Women Of The C-Suite: “Be a True Corporate Athlete” With Rhonda Vetere

Be a true Corporate Athlete — — take care of yourself, you can’t manage a team if you can’t manage yourself and aren’t healthy. I do…

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Be a true Corporate Athlete — — take care of yourself, you can’t manage a team if you can’t manage yourself and aren’t healthy. I do marathons, triathlons and IronMan(s)to keep mentally tough and “my mind is focused more making business decisions”. I have done 4 IRONMAN and several other races this year.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhonda Vetere, Female Technology Voice Icon. Rhonda is a seasoned C-Suite executive and passionate global leader. Rhonda has lived and worked internationally — in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Mumbai, and across India — and has managed teams of up to 20,000 people. Vetere is also the co-author of an HP special edition book, “Enterprise Service Management for Dummies”. Rhonda has been recognized with for her leadership and influence, notably with a 2017 Stevie Award for Excellence in Transforming Business (competing with over 1500 CIOs and CTOs), and has been featured in renowned publications, including Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive, Moneyish, CNBC, Women of Influence, Financial Post, Triathlete Magazine, SWAAY Magazine, and more.She contributes her perspective and knowledge through serving on boards for professional, educational, and athletic institutions, including the US Olympics and Paralympics, The Canadian Cloud Council, Longwood University, George Mason University School of Business, SWAAY Magazine, Miss Fashion Week, and Xcelocloud Inc.A dynamic leader both at work and play, Vetere is constantly training for and competing in events — over 65+ so far, including triathlons, half-marathons, marathons, and IRONMAN triathlons (single-day races that consist of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 13.1-mile run). She is a member of the New York Road Runners (NYRR), plays golf and is a member at Winged Foot Golf Club, and encourages her friends and associates to pursue active, healthy lifestyles as an integral part of career success and improving performance.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was brought to this specific career path accidentally. I had always been good at leading others and found myself in the career of technology. Happened by one of my mentors (still to this day one of my mentors) moving me around into departments to lead, change and make divisions more productive and profitable. Went to school for Business, Communications and a minor in Spanish. Always knew I loved to manage people and with my Italian heritage it all came together being put in global roles and drawing from my international experience. Stuck in the technology arena because it is always changing at a rapid speed and like to stay relevant and charge organizations to leapfrog into the future.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Good question-

Most interesting story is being in the DMZ tunnel when the first ballistic test missiles went off and we didn’t know it at the time that we were living and experiencing this. Learned a lot about living in the moment, global impact and not to take any second of life for granted.

Being introduced and recognized as the Female global Technology Icon. That hit home and realized my calling is to help teach people in their career what it takes to make it. I love spreading my heart around the world and am more global than US centric from living and learning overseas.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Ensuring pack the right weather clothes when traveling to multiple countries in one trip. For team members that travel with me, they all know not to check their luggage or I will leave them in baggage claim and I have!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am currently working on a monthly “Ask Rhonda” series to open up to the world to help anyone by being approachable. It is so important to let others know that no question is dumb! I am passionate about mentorship and this gives me direct visibility into people at all stages of their career that want to hear about the road traveled.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive? 

Be authentic.

If I could give a few pieces of advice to other female leaders is to be prepared. I think being prepared is a huge key to success. It allows you to put your best foot forward and show up ready to impress.

I would also tell female leaders to make sure that they take care of their wellbeing because you cannot be a good leader if you are not healthy. I make fitness/wellness a huge part of my life for that reason.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

I value full-contact management, hands-dirty collaboration, and thought-provoking relationships; using emotional intelligence, listening, and ethics to guide myself and my teams.

I believe true innovation comes through strategy, learning, technology, and quality.

I approach situations from a global perspective, evaluating both the audience and long-term goals individually, as solutions are not one size fits all.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are many particular CEOs throughout my career that I have taken some great nuggets of advice from. Everything from “learn to play golf” to boardroom etiquette. I also had many strong female role models in both my mother and aunt, who instilled my work ethic in my very early on!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I bring goodness to the World by giving back to the USA Olympic Team as a trustee and believe in helping place athletes in the business world after their career in the Olympics. I mentor folks around the world and industry to help them in their career. Along with adopting orphans in India — we as a global team go there twice a year and give money and make a day of donating our time to help out with the little ones. In addition, believe in helping College students make their curriculum choices and on two Advisory Boards for Colleges.

I also spend time mentoring women globally, and is passionate about women supporting other women and lifting them up. STEM is a huge passion of mine. I want to encourage girls and women to find careers in this space because there is so much opportunity. I am going to be running in Serengeti Girls Run, a 55-mile women-only run in October through the Tanzanian bush to raise money for girls’ empowerment programs in local communities.I will also be speaking to the tribes there about this issue. My goal is to have an impact there.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Move, be mobile — which I have along 20 plus years and it has paid off!

Move Around the world, learn how to do business in different countries and work on different places to gain perspective.

Be a true Corporate Athlete — — take care of yourself, you can’t manage a team if you can’t manage yourself and aren’t healthy. I do marathons, triathlons and IronMan(s)to keep mentally tough and “my mind is focused more making business decisions”. I have done 4 IRONMAN and several other races this year.

Play golf. This is something that I picked up at a later age, but it has been a game changer for me. Lots of business gets done on the golf course. I am a member at Winged Foot Golf Club and try to play as frequently as my schedule allows.

Always have your 30 second elevator speech to answer two questions;How are you and what are you working on? This is important so he or she leaves the elevator knowing who you are.

Lastly, utilize sports acumen in business conversations. It is very relatable and gets people engaged.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As one who practices what I preach when it comes to cultural immersion, I wanted to go for a run in Tanzania so I simply asked the hotel guests for a good route to try. They mentioned that I would need to have security guards with guns accompany me because of the dangerous animals that would be on the trail. Turns out, I was the first female to ever request an outdoor run, and I went for it regardless.

I ran two days in a row and on the second day, a large group of locals decided to join me on my running trek. Many of them said that I inspired them personally, as they rarely have the opportunity to enjoy exercise given the environmental hindrances. This wellness experience enlightened me on how much we take self-care for granted here at home.

My theory is that an individual’s personal wellness must be a top priority in order to achieve one’s major corporate goals. I attribute many of my most prized leadership qualities (including motivation, perseverance and a stellar ability to navigate the daily struggle of balance) to my active and healthy lifestyle that is the impetus for day-to-day accomplishments, no matter where she is at any given moment.

This is a movement that I would love to inspire others, mental toughness and resiliency. The amazing thing is that from simply asking to train while in Africa, I was given the opportunity to run the Serengeti Girls Run, a 55-mile women-only run in October through the Tanzanian bush to raise money for girls’ empowerment programs in local communities.

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Originally published at medium.com

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