Steve Querner - striking a balance in the IT world

“I have been extremely impressed by the quality of the people, education level and the willingness to work hard, and to be committed, passionate about their job,” praised Steve Querner, vice president, Asia Pacific, EMC (excluding Korea & Japan) when asked to comment on which aspect(s) of the Asian culture that makes a good or bad business edge in the international IT market.
Written by Lim Boon Keong, Contributor
Steve Querner Steve Querner, vice president for EMC Asia Pacific (excluding Korea & Japan) believes in striking a balance between work and family in this fast paced IT world of today.
In this interview with ZDNet Asia, the former sales director for EMC (Australia, New Zealand and Greater China) talks about what keeps him going on his job, spending time with his family and making personal decision in a less patient world.

What helps you to sustain your passion for your job?
It's about working with great people. I've been really impressed with the quality of people in Asia and their commitment to quality, to working hard, and willingness to try out new things, I think just being part of that makes it fun.

What wouldn't you compromise on when it comes to doing business?
Probably my reputation and integrity. It can take a lot of years to build that up and you can lose that very, very quickly.

We have more tools, better technology, but less time. What happened?
My answer, actually, is just a matter of personal decisions. You need to make the time. You need to make the commitment that you are going to get away for a while, and you can.

I work from home quite a bit and I do e-mails a lot. I found myself doing e-mails for hours a day. It got to the point now where I wanted to be more committed to my family, I will turn off the computer at seven at night and spend some time with my family and not do e-mails. I would then get back on at ten at night and check for another hour after that.

Which gadget is on your most wanted list?
I wish I have something really exciting here but I am not really a gadget person. So, I have everything I need.

Do you think technology isolates people or brings people closer together?
I think it can do both. I use the e-mail a lot. I am based in Australia and have all of Asia Pacific, except for Japan and Korea. So, I have managers in China, Singapore, Hong Kong. It's a more effective way to communicate than by the telephone, where there is sometimes a language to language issue. E-mails are a great way to communicate.

I see my nephew who is playing video games all day long and shooting e-mails back and forth to his friends for ten hours at a time. It can overwhelm you as well. So, you need to maintain some balance.

Is there a role model whom you look up to?
From a work perspective, probably Dick Egan, who is the founder of EMC. He was passionate about never giving up through the difficult times. The second thing Dick instilled in the whole company is the passion about customer service and making sure that the customers is the center point, the most important thing. So, everything we do at the company, in terms of customer service capability, and the training we do for the people is all about making sure that the customer is happy, and I think that is great.

From a personal stand point, my parents. They have a good balance in their lives. They do a lot of charity type work and are not too materialistic. They enjoy the simple things in life. That's a good thing to follow.

What is your most prized possession?
My family.

What do you do to de-stress?
I take walks, swim. [In fact], any kind of physical activity. You know, being outside and kind of thing allows you to forget about everything and recharge the batteries.


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