How to Command a Room with Confidence and Skill, According to Teena Piccione

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less,” is the quote that Teena Piccione, Telco, Media & Entertainment, and Gaming Industries at Google Cloud, had printed on her team’s badges for an event. 

Teena has always excelled at rising to a challenge and thinking outside the box. At 18, she struck out on her own, working her way through high school and college. She supported herself by working at UPS at 3 am every morning. Teena also concurrently excelled in music and technology — both taught her the importance of knowing your work inside and out. In this episode of Net Effects Podcast, co-host Mark Bavisotto chats with Teena about continual learning, thinking outside the box, and standing out as a female leader.

 Episode highlights:

There is a correlation between being a good musician and being a good leader. Teena says there is a dedication found in musicians that you don’t find necessarily everywhere else, “It’s a dedication to the craft, a dedication to the trade, of being able to learn the instrument.” Music majors must be able to learn every instrument and play it well, therefore, being capable of leading the orchestra. “If I learned to play the entire part, I could lead the entire room,” Teena says about lessons learned in music education.

Challenge yourself and take a journey. For Teena, it began with her career at AT&T and accepting the position to take over a position without the title. Through this experience, she practiced commanding the room and gaining the respect of engineers without a title. As she has progressed through various corporate roles, she reflects, “I am still one of the only females in the room. 90% of the time. I am still one of the only few that can go through and understand the technology and be able to hold my own. But it’s also because I go back and I get nano degrees; I go back and ensure that I get every bit of that technology and can hold my own in a room. Because I’m expected to hold it a little bit more to stay in the seat.”

Project confidence. On Teena’s team, everyone has to have a voice. If they’re not talking, she calls them out. As she puts it, “It’s a learned school — you’re not born a great speaker, or able to lead people — it’s a skill that’s built over time and is refined.” Team members should be given the idea that they can soar and reach their individual goals.

If you’re beginning a journey with the Cloud, just start. Step 1 is to start. Understand what you have in your data centers, such as applications, and what data your organization is dependent on. Next, consider what your organization needs the Cloud to do (e.g., scalability, security, always-on, automation, etc.). Being able to start the journey is being able to define the parameters.