Life @ PointClickCare: Cheryl Alden
She’s the fearless leader of our Marketing organization, the visionary behind the idea for our annual user conference, SUMMIT, and a proud dog mom to two precious pups. Introducing our Senior VP of Marketing, Cheryl Alden!
What is Marketing at PointClickCare?
Marketing is a diverse field, and the areas of focus can differ based on industry or organizational goals. For PointClickCare, marketing is about continuing to cultivate and foster our brand. As Cheryl puts it, “We are agents of the brand. For us, it’s about making sure we are consistent, and we are presenting our values and principles and who we are through our brand. Our brand has a very human element to it. We look at the PointClickCare brand as a personality that needs to be nurtured, and it operates like an individual as well by sometimes showing up in different ways, but always staying true to the essence of who we are.”
Leading her team to success
The marketing team at PointClickCare is quite large and houses experts from a variety of fields and all of them report to (in one way or another) Cheryl. When we asked Cheryl to describe her management style and how she implements it with a team so large she told us, “simply put, you can’t manage 60 people” and management isn’t the word she would use to describe how she works with her team. “I don’t manage my team in the traditional sense, but I do offer leadership. In my opinion, the role of a leader is to make other leaders. How you do that is through motivation rather than management. My philosophy is to hire people that are good at what they do and then give them the room to do it.”
Finding her place at PointClickCare
With over 20 years of experience leading marketing teams, specifically within global software companies, Cheryl is a powerhouse, offering a wealth of knowledge and critical insight to our marketing organization. But it might surprise you to know that this isn’t where she started her career. She admits that she kind of fell into software, but exclaims that, “once I got in, that was it for me; I was hooked and that’s how I arrived at PointClickCare.” She also told us that when she joined, she didn’t expect to stay for more than a few years. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be here for 11 years. I had a 3-year rule before coming to PointClickCare. I would be with a company for 3 years to help them get to the next level and then I was on to the next. But PointClickCare was different and here I am, 11 years later still loving my job.”
So, what’s kept her here? “PointClickCare keeps delivering on what I love, which is growth and change. A lot of companies get to a certain point and they get stagnant and shift into maintenance mode. We haven’t experienced that yet. Since we started, we have been on this continuous trajectory. It’s exciting and there is always something new to capture your attention. In my opinion, there’s no reason to leave!”
Learning from our mistakes
What Cheryl loves most about PointClickCare is being able to try different approaches and think outside the box. She says that our innovative nature is one of the things that appealed to her in the first place and that she has always admired that we aren’t a company that says good enough is good enough. “There is always this aspiration that we can do better and that we should continually learn from our mistakes.We have always been encouraged to try new things. Fail fast was our motto. But failing was okay because failing was learning. Not a lot of companies operate that way and for us this approach provides an enriched fertile ground for innovation.”
Becoming a leader in healthcare IT
When it comes to being a leader in our industry, Cheryl believes that our success is rooted in the faces of our brand, Mike and Dave. She says, “when you are choosing a vendor or an organization to partner with, you are putting your faith in someone rather than something, and it’s usually who is right in front of you. Since early on, both Mike and Dave possessed that unique trait of authenticity and transparency. You could feel their commitment to the customer, it was almost palpable. They actually really do care.”
She also says that our continuous motion of change is probably one of the secrets to our success. “We have never stopped and rested on our laurels. We are always striving to do better. In a lot of ways, we’re like a large start-up. Start-ups have a feeling of competitive spirit, aspiration to win, banding together as a team, and taking on the world. For a mission-driven organization like PointClickCare, that sentiment is even stronger. We’re doing this with purpose and we’ve never lost sight of our goal to help improve the lives of seniors.”
A leader worth following
In this blog series, we like to ask our leaders what they see as the characteristics of a successful leader. For Cheryl, she effortlessly answered that she believes empathy and humility to be the most convincing qualities of a leader. “Empathy is number one, and I know it’s a popular one right now, but it wasn’t always that way. Even before it was trendy, it was something I always believed.” She also mentioned she tries her best to implement this mentality into her own leadership style. “If you treat people like human beings, with kindness, empathy, and understanding, then you have the best shot at getting them to reach their potential.”
As for humility, she says that being able to recognize where you are weak, understanding your blind spots, and building your team with that in mind is important for an efficient leader. “The temptation for most people is to hire a mini-me, but that’s not effective and you just end up with a team full of people who only think one way. Hiring for your blind spots and purposely hiring people with a different perspective is important to get that diversity of thought.”
Cheryl also mentions that being a good leader is about people more than anything. “The evolution of leadership has seen a shift from simply managing people to driving to performance. You need to think about your team as people first, employees second. They have families, and tragedies, and great things that happen, and when you hire them you get all of that. It’s important to me that people feel valued and are able to show up each day as their authentic selves.”
Thank you for sharing with us Cheryl!
March 30, 2021