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7 Questions with Katie Landaal
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7 Questions with Katie Landaal
Name: Katie Landaal
Current title: VP of Strategic Alliances
Current organisation: ZoomInfo
With over 14 years in the SaaS industry, Katie Landaal has repeatedly proven that with the right collaborative strategy and partnerships, there are no limits to the revenue opportunities and deep consumer penetration. Many have described her as a dynamic, ambitious executive who had a progressive career directing Fortune 500 companies through periods of accelerated growth in ever-changing, complex environments with ease.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Executive alignment is the most common thing I’ve found throughout my career. The larger the organization, the tougher the conversations. With more executives and/or members, the more personalities and alternative philosophies which proves tough on consistent alignment.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I started my career at a small startup marketing agency that specialized in technology and helped grow the business to over $15M in the 5 years I was there. From there, I expanded my career by working for one of the largest technology distributors in the world, learning and growing on their strategic business development team. Over the last 8 years I’ve worked for various SaaS organizations specifying strategic partnerships and revenue growth. Because of my ambition and thought leadership, I’ve been promoted year after year through the various organizations to where I am today.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I hate to admit it, but if I’m awake, I’m working. I’m constantly strategizing with fortune 100 partners and negotiating those deals. Many of my contacts are scattered throughout the world so my hours are 24/7. I “turn off” for about 2-3 hours a day focusing on spending time with my family and caring for my young daughter, which is how I balance being a mom while being a top executive.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
That you don’t always have to have all the answers. As a leader, many expect you to be the expert that can solve the toughest of issues. I’ve learned that it’s ok as a leader to not have every answer or solution. Additionally, it’s important to learn from your peers and continue your education with as many outlets as possible. I’ve also gained more respect for those who have approached problematic scenarios with honesty.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman has taught me to cultivate those around you by highlighting their strengths and helping them to achieve everything they’ve ever wanted for their careers or personal growth. It’s also helped me fulfill my passion for helping others in a more meaningful way.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
A recent article I read summed it up well and I wholeheartedly believe in the 3 “C”s - Courage, Clarity and Curiosity. Courage for executives to lead ethically and with conviction. Clarity to make sure you are clear in your communications with others. And Curiosity to always continue to learn, academically and from others. Truly great leaders execute on those beliefs regularly.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
For me, it was one of my young employees that worked alongside me in a mentor ship capacity. She was just out of college and was a little stuck in her shell. She didn’t know how to have a voice in any meetings or internal collaborations. I recognized her incredible talent however, and her very hardworking nature. I knew that if I could help her build enough confidence, she would blossom into an incredible asset for my team long term, if she wanted to stay. After about 5 months of interning with me, she transformed into this amazing young woman with a tenacity and ambition that I knew would take her far. It was a proud moment when she came to saying she landed her first major position at her dream company, Disney. After a few weeks, I received a thank you letter telling me how instrumental I was for her, not only for her career, but also personally. It meant the world to me and I still read that letter every so often, reminding me how important it is to help those around you. She’s thriving and I love watching her career grow.