Women in Leadership is a blog series dedicated to highlighting influential women behind The Dude. In it, we'll explore topics like how they came to the tech space, lessons learned, what they're working on and where they see the industry going.
This month, meet Scott Hair, Client Services Senior Program Manager.
Q: What is your official title at The Dude and what do you oversee?
Today, I serve as a senior program manager within the Client Services team. My responsibilities involve managing and maintaining our vendor management strategy related to our third-party professional services and managing our RFP delivery. I explore ways that we can improve the delivery of our professional services and expand offerings. Prior to this role, I held various roles over the course of my tenure within the Education sales organization, from individual contributor to Senior Director of Sales.
Q: What was your experience like leading up to Dude Solutions?
Prior to joining The Dude, I spent several years in the tech space in various roles. My first career in tech was as a software implementation specialist for a company out of Falmouth, Maine that provided ERP and utility billing software. I traveled throughout the southeast implementing billing software for cities' and counties' Public Works departments. During this time, I learned first-hand how antiquated most client server software systems really were in the public sector space.
Q: Do you consider yourself a leader at this company? What do you feel you bring to your role that inspires others to see you as a leader?
Yes, 100%. Every person within the organization is a leader in one way or another. I bring to the role passion and advocacy for the areas of responsibility, along with an immense amount of knowledge of the company and overall client base given my tenure. I serve as a voice for areas of the business that aren’t large in numbers but are critical for our overall success.
Q: What projects or goals are you working on or leading currently?
I’m currently leading multiple projects. My main focus is setting and establishing our vendor management strategy for the delivery of third-party service offerings. This is a large scale project, as it involves cross vertical collaboration and involvement from various stakeholders. This is a growing subset of our business that involves establishing delivery standards and expectations, quality control best practices and vendor training.
The other project that I’m working on is establishing a RFX process and expanding our RFP content management capabilities. This project is important as we enter into more statewide initiatives and larger scale market opportunities. As the complexity of scopes to these projects increases, we want to ensure that we are able to address client expectations. Our goal here is to ensure that we are setting expectations up front as to what we can deliver and managing any risks, for both Dude Solutions and our clients accordingly.
Q: What do you consider to be your biggest wins while at The Dude or in other tech-related ventures?
Throughout my tenure with The Dude, I’ve had the opportunity to lead a lot of first-time Go-To-Market initiatives. These first-time initiatives were unproven at The Dude and took me out of my comfort zone, but they provided me with tremendous growth. The origination of Dude Solutions' Client Success team started under my leadership with a small group of highly specialized and tenured members from our sales and Client Services teams to ensure that our clients receive the value from the services that are being provided. It’s been exciting to see a lot of these programs grow and evolve.
Q: What, if any, have been your challenges navigating being a leader in this industry?
The challenges that I’ve experienced haven’t necessarily been due to the technology space itself, but rather the subset of the market that we serve: maintenance management. This space is typically male dominated. As a woman, you not only have to understand the technology space, but also effectively demonstrate that you understand the market you’re serving.
Q: Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share about being a woman in the tech field, or advice for other women carving out a space?
Set your own standards and expectations. Don’t let anyone else do that for you. Challenges are only as big as you make them. Face them head on and be confident in your ideas and abilities. Surround yourself with people you admire and that will hold you accountable, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Q: Where would you like to see the industry go?
I’m excited to see where the tech industry is going. We’re only scratching the surface on the abilities of AI. AI has the ability to transform how we internally do business today, from POS to implementation to invoicing, along with how our clients conduct business today in a very similar way. With AI we have the ability to create an ecosystem where our clients have access to critical data that will provide insight into what optimum performance of their operations really looks like driving efficiencies, service, you name it! Women are analytical thinkers, and I’d like to see more women driving these types of initiatives.
Q: How do you feel your leadership is helping drive the industry in a positive direction?
Not only am I a leader, but I’m a wife and a mother. It’s my hope through my leadership that I’m showing the future leaders of tomorrow that as a woman, you can do all of it.
Q: What do you think makes for a good leader?
The three traits that I see that makes for a good leaders are:
- Grit. How much are they willing to roll up their sleeves and jump into the trenches with everyone on their team?
- Perseverance. How fast do they bounce back?
- Service mentality. How willing are they to help others when it doesn’t benefit themselves?
Q: What lessons have you learned being a leader?
Way too many to capture here! There are so many could-have, should-have moments. Be authentic and make sure that your intent is known.
Q: How does your leadership not only influence Dude team members, but also our clients?
Leadership is about trust. Trust not only with our internal Dude team members, but with our clients as well. Leadership is about making sure that you have the best interest of all in mind.