By Jasmina Muller
If you were to ask me as we all gathered together on New Year’s Eve waiting to ring in 2020 where I would be and what I would be doing on the third week of March, my answer would have included a hectic schedule of traveling, in-person meetings, and driving my kids to and from all of their activities. But instead, like everyone else around the world, I’m experiencing unimaginable change to my daily life in response to a global pandemic.
Like you, I am navigating working and leading my North America team entirely from home while my teenage kids are in the next room and also looking to me for support and guidance and they school at home. I know I’m not alone in this situation and I know many of you are asking yourselves “Can I do this? Can I lead my team as well as my mentors and leaders led me?”
I believe we can. And, I believe it’s in this time that we need each other more than event. This is our opportunity we have to invest in our relationships and to develop our soft skills and emotional intelligence.
Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in the ACW’s ACE: Leadership by Influence program, which offers a uniquely designed eight-week virtual and interactive leadership development course that’s proven to help you hone your softs skills, overcome personal and professional roadblocks and to accelerate your career success. The ACE program provides you with an immediate community of like-minded peers who are there to support and guide you.
At the time, I enrolled in the ACE program not only become a better and more confident leader, but also to learn how to motivate others within my team and my life to grow as well. In the channel, I work alongside many strong female leaders, which should be a source of strength and empowerment; however, studies show that when you have two or more strong women interacting, there’s going to be conflict as a result of differing experiences. Often, learning how to work and support each other in this type of environment is challenging and difficult to navigate.
When you enroll in the ACE Program, you’re immediately placed in a community of 12 like-minded female peers who not only understand this challenge, but who also want to learn how to work past it. The ACE virtual classroom was the first time in my career that I found female peers openly talking about this challenge and it was empowering. ACE helped me realize the importance of taking the time to listen to those around you, to understand where they’re coming from, and then to respond by working together and collaborating on the issue.
A few months after completing the ACE program, I accepted a position to lead the North America Channel at EverBridge, which requires working with and leading individuals and teams who are new to the channel. Because of ACE, I was able to accept this position with total confidence in my ability to lead these teams. ACE reminded me that I have done this and can do this — I don’t need to question my ability. Once you try, you are going to realize, “I got this. I can do this.” The ACE program builds confidence and encourages people to start thinking about their future and their career. It shows anyone who wants to grow in their career that they can succeed.
In my new job I’m starting from scratch in the channel and there is so much to do and to learn on a daily basis. Thankfully, I am surrounded by so many people who are ready to grasp this new challenge and change. But, for me, knowing how to balance my work and personal life is still a bit difficult. ACE taught me about the importance of taking one thing at a time. Today, being superwoman means being patient with yourself and others and taking baby steps toward success. It means prioritizing work-life balance by taking the time to breathe and step away from your computer.
The ACE program opened up my mind to new opportunities and made me a more confident and active leader. The additional knowledge I received while attending the ACE program gave me the ability to motivate my team to collaborate well and to empower them to step into their own leadership roles. As a team, we’re taking time to help each other recognize our own strengths and abilities, which has drastically increased individual and team confidence and, as a result, several women have received promotions. Because of the ACE program I have gained a community who continues to support, guide and remind me that I have done and can do this!
About the Author
Jasmina Muller is an accomplished channel executive with more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Before recently accepting her current position at Everbridge, she held sales and channel leadership positions at 8×8 and CenturyLink Business. Muller has been an active member of Alliance of Channel Women for the past three years. She was elected to the 2020-21 ACW board of directors and serves as Chair of the ACW Sponsorship Committee.