“Under my management, I changed the way my team is looking at a chairman; I changed the way a company is managed, introducing a team goal more than individual goals.”
Viviane Chaine-Ribeiro is President of Lefebvre Software company and a leading woman in the area of IT development, being one of the founders of AFDEL, the French Association of Software Editors.
How did you get started? What took you to where you are today?
When I was 35 years old, I just realized that I deeply wanted to become more involved in my professional life. I moved from staff positions in accounting to consulting and then sales report positions and indeed, my life changed quite rapidly. The chairman of the company I was working for gave me my first management position. From that point, things have come to me one after the other, without asking. Nominated, successful, so nominated to another and more important position and so on...
What did you have to sacrifice to get where you are, if anything?
I do not want to cry and anything, but I am really convinced that you can't be successful in every domain. It is really difficult to be a wife, a mother and a good professional. Not sure we can succeed on the 3 parts of the day to day components of a woman’s life. My kids and my jobs were the 2 focus of my life up to the days my kids became independent and now I can enjoy my relationship with them without sacrificing my professional part.
How have you changed or how has the work environment changed since you first started working?
Pressure, speed, communications.... too many things changed in the last 20 years. Under my management, I changed the way my team is looking at a chairman; I changed the way a company is managed by introducing a team goal more than individual goals.How do you define being successful?
When your staff, not only your direct reports, recognize you as the manager they're happy to work with, feel being part of a team, are able to explain the company’s strategy (means there is one!!!)... call you for your birthday, are proud to promote their company and colleagues... and at the end of the day, the numbers come and the shareholders are happy... It is simple, isn’t it?
How do you balance work and life?
Better now than I did in the past. The more you feel yourself comfortable, the best you can manage you lifetime and share.
The secret? To have a good management team.
What advice would you give to someone else starting up/ working in this career?
Work hard, stay pragmatic, listen to the technicians but decide with your logic. Give consideration to your customer and be tough but right.
With your staff be tough at work but close to them if anything happened in their life to help them if it is possible.Consider the high level management not as a position but as a mean to achieve goals by applying your ideas.
And finally, what do you do in your spare time?
My grand daughter, my husband, my golf and all the list I have got and will never get enough time for.