Three Questions with SVP of Customer Success and Support Meredith Blanchar
Meredith Blanchar wants SailPoint customers to have a fabulous journey. For the past five years, she’s been tasked with shepherding our crew to accomplish just that. In more technical terms, she’s tasked with the entire post-sales customer experience—making sure they get their ROI (it’s important to her) and that they use us to their fullest advantage. When she’s not focused on making our customers happy, she is mentoring and inspiring the SailPoint Crew. To distill this, we sat down with Meredith to learn a little bit about her and why it takes a village in work and in life to be successful.
What is your biggest strength and where do you draw inspiration?
I think I have two things that make me strong. First, it is impossible to rattle me. I have a calm, go with the flow personality which makes me a good fit for the role of customer success. In this field there are a lot of emotions and escalation, so it is important to have a calm personality. Second, my other biggest strength is being able to laugh at myself. Making mistakes in front of other people makes me feel approachable. It facilitates better team conversations. I also never pretend to be the smartest person in the room. I don’t have all the answers, and I never pretend that I do.
For inspiration, I get it from all over. My parents first and foremost because they are steady forces in my life. The other area I draw inspiration from is my kids. I have four kids and watching them get through their day is always inspiring.
What was the biggest career-defining moment for you?
I was a young manager, and the first biggest career-defining moment for me is when my mentor told me I’m not judging you; I’m judging you by the strength of my team. If you are the smartest one that’s not good, the other thing he said to me, “You’re no good to me if you’re dead.” If you are sending emails at all hours of the night you are going to burn out.
Once he did a very interesting performance review. He had my entire team, including me, take two days off, put an out-of-office on and not work. He wanted to see how the business runs with us away. The point of this is you need to be able to step away and everything theoretically should run smoothly. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening experiment. I also learned that you need to allow decisions to be made that might be different than yours. Are you really enabling your team if you hold the information so close? I would say all these lessons combined led to the biggest ‘aha’ moment in my career.
How do you define success?
I don’t really have this vision or definition of success. I think it’s quality of life. That doesn’t mean material things. I often ask the following: is everyone happy? Does everyone feel loved? If everyone in my family feels happiness and love, that’s success for me. Small successes and enjoying the moment is everything for me.
Finally, the ability to leverage and lean on people is also success to me. You are stronger as a team. It is not me on my own that is unstoppable—it’s everyone around me that helps lift me up – in work and at home it takes teamwork. Working together, that’s true success.