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Success Story Podcast

Maggie Chan Jones, Founder of Tenshey | Decoding Sponsorship, The Strategy to Accelerate Careers

By October 22, 2021February 28th, 2022No Comments

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About The Guest

Maggie Chan Jones is the founder and CEO of Tenshey, a tech-enabled executive coaching company that helps women advance into leadership roles and the boardroom. She founded Tenshey after a tremendously successful career in marketing at several of the world’s largest technology companies, including Microsoft and SAP.

She is a seasoned C-level executive specialized in marketing, business transformation and technology. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she was the first woman to become the global chief marketing officer (CMO) of SAP, responsible for leading SAP’s advertising and brand experience, sponsorships, digital marketing, strategic events, customer audience journey, and field and partner marketing functions across all markets. During her tenure at SAP,

Maggie led the transformation of the SAP brand to becoming the world’s 21st most valuable brand, delivered double-digit growth in marketing contribution to business, and advanced people skills development to compete in the digital economy. She was also an executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion in the CEO Board Area and part of the SAP Innovation Roundtable.

Talking Points

  • 4:07 – Jumping on a plane and starting a new life.
  • 8:01 – Figuring out your career direction.
  • 20:15 – The importance of mentorship.
  • 23:24 – Sponsorship & career.
  • 31:36 – Where do you want to go?
  • 41:51 – How to find the right sponsor.
  • 46:49 – Getting in your own way & leaning in.

Show Links


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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.








Machine Generated Transcript


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Scott D Clary, Maggie Chan Jones


Scott D Clary  00:00

Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary, the success story podcast as part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcasts like the martec podcast hosted by Benjamin Shapiro. Each week, the MAR tech podcast tells stories of world class marketers who use technology to create lasting success with their business and their careers. If you like any of these topics, you’re going to like the martec podcast, how science is changing advertising, how to set up a CRM, so you actually use it. private equities take on digital transformation, by big social is focused on newsletters. If these are topics that resonate with you, go check out the martec podcast wherever you get your podcasts or you can also listen on network. My guest today is Maggie Chan Jones .Maggie is a seasoned C suite executive specialize in marketing, business transformation and technology. She is also an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Tenchi. A tech enabled startup with a mission to advance gender diversity and leadership development through executive coaching 10 She focuses on executive coaching that helps women advance in the leadership roles in the boardroom. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur. She was the first woman to become the Global Chief Marketing Officer of SA P responsible for leading saps, advertising and brand experience sponsorships digital marketing, strategic events, customer audience, journey, and field and partner marketing functions across all markets. During her tenure at SAP, Maggie led the transformation of the SAP brand to becoming the world’s 21st most valuable brand, delivering double digit growth in marketing contribution to business and advanced people skills development to compete in the digital economy. She was also an executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion in the CEO board area and part of the SAP Innovation Roundtable outside of SA P. She has also been a board director at Avast and a member of the Board of Directors at open systems, plus a ton of other incredible experience, both at CenturyLink, which used to be level three communications as well as seven years at Microsoft. So what do we speak about? So we spoke about discovering your career Northstar, and creating a career roadmap to reach your goals. We spoke about taking calculated risks, recruiting a support system and cultivating your personal brand. We spoke about engaging tools to define your goals, and to put you in control of your own career, using the power of sponsorship to unlock career opportunities, aligning your objectives with your chain of commands business goals, to deliver deliver organizational successes, and then of course paying it forward by using sponsorship to advance talent and to strengthen your company’s leadership succession. This is an incredible episode, a ton of great business advice, career advice for women looking to advance, but also just incredible career advice for anybody looking to advance. So let’s jump right into it. Without further ado, this is Maggie chan Jones, founder and CEO of Tenchi.


Maggie Chan Jones  03:16

So I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and I came to the US when I was 14 years old. And I decided to leave my family and the world that I knew and hop on a plane by myself to come to New York, and live with my dad and his side of the family. And and we really that the purpose of that was to pursue higher education. Because for me, I knew that when I was in Hong Kong at that time, there were only three universities locally and I wasn’t smart enough like book smart enough to get into one of those. So my mom had always instilled in me that education is very important for you know, for the future. So that’s what I decided to do.


Scott D Clary  04:07

So you jumped on, you jumped on a plane you’re and walk me through. So your your father was already in North America, but still, you were just uprooting your life at this point. And what was the plan? Once you got to North America? Did you have a university setup? Or was it just I’m going to figure it out? I’m going to live with family. I’m going to go jump into some job and support myself until I can, you know, get accepted to university.


