Infor VP Lynn Sauder works well with partners—so well that she's been selected to the 2013 CRN Women of the Channel list.
"I've worked with both men and women who do not know how to create a vision for a team, who take a "my way or the highway" approach to management, and who leave broken glass wherever they go," Sauder wrote in her nomination. "Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to build on strengths and learn from weaknesses. Leadership is a process."
Sauder joined Infor in June 2012 to help build out a global public sector channels and alliances business. In the past year, she has 1) hired a team of channel professionals to work with our partners, 2) designed programmatic elements and channel agreements that allow Infor to work with partners within the contracting restrictions of government, 3) recruited more than 15 new public sector channel and alliance partners, 4) launched a Public Sector partner landing page under the Infor Partner Network (IPN) web environment, and 5) more than doubled the public sector opportunity pipeline with partners.
In the fall of 2012, she was given the additional responsibility of building Infor's healthcare business with partners. Since then, her team has identified and is in the process of recruiting eight healthcare alliance and channel partners. Even more recently, Sauder was asked to lead the overall Global Alliances strategy across all of Infor's business units.
"Internationally, our channel pipeline is growing rapidly," Sauder says.
Women of the Channel are chosen by the CRN (Computer Reseller News) editorial staff from a pool of online applicants. CRN is UBM Tech Channel's online service of news and strategic information for solution providers.
In her nomination, Sauder laid out her plans for next year: "We will continue to recruit partners in key government subverticals globally and will make sure our partners are well trained on Infor's solutions. We also plan to expand and strengthen the executive and field sales relationships with our partners and build a strong joint sales pipeline with partners.
"I would like to look back and be able to point to a thriving and sustainable partner business that exists because of what my team has built."
Sauder said she admires women such as Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman "who have the creative vision and business acumen to compete effectively in an industry that is still largely male-dominated at the executive level."
CRN wanted to know what advice Sauder would give to young women aspiring to succeed in the workplace. "Women today have a great deal of opportunity and I find that young women in particular have a confidence that was rare when I first entered the business world. I think women tend to good listeners, a critical business skill, but the distraction of social media can put that skill at risk. I think young women today need to take the time to really listen, to ask clarifying questions, and then not be afraid to take a position and speak up."
What books have helped her in business?
- Peter Senge's "The Fifth Discipline" is about systems thinking and about the difference between vision and purpose, which are intertwined.
- All of Geoffrey Moore's books including "Crossing the Chasm" and "Inside the Tornado" are basic reading to understand go-to-market strategy.
- Frederick Reichheld's "Principles of Customer Loyalty" is excellent. One of the strongest female leaders I know gave me a book, "Hardball for Women," by Pat Heim. The book points out that women do not need to act like men, but we do need to understand the male business culture to be successful.
"We are proud of Lynn for receiving this distinction from CRN, and we're really glad she's on Infor's team," says Jeff Abbott, Infor SVP of global alliances and channels. "Because of her capable leadership, we keep tapping her to do more and more with our channel programs, and she keeps delivering success-for Infor and our partners."