Aisling Curtis, Commercial Director, Microsoft Ireland talks about the impact of the digital revolution on SMEs, how to be a "learn-it-all" and how to make decisions amidst uncertainty.Download Podcast
Aisling Curtis, Commercial Director, Microsoft Ireland
"Having that wider picture where you have a view of where you should be going gives you resilience."
My guest on this podcast is Aisling Curtis, commercial director at Microsoft Ireland. Her mission is to help Microsoft's client businesses gain competitive advantage using technology.
Aisling takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery - into the near future. Her insights into the digital transformation make for thought-provoking listening: if you are running a traditional business, it's going to be completely transformed or disrupted in the next few years. Do you have a plan?
What is your motivator? Fast-forward your career by knowing yourself
When you listen to Aisling, what comes across is how dynamic, how enthusiastic she is. She thrives in her role at Microsoft. This comes down to a perfect fit between Aisling's values and personality, and the culture at Microsoft.
Listen to Aisling as she describes how her own personality found the best environment to flourish - but as she says, "this is not everyone's cup of tea". Notice how this is a common thread in many of our Savvy Women interviews: knowing yourself and staying true to yourself is key to a fulfilling, successful career.
If you could only work two hours today, what would you choose to get done?
Let's imagine the following scenario: what if you could only come in to the office for two hours today? What would you make absolutely sure gets done? Aisling uses the two-hour rule to prioritise what has the most impact and what will help the most people.
In today's workplace, it's crucial to know what to prioritise. It's not enough to be productive - it's a fine line between being productive and being simply busy, spinning your wheels. What matters is to be effective. Aisling's two-hour rule is a very smart way of separating the important and the merely urgent. If each day you focus first on what has the potential to be game-changing, what amazing results could you create for your company, for your customers and for your career?
"Don't be a know-it-all: be a learn-it-all"
As a director in the world's leading software company, Aisling is at the forefront of the digital revolution. It's an exhilarating place to be if you are comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. It's impossible today to know it all, because the rules are being rewritten every day. As a result it's difficult, if not dowright impossible, to make a decision with all the cards in your hand.
You can never reach 100% certainty, because things change so fast. And you can't, you shouldn't, wait until you are 100% sure you are making the right decision: that means you waited too long. Listen to Aisling as she talks about committing to moving forward, and committing to your decision - even if it turns out to be less than successful.
If you've been worried about your business or your career because of the digital revolution, let Aisling's vision and strategies inspire you to be more confident about the future.
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Follow Aisling on Twitter (@aisling_curtis)
Listen back to the very first Savvy Women Podcast about being true to yourself.