed because people succeed. While we do focus on data and process in our work, people need to be invested in and a part of the changes we foster in our client organizations.
Listen to the podcast here: http://bit.ly/2ssns