People 11 December 2017
Whether it's getting business done on the golf course, traveling the globe, or running countless marathons, it's safe to say that Rhonda Vetere puts passion into everything she does, even if it allows her to only get two hours of sleep a night. But that same drive and determination allow her to be a key player in the tech world, especially since her extensive IT management experience dates back to 25 years.
“Everyday my duties are different, so my approach tends to be proactive and reactive which keeps everything running smoothly," she says. “Although I do face challenges, prioritizing and focusing on the right thing is crucial."
Rhonda works with business leaders to technology team members on a daily basis, making it important for her to have her own unique leadership style. However, Rhonda believes in full contact management, keeping her approach open and collaborative.
It's this same unique and personal leadership approach which named her one of the most effective female leaders in the male-dominated tech force.
“My leadership style is open, direct, collaborative, and I love to invest in and mentor others," she adds. “I always want to help people and give back to others. I take my role as a role model pretty seriously."
As an innovator in the tech sphere, Vetere explains that she's constantly looking for ways to change and the improve the shopping experience, including exploring the budding tech industry trend of mobility.
“The latest trend definitely seems to be mobility, as I saw this specifically during my travels in Asia," Vetere acknowledges. “I've challenged my own team to go mobile for a day around the world like they do in China. Mobility is key."
Being a prominent voice in tech also requires Vetere to travel frequently, which she says has played a big a part in her impressive workplace experience. Her journeys to China and India in particular have allowed to her to experience diversity of thought and culture, which she says, is key to thriving in the business world.
“I have traveled and worked with people of many different cultures, and these global experiences have been a key part of my background," she suggests. “Travel helps me see the diversity of thought, people, and culture, and it has taught me that adaptability is key."
Adaptability is also a skill Vetere says female tech hopefuls need to possess, as staying mobile, and taking the job no one wants is a way to stay ten steps ahead of the game for sure.
“I've worked with all men throughout my career, and the key is to adapt," she says. “Aside from being business savvy, you'll want to learn to play golf, as most business gets done on the golf course. It's also key to remember to be mobile and take the job that no one wants."
But while her daily duties can be challenging at times, Rhonda finds inner peace through a strict schedule, and of course, a dedicated fitness routine filled with triathlon, IronMan and marathon recess runs. “Schedule is critical and crucial and I usually plan things six months to a year out," she explains. “Fitness is key it gives me discipline and helps me achieve my goals. My fitness routine is key to my physical and mental well being, and it definitely keeps me sharp and focused."
4 min read
One of the few things I remember from grade school biology is the concept of tropism. In plain language, tropism is the reaction of a living thing, like a plant, towards a stimulus like sunlight or heat. You've likely seen this before but just didn't recognize it for what it was. If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action. The plant is bending towards the sunlight.
If you've ever seen the leaves of a potted plant bending towards a windowpane, that's tropism in action.
In our everyday lives, we are all inundated with stimuli throughout the day. The driver in front of us that stalls at the yellow light and zooms through the red light, leaving us behind to wait. Or the customer service rep that leaves us on hold for an ungodly amount of time, only for the call to prematurely drop. There are so many examples both common and unique to our individual lives. The trouble begins when we form the habit of responding to everything — particularly negative stimuli. By doing this, our mental peace is disrupted and diverted making us slaves to whatever happens to happen. Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us. Now take that concept and multiply it by the number of things that can happen in a day, week, or month. What happens to you mentally with so many emotional pivots?
For me, the result is: Restlessness. Anxiety. Sleepness. Mindless Eating. Everything besides peace of mind.
Much like the plant bending towards sunlight, we oftentimes react and lean into whatever is happening around us.
Earlier this year, something pretty trivial happened to me. I'm sure this has happened to you at some point in your life also. I was walking through a door and, as I always do, glanced back and held the door longer and wider than normal for the person coming behind me. My gracious gesture was met with silence — no thank you, no smile, not even a nod. I remember being so annoyed at this travesty of justice. How dare they not acknowledge me and thank me for holding the door? After all, I didn't have to do it. I know I spent the next few hours thinking about it and probably even texted a few friends so that they could join in on my rant and tell me how right I was to be upset. In hindsight, I should not have allowed this pretty petty thing to occupy my mind and heart, but I did. I let it shake my peace.
I've since taken some classes on mindfulness and what I've learned (and I'm still learning) is the art of being aware — being aware of the present and my feelings. Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy. We're all human and having emotions is part of the deal but as mindful adults, it's critically important to choose what you're going to care about and let everything else pass along. There are several tools on the market to help with this but the Headspace app has really helped me in my mindfulness journey. The lessons are guided and coupled with some pretty cute animations.
Recognizing when I'm triggered towards annoyance or anger gives me the opportunity to take a step back to understand why and assess whether it deserves my attention and energy.
Over the course of the next week, I'd like to challenge you to pay more attention to your reactions. How aware are you of how you allow your environment to affect you? Are you highly reactive? Do you ruminate for hours or even days on events that are insignificant in your life? If so, practicing a bit of mindfulness may be the way to go.