Meet the Women of the Dell EMC Partner Program: Sheri Hedlund

This is the fifth post in our Meet the Women of the Dell EMC Partner Program series, which provides insight into what drives the inspiring women of the Dell EMC channel. Missed the first posts? Get to know Joyce Mullen (President, Global Channel, OEM & IoT, Dell EMC) and Cheryl Cook (Senior Vice President of Global Channel Marketing, Dell EMC), Julie Christiansen (Vice President, Global Channel Marketing, Dell EMC) and Mary Catherine Wilson (Senior Director Global Channel Marketing, Dell EMC) now.

Women of the Dell EMC Partner Program

What is your current role/area of responsibility, and how long have you worked with the channel partner community?

I have worked within the channel for more than 14 years. In my current role, I lead Dell EMC’s indirect sales execution.

What are your goals for your company’s channel business over the next year?

We’re fully committed to being the #1 channel partner in the industry. We’re enabling our partners to lead customers on a digital transformation to advance human progress, from the edge to the core to the cloud. Through our Dell EMC Partner Program, our partners are seeing exponential growth, fueling their business so that they can open more doors and invest in the future with us. Driving profitable growth is our sales priority and we’ll do it by enabling our partners to win new business, increase services, attach and sell a rich portfolio mix with rich incentives.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why?

I have always admired Audrey Hepburn for her many talents, beauty, grace, graciousness, and philanthropic contributions. Her early life was fraught with obstacles that most of us cannot comprehend, yet she never lost sight of what she was after, what was possible, and, most importantly, she never let go of what once was. This positive attitude gave her the ability to go after every opportunity and pursue a very successful career while keeping her values along with her legendary approach of graciousness and care toward every person she met.

What advice would you give to other women in the industry? Or men?

The importance of strong mentorship is absolutely invaluable.  Surround yourself with men and women who listen intently and offer candid, direct and constructive feedback vs. someone who only offers praise.  True mentors challenge you to get out of your comfort zone, stands by you when you fail, lifts you up and applauds your successes, and who sincerely cares about you as a person.  Mentors may change over time based on your needs and theirs, so it’s important to always establish an action plan together and agree on outcome expectations.

Recently, I had the opportunity to join one of our strategic channel partners, AHEAD, as they launched their first Women’s Network event.  It was a room full of aspiring women and men who openly discussed their interests in #Diversity and #Inclusion.  One of the topics that had the greatest interest was in fact how to find the right mentors, and it occurred to me that making mentor/mentee connections may be as important as being a mentor myself, so I strongly encourage women and men, regardless of their position, to become active in being both a mentor and a mentee and also leveraging their network to help connect others to find the best guidance possible as we all navigate our careers paths.

Please share some words to live by that have helped you throughout your career.

Early in my career, one of my leaders taught me the art of executive communication.  While I was great at pulling together every supporting detail possible, she told me that I was too verbose and needed to work on my “so what” message so that I would be heard.  Still til this day, I focus on my “so what” which is the art of clear and concise communication.  When I’m working to deliver a meaningful and memorable message, whether it’s an internal presentation, a communication to my team or an end customer pursuit plan with a partner, I start by asking myself “so what’s the message I’m trying to convey”, “so what do I want them to hear”, “so what are the next steps”, “so what’s in it for you/me”.  Learning early on how to deliver the “so what” has really helped me be more valuable to my leadership, has driven me to be more relevant and has helped my contributions be more meaningful.

The Hedlund family enjoys family time, travel and their shared love of music at Lollapalooza during Spring Break.

What do you do for fun outside of Dell EMC?

I have young kids, daughter is 9 and son is 11, so when I’m not at work you will find me busy running around with kids activities – basketball, football, swimming, dance camps, roller skating, trail walks, bike rides, ice cream and donut shops – all the things a typical kid enjoys!  For the occasional adult time, my husband and I enjoy good food and the Austin live music scene, and anything on the water.  Our vacations are generally centered around beach activities; and while we don’t do it often enough, we love deep sea fishing!