E130 - Grant Dall at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise25 July, 2023
On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we’re joined by our host Jordan Dyer and special guest, Grant Dall Head of Transformation – EMEA at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. During this episode, Grant takes us through his industry career spanning over 15 years. Grant also shares how his mentors have made him the person he is today, especially the mentors he had in his early days.
Grant’s journey into the networking industry took an unexpected turn. After studying finance and investment management, he realised that his true passion lay elsewhere. At the age of 22, Grant ventured into the job market, which paid off when a South African company called Internet Solutions took a chance on him as their youngest-ever project manager.
Despite lacking formal experience, he embraced the challenge, and his responsibility was overseeing mobile and broadband projects, connecting both humans and machines for corporate clients of the country’s largest ISP.
When offered the position of Head of Product at AlwaysOn, he was given the freedom to choose his title, and he chose the unconventional yet memorable title of “Chief Stuff Guy.” This title served as an icebreaker and helped forge lasting connections with new people, partners, and vendors.
Grant also pursued coaching studies alongside this at the Henley Business School in South Africa. He founded his own coaching business, demonstrating his commitment to personal growth and professional development. However, an exciting job offer in the UK prompted Grant to close his coaching venture and embark on a new international chapter.
He soon found himself working for Dimension Data, where he played a key role in defining their IoT strategy. Later, the world’s largest satellite company at the time, Intelsat, recognised his expertise and offered him a position to help build out their value-added services portfolio. He was then asked to join his current company – Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise – to manage the relationship between them and Dimension Data after he realised the need for more sales experience to further advance his career. After just nine months in his sales role, he moved into his current position as the Head of Transformation – EMEA at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.
The Power of Early Mentors…
Grant’s early career experiences played a pivotal role in shaping the direction he ultimately took. He shares the huge influence that his mentors had on his personal and professional growth.
Advice to his 16-year-old self…
If he had the opportunity to give advice to his 16-year-old self, there are two key pieces of wisdom he would say – the importance of aiming higher and the value of self-advocacy. He says that these principles could have pushed his career forward at an earlier stage, potentially sparing him some challenging conversations along the way.
Developing Key Skills for Success…
Grant advises embracing change as an opportunity for growth. Also developing a genuine appetite for doing things differently is a key skill in this industry. In an environment where the next steps may not always be clear, the ability to work effectively in ambiguous situations becomes crucial. The best way to develop these skills is to get stuck in and actively seek opportunities for practice and growth.
Tune in to the full episode on the 18/07/2023!