• IBM's Sanford to WCA YPs: Evolve or Become Extinct

  • JULY 11, 2012 | BIZ TIPS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

  • More than 50 Young Professionals learn IBM transformation guru's secrets for success on June 26

  • Members of the Westchester County Association's Young Professionals Group met exclusively with Linda Sanford, the IBM executive hand-picked to transform the company...


    Sandord and the Young Professionals Group
    ...After touring the "Watson" Jeopardy set, the transformation guru's message was heard loud and clear: continuously evolve or become extinct.

    Sanford, whose first job was at her grandparents’ vegetable stand on Long Island, has enjoyed a 36-year career with IBM. She credits her success to four principles that are key to becoming an effective leader in today’s hyper-connected world.

    “First, make certain that you would be proud to carve your initials into everything you create,” Sanford explained to the group. “Second, appreciate the wealth of information around you and use this data to make insightful business decisions. Third, take the best of everyone’s thinking and truly collaborate. Finally, embrace change. Work through your fear of the unknown and get excited about the opportunity to innovate.”

    For example, Sanford, who serves on the Board of Trustees for The State University of New York, is working to help reshape important aspects of SUNY’s 64 campus communities as part of a Shared Services initiative. “If we are able to improve efficiency by sharing resources across the University, imagine how we could enhance our academic program offerings to students," Sanford says.

    Finally, Sanford encouraged participants to continue to take advantage of networking communities like the Young Professionals Group in order to transform their individual management styles.

    “At the end of the day, it all comes down to leadership,” Sanford noted. “Effective leadership is what enables people to change and organizations to thrive. Effective leadership will help us all answer that key question: How do we get work to flow to Westchester?”

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