Brittany Benson: Nancy, could you share a little bit about your role at Sage?
Nancy Teixeira: Absolutely. I'm the Vice-President of Partner Strategy and Sales. I have a team of about 90 colleagues who are collectively responsible for partner recruitment, partner enablement, partner management, partner sales, partner strategy, partner programs, partner communications, and more. That impacts some 300 partners across North America.
Brittany Benson: That's an enormous partner network, and I know that's something that Sage is very proud of. Can you tell a little bit about how you got involved in the world of technology?
Nancy Teixeira: It was an interesting and winding road. I studied accounting and finance in college with an aim of pursuing a CPA designation and a career in finance. It took me a few years in the workforce, and a couple of kids, to realize that the future I had planned was not the future I wanted. Then began the journey of trying to reinvent my path forward to something I could be more passionate about. I found myself working through a variety of roles that started in the customer success area, and then finally took on a sales role selling ERP software. My background in accounting and finance helped lend credibility when I showed up to sell to a controller or a CFO, and I could speak their language because I was selling a new finance management system. I knew about those systems because I had been in roles similar to theirs. I like to tell that story to remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and that my time working in finance and accounting was not a waste. It paved way for my success in selling ERP solutions.
Brittany Benson: That's fantastic insight. What do you think the best part of your job is?
Nancy Teixeira: The best part of my job is the opportunity to grow and develop amazing teams. I think magic happens when you've got a group of people who are empowered and motivated to do their best work. The other amazing part of my job is that I get to positively impact the lives and business successes of our partners. That's a fantastic feeling knowing that you've, in some small part, enabled the success of someone else's business.
Brittany Benson: You touched a little bit on leadership. Can you share some of the key traits that you think one should possess to really be a good leader?
Nancy Teixeira: Absolutely. I'm so passionate on this topic because I think a lot of times the terms “management” and “leadership” are used interchangeably, and I think that's a complete misnomer. I think you can manage people and be a horrible leader. Just because you've got people that report to you, doesn't make you a leader. Leadership is something that you have to be very intentional about. Whether you've got direct reports or not, you can show up with leadership traits.
The feedback that I've received about my leadership could be summed up in two categories. The first is authenticity. I'm always going to show up in a way that's a hundred percent me. I try to be as open and communicative as I can be. Sometimes as leaders, we can't reveal everything, but regardless, I try to show up in a way that is always in my own voice. I think people really respond very well to leaders who show up as their authentic selves. The second area that I think is super important, is the willingness to be vulnerable in front of others. I think this trait above all else helps a leader to be so much more effective.
Brittany Benson: There's such a symbiotic relationship between authenticity and vulnerability, I think, especially in good leaders. What do you feel has shaped your leadership style?
Nancy Teixeira: My leadership style tends to be one where I am constantly trying to strike a balance of pushing my team to do their best work and to grow so that they can soar higher, while also ensuring that they feel supported and safe enough to try new things. I think I'm known as a tough but fair boss, and someone who has my team's backs, but also drives the team hard. I don't apologize for that. For me, mediocrity is the one thing I'm not okay with. Don't phone it in. If you're going to be here, be here. Be all in. I want to reach my fullest potential, and I want those on my team to reach theirs.
For me, this probably comes from my upbringing as the child of immigrants who demonstrated an amazing work ethic and instilled that in me. I think I had my first job when I was 13. I took two buses and the subway. I went to work at my uncle's restaurant just for tips, no wage. It made me want to strive for more and make a difference. I try to bring that out in others as well.
Brittany Benson: Thank you for sharing that. I have to imagine, if you've had such a passion for pursuing excellence that has to carry over into your personal life as well.
Nancy Teixeira: For sure. I have a real passion for interior design. We bought a mid-century home, and I'm having a great time remodeling and bringing it to its former glory. Outside of that, what I'm really passionate about is hiking. I get everything that I need when I'm climbing and when I'm in the mountains. I found that while I don't intentionally think, "Oh, I'm going to do this really tough hike, and I'm going to solve X," that's not the intention. Yet when I get through the hike, when I'm done, I find that I have thought through something that's bothering me, something that's a big problem, whether it be business or personal and have come to some really great outcomes working through that during some challenging hikes. Then, of course, when you hit the summit… Wow, isn't that the best feeling ever. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment, rewarded usually by amazing views, and a reminder that I can do hard things.
Read the other colleague profiles who are part of Sage’s Women in Technology interview series.