C-Suite Career Advice
News | 9 Dec 2014
Name: Vivek Gupta Company: Zensar Technologies Job Title: Chief Executive and Head, Global Infrastructure Management Services Location: Westborough, Massachusetts, US.
What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received? When I attended the Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program, one of my professors told us these pearls of wisdom which have stayed with me ever since. From day one, he kept saying that if you have 70% of the information, you should go take action. Don’t wait for 100% of the information to become available, because by that time you will, it will be too late. This can be difficult for a perfectionist like me to get used to, but you do not need to dot every “i” and cross every “t” before taking decisive action. Business is an art, not a science.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry? I would tell Millennials to be adventurous, take risks and try to move from function to function to gain an understanding of your business as a whole. For example, if you work in technology, try to understand marketing, sales, delivery, and other aspects of the business. It is this well-rounded understanding of your company’s business that will shorten your path up the corporate ladder.
What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position? People ask me this a lot, and my answer is always this: You have to believe you’re ready for the position, and then start acting like it. Once you decide you’re ready for the c-level, look at yourself in the mirror and tell your reflection that you are already at the c-level, and act that way from that day onward. Too often, people wait to be promoted before acting in that role. Instead you should add value in your organization and contribute in meetings as if you are already at the c-level position. Then, watch how quickly the position comes to you.
Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored? I’m always surprised at how many former employees reach out to me a decade down the road and tell me how the advice I shared with them has helped shape their career. One of these key pieces of advice is to question the status quo. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you always got. My advice about taking action without getting caught up in every detail is also worth reiterating. I’ve heard that this has stuck with people over the years.