Maggie Chan Jones  04:31

Yeah, I lived with my dad and his side of the family for three years when I was going to high school in Flushing, New York. So imagine someone whose English is a second language and going to public school in the New York system. I mean, that was pretty, pretty nerve racking, I would say. And after after high school after two years, I went to Binghamton University for my undergrad and I study Business Business Management. In from there, I actually went to the West Coast, because I really wanted to stay closer to my mom’s side of the family and my aunt in her family at that time went to Vancouver, BC. So I thought Seattle was the place to go, because I could be within a few hours of car ride to visit them. And that’s how I started my journey in tech. I, you know, when I got to Seattle, I didn’t really I didn’t have a job. And I was, you know, I graduated with a marketing degree really wanted to get into marketing. But at that time, it was, you know, early 1997. There wasn’t a lot of marketing jobs out there for college grads, and the tech industry wasn’t really booming as it is right now. So I apply to all sorts of jobs like management trainee, you know, any type of entry level jobs. And back in the days, it was still very much, you know, you snail mail, your resumes and hoping for the best. And I probably apply for over 100 jobs. And finally, I was able to get a job as a junior buyer at a small tech company in Redmond, Washington, called a DIC and back in the days, they focus on manufacturing, backup tapes. I mean, they focus on manufacturing backup library. So back in the days, there was no cloud storage, it was, you know, you put in the tape into a library. And that’s how you do enterprise backup. And I was really lucky that, you know, my first hiring manager, Peter Hughes, at that time, who was the head of purchasing department, saw something in me that he thought, hey, she could be a junior buyer. And that’s how I stepped into tech. And so nowadays, I always, you know, when I share this story with people, and when I see college grads saying that, Maggie, I really want to be a CMO one day, oh, I really don’t want to go into marketing, but I can’t find a job in marketing. I’m like, no sweat. I didn’t start Oh, in marketing.


Scott D Clary  07:19

Yeah, no, that’s very good. And that’s but but that’s something that a lot of people have even like imposter syndrome, when they’re jumping into roles. Right out of college, right? That’s not an easy thing. So there you have a personality, that is okay, taking some risk. And I think that’s something that we have to like, unlock in some people. And I want to understand that as well. How do we get that mindset mindset, right? But let’s still let’s go, let’s keep going down the path, because your career is incredible. So that was your first tech job. So how did you progress into? And I’m assuming I’m gonna make an assumption here, you you still want it to after this junior buyer position? Obviously, you still want it to move towards marketing, correct? That was?


Maggie Chan Jones  08:01

Absolutely. So from the junior buyer job. I was, you know, I mean, I was so grateful at that time to have a job because I had to pay rent, I have to pay for all the expenses. So. So I really worked really, really hard in that job. I, you know, I didn’t mind working on weekends, I was really, I was really excited to learn new things. So. So actually, within, within two and a half years, I grew from a junior buyer to a buyer to a senior buyer at that time. And because at that time back in late seven, back in late 1990s. I mean, the tech industry was starting to really boom. So we had a position open in marketing at a DIC, so I jumped on that opportunity and apply. The, you know, the good news at that time was that the hiring manager was actually asking me to apply for the job. So as a 20, some year old, I thought, wow, if the hiring manager asked me to apply for the job, that means this must be my job to lose. And little did I know that was not the case that would that just meant that yes, you’re one of the many people that you know, that was invited to, to interview for the job. And I didn’t get the job. I was devastated. And talking about I know we’re going to spend more time on talking about sponsorship. My boss at the time, Peter actually went to the CEO of the company. The great thing about Adi see was that it was a smaller company. It was about you know, 100 people when I first joined, so it was really a fairly close knit and everyone call each other team member. And so I got a chance to talk to the CEO Pete event often at that time, and I told him I was very disappointed that I didn’t get a job because I was so excited to get into marketing. And I think it was because of my passion and my work ethic. And also my credibility in a company already, Peter was like, You know what, Maggie, we want you to continue to grow. And the next marketing job that opens is yours. And sure enough, within a few months, I got a marketing job within the company. And that’s how I started in marketing. And I started out as a project, I started out as a product manager, and looking at, you know, looking at pricing strategy, looking at product positioning. And then eventually, I decided that Seattle wasn’t quite. Seattle wasn’t really the place that I wanted to stay as a 27 year old, where, you know, I wanted to do a lot of things outdoor, but the weather was kind of gray for the nificant part of the year. So I moved down to the Silicon Valley, that was during the internet boom, and I work for Sun Microsystems, and I spent five years at Sun and that was my first, my first job in a really big company. And if I remember correctly, at that time, back in 2000, I mean, Sun was known as And, you know, any type of internet companies or tech companies would be using, they would have used sunsystems, Sun servers and storage systems. And so I mean, it was such a great training ground for me, trying to navigate in a big company. So going from a company with a few 100 employees, then all of a sudden, I was working in a company with about 30,000 employees. So that’s where I really learned from, you know, going into product management going into product marketing, channel marketing, and, and this is also the time, Scott that I feel like, wow, you know, the more we get into marketing’s areas, I realized that there’s so many different functions within within the marketing function. And I’ve learned a lot along the way, and back in 2005, and I moved quite a few times as well. So I went from Seattle to, to the Bay Area. And then, and then because of my husband, we moved to Colorado, and it was around 2005, we decided that it was best for us to move back to Seattle, which is where my husband was born and raised to be closer to family. So that’s when I get into Microsoft. So I was at Microsoft, you know, starting out, I started out as a Senior Marketing Manager, you know, looking after the worldwide Small and Medium Business Marketing side of the house. And I really, in in my time at Microsoft, I really learned a lot about leadership. And personally, I grew as a leader as well. And about a couple of years in, that’s when we started to really hone in on cloud computing. Back in the days at Microsoft and


