Balancing the Grind with Antoine Le Tard, Regional Vice President ANZ at AppDynamics

Antoine Le Tard is the Regional Vice President ANZ at AppDynamics, an application performance management and IT operations analytics company based in San Francisco.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Technology and sales have always been a core part of the roles I’ve had. My first job was as a sales consultant at UniRom, selling computer hardware and software.

Since then, I have worked across inside sales, strategic enterprise accounts and in senior management positions, with global companies like Verizon and RSA Security.

I’m grateful that this varied background has led me to my current position as Regional Vice-President ANZ at AppDynamics, a Cisco company.

With my background in sales, I used to function somewhat independently from the team and was quite dogmatic in achieving outcomes. So when I was provided the opportunity to step into a management position, it was important to learn what it means to really lead so that I could then lead others. 

Something else that has become increasingly important to me in both my career and personal life is creating a positive impact. Having the opportunity to be a part of something greater, and to positively influence both my team and our customers, really drives how I handle and approach every component of my work.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I think we can all agree that ‘a day in the life’ today looks quite different to what it would have a year ago. For me, my day starts with a mindfulness practice. This helps ground and focus me on the present, so I can be mentally and emotionally available for my team.

The rest of my day is filled with plenty of virtual Cisco WebEx meetings, and I really try to make these interactions as meaningful as possible. My goal is to cultivate a hardworking, dedicated team with a focus on building thriving relationships with our customers. 

Put simply, AppDynamics helps enterprise organisations to provide incredible digital experiences to employees and end users. Right now we are all relying on apps and digital interactions more than ever – online shopping, exercising, healthcare provision, home working and so much more.

This is putting a huge strain on our customers – the technologists who make these digital experiences possible. So it’s vital that as much of the day as possible is focused on meeting our customers needs and helping them to innovate and solve problems.

My management philosophy is based on authenticity, passion, open communication and rewarding each individual’s personal ambitions. When the day is wrapping up, you’ll find me throwing on my trainers and going for a quick run to unwind from work and clear my head.

Often my wife will know as soon as I leave my home office whether or not I need to use up energy and get some fresh air. By doing this, I can reset and recharge. Without the commute home from the office, it’s important for me to set clear boundaries between working and being fully present with my family.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Like many businesses, AppDynamics has expertly pivoted to accommodate the changing conditions of this year and the shift to remote working. Because of the leading technologies available to our team, adjusting to remote working has been a fairly seamless journey.

It has fit into my life with ease and where I would typically be seeing colleagues in the office, we now simply catch up over WebEx for a quick chat or debrief. This new way of working has also provided me with valuable time with family that otherwise I may not have had.  

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I believe it is less about balance and more about integration. Previously, I had approached work and my personal life as two entirely separate areas, but with the move to remote working this year, these have become far more integrated and intertwined. For me, establishing boundaries is key to switching off from work when it’s potentially sitting in the same room.

I find it’s crucial to prioritise well-being, which involves not only your physical state but also your emotional, psychological, social and financial states too. By truly prioritising these areas and creating achievable goals for different aspects of my life, I feel at ease and more grounded.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

The pandemic hasn’t so much stopped or started any routines or habits for me, but rather amplified them. Becoming more consistent in my meditation practice has provided stability during a time that has been fairly unpredictable.

By taking a moment to stop and breathe, I am able to address any situation with the composure and response it deserves. Physical exercise has also been crucial to helping me feel and act my best, not only for myself but also for those around me: my family, my customers and my team.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

There are a few books and podcasts I often come back to.

Unsurprisingly, The Mindful Leader by Michael Bunting is one of my favourites, as the author discusses the methods and processes of becoming a truly extraordinary leader, attaining inner wellbeing, and living a more meaningful life.

Brené Brown is also an author I reach for when settling in to read a good book. Her passion for discussing shame, courage and vulnerability is truly inspiring and pushes you to be a more authentic version of yourself.

I also like to listen to Oprah Winfrey’s podcast because she challenges her audience to delve deeper and connect with their world. She has interviewed some fantastic thought-leaders in the past like Brené Brown, who have provided insightful and very different viewpoints.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

The list is endless! With my background in technology and sales, you can guarantee there is tech involved in most aspects of my life.

Apart from my favourite gadget, my iPhone, I love Insight Timer which is a meditation app that helps to guide my practice. On the fitness front, I rely on my Garmin watch and Strava app to track my progress and keep me accountable to my goals.

The SONOS music system is also something I’ve very quickly added to the necessities list. The ability to set alarms and be greeted by curated playlists in the morning really sets the tone for our household and starts everyone on a positive note for the day.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

This is a difficult question. I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to so many brilliant business leaders throughout my professional life.

I get to work with the people that I would want to read about so with that being said, we have been blessed with the leadership at AppDynamics and Cisco. I have been inspired in the ways they have shown up for their teams and customers, as well as in how they have led the company through challenging times this year.

Hearing from people that have been in the game for longer than me has also been instrumental to my career development. I wish to keep having these conversations so that I can continue to learn and hopefully pass on my learnings and expertise to others.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Be sure to look after yourself first so that you can fully show up for others – you can’t drink from an empty cup. Time invested in your own well-being will never be lost. Always be kind and treat others with compassion too.

Think about the downstream impact of creating positive experiences for your colleagues and customers. Invariably, we all go home to someone so positively impacting one person can have ripple effects through families and communities. It’s like the butterfly effect.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.