As companies face critical moments, the difference between success and failure often comes down to how

“Boldness Matters in Critical Moments” was presented by a powerhouse panel of woman including:

  • Mai-Lan Tomsen Bukovec, AWS Storage Vice President (moderator) 
  • Shellye Archambeau, Board Director, Verizon
  • Julie Thorn, CEO,  
  • Eva Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of Trend Micro 
  • Casey Coleman, SVP Public Sector, Salesforce 

These women have all had amazing careers rising through the ranks of some very large organizations and leading through some major initiatives.  This was a great panel for this topic.  Several themes emerged through this conversation that could be applied to all our lives and within our businesses.   

You’ve probably heard the famous quote from Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”?  No one sited that quote, but each of them cited examples in their careers where culture was the key to getting through a difficult time.   

Another theme that quickly emerged alongside culture being a key, was commitment plus courage can overcome many obstacles.  As leaders, we must be committed to the direction, have the courage to make the call, and finally the tenacity to see it through when setbacks occur. One specific example was cited by Shellye. She was leading a software company in 2008 that was taking off when the financial market meltdown happened and threw her company into a tailspin.  They fought and fought to keep going and finally reached a point where she says they had to ask, “What has to be true?” – for us to continue to fight.  Once they uncovered those things for their company at that time, they could plan and fight their way through to becoming the market leader in their space.  

Sometimes we think about a lot of these things ourselves, but it is very reassuring to hear them from people who have been so wildly successful.  If you aren’t signed up for re:Invent, you should.  



Founded in 2000, CleanSlate Technology Group is an Indianapolis-based IT consultancy providing dedicated consulting services for cloud, CRM, and IT asset management as well as software services for IBM and Red Hat

CleanSlate is a leading AWS Advanced Consulting Partner uniquely equipped to build new and modernize complex legacy applications.  We are a premier technology consultancy with expertise in cloud architecture, modern application development and DevOps.  We provide strategic planning and implementation services for cloud-native applications and infrastructure solutions.  Our experience delivering AWS cloud solutions enables us to maintain a strong portfolio of delighted clients, ranging from Fortune-level global enterprises to well-funded start-ups across all verticals, such as Delta Faucet, Herff Jones and KAR Auction Services.

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AWS re:Invent is a free, 3-week virtual conference this year, filled with over 500 breakout sessions, keynotes, and live content, all hours of the day. 

About the Author: John Harrison

John has been in IT consulting for the majority of his successful career. At CleanSlate, he actively works to help organizations with their Cloud, Salesforce, and/or IT Asset Management solutions. He is known for his excellent relationships with our clients, partners, and employees.