Scott D Clary  13:11

all the major milestones, as, cloud computing, you were you were there at the right companies, that’s incredible, that would have been a lot of fun.


Maggie Chan Jones  13:19

That was a lot of fun. And you learn a lot along the way as well, I mean, being a son at the height of the company to going through the you Bust. And that part, you know, was not fun, because, you know, you see a lot of companies were not doing well, or actually had to close doors and you know, and laying off people at the same time it you know, those, there were a lot of lessons to be learned. And then going into Microsoft, being on the ground for the cloud computing the era of the cloud computing, just starting, really trying to figure it out, you know, the different ways that companies that partner with Microsoft can, you know, can make money from the cloud computing perspective, how do you go from, you know, selling big enterprise contracts with on premises software going into the cloud, SAS base subscription model. I mean, the whole transformation not only within Microsoft, but also for the industry was very fascinating. And to be having the front row seat for that journey was really amazing. So I was I was at Microsoft for seven and a half years. And you know, I did roles in the global organizations. I’ve done roles in the US market specifically. In my last few years at Microsoft. My role was really about launching and building the cloud computing business, which you know, back in the days from the version one, which was called Business Productivity Online suite is a mouthful. I now And, you know, going into launching the second version, which was, you know, office 365, to now becoming microsoft 365. I mean, seeing that product journey, and seeing the transformation, not only from the business model perspective, but how do we change the way we do marketing? How do we change the way we compensate? You know, our sellers and the partners? And in how do you see different organizations in how they evolve their own internal transformation from a technology perspective, which leads to the whole digital transformations that are happening today, especially with the pandemic that is happening in the last one and half years, right. So, so from, you know, from Microsoft, I actually a funny story was, I really enjoyed being at the company, I felt like I got a lot of development, I learned a lot from a leadership perspective. And obviously, as a big organization, there were a lot of room to grow. But during my time at Microsoft, I also, you know, earlier, you know, in the earlier years at Microsoft, I remember, you know, back in the days, I was still thinking, okay, every one and a half to two years, I need to go look for a new role within the company so that I could continue to grow and, you know, learning new skill set. So I was, you know, two years into the company, I was looking for a new role within the company. And my, my approach was fairly shotgun. I was like, Okay, well, these jobs are kind of at the same level that I’m looking at. These are new skill sets. So I’m gonna apply. And one day my VP, you know,


Scott D Clary  16:47

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Maggie Chan Jones  20:15

just stopped me in the hallway. And he was like, Maggie, like, I’m seeing you interviewing for different jobs. But where do you want to go? Where do you want to take your career? And that kind of that kind of made me pause because I was like, Well, I had not thought about that. I just thought, you know, I’m going from one level to another, and I’m looking to continue to grow my skill set, continue to climb the corporate ladder. But I never thought about way that I, you know, we set destination that I want to be. So he was like, you know, being a great leader that he was, and he was like, You know what, when you go home, think about it, and then come back, and we’ll have a career development conversation and like, okay, great. So then next day, I came back to the office, and I said, you know, Mike, I’m ready, let’s talk about it. And of course, as a Microsoft D, I pull up my PowerPoint slide. And my PowerPoint slide was a was basically it look like a product roadmap, like any technology companies would have, it’s like, okay, you’re here, and you want to go here and here. And eventually, you know, from, you know, just like a product roadmap, you started out with some features, eventually, you’re going to get to feature complete, right? So I said, you know, eventually, where I want to go. And where I’m at is, I want to lead a marketing organization one day, you know, at that time, there wasn’t, you know, there wasn’t the Chief Marketing Officer title. I just knew that, you know, I wanted to be the leader of a company for marketing. That’s what I wanted to do. So he was like, Okay, great. So you know, knowing that that’s what you want to do as your career North Star. So now you need to start building out what are the competencies that you’re going to need? What are the skill set that you already have? So that now you have a roadmap on? How do you get there? And I would say, you know, from that point forward, all the roles that I have taken was very intentional. On how do I continue to build my skill set and my competencies to become a CMO one day,


