Michelle Rudnick: Leading with Openness, Integrity & Resilience
Ambitious and exemplary leadership is a key component of any organizational success. Trustworthy and genuinely exemplary leaders are capable of leading the organization with example. The passion to use technology to come up with innovative solutions to the existing problems is the hallmark of a great technology leader. Tech continues to be a mainly male dominated industry. Women becoming a part of tech industry is still considered to be ambitious in certain parts of the world.
Michelle Rudnick is one such an ambitious woman in tech industry. She is the President and acting CEO of PCS which is a certified minority & woman owned business since 1995 driven by the ideology that wise technology investments are one of the key elements that enable organizations’ growth, innovation, and the power to advance in their industries.
“Always Deliver More Than Expected.”
PCS is a leading provider of technology services to educational institutions, government agencies, and businesses. Its managed services, mobility, video solutions, A/V integration, virtualization, unified communications, and data infrastructure solutions leverage organization’s consultative approach, deep technical expertise, and extensive industry partnerships.
Diversified Offering to Customers
One way Michelle has been able to maintain a diversified offering to attract target customers has been by creating a new business development group whose sole purpose is to focus specifically on the new customer base and their needs. This allows the target customer to get full focus and the personal attention PCS prides itself in providing everyone from small, midsize or large customers.
Michelle also keeps PCS diversified to attract customers by using a Horizontal Diversification Strategy which is to continually add new products, as well as expanding on its existing products and services already being offered. PCS provides transformative IT solutions by leveraging the best technology solutions for unique needs of customers. PCS makes business easier and simple to run using technology. PCS provides technology solutions for a smarter business.
Shaped by Good Impressions
Michelle Rudnick is inspired by Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox Corporation 2007–1st African American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company in history. Ursula Burns came from a challenging upbringing to lead in Corporate America. She is also inspired by Ada Lovelace, her work on how to code a computer using letters and numbers was published in 1843 under A.A.L locking her place in history as the 1st computer programmer. She is also influenced by few books like, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry.
A life factor that influenced Michelle and left an impact in the type of leader she is was when early in her career she was hired to manage the first U.S office of a European based software company. After her brief onboarding training, she was left alone to make daily decisions as the owner returned to Europe and only visited every 3–4 months. Initially she was terrified almost daily of making a mistake so she expressed this to her boss on his first visit back and she can still recall his voice as he said “Michelle, I’ve invested too much time in you to just simply fire you over a mistake so stop being scared and maybe you will do a better job”
Staying Ahead of IT needs
Michelle’s vision for the company in the next five years is to continue to discover and go after the latest forms of technologies to be able to provide its customers the edge by staying ahead of their IT needs in this fast changing and ever-evolving industry. She also foresees PCS continuing to expand and opening more offices outside of the current Southeast United States locations.
Making Goals a Reality
Michelle believes every leader should possess forward-thinking vision. She believes that every great leader should be a dreamer, to one degree or another to have the vision to make one’s goals a reality. She considers that dedication, resilience, determination, honesty, trustworthiness, and commitment to achieve results are important attributes of a leader. Michelle consider it is essential to lead with openness, integrity, and sincerity to earn the respect of one’s staff.
Using AI as a Disruptive Force
Michelle believes AI already is and will continue to be a disruptive force in the near future. Artificial Intelligence still remains a lesser-known technology relatively for a fair number of IT professionals. With the exponential growth in the field of Digital Marketing, AI definitely looks like a real driving force for digital platforms and businesses for a minimum of the next 5 years. All these technologies can solve problems, predict analysis, forecast trends by computing data captured over time. For a business, AI increases the value proposition by turning features like insights and analytics to productivity stimulants and value addition.
Positive and Ambitious Approach
Michelle’s personality tends to see positivity in everything but if she had to pick one thing to describe as a challenge she had to overcome is that carrying herself in such a manner that when she walked into a room or a meeting she should be clearly seen as the CEO of an IT company and not just a woman.
Michelle always tries to take a positive approach to every situation that she encounters so the challenging times like Covid-19 pandemic be faced with the same positive approach as the rest. Of course, like everyone else this pandemic situation was very unfamiliar territory for PCS and her also. She never envisioned the extent of the impact or the duration of it but nevertheless PCS was up for the challenges being presented by pandemic to not only for itself but the entire nation. Sustaining Michelle’s leadership spirit throughout this period has not been much challenging for her because she is aware that her customers are relying on her guidance to help them navigate by being able to keep their businesses operating while also keeping their employees safe.
Using Creativity for Innovation
Michelle’s future endeavors are directed towards continuing her collaboration and using her creativity for innovation to further develop her relationships with customers and vendor partners in the fast-changing IT industry. She continues to have ambitious plans for the future, plans that focus on investing in innovative new technologies and training to offer breakthrough developments to current and new customers ahead of my competition. In the near future she sees herself having successfully spun off at least three subsidiaries of PCS, which will all be run by someone other than herself allowing her the opportunity to pursue other endeavors or seek new ways to shakeup the TECH Industry.
Empowering Each Other
Michelle’s advice to the emerging ambitious women in tech would be first to have patience with their journey, do not let ambition blind the path. She also believes it is critical for a female leader to develop active listening skills and find the balance between just listening but still having a voice in discussions among men because Tech continues to be a mainly male dominated industry. She believes that by wisely choosing the opportunities to interject to drive the conversation one can set oneself apart as a valuable, insightful leader. She advises to remind oneself of what inspired one to go into Tech so that one never loses the passion and lastly she recommends not to feel threatened when encountering another ambitious woman but instead learn how to empower each other.