Name: Diana Gutierrez
Title: Territory Manager – Indirect Support Sales SF & HW - Ecuador
Organisation: Oracle Colombia
I am Diana Gutierrez, I live in Santiago de Cali, although I was born 48 years ago in Palmira, a small town in the same department of Valle del Cauca, in Colombia South America, I am the eldest of three and the only woman, my parents are still alive although they took separate paths, I have been together with my husband for 25 years, although we have been married for 20 years, I have a teenage son who is the light of my eyes, the motor in my life, and two cats who are the most tender creatures , I love outdoor activities, and I exercise to stay in good shape and health. I am a professional in International Economic Relations, but I have been working in the area of IT - Information Technology for more than 25 years, and this is where I have trained professionally from the commercial areas of sales and services. I have currently been employed with Oracle Colombia for 22 years, and I perform the role of Territory Manager – Indirect Support Sales SF & HW for the Republic of Ecuador
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Diana's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The area in which I work is Information Technology (IT), and it is one of the most critical organization areas, an interruption in its services can delay anything from a strategic decision making to interrupting an entire chain of supplies and/or services paralyzing the entire company, knowing how to move in the ecosystem of the company for which one works is vital to minimize the risks inherent to the business and the collateral effects that may be triggered, this interaction with different areas of the organization, with other executives who can help certain actions happen faster, it is something that takes time and requires patience; That they listen to you, understand your urgency and help you at the speed that it is needed. something that is gained over the years, but it is achieved!, and that is how you also gain the trust of your clients and partners, who feel That if they escalate you, they do not do it in vain, that is why I usually end my calls, reminding them that I am just a phone call away. This, in addition to conveying confidence, also assures me that I will be informed in a timely manner in the event of any emergent situation that they may have.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I have been working since I was very young, I worked during the day and studied at night, I was always passionate about the commercial area, my first job was at the age of 19 selling books, encyclopedias, and I alternated it with another job that I got for recreation company part time, There I recruited some clients to offer them children's encyclopedias, and well from there I changed jobs little by little as I achieved my educational goals, until I reached the world of technology with a company that developed application software based on Oracle database, especially for public sector companies, and from there I went on to start working directly with Oracle Colombia where I have been working for 22 years. I began supporting the completion of the Terms of Reference of Government companies, due to the experience I brought from the previous company, and gradually they gave me more responsibilities but always in the commercial area, currently I have been working as a Territory Manager for 12 of the 22 years. for Ecuador in one of the service areas offered by Oracle Corp., working hand in hand with Partners and responsible for a Country quota, which has allowed me to grow more as a person and as a professional, I feel that what I contribute to my Partners from my experience serve them and value it, and of course what I learn from them too, I am convinced that in the work field one never stops learning
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As the years have gone by, I have learned to give more balance to my life, although I still work many hours, I learned to make time for sports, and not to use my weekends as days to go out or arrive on business trips, so now I get up at 5:00am I make sure my son is already up to go to school, I get organized and together with my husband we say goodbye to our son, and we go to the gym, the exercise time varies depending on how much I have to attend first thing in the morning, but in general the return is around 7:30am, I organize myself, have breakfast and lock myself in my office, here I make a clarification (I have been teleworking for at least 6 years, so when I leave the house to visit clients and partners, I leave the country, and this is at least one week a quarter, or one week a month). Returning to my routine, I lock myself in my office and time passes between calls, Zoom meetings, Teams meetings, Forecast, reviewing offers, preparing quotes, developing business cases, and in some cases supporting clients “ put out fires” by moving up within the Corporation someone who can help them, when something in their IT environment gets out of control. I'm still working on organizing my meal times, “I'm doing well” although it still happens with some frequency that I have breakfast and lunch in front of the computer. I try to disconnect from work by 7:00 pm the latest, although with this type of Teleworking it is sometimes more difficult. The night, if my son need help reviewing school topics, we review what is necessary,, I talk with my husband for a while about his day, we watch the news, if I have some time left I read for a while and around 10:30pm I take the last walk around the house, checking that everything is in order and turned off and I get ready to rest until the next day. Now, if I am on a work trip the routine is completely different, I generally schedule client meetings every day, one after another, seeking to make the most of my time, because as I indicated before, I no longer start or end my business trips. during the weekend.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Mentioning one is complicated, in the business world every day is a challenge, and every business is a challenge, I have realized that you never stop learning, nor have you ever seen it all, even if you have been working and leading for years. teams or companies. Life is full of lessons that sometimes we are not even aware of, but they are there to make you grow and improve every day. A practical exercise is to make a small reflection of your day when you get home, or while you go to your place of rest, that is where we can realize what we were able to learn, and the satisfaction of the duty accomplished.
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?
I am a good reader, without having a specific type of literature that catches my attention, rather if I like the title of the book and the summary on the back cover, I buy it and read it, however, if there are two books that I particularly remember , one is GETTING TO YES - Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, written by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton, is a book that demonstrates with clear examples of diplomatic negotiations, how experience and common sense go hand in hand, with strategies to protect yourself in negotiations. own interests, understanding well the people who are moved by contrary interests, but always looking for a middle point, and the other book is called The Soul of a Woman, written by Isabel Allende, inspired by her own life story, a book written by a woman, for women.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
One? I have 3 that I practice daily, the first and most important is to THANK GOD for what we have, be it a lot or a little, because when we look up and observe the world around us, we realize that in the midst of all the difficulties that we may have, there are many people having a really bad time, so we must feel blessed for who we are and what we have, not only materially, I mean the family we have, the friends we have, our health that we have “here we are, we are still alive”, the work we have, thanking ourselves opens up countless life opportunities that we will never be able to imagine. The second one STAYING UP TO DATE, knowing and understanding what is happening in the environment in which you operate professionally is vital, I particularly like to be informed of what is happening in the world, in the political and economic spheres, and how they can affect the economy of the country where I do my business, I have contact with middle and senior management executives, knowing current issues, and how that affects us, is vital to generating confidence that the decisions made will be the most correct ones. The third PROBLEM MANAGEMENT, the ideal is to always have solution options for your clients and/or business partners, if you come to them with a problem, also come with an alternative on how to solve it. I am always looking for solutions, that we have at least a plan B, for the difficulties that may arise, and this is applicable not only in work life, but also in personal and family life, "when faced with difficulties - look for solutions", that no matter how impossible or distant they may seem, it is better to have them there as alternatives instead of sitting down and regretting them.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I think the most important thing is to leave a positive impact, create good memories with the people or companies you have worked with throughout your life, and Thank God that has happened to me, I never cease to be excited, or surprised every year in my birthday, they greet me on social media, people I have worked with for more than 15 or 20 years call me. That they remember you fondly, that they wish you nice things from people with whom you have had a work relationship, whether as a Manager, as a Client, or simply as a co-worker at some point in your life "is priceless", that is why I love what I do, and I always give the best of myself to people regardless of their position, their gender, their religion or social class, I am certain that love and respect are not demanded, love and respect are earned.