Scott D Clary  22:34

very smart, very smart. Now, I do want to, I want to, there’s, there’s, I guess a couple more major points in your career that I think are very interesting. But when was the point in your career that you understood, because these are all great career lessons. But what was the point that you understood that sponsorship, or that mentorship was what basically pointed you in the right direction. And this is something that you were so passionate about, in terms of career velocity and progression? That this is what you double down on? And you eventually not knowing yet at Microsoft, you eventually made a career about what was Was this the point? Was it Mike, this VP? Or was it earlier on? You had your first boss who also helped you out? What What was that switch that went on?


Maggie Chan Jones  23:23

Like, I have to say, Scott, that that piece about sponsorship was something that I learned much later in my career is more like when I was an executive, and that was still not very, like, not super clear. In my mind. Of course, I know, sponsorship can help. But at the same time, I thought everyone was doing that. I thought, of course, you want to align your goals with your business goals with your manager and your managers manager, you know, you’ll your chain of command. But what was not clear to me was that not everyone was doing it. And I would say it wasn’t until I became It wasn’t until I became the Chief Marketing Officer at SAP and I realized that wow, you know, sponsorship has helped me so much in my career, and how do we use that to help others in you know, earlier in their career to help them to grow into into an executive level? And of course, now, as you know, as the CEO and founder of BI company Tenshi. That’s what I think about day in and day out, how do we enable more women, ethnic minority leaders and other minority leaders to really using sponsorship as a way to grow their career?


Scott D Clary  24:52

And is that so that’s obviously been something that’s that’s helped you now? Why do you think that’s not why do you think that sponsorship is not more prevalent in people’s lives in people’s careers?


Maggie Chan Jones  25:03

Yeah, I think sponsorship is something that you see happen all the time. Right? You know, you see,


Scott D Clary  25:08

let’s, let’s describe, let’s define, let’s do that.


Maggie Chan Jones  25:12

Yeah, let’s, let’s describe sponsorship first. So to describe sponsorship, I think about it, as you know, you’ve seen it in movies where, you know, a wise, you know, older, you know, expert who, you know, who want to pass on their craft, and to a younger protege. That’s what you see a lot in movies. And and in one of the things that is very interesting is that the sponsors themselves would actually, you know, open new opportunities for the protege as well. So how do we bring that into the corporate or, you know, in the workplace setting, right? So the way I think about it is, we talk a lot about mentorship, and a lot of organizations have mentoring program, which are fantastic. I personally benefited in mentorship programs in my past as well. At the same time, the way I look at mentors are, are that they are the people who have been there and done that they have blazed a trail and they have expertise that they can share with you, and give you advice, as you you know, as you grow, they don’t necessarily would be in the position to have the political capital to open new doors for you for new opportunities. That’s where a sponsored come in. A sponsor is someone who is more senior than you are, and they have the political capital within the organization to help open doors for you. And I’ve heard someone actually said that mentors are someone who shine a light at the door, whereas a sponsor is the person who kicked the door open for you. So that is the main difference. And I think, especially at tension now, when I look at a lot of, you know, women as examples that we work with, many of them thought, well, if I work hard, I do my job, then that said, right, someone would tap me on the shoulder and or, you know, new opportunities would open up. That may be true for some people. And that may be true, to a certain extent. But at some point in your career, you may find yourself way, you know, that trajectory is not the same anymore. How do I really help continued, you know, how do I help myself to continue to grow? And that’s where sponsorship can really open new doors for you.


Scott D Clary  27:56

Okay, so now we figured out what sponsorship is. And at a high level, it sounds incredible, like yes, everybody everybody wanted like, and we’ll speak about women and progressing in into leadership roles. And actually, I want to also, I want to go on the sponsorship route. But I also want to understand, what was your experience as being a really incredible women tech leader, as you rose through the ranks? Have you noticed anything, because I’m sure that of course, over the years, it’s gotten a little bit better compared to when you first started during, and whatnot. But as you rose to the ranks, talk to me about your experience being a woman leader in tech?


