Lessons Learned From Nintex Vice President of Information Technology Justin Donato

Downtown Bellevue basks in the orange sunset and almost everyone has left the office for the day. Everyone except Justin Donato, Nintex’s vice president of Information Technology.

“Good morning,” he greets his Melbourne team, whose day just started. Justin adjusts the volume on his triple-screened computer and begins the conference call. Managing a global team is a tough challenge which Justin overcomes through open, interpersonal and effective communication.

Listen and Engage

To make the most out of the geographic situation, the IT team sets some important guidelines for itself, like using video calls, or avoiding sending out information in mass emails. The goal of this is to make virtual communication as engaging and active as possible, especially since communication can lose its vitality because of the distance and time difference. “When geography and time zones get in the way, you have to work harder and leverage all the opportunities,” Justin says.

The goal of this is to make virtual communication as engaging and active as possible, especially since communication can lose its vitality because of the distance and time difference. “When geography and time zones get in the way, you have to work harder and leverage all the opportunities,” Justin says.

It’s key to keep conversations two-way, which means the leader is not the only one broadcasting information to the team. Everyone has a chance to voice their opinions and questions and give feedback. And Justin is always willing to listen. “Everyone needs to be given a voice,” he says.

Justin believes the most important skill that significantly improves communication is to simply listen – a skill that he believes doesn’t get practiced enough. The most common mistake is when people “listen to respond,” which is a dangerous listening habit in which one worries too much about coming up with a response instead of giving the other person full attention. Justin’s advice for effective listening is to stay present, which creates an environment that garners trust,

The most common mistake is when people “listen to respond,” which is a dangerous listening habit in which one worries too much about coming up with a response instead of giving the other person full attention. Justin’s advice for effective listening is to stay present, which creates an environment that garners trust, collaboration and respect.

Support Your Team Members – From Every Direction

Still not convinced? Talk to Justin yourself – his office is less than five feet away from the Bellevue IT team, and the door is always open. He tries to make himself as available as possible, a characteristic everyone finds unique to not only

He tries to make himself as available as possible, a characteristic everyone finds unique to not only him, but also the Nintex culture as a whole. If he isn’t in meetings or in a one-on-one, Justin will give anyone full attention when they seek help. He will take a few moments to finish up, then turns around in his chair – eyes completely away from the screen, and lets you know that he wants to help.

“You can lead from the front or lead from behind, but the real mechanism is to get the best out of your team members,” Justin says. “A leader enables and empowers people to get the best out of their capabilities.”

Phil Ray, Nintex’s Business Application Manager, has worked with Justin for over five years. Back then, he said, the IT department had only five people, who all had to cram in a tiny office space. Needless to say, the current team now looks very different as it is made of nearly 30 people spanning across the globe. Despite the quick expansion, the team’s dynamic has always stayed the same: open, effective and cooperative. With Justin’s constant and attentive support, the entire team has developed successfully through time – and the future continues looking bright.

Needless to say, the current team now looks very different as it is made of nearly 30 people spanning across the globe. Despite the quick expansion, the team’s dynamic has always stayed the same: Open, effective and cooperative. With Justin’s constant and attentive support, the entire team has developed successfully through time – and the future continues to look bright.

Become A Business Leader

With his background as a business consultant, Justin understands the issues businesses go through during their day-to-day processes.

With a passion for technology, Justin sees potential in transforming technology into business solutions. It is an important goal, but not always an easy task.

For technology to be an effective part of business operation, everyone involved has to speak the same “language.” For example, a business problem within a sales team can sound so foreign to the IT department, and vice versa. Justin’s job is to be the bridge between two worlds.

“You need to first truly understand the issues, problems and challenges of the business first,” Justin says. “Once you have a good understanding of the challenges they face in their day to day process, you then get a good understanding of how to start formulating the solutions.”

Justin says goodbye to his Melbourne team before ending the conference call. Despite the time difference and the fact that they were half a world away, Justin made sure there was no gap in communication. A leader can do many things to push the team forward, but Justin proves that sometimes it all boils down to just simply being there.

Be there when you listen to someone’s problem. Be there when someone needs you. Be there when there’s a problem and no one seems to figure out why.

 

Interested in working for Nintex? See our open positions here!

An Nguyen

An was an inaugural member of the Nintex Summer Editorial Intern program in 2017. She recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism and multimedia production. As a bilingual writer, An is passionate about culture and diversity, and dreams to travel and tell stories from different corners of the world.