Alex Sozonoff has more than 40 years of international business experience and industry knowledge in both Europe and the US, 35 of them spent at Hewlett-Packard. Among his accolades, in 1997 Sozonoff was named Executive of the Year by the North American National Account Management Association (NAMA) for his leadership and vision in guiding HP’s global sales operations through the rapidly changing IT industry. Last year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate’s degree from the Kaunas University of Technology for his contribution to the Entrepreneurship program in Lithuania.
His stage fright moment
Never had fear of the stage. A certain amount of tension is always good as it helps you to be concentrated on what you’re saying.
A long leadership journey
Alex worked with Bill Hewlett, one of HP founders, who became his first role model. HP always had an atmosphere of trust and respect, with the ambition to succeed. He steps out of his comfort zone sometimes, which is one way to grow. Concern about the welfare for its employees was deeply embedded in the company.
Today’s challenges and how to disrupt the status quo
There is a well-known list of challenges and they are accentuated by inter-connectivity and social media. Connectivity is the mother of all disruptions. The next paradigm is big data and analytics, which can be used, for instance, in healthcare.
An example of disrupting the status quo is Uber. Solutions like this face a lot of resistance. It requires perseverance, determination, and creativity.
Disrupting the way people communicate with others
Disrupt in reverse. Let’s not forget that personal communication (face-to-face) is more significant.
“As you create your roadmap for the future, make sure you are part of the steamroller and not part of the road.”
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” —African proverb
The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
Final piece of advice
As the models we have to solve problems are not working anymore, we must create new solutions. A right leadership and entrepreneurship are needed to tackle the problems.