Maggie Chan Jones  28:40

Well, so I, personally feel really fortunate that I, you know, what, let me take a step back. So if you look at the broader industry, as an example, you know, McKinsey and Lynn, in every year, they do a study on women in the workplace. And over the last five years, when you look at the percentage of women in the C suite, and the percentage of women of color in the C suite, they don’t really change that much. And you know, right now is roughly only about 21% of the C suite are women and only 4% Are women of color. So, you know, when you look at the workforce starting out at 5050. Well, how do we get from 5050 to 20%, or to 4%. So knowing that and also being in tech, I remember in my early days in tech, most of the time I would be in a meeting and I was the only woman in the room or definitely the only woman of color in the room. Nowadays. That’s still happened and it doesn’t you know, I mean, we do the thing that I like and I love seeing the progress is I definitely a lot more meetings. Now when I go into that I see, you know, like, I definitely see more diversity. But it is still a minority is not an equal playing field yet. So that is why I personally believe that when you think about sponsorship, and when organizations thinking from a diversity, equity and inclusion perspective, you have to be very intentional, looking at your workforce seeing where you have gaps where you have, you know, opportunity to improve and focus on development area that can help you to really create an inclusive environment. And my you know, my view is that until you have representation, you’re not going to have inclusion and until that happen, then that’s where people everyone can feel like they belong.


Scott D Clary  30:58

And what do you think, what you think, was the the opportunity as well as the obviously you brought incredible skills to the table? But what allowed you to get that cmo position at SAP? How can we unpack that strategy that allowed you to not I guess, not strategy, but of course, the mix of your career skills, plus the fact that perhaps you had sponsorship, plus you had a company that wanted to bring in just the best talent, and that’s what they were looking for, and they brought you in? So I’m trying to figure out, how do we get more, you know, Maggie’s, you know, CMO, SAP, how do we get more of those? And what path to get there?


Maggie Chan Jones  31:36

Yes, I first and foremost, is really understanding or knowing where you want to go. And having that clarity, having that clarity for your career Northstar? Right. Not everyone want to be a CMO. So you have to at least, you know, first point is, is that where you want to go? And then the second piece is, how do you take intentional steps to get there? Because, you know, you may say, you know, for example, I may be mentoring an executive, and you know, and one of the things that I always say to people I mentor, especially when they are thinking about their career journey is where do you want to go? Where do you want to take your career? Which was the exact same question that I got back in the days at Microsoft. And so, understanding where you want to go is important, and then the steps that you take has to be very intentional, and more so when I talk with executive women, right? They may be at, you know, one or two, level B, B, you know, they may be at one or two level below the C suite. Those steps become very critical, because that would determine which path you are going to take and will help you to get those type of roads. So,


Scott D Clary  33:01

going, I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, Shopify. Now don’t you love that sound? That is the sound of a sale being made. That’s the sound of the all in one ecommerce platform allowing you to start scale and grow your business to Shopify gives entrepreneurs the resources that were once reserved for enterprise for large organizations, startups, scale ups established businesses, they can all tap into the tools that will take them from first sale to multi million dollars in revenue. And not only can you scale up your business, close deals optimize conversions. You also have the data points that allow you to make smart business decisions without employing a team or spending a ton of money on enterprise level bloated software. Shopify gives you all the resources, all the data points, all the analytics, you need to make smart decisions that will allow you to scale fast effectively, efficiently without needing to invest hundreds of 1000s of dollars. Not only does Shopify power over 1.7 million businesses, it now has social integration across Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok Pinterest to allow you to sell to your customers wherever they want to shop. You gain insights as you grow detailed reporting of conversion rates, profit margins and anything else you can think of tracking. And honestly Shopify is so much more than a store it grows with you It complements you. If you are making your first sale. If you are making your million sale. Congratulations. But Shopify is with you every step of the way. So if you want to try Shopify today, they put together a 14 day free trial for all success story podcast listeners. So you go to story CC, e s s s t o r y, and you can use it free for 14 days. It comes with every single feature leave no stone unturned, you will see exactly how effective Shopify can be for starting scaling or growing your business. Let’s take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode LinkedIn marketing solutions. So let’s pretend for a second that you set up the perfect campaign. Your team’s happy, it’s tested super well, everything is going according to plan except as a nagging thought in the back of your head, how do I ensure that the people that I’m targeting that are going to see the ad are in the right mindset, they have the intent so that when they see my message, it’s going to resonate with them, and they’re going to make a purchasing decision? This is the question that plagues all marketers. So what’s the answer? The answer is LinkedIn. Because when you mark it on LinkedIn, you target people that are already engaged with your business. And that means that your advertising campaign will work as hard as it possibly can, and work effectively, the moment you launch it, over 62 million decision makers are on LinkedIn. And this is one of the many reasons why 78% of b2b marketers, myself included doubled down on LinkedIn. And I definitely categorize it as the most effective social media platform, when it comes to selling anything in the b2b space. And just helping my company my organization achieve highly specific objectives and outcomes. LinkedIn has the best targeting out of every social media platform, they offer tools for obviously, brand building, but definitely lead generation. And you can target you can target a professional audience down to the company, company size, title, whether or not they just switched companies recently, whether they’ve just visited your site, or they could have been people that you’ve contacted in the past, the filtering and targeting options are incredible. If you’re advertising on LinkedIn, you are one step ahead of everyone else in achieving your marketing and your revenue goals. And if you haven’t advertised on LinkedIn, this is your opportunity. So for all success story, podcast listeners, LinkedIn marketing solutions, they put together a free will not a free actually, it’s a free $100. So $100 ad credit that you can use towards marketing on LinkedIn. So if you go to story that is, CC, e s, s, s, t, o r y, you’re going to get $100 free ad credit towards your next LinkedIn marketing campaign. So you can try it yourself, see how effective it is, Terms and Conditions apply, go to story, right? Now, check it out for yourself


