Angeline Maronese is the Managing Director ANZ at Rackspace Technology, an American managed cloud computing company based in Windcrest, Texas.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my first job at 14 and have never been unemployed since!
At 23, I had my first experience of growing a business from the ground up. I set up a business on a remote island in the Philippines, with no electricity or running water, and sold it 18 months later. Growing a business is like the travel bug – once you have it you feel compelled to keep building.
In 1997 (sounds so long ago), I started my ‘real’ career in project management. I was given an opportunity when I had zero experience to work for CSC, and I will always be grateful that someone decided to take a chance on me and give me a go.
From there I moved every few years into different roles, continuing to learn and jumping at every opportunity that came up, which led me into sales and running major accounts. I have always worked for global IT organisations, and have been fortunate to work with a few leading-edge clients who were really pushing the boundaries of technology and business.
Prior to joining Rackspace Technology, I worked across industries and roles leading teams at Accenture, DXC Technology and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
My current role as Managing Director of Rackspace Technology ANZ is to drive sustainable high-value growth for the business and build our brand in the areas of emerging technology. For me, that’s achieved by developing our people, skills and capabilities, and enabling our clients to meet their business goals, keep pace with change and achieve competitive advantage.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
It’s a little hectic! Typically my day starts at 7 am, I check what’s happened overnight from the global team and overnight news headlines. I always try to take a midday exercise break, but I’ll admit, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
I typically finish at around 6 pm, which is when I make a conscious effort to stop for a couple of hours to have dinner with my family. I usually do another two hours from 8 pm to 10 pm to prepare for the next day.
A perfect day for me would be 40% client and partner meetings, 30% internal team meetings and then 30% planning, researching and thinking.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I can work flexibly and remotely, however, I also think being in a workplace with your team has so many advantages that you don’t get remotely.
Ideally, I would have three to four days a week in the office – which fortunately for me is in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and eventually New Zealand when we can travel again.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Family is important to me, so balance means making sure that I can attend those special events for my kids – not all, but certainly the ones that mean something to them or me.
I also really value having dinner together, every other meal is rushed and we are all at different times and places. Our family dinner table is an important place for us to unwind and unload with each other.
I also look for micro-breaks – any opportunity to take some time out during the day could be as simple as a short walk to clear my head and reset. It’s not always easy, so I strive to be disciplined and ensure I am carving out this time for myself during the day.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Many! I am always starting and stopping a new health routine. I’ve been vegan though and am not anymore and tried fasting, which I’ve stopped and started frequently but always feel better when I do.
However, the most recent one is to ensure I don’t go to bed thinking about work. I pause and tell my brain, “not now”, and it works most of the time – either that or I am so tired I fall asleep.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My absolute all-time favourite podcast is “The anti-CEO playbook” by the founder of Chobani. I just love it as it reflects how I feel about leadership. I also love the yoghurt, perhaps even more so because I know how it came to be!
Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I am not really a gadgets person, although I do love a straight-edged lawn so a good whipper snipper is essential (for my hubby).
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Jacinda Arden – How do you have a newborn, lead a country, and not skip a beat? Just amazing, I am absolutely in awe.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
If anything, it’s that business is about people, not spreadsheets. Be grateful for the people around you that support you and focus on developing them, building real relationships and giving people opportunities to grow. Imagine how successful our businesses would be if we treated our employees like elite athletes and gave them the training, healthy diet, rest and the support they needed to be at the top of their game? If we can get that right, there will be no discussion about finding a work-life balance because we’ll all be living it.
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