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Scality Le Club 2018: Meet Emilio Roman

Emilio Roman: Building up his team toward the win

Finding the right moment to sit down with Emilio Roman, VP of Sales EMEA and Global Alliances, is no easy feat. He leads an energetic work life which has him heading to international destinations constantly. Just before our interview, he had been in London and Amsterdam, and the following day he was to return to the UK. Despite this frenetic pace, Emilio is known for maintaining a steady inner calm, often used to successfully navigate customer meetings and keep his team on track when issues arise. “When there’s a lot of emotion,” says his colleague, a fellow VP, “he’s the one who helps the rest of the team keep calm and make the right choices.”

For Emilio, the team is at the center of everything and the key to achieving wins. “What I enjoy the most,” he confides, “is building a team that succeeds and in so doing, scaling out the business.” He explains further, “At the end of the day, what you’re looking at is a team that cooperates and one in which everyone feels safe in that they are free to make decisions, to do what they think is the right thing. And when there’s a mistake, it’s about learning, not blaming. That generates self-confidence, and that in turn generates cooperation.” He goes on. “How do you do it? Day by day, coaching and supporting them, particularly in the difficult moments. A team needs to feel like their leader has their backs. This is what I try. And this is what all leaders at Scality try.

According to his colleague, one of Emilio’s distinct talents is his adaptive management style. “He understands how to actually manage his team members differently according to their profile. No two of them are alike, and he understands how to drive each one.” In addition, he’s a leader who knows how to leverage on collaboration across teams in order to achieve the best results. “He recognizes that we need to go beyond our own teams and have teams interact with each other to have the right people doing the right things.

It was through Emilio’s long leadership experience in sales that he came to value team building. A Barcelonian by birth, he attended engineering school in his native city and then an MBA program in Madrid. Currently, he has spent half his professional life in Spain and half in France. His international experience with building strong teams and growing hyper-growth startups and large-cap multinationals, together with his hands-on approach, are delivering results. “Leading sales gives you a chance to co-work with many other functions in the company. You’re also in contact with customers that give the feedback that the company needs to keep progressing.

As a sales leader at heart Emilio admits to possessing a competitive streak. “I always try to win. If that’s what it means to be competitive, then yes, I am.” This persevering spirit is highly respected by his colleagues. “Whenever there’s an issue, he keeps pushing,” says his colleague. “‘Keep pushing’ is actually a funny phrase that he used a few months back, and now everybody in the leadership team is using it.” Being results-driven also means that Emilio always has his eye on the bigger picture. “To get good business results,” his colleague explains, “you need to have a broader view of what your team can be, what the other guy’s team can do, what the product can do, what the customer can accept. And he’s very good at understanding where the hurdles are and what problems need to be solved in order to get to where he needs to get.

Outside of work, Emilio enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children and doing sport. “I try to do sport so that I can not only stay in shape but also have my mind ready to deliver at work. Some running, some skiing, and whenever possible, some tennis.” He grins. “In Spain we like tennis.” I ask if he’s competitive when he plays tennis. “Oh yeah, when I play everything,” he laughs. One thing’s for certain—in all aspects of his life, Emilio is guided by his two core values, to be passionate and to have integrity. “It’s best to do what you want and to be passionate about it. That implies hard work. But then the reward is bigger.

Lastly, Emilio’s outlook on the future? Growth. “Watching how my kids grow and seeing them become happy people, whatever they do in life. Seeing my team grow and succeed, and helping the company keep growing. That’s what I look forward to.

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