What’s that saying? Success is 90% perspiration and 10% aspiration?
Isn’t there a secret sauce to success that goes beyond hard work?
There must be – and from what I’ve seen, success is about the ability to believe in what you’re doing. It is about having enough conviction to trust in yourself and convince others to trust in you as well.
I can think of no better example of this paradigm than former Microsoft Certified Engineer Peter Bauer, CEO of Mimecast, who took an idea he believed in and transformed the way companies looked at email. Rather than just a piece of simple communications, email is now considered an “asset,” thanks to Peter’s idea about the value of data in Exchange. With this idea in mind, Peter co-founded Mimecast and built a $70 million revenue company. His conviction that Mimecast would deliver value for organizations helped take his idea from vision to reality.
In his session “Leading with Conviction,” we have a unique opportunity to hear more about how Peter reinvented himself from engineer to CEO, why he knew his idea would work, and how he convinced others of its value during the Microsoft’s World Partner’s Conference, July 7-11 in Houston. I know you will walk away as inspired as I am by Peter’s story.
Here is a preview on his session, “Leading with Conviction,” from Peter Bauer himself:
The characteristics of an effective leader are notoriously difficult to define or measure. After all, it’s why there is a minor industry focused on publishing books about the subject. But if there is one trait that often propels people to be effective leaders it is conviction; conviction that they have the right idea. Conviction that they can convince others to follow them. Conviction that, if they create a new product or service, people will want it. But the conviction of a leader is tested constantly; by those around them. By those they try to lead. By those they try to persuade. By those they want to sell things to. The successful leader is the one whose conviction doesn’t waiver. Who holds true to a vision. And who carries others with them on their journey, through good times and bad.
I understand this process because it’s exactly how I founded my own business, Mimecast, ten years ago.
Back in 2002, I became aware of a marked change in computing and I was keen to explore the benefits it was bringing to business. I noticed that, inside corporate email systems, there was a largely untapped treasure chest of corporate information and data and I realised that, if you take an email system and steal it from a company, print everything out, sift through these piles of paper and read all the information, you’d pretty much know everything to do with that company, what it does and how it operates.
But business email was complicated, so I set about trying to address this complexity before figuring out how to turn corporate email into a corporate asset. We took the ‘pain point’ of a complex, expensive, admin-heavy system and turned it into an insightful tool for business. And so Mimecast – a $70m revenue company, which today has over 7,500 customers worldwide – began to come to life.
I knew I was onto something because, at the time, I had been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and understood the market opportunity and the technical issues, so I was convinced that Mimecast was going to be offering something that would deliver value to companies. All I needed to do was pass this conviction onto others around me. After all, there are points along the journey when any individual can have their conviction tested, so you need a strong team around you, who share the faith, and who will continue to fly the flag when the going gets tough.
And there have been testing times for Mimecast! But even through these times, what has sustained me is my conviction that the market we operate within is set to grow.
In my session “Leading with Conviction” at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 7-11 in Houston, I will share some of the challenges we have faced over the years and explain how an underlying conviction in where the business is going saw us through those challenges.
Anyone attending WPC forms part of the Microsoft ecosystem, largely because we have all seen a commercial opportunity if we handle our business in the right way…..with conviction ;-)