Lynn Bryant is a Partner Development Manager for KEMP Technologies Channel & Sales Enablement. KEMP is changing the way users consume application delivery for SDN, IoT and cross-cloud environments consisting of 1000’s of applications. Lynn is building the channels to support this goal.
Who influenced you in your early years to become a leader in your own life, what did they do for you?
My gym teacher (and later sports coach) Mr. Sparks guided me, not just as an athlete on a team but also as a respectful, disciplined individual. He pushed me to work hard, but also to understand my limits. Today this translates to understanding how to partner with those who can do well at what I cannot do well. He also gave me the responsibility of leading teams and coaching others with humor, fairness, and empathy. I was lucky to have him in my early life. I still hear his voice in my head, especially when I am trying to get motivated!
What difficulty have you overcome, that impacted your career for the better?
I have really had a great career for the most part. I began my channel sales career at age 19 and felt lucky that I fell into technology at a time when it was quite new to most people. I also fell into a channel role. An “ah-ha” moment in my career was less of a difficulty to overcome and more of a point of maturity for me.
I realized that a young woman in a technology sales role had a hard enough time being taken seriously and garnering respect, but being a goofy, giggly young woman just made it that much tougher. I learned at that point to separate my personal and professional persona which gave me a stronger voice in my career. I’m still pretty goofy otherwise.
Why did you join Alliance of Channel Women and what do you hope to get & to give to this membership?
From years of meeting so many incredible people in the IT industry, I know that women and men look at their careers and their contributions very differently. They achieve success differently as well. My interest in joining ACW was really to hone in on how successful channel women think, how they manage their careers and relationships, and how they lift one another up to meet those goals and then share those stories with other channel women.
What advice would you give to someone new to the channel?
I encourage them to work for a variety of companies delivering innovative products and services through the channel. This will expose you to a greater view of the IT industry as well as the different channel partners and programs within it. This holistic view helps to position yourself as a well-rounded IT channel specialist rather than one limited to a specific market segment.
Where do you see the women in our industry thriving?
Everywhere! I have seen women in channel sales and marketing roles since the mid-80’s, but now I see more women in engineering and software development, finance, and in executive roles. I hope to see that trend continue. Women build relationships and knowledge for the long-term success of their companies and their teams.
How are you positioning yourself to stay relevant and support your clients in the coming year?
I make it a point to understand the sales motions that my clients focus on, and then weave my solution into theirs. If working with my product or service is an unnatural act for my channel partners, then I will struggle to succeed. I always remember that my service does not stand alone. It is always a part of a bigger discussion, a bigger solution, and I position myself and my company appropriately.
When have you helped another woman gain confidence & connection, what happened?
Rather than name a specific person or instance, I’d prefer to think that the simple act of encouraging another woman’s ideas and dreams increases confidence in her abilities. It’s good to have a trusted ear tell you that you are on track or have thought of something that will be useful to another person or company. We all have unique perspectives and are adept at problem-solving, we just need to step into the light and have our voices be heard!
What can we do to prepare ourselves for the changes that are coming to our industry?
I feel that staying relevant in such a fast-moving industry segment is a challenge best managed through partnerships and relationships. One person cannot possibly stay in front of this industry, or even one industry segment. There is so much to learn. The channel at its core is about scalability. Grow your relationships both inside and outside of your specific industry segment as well as outside of your job function. These contacts can help you stay informed about the movements of the industry and the effects on the channel partners.