Maggie Chan Jones  37:39

back to you know, my own journey, I was having a lot of fun in Microsoft, I, you know, my career was going well. And that was back in 2012. And Cloud was taking off. So that was great. At the same time, I also knew that, you know, there were so many layers between where I was and where the Chief Marketing Officer role was. So I’m like, okay, you know, when I was looking at opportunities, I actually was offered a role to go to China to, you know, to do a business unit lead for the marketing side. And, and then another opportunity came across was to be a Senior Vice President of Marketing at level three, and level three, at that time was a fortune 500 company. So between the two roles, even though both were really amazing, and, you know, honestly, if I could call myself I would do both. But, you know, knowing that my longer term goal was to become a CMO one day, then, you know, taking the role taking a bigger risk to leave the company I was comfortable with, and and going to level three at that time was was very intentional. And then yeah, go ahead, Scott.


Scott D Clary  39:00

No, no, I was gonna say. So what I also want to understand, though, so that makes sense to me. So be intentional about where you move your career. But the reason why, what I’m trying to unpack is wiser that 4% That 4% of underserved groups, marginalized groups and women C suite leaders. I’m sure a lot of women. I’m sure there’s a lot of women that for a lot of everyone that doesn’t have that clear direction, but I think a lot of them probably do. So it’s about having that clear direction as to where you want to take your career. But then, after that, yeah, how do you how do you move the needle on that? How do you bridge that gap to a lot of women that do have that very purposeful, driven, like, you know, laser vision on what I need to do next this this not to get to the C suite?


Maggie Chan Jones  39:47

That is exactly right, Scott, like you have your ambition. You know what you need to do from building your own competencies, then it’s really about sponsorship. It’s really about getting the right sponsor. Who’s in who can advocate for you, who can give you visibility and open doors to new opportunities. So in the case of my own journey, getting to become the CMO of SAP at that time was, you know, an executive recruiting firm reached out to me about this opportunity. And you know, that took a while at the beginning, but once I spoke with the chief, the chief HR officer at that time, Stefan Rees, and we really connect, and he was like, you know, you need to speak with our CEO, Bill McDermott, and have to speaking with Bill that that’s when things became clear. Bill was a sponsor of mine. And, you know, I went through the rest of the interview process, knowing that I have his support. And you know, getting to that was very critical. And, you know, and on the other side, someone like Bill and Stefan, really understanding that they need to make big bets on talent is is also very critical. Because without that, like, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have got to where I got to?


Scott D Clary  41:10

And how would you, how would you suggest, because this is what I also want to pack unpack, as well, because somebody is going to listen to this. And they’re gonna say, Well, of course, if she has the CEO, and the chief HR officer, then that’s a shoo in. But the trick is to know how to get into the room with these people, the right people and have conversations. So what would be the strategy for somebody who does want to have those conversations? So that they can find the right sponsor? How do you find the how do you find the sponsor? How do you find the VP or the CXO? Or the CEO that can help you get to where you want to be? And how do you even make them care about you? Yeah, so that they want to do this.


Maggie Chan Jones  41:51

So there are two sides, there are two part answers to that. One is, when you within your company continue to grow within your company, it’s really understanding how do you align your goals, your business goals with your, you know, your quote, unquote, sponsors, right. And the way I look at, you know, within an internal organization to sponsor should be your manager, your managers, manager, and also any business executives that you work closely with. So, you know, by aligning those goals, then you’re also earning their trust as well. And by doing so, you will be able to also start having career development conversations with them, and, you know, get the advice, and also get the help tell them where you want to go. And, you know, I mean, majority of the time, if not all of the time, they will be very willing to help you because what you have done and the values that you have add to the organization. So that’s part one. In the case of how, you know, my interview process with, you know, with Bill and Stefan at SAP, at that time, I didn’t know them, I met them through the interview process. So, so my guidance in this case, is really do your homework to understand where, you know, based on what you’re interviewing for, where does the company want to go? How are you going to contribute to the company and therefore, you know, why are you uniquely position to be in this role, and that’s how, you know, when you can make that connection with the hiring manager with you know, with all the influencers, within that hiring, you know, within the hiring decision is going to help you to, you know, set you apart from others.


