Business Wisdom From Clodagh Logue, Senior Director Of International HR, Fitbit Plc

Business wisdom from the desk of CLODAGH LOGUE, Senior Director, International HR, FITBIT PLC …

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After a short stint in financial services following her BA in Business & Economics at Trinity College and MBS in Human Resources Management from the UCD Smurfit School of Business, Clodagh Logue’s career changed direction when she joined CPL plc as a recruiter. Through her work there, she had the opportunity to join Microsoft’s European Operating Centre as a recruiter in 2000 and thus began a 15-year career within the HR profession of Microsoft Corporation. She held a number of HR roles over that time, and also spent a number of years as a senior HR leader at Microsoft Australia. In 2014, she was appointed HR Director for Microsoft in Ireland. She joined Fitbit as International HR lead in October 2015.

DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE: I lead HR for Fitbit across all of our international locations. I have responsibility for helping Fitbit attract, develop and grow our international talent here in our EMEA HQ, but also across Europe and our Asia Pacific locations, including India, China and Australia.

YOUR COMPANY’S BUSINESS PRIORITIES FOR 2016? Fitbit believes a more healthy lifestyle is within everyone’s reach and we’re looking at all of the critical imperatives for wellness to see how we can further help people. We are expanding our presence into more than 50 countries this year, increasing our retail presence to more than 48,000 stores and increasing our headcount in our Asia and Europe locations, including here in Dublin.

HIGHLIGHTS AND CHALLENGES DURING YOUR TENURE? Fitbit is constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible by developing new and innovative products and services. We are also pushing boundaries in the pace of our growth – my challenges are those associated with this pace and our need for scale across all our people processes and platforms, as well as finding the best talent to build our presence across the world. This comes with great opportunity for learning and growth for me personally and professionally.

DID ANYTHING IN YOUR EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCE OR FAMILY BACKGROUND INFLUENCE YOUR JOURNEY TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE? I have been very fortunate to have had the support of my parents and a positive school experience, which encouraged me to pursue university and the aspiration of a career. There was never a sense of being limited. More recently, the partnership of a very supportive spouse in our move as a family to Australia – and the decision to return to Ireland – has played a significant role in my success.

AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF? Managing to build a career and successful track record in my chosen profession, while also raising a young family of three children. I am hopeful more accomplishments lie ahead.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH DIFFICULT SITUATIONS? I’ve learnt to try to keep things in perspective, bringing urgency when needed, but looking for a path forward wherever possible. I’ve also come to appreciate the power of curiosity; ask a lot more questions and test assumptions. There are always two sides to every difficult situation.

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT? I am not a natural worrier, but I do put myself under a lot of pressure and expect a lot of myself. At the moment, staying ahead of the pace of our business is on my mind, but a good night’s sleep helps me to keep my energy levels up to meet those challenges.

WHAT IS ONE CHARACTERISTIC YOU BELIEVE A BUSINESS LEADER SHOULD POSSESS? The ability to inspire and motivate others.

WHICH IS THE MOST USEFUL WAY TO ENGAGE CLIENTS? Informal, one-to-one conversations are usually most effective. I think it’s important to remain open to making a connection with others. The world is a small place – every connection can lead to another.

THREE PIECES OF ADVICE YOU MIGHT GIVE TO WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO BE IN LEADERSHIP ROLES?  Look for role models and sponsors. I have been very fortunate to work directly for or closely with some exceptional female leaders in my career. As Marian Wright Edelman, the American activist, once said “you can’t be what you can’t see”. In a similar vein, identify a coach or mentor you can trust, but also ensure that person will challenge you and ask the hard questions others might not. This becomes even more important as you progress into leadership roles. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

THE WAY I DO BUSINESS

1. STRONG POINTS I am pragmatic and positive and I have high energy levels.

2. WEAKNESSES A strong bias for action and outcomes sometimes comes at the expense of tuning into how others are feeling.

3. WORK/LIFE BALANCE Working flexibly helps me get the balance right – I need to be deliberate about maintaining time for myself and for my family.

4. LOOKING THE BUSINESS The tech sector is quite informal and my day-to-day uniform is business casual, usually slim-fitting jeans and a smart top or jacket. In a formal setting, I wear a dress, skirt or tailored separates with heels.

5. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE I’ve had a pension all my working life and have been deliberate in maintaining the highest levels of contributions that I can. Equity/stock awards also form an important part of my financial planning.

This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this, don’t miss our March issue, out Thursday April 7.

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