“Work with your employees’ strengths; Putting a square peg in a round hole is just going to leave you frustrated every time” with Peg McGregor

I’d always encourage leaders to work with your employees’ strengths — trying to put a square peg in a round hole is just going to leave you frustrated every time.

As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Peg McGregor, the CEO of Technovation Solutions, a Las Vegas based technology firm that connects clients with solutions and services across hospitality, education, and healthcare. As CEO, McGregor has created a first of its kind center that allows businesses to experience new technologies in a live environment, changing the way technology is sold.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m best described as a serial entrepreneur, and I’ve been very lucky to be a part of multiple industries from government security to CRM consulting. What I loved about Technovation was the opportunity to create a place where decision makers could really experience technology rather than just read a case study about it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

This has happened a few times, but the most interesting thing we’ve seen happen is when we’ve introduced a product to a client, generally on the IT side, and had them so excited about the product that they’ve brought their executive team back in and sold the product for us. There’s something unique about having our partner products in a live environment — the ability to touch, feel and play with a product is an absolute game changer.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We’ve learned a lot about language barriers and vernacular bringing international partners in. One of my favorites was when we introduced an Australian partner to a client here in Las Vegas, a big guy from Texas. The partner spent half of the dinner ragging on American football. The look on the client’s face wasn’t funny then, he’s a huge Dallas Cowboys fan — but we laugh about it now. We learned in that moment that sales might look a little different internationally — and don’t talk about football!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What makes Technovation Solutions stand out is the sheer volume of solutions we can offer for clients to try. If a health care team is looking for more secure solutions that are less intrusive, we can show them exactly how our partner products will look. On top of that, some of our partner products are just downright fun to play with — in mirror menus and ticket sales, full-room automation, there’s nothing better than watching a group of executives play with buttons!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are! Safety and security are of course top of mind in so many industries, and we’re thrilled to see new products coming online that help to keep patients, guests, and kids safe without sacrificing their experience.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

I’d always encourage leaders to work with your employees’ strengths — trying to put a square peg in a round hole is just going to leave you frustrated every time.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Know your people, not just their names, but be able to interact with them on a professional AND personal level. Let them know you care about them as both humans and professionals.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m grateful to my older brother. I’d say even before I was headed to college, he was encouraging me to do whatever I want, regardless of gender. I just needed to get myself there.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’ve had the opportunity in a few of my positions and roles to mentor those who really needed it, and I’ll always be grateful for that. There are some people who really are destined to do great things, they just need someone to believe in them and provide that guidance for success.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

· Trust you gut — it’s gotten me everywhere

· Take care of yourself — you can’t be a great leader if you’re not in the right mindset

· Be able to share vulnerabilities with your team — you’re all in this together

· Listen to your team — you hired them for their expertise, use it!

· Fail fast — learn from your mistakes and move on

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

This isn’t a new idea, but I’d love to see more women in information technology. I’ve watched partners here in Las Vegas try to hire more woman, but there still aren’t enough females entering our industry. We need to encourage girls to see these jobs as options, and attainable careers.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Elanor Roosevelt

You choose your reactions, and you can control how people’s behavior affects you. I’ve had plenty of people question my decisions over the years, including my decision to become a parent, become a working parent, and become an entrepreneur, you can’t let people’s opinions affect how you live your life.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? (he or she might just see this if we tag them)

Madeline Albright or Michelle Obama, hands down.

Thank you for joining us!

“Work with your employees’ strengths; Putting a square peg in a round hole is just going to leave… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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