Andrew Souter is the Area Vice President Pre-Sales APAC at Ivanti, a company which provides provides solutions for IT asset management, IT service management, and more.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I currently manage Ivanti’s pre-sales teams across APAC in the areas of endpoint security management, service management and asset management.
Prior to joining Ivanti in 2013, I spent 13 years in multiple pre-sales management roles at LANDESK, BMC Software and Symantec, to name a few. Following a backpacking trip to Australia in 1999, I decided to make it a permanent relocation.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I typically start my day at around 6:00 AM, putting lunches together and getting the kids ready for school.
With remote working in place, I’m able to save time on my commute and start work by 8:30 AM, kicking off the day with the first of many calls with customers and teams across different time zones.
I do try and leave a couple of hours free in my schedule for those items that pop up last minute. Ensuring I wrap up at around 5:00 PM allows me to spend time with my family before late-night calls with Europe and the US pick up again at around 8:00 PM.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
My current role was already set up for, if not reliant upon, remote and flexible working. Before COVID-19, I was travelling 70 per cent of the time to speak with customers, teams and partners across APAC—working from airport lounges and hotels was the norm.
The switch to working from home was a natural evolution under Ivanti’s existing remote working policy and in-house, supporting technologies. Our philosophy is that as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter where it gets done — this allows me to make my days work for me, my family and my stakeholders alike.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Working across APAC, EMEA and the US, the nine to five has never been a reality for me.
While working for a global organisation means I’m required to be online for the early starts and late finishes, Ivanti’s remote and flexible working policies mean that I can step away to spend time with the family as I need and enjoy my children’s school events during the day.
Setting such clear boundaries between my personal and professional life has allowed me to achieve an ideal work-life balance.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Saving time on my commute and no longer always travelling as well as the switch to permanent working from home have allowed me to prioritise my own health and well-being through exercise. However, the biggest lifestyle change I’ve made in my routine is replacing what would usually be aeroplane or hotel food with home-made healthy meals.
I’ve also ‘switched-off’ from social media as much as possible—I found it to be a source of negativity that I wanted to live without.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Getting Things Done by David Allen is one of my top recommendations for anyone in the industry wanting to learn how to apply focus to the space they’re in and declutter the mind to achieve said focus. It inspired me to apply a rule whereby my email inbox is always at zero at the end of the day.
I will read almost any autobiography I can find– I find immense value in being exposed to different opinions, points of views and sides of an experience. The Man in the Mirror by Wayne Bennett and Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch are some of my most recent reads.
Podcasts are my choice medium to unwind, and are where I get my UK football (soccer) fix.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I absolutely can’t live without my iPhone – specifically at 80% charge. I don’t go anywhere without my iPhone and portable charger, as they support my entire life whether that be connecting with my teams at work, managing my family duties or keeping up with the news and sport.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I’d read an interview from anyone with a global role. I know firsthand that looking after teams and customers in multiple countries with different cultures and bound by different time zones can be challenging. I’d love to know how different global leaders manage this.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Too often we work long hours and not get everything we need done for the day, leaving us feeling simply ‘too busy’. The advice I give to all my teams is to take an hour at the start of every week to set your long and short term goals, and to work backward from there. Taking the time to plan out your week this way, factoring in some hours for last minute additions to your to do list, can be a huge help in achieving work-life balance.
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