Scott D Clary  43:49

very smart, very smart. So it is you you at this point are over preparing, aligning your own personal objectives with company objectives. And that’s how you’re either getting into these conversations with sponsors within the own with your within your own environment, or if you are going into a net new environment, that’s how you’re eliciting that net positive response because you’ve you’ve basically aligned these objectives so that you are absolutely standing out from everyone else who’s just going in thinking that this is just a job or hasn’t done their research or whatnot. And you feel like the


Maggie Chan Jones  44:29

point Scott is when when I was interviewing for an executive position or even now when I look at board positions, I don’t necessarily focus why shouldn’t say that. When I look at those type of positions, I will look at it not so much you know, using the job description SDN all be all, but looking at okay, if I were to be in this company, and In this particular role, how do I add value? So I always, always look at the annual report, I always listen to the quarterly earnings, you know, webcast, because those are the ways that you can really understand from the CEOs perspective, you know, how do they communicate with the investors and you know, in also what is the future of the company look like, when you’re interviewing for an executive job, you have to know all those and be able to say, knowing where you want to go and knowing the challenges and opportunities ahead. This is how I can add value.


Scott D Clary  45:41

Very smart. Very, very smart. And do you think that there is something kind of think about how best to six I don’t want to make an assumption, but in your work? Do you find that not enough? Women and or marginalized groups even make the first ask, is that something that you find? Or is that something that is not an issue? Is it more just when they’re trying to? I’m not talking about like, for example, sorry, I don’t mean to flip flop back and forth? Not when I just I’m very curious about this topic as to how do we, how do we solve for this? I’m just trying to figure out what the what the major problem is, for the person who’s listening to this? Is it just making that first ask is getting to the mindset of this is okay to go search for it? within their own organizations? I think that’s an easy next step. It’s a low hanging fruit versus force. Well, you just mentioned, you know, listening to the, to the shareholder, you know, quarterlies. And looking at those report, that’s also a great step. But I mean, for somebody who’s perhaps not as advanced in their career, what’s, what’s the biggest inhibitor that you see?


Maggie Chan Jones  46:49

The biggest inhibitor is that they don’t try. So. Yep. So I would say, you know, I, like the key thing is, yes, you may get a lot of nose, but you only need one to say yes. So when I, you know, I talked to a lot of people who are in the middle of, you know, interviewing for jobs, and sometimes they get discouraged, because they felt like, you know, I’m applying for a lot of jobs I am interviewing, but, you know, somehow I’m not getting the offer. And I always say that, you know, you’re right, maybe this path is harder for you. At the same time, you know, if you keep trying, and also learning F in, you know, learning as part of that process as well. If you’re getting a lot of no starting to think about, okay, why is that happening? You know, you may never really know for sure. But if there are things that you can adjust, whether it is your value proposition, or you know, the way you show up in terms of, you know, confidence, and those are the things that you can work on. So I would say keep trying until you get to where you want to get to.


Scott D Clary  48:03

Amazing, okay, now I want to I want to the sort of the, I’m happy how this unfolded, because we sort of went through your career, we unpack lessons, like as your career progressed. Now, the last thing that I wanted to dive into have a couple more minutes is just you were at the height of your career, you know, cmo SAP, you’re also an advisor at Avast and I think you’ve held a couple other board or and or advisory board. Board of Directors. Okay, at Avast. So obviously Epitome like you, you’ve you’ve made it, right, that’s where most people would want to end up. Now you end up pivoting, and you start your own thing. So walk me through that process, because that is also very interesting to people who are later on in their career. And what was your mind? Like? What was what were you thinking when you’re like, I want to uproot all this? And I want to start my own company.


Maggie Chan Jones  48:52

Yeah, I think something that has always been consistent in my career is that I want to continue to learn new things. And you know, and every role that I took has always been about learning new things. So after the role as a CMO of SAP, I’m like, what new things can I learn if you know if given that I have reached my Korea, North Star, and in the other thing, too, was that I really started to think about what kind of things really would make me happy. And knowing that I really wanted to focus on something that really speaks to me, which was around gender diversity. And that was really kind of, you know, the path that I was thinking I wanted to focus more about helping next generation leaders to grow, especially women, ethnic minority and non minority leaders, but I didn’t really know okay, what exactly should I go into until I was speaking at an executive MBA class at Cornell University, and Someone asked me, you know, Maggie, you have such an amazing career, were coaches, mentors and sponsors a big part of your growth. I said, Absolutely. I said, you know, I actually really appreciated having worked with my coach for, you know, for like the past eight years since I was a director at Microsoft. And that was a lightbulb moment. For me, I was like, You know what, I’m going to start something to help more women and minority leaders to get executive coaches, because I think a lot of people early on in their career where they get stuck was not really seeing where they want to go. And how do you hold yourself accountable to get there and having a thought partner as a coach was important. And obviously, that’s how I started Tenshi. And as we continue to think about what are some other ways that can help leaders to grow and to accelerate their career trajectory was really about sponsorship, which is exactly why I wrote the book decoding sponsorship.


