Ramona Maxim is now Manager of Network Applications and Cloud Infrastructure, leading a team of around 60 people within Global Services Center in Romania. However, the first days at Ericsson ten years ago, looked quite different. Between a multicultural environment and challenging projects that continue to build trust and strong relationships between Ericsson and its customers, her career shaped based on three facts all of us experience when building a career.
1. Take best practices from your mentors and upgrade your personal brand.
It might be a phrase you hear in a meeting, a piece of advice someone gives you, or the organizational skills people possess. No matter which it may be, we all get enchanted by the personality of at least one of our managers.
[R.M.]: Throughout the time, my managers taught me that truly connecting with others is essential for relationships, even if we talk about your own team, people you collaborate with or even your customers. Your words and actions must match in order to have people trust your leadership. Being a manager is not just a title. It is a responsibility to lead and earn the respect of those around you who believe that you will take them into the right direction. I have also learned that patience is indeed a virtue and you should not rush into making decisions or jumping into conclusions, unless urgency requires for it. My best practice to those reading this article is to grow daily throughout verbal or written interaction they might have and keep a positive attitude; you will be surprised to see how many difficult situations you can be saved from by having a positive and solution oriented attitude.
2. Asking for feedback shapes your future steps.
Even if you don’t notice, the impact of your words changes people’s behavior because we all empathize to things that affect us directly. We are also affected by the feedback that is said about us by a customer or another colleague, even if we are not there to face it or able to respond immediately.
However, no matter the circumstances, you should always be ready to receive a feedback, take new challenges, and be ready for what the new opportunities may bring.
It is true that it is not easy to get out of your comfort zone; you need a lot of will and you need to pull in a lot of effort. It’s a priceless moment when you come to the realization that it was all worth it and you have grown into a better self.
[R.M.]: It was back in 2010 when I had been assigned for a project in the Netherlands. I was an engineer aiming to improve my capabilities, so when I had to support in a variety of tasks out of my technical competences, I said “yes” and chose to get out of my comfort zone.
By doing so, I found out that not only was I good at solving technical issues, but that I was also very good at coordination, due to my organizing skills and the easiness held when talking to people.
It was a feedback that opened my eyes to new opportunities, got me exposed to more customer meetings, process setups and team coordination. These activities soon brought me the chance to lead the IP team that I was part of.
One feedback at the right time and my engagement brought me the leadership journey where I am in today.
3. Everything you do changes other’s lives. Always be sure that your work matters.
How many times didn’t you come to job thinking that your work doesn’t matter?
You end up being demotivated and giving up to the “Why” you have chosen to do this job in the first place: because you were passionate. Passion comes from self-control and “self-control fails us because it can’t sustain the motivation to achieve larger dreams.”
Instead of just being there because you have to, choose to be there because it helps you achieve dreams and become a team player.
[R.M.]: I always enjoy telling the success story of the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystems) team formed in GSC Romania back in 2014. At the beginning, the team only had eight engineers that I had the privilege to lead.
Although the initial scope was to work as integration engineers, they ended up being involved in an assurance program for one of our greatest CSI customers. They spent months onsite along with the customer and Ericsson local organization providing their help and bringing value to the ways of working. Being efficient, innovating, improving processes, and automate where appropriate, helped the IMS team to enhance the customer’s perception about Ericsson and the way we handle emergency situations.
Their engagement, openness to new opportunities and sustained efforts brought them such exceptional feedback from the local organization and end customer that GSC Romania was asked to grow the IMS team during the following years.
Back in 2007, GSC Romania consisted of 15 colleagues with diverse backgrounds, enthusiastic about sharing ideas in the cafeteria till premises were assigned. They had little experience on what Ericsson environment really meant, but they were ready to find the best solutions available known at the time in order to make things happen.
Today, the center in Romania not only has the necessary experience required to lead in a competitive market, it’s also a center that shares its knowledge with other GSCs located in China, Mexico, and India, but builds customer-centric solutions for more than 40 customers around the world in Managed Services as well as for dozens of other customers on Non-Managed Services activities, using Ericsson’s employees’ values of trust, innovation, and performance.
Listen to our exclusive interview with Ramona here.