Delivery Director Omar Paul discusses his working routine and the most rewarding part of his role at makepositive
Describe your role at makepositive and how did you get into Salesforce consulting?
Many years ago, I worked as a consultant with Oracle and on one of my projects, I was introduced to Salesforce.com. I was blown away at how such a powerful platform could be relatively simple to use, compared to the Oracle world. I dipped in and out of the Salesforce eco-system for many years while doing a number of consulting roles before coming to makepositive.
At makepositive, I am the Delivery Director. What does this mean? Well, we have a fantastic team who goes out and sells our services and then it is the job of the Delivery Organisation to deliver ‘Success’ for our customers. I look after everything ‘Delivery’, which means our super consultants, our methodologies, our accelerators, our managed services and crucially, the success of our customers. All these amazing people make ‘Success’ happen!
What does a typical work day look like for you?
For me, work starts well before a typical workday. I like to be prepared so I check who I’m meeting in the day and understand what they’ll need – it’s important to me that anyone’s time is not wasted. After all, we all have 24 hours in the day.
During my day, I support our sales teams by getting involved in review and sales pitches. I share my experience of other clients and companies and try and do what’s best for our customers. I used to be and I guess I still am ‘a consultant’ at heart. My objective is that we sell what we can deliver and we deliver what we sell. Trust is absolutely key and I need to make sure our customers trust us!
I am also driving a new delivery strategy, ‘Delivery 2.0’ which allows us to broaden the scope of our delivery. Now, makepositive delivers transformations, not just technology. We really help customers transform their customer and user experience and enable best practice through Salesforce. There is quite a way to go on this journey, however imagine the capability and credibility of a GSI packed inside a dynamic boutique!
As a part of the leadership team, I am deeply involved in overall company strategy and work with all the other great leaders in the business to help us grow, evolve and continue to be recognised as the number 1 boutique consultancy in the UK.
These days, this means sitting in front of a webcam all day, meeting after productive meeting. While I sit here though, I try to stay active. I have these resistance bands which are tied to my office. I occasionally switch off the camera and stretch to stay energized. As soon as the world settles down, I will get back at to the gym!
As the day ends, I realize that I have plenty of actions to follow up on, so I take some time out to catch up with things and start planning the next day – I often work a little late. There is always a new challenge every day and as we’re putting a new strategy in place, there is a fair bit to get done!
When I finally shut down, I spend time with my family. We catch up on what I’ve missed. I have 3 daughters and they all have lots to share as you can imagine.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
As mentioned, there is a lot to do and everyone has only 24 hours, so it’s really trying to get everything organised and done in the hours we have. I like to get things done. I have grown to learn that not everyone is the same – customers as well as the people we work with. Some are planners, some are thinkers, some are doers. Every one thinks differently and has different motivations. It’s balancing everyone, understanding their needs, supporting and coaching all the while getting your priorities right!
I guess my real challenge is always wanting to be there and being involved in all the exciting things we do. I don’t want to let anyone down, so I end up using every minute of the day. Like most people, I really look forward to the weekends!
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
To see people grow – to see that I have made a difference to someone’s life. This may be through providing feedback in a meeting or coaching and mentoring. I love our Praise channel on Slack – you get to see the amazing work people do and it just makes you proud to be a part of this!
What skills are the most important to perform well in this job?
You definitely need a strategic outlook – everything you do and decide has a knock on effect on other people and areas of the business. Alongside this comes emotional intelligence, the ability to listen and understand your colleagues by trying to step into the mind of them. It’s also crucial to be able to think laterally, to try and find a better way of doing something. Finally, the ability to connect with people is crucial – it’s all about people as ultimately it’s our people who make us successful.
What advice would you give someone looking to apply for a similar role?
First of all, I’ll admit, it’s not an easy role. I learn something new every day! Learn about people, the way they think, the way they operate, their drivers, their pains, and what you can do for them. Get plenty of experience across multiple domains, multiple industries, multiple solutions – do lots, read lots, learn lots! You’ll need to switch from one thing to another in an instant. One minute, you might be doing financial modelling and the next minute, you might be trying to record a creative video for a demo – focus on what you do! Linked to this is learn how to multitask, there will always be something else going on in the background! Finally, learn how to switch off from work at the end of the day!
What’s your favourite thing about working at makepositive?
A great group of people who have built a great culture. The fact that we make a real difference to customers and change their customer experience and make them feel glad in the investment they make with us! On a personal note, I love the genuine feeling of being appreciated and valued.