How I Succeeded: Zerto's Matt Kates

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How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Matt Kates, ANZ country manager for Zerto.

Current gig: Country Manager, ANZ, Zerto

Location: Sydney, Australia

Current mobile device: Samsung S7

Current computer: Surface Pro 3

One word that best describes how you work: Energetically

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

WhatsApp, Skype, GMail, Microsoftt Oulook, Google Maps

What social network do you find the most useful?

Facebook, LinkedIn

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

The people we hire and invest in are the most important asset of the business. We certainly will have no chance of success without good people. Our employees all share common goals, values and a vision of what Zerto stands for. Without this, it will be a struggle to build a successful business.

It’s not an easy journey growing a start-up. If you hire great people whose goals are aligned, it becomes a much easier road to success.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

On a personal level, 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have envisioned working in three regions in the world. Mine has been a journey in the places that I’ve gone. I’ve not expected to have learning experiences in so many countries which have included North America and Canada, Australia and New Zealand and Asia (Singapore, China, Indonesia and Korea).

On a professional level, I’ve been surprised at how many businesses have been unprepared for disasters.

What's your sleep routine like?

I’m starting to have an early start to the day. However I do get my seven to eight hours of sleep. I drop off immediately when I get to bed and I can sleep through anything.

What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?

It comes back to the people you have in your business. It’s important to have ideas that are scalable and that the values or the people in your organisation are aligned with yours and can be executed on. You can’t do everything yourself and having a good team that can help you achieve your objective is one of the keys to success. As a leader, you also have a duty to help prepare your team, if not they can fail.

My favourite quote by Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, sums up what I believe in - “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.


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