Scott D Clary  51:04

And any, any lessons that you’ve learned from starting Tenshi, and just jumping into building your own thing coming from some of the largest companies in the world,


Maggie Chan Jones  51:20

you mean, other than it is really, really, really hard to start your own company.


Scott D Clary  51:26

Yes, other than that little, little thing?


Maggie Chan Jones  51:30

Yeah. I, you know, I think for anyone who wants to do something to want to pivot, you have to think about what is, you know, again, what is the end goal that you want to achieve? And why you’re doing this right for, for me, it has always been dispassion, to pay it forward, and really unlocking the unlocking the potential of the next generation leaders and those who are the things that when I was in, you know, in my executive corporate roles, that’s the thing that really resonated with me the most in terms of giving me the most joy. So that was why I decided to do it. And even nowadays, you know, there will be tough days. And I just have to remind myself why I’m doing this is not, you know, it’s not because building a business is fun, at least, you know, to me, personally, that’s not the fun part, the fun part was seeing the impact that you make. And that’s the most fun I get.


Scott D Clary  52:36

And one last thing that I wanted to just touch on, because I know you bring it up, and you speak about it in the book is paying it forward. So walk me through the importance of that, how to do it properly. And some of the things that I guess really the it’s kind of like the core founding principle of of what you what you’ve built, now it’s paying it forward, but also how people can do it in at a smaller scale. Yeah, I


Maggie Chan Jones  53:00

think anyone can really pay a forward, whether it is through ally ship, meaning that, you know, you could be in a meeting where someone’s voice seems marginalized, or they didn’t really speak up or have the opportunity to speak up, help them to create room for them to speak up, that could be a daily thing that you can do, or helping the next generation leaders like those who are still in, you know, in middle school in high school, you know, we still need more women to get into STEM, helping girls to really, you know, looking into those opportunities, those could be ways to pay it forward in a day to day basis. And then more so is you know, as you continue to grow your career, mentor the next generation leaders, and when you are in a position where you have to political capital, to, you know, to help the next generation leaders really be intentional about creating a diverse and inclusive environment. That means also having a diverse team as well. That’s going to be key.


Scott D Clary  54:10

Good, amazing. Okay. So I want to I want to, I want to pull out some rapid fire from your career that I asked everyone


Maggie Chan Jones  54:18

to say I have a board meeting at 11.


Scott D Clary  54:21

Oh, my goodness. Okay, so we got it. We got to wrap this up. We got to wrap this up. Okay. Okay. Before we kill this, and we and we and we end off at where can people go and connect with you and find more of you? Social website?


Maggie Chan Jones  54:35

Yep. You can find me on LinkedIn on Instagram and Twitter.


Scott D Clary  54:39

Okay, perfect. All right. Well, thank you. Thank you very much. I was incredible. And I don’t mean to rush to the end. I’ll ask quick, rapid fire questions. Sure. If you could tell your 20 year old self one thing what would it be?


Maggie Chan Jones  54:50

I would say don’t worry too much. Everything’s gonna work out just fine.


Scott D Clary  54:55

Perfect. If you had to suggest one book or podcast Do you have anything top of mind? you’d recommend people go check out?


Maggie Chan Jones  55:02

You mean other than the success story other than yours?


Scott D Clary  55:08

Other than mine, other than my husband yours?


Maggie Chan Jones  55:10

Yep. When I first started building Tenshi I love the podcast of how I built this by.


Scott D Clary  55:17

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s a great one as well. If you had to pick one person who you learned a lot from over your career, who was it? What did they teach you?


Maggie Chan Jones  55:27

I think the one person I would say is my mom, because she is such a tough lady. And, you know, she, she was, you know, she was a single mom and I really learned a lot about, you know, hard work. And really, you know, chasing what you dream of.


Scott D Clary  55:46

Amazing. And then last question, what does success mean to you?


Maggie Chan Jones  55:50

success mean to me. Success to me is making an impact that impact other people’s lives every single day.


Scott D Clary  56:01

I love that. That’s it. That was quick. Okay, good. Very good. Okay, thank you. So good Scott


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