VIDEO | The Estee Lauder Companies CAO: You Need a Backbone, Not a Wishbone

VIDEO | The Estee Lauder Companies CAO: You Need a Backbone, Not a Wishbone

(US and Canada) Sol Rashidi, SVP, Chief Analytics Officer, The Estee Lauder Companies, speaks with Kellie de Leon, Treasure Data Content Marketing Senior Director, about the responsibilities of data leaders and the elements that drive a successful data leader.

Rashidi initiates the conversation by pointing out that data might be the new oil, but if it is not refined, it is of no use. She says that a part of a data leader’s job, in terms of scope, strategy, and prioritization, is the balance between introducing the basics of data analytics and creating competitive insights. Leaders also have to create a line of sight to the priorities in the basics and the priorities in innovation, she adds.

When asked about the elements that helped her to be a successful leader, Rashidi says that sometimes she is a hero and in some other cases a villain. She explains that, while everyone understands that data analytics is important, it does not always align with their agendas, priorities, and investments. As a result, leaders need a backbone and not a wishbone to manage and navigate this, she says.

Rashidi stresses that leaders need to identify a core pain point and opportunity for everyone. In other words, their strategy has to be aligned for most people. She elaborates that leaders need to listen, learn, and ask lots of questions. When the answers to these questions lead to a point of view, leaders need to align people with it, she adds.

According to Rashidi, leaders also need to understand that not all organizations are the same, and some have more complex structures than others. Organizational models that are not clean and centralized are where all the negotiations in the alignment begin, she suggests.

Concluding, Rashidi says that all data leaders have the responsibility of evolving the company in this space, maturing the capabilities that exist, and building the capabilities that do not exist.

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