Family man; competitive sailor; team player: These are just a few of the terms that describe Gerard Kane, Senior Managing Director and SVP of Americas Digital Cloud Sales at Maven Wave. As a Maven, his team has benefited from his more-than-30 years of experience in the IT industry. For this month’s leadership spotlight, we got a chance to interview Kane and learn more about his work — as well as his strong philosophy on team leadership. Read on to learn more!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Gerard Kane, Senior Managing Director, SVP of Americas Digital Cloud Sales. Before joining Maven Wave, I worked at Netapp and Accenture, and I have been in the IT industry since 1985. I worked with John Cipolla before — he was actually the one who recruited me to Maven Wave.
What’s your role at Maven Wave?
I think I have two roles here. One is to provide leadership to the sales organization and help provide direction and cadence that align with our mission. This includes helping our clients grow their businesses, coaching them to identify challenges and risks, recruiting good talent, and mentoring employees to be successful in their roles.
Part two of my job is helping with the transformation we are going through. I’ve been through this before, which means I know what to expect and can guide people through the process and keep them motivated. The outcome I am working towards is building the next generation of leaders for Evidian who will one day take over and continue to build the business.
What are the top highlights of your career so far?
My career story is one of flexibility and agility. I have always managed to adapt to changes and remain successful. There have been many phases of my career, but I continued to evolve and learn. Over the course of my career, I have been involved with multiple startups — from managed services and security to traditional IT services. As a result, I have been fortunate enough to experience many aspects of this industry.
Lastly, my favorite highlight is learning to become a leader who embraces the people of the organization. I learned you have to accept people for who they are, and then figure out how to extract the best out of them to make them successful. At the end of the day, it’s not about me; it’s about how I can positively impact people and help them grow.
What is your favorite part of working at Maven Wave?
Definitely the people; the tapestry of people we have is really rich. We have x-factor! I love seeing new people join Maven Wave because they enrich the organization in so many different ways.
I also believe sales and business growth are team sports, meaning everyone plays a role in our success or failure. That’s why people are so critical to me and how we do business.
Which of the 7 C’s is most meaningful to you and why?
It’s difficult to answer this question. All of the 7 C’s exist because of how they integrate together and demonstrate the values of the entire organization. I do not believe one is more important than the next. I think all of the C’s together are critical and build on each other — they are interlocked and interdependent.
What makes the work at Maven Wave meaningful?
The business outcomes and the customer results. Day to day, we all work hard, and sometimes it’s stressful. We build things that are malleable and change. If we build an outcome, solution, or service, the customer gets the value of it. It might contribute to how they build agility in their business, save them money, or allow them to move into a new industry. So, I think business outcomes and customer success are the satisfaction we get out of our daily work lives.
What goals do you have for your team in 2022? What are your long-term goals?
We have to build the business and increase the cloud elements of our business. We also must transform ourselves to move into this new model, which could mean training, education, different ways to think about customers, or could include a whole new set of customers.
Ultimately, my goal is to make sure we are staying aligned and focused — from our sales organization to our delivery and other supporting elements of the business. We all have to work in tandem and make sure those teams are in line. We have to sell the right solutions that keep our delivery team busy and tie back to other teams’ goals, whether it’s HR, recruiting, marketing, or other area of Maven Wave.
What is something about you that always surprises people?
Probably everything! But seriously, I think one thing people would find interesting is that I was a military brat. I lived all over the world. I grew up with the same agility that I use in my business life. In 17 years, I lived in 14 places before I went off to college. I lived in Spain, Korea, and everywhere in between. My upbringing allowed me to experience different cultures and interact with all types of people — and appreciate embracing those differences. I am truly a student of the world.
Another thing that may surprise people is that I was supposed to be a pilot and I didn’t plan on getting into IT. In college, I was in ROTC and learned how to fly. In my senior year, I turned down my military commission and had to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I felt that computers were going to be important, so I got my first job in IT and the rest is history.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I think everyone at Maven Wave knows this, but I like to sail and still sail competitively. More importantly, I like to spend time with my family (my wife, two adult children, and the dog). I also have five brothers, so it’s a big extended family.
Rapid Question Round
- Brand new or vintage? Vintage
- City or countryside? I’m a city boy.
- Introvert or extrovert? What do you think?
- Music or podcasts? Music
- Karaoke: Singing or spectating? Spectating
- Comedy or drama? Drama
- Art, science, or history? These are all passions, but I’ll say history. If you do not know history, you are doomed to repeat it.
- Early bird or night owl? Early bird
- Fiction or nonfiction? Nonfiction
- Planning it or winging it? Planning it
- Favorite vacation spot: Wherever I’m not working. I can’t pick one because there are so many fascinating places I haven’t been yet!
- Favorite season: Summer
- What you’re currently listening to: I’m listening to a lot of Harry Styles thanks to my wife. I enjoy mixes of my own as well.
- Recommend one movie, TV show, book, or podcast: TedTalks
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