Jason Toshack is the General Manager ANZ at cloud-based business management software suite Oracle NetSuite, where he’s been for more than thirteen years.
1. To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the General Manager for ANZ at Oracle NetSuite and have been with the NetSuite team for more than thirteen years.
Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based business management software suite, with customers around Australia and worldwide. Much of my time is spent meeting with business leaders, to talk to them about their operational needs and pain points and finding how we can help address, and solve their challenges.
I also have daily interactions with the various stakeholders within our business to review our progress and approach. It’s a very exciting space to work in and nothing brings me greater joy than seeing ANZ businesses succeed.
2. What does a typical day look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
The first thing I do when I wake up is check my emails, action requests, book or accept meetings and scan for important news or announcements. With the priority items in my inbox addressed, it’s time to get some exercise before I start my work day, usually a run or gym session.
My day is more or less the same since our team has moved to WFH during the COVID crisis. I meet with the sales managers in the morning to see how conversions are progressing with customers and see where I can help – I still love getting hands-on wherever possible!
I have noticed that there has been an increase in meetings lately as a casual chat that may have taken place by the water cooler in the office may now become a more formal meeting. As such, I have started a fortnightly all hands meeting to make sure the broader ANZ business stays in contact and updated.
On a more personal note, I do love the extra time I have with my kids and not having to wake up quite as early!
3. Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
For sure! Thanks to technology, our team has the flexibility to work remotely and can collaborate relatively seamlessly.
Having said that, we really value our awesome team culture – one of the reasons I have been here so long – so we do encourage people to be in the office during more normal times. I think it helps keep us bonded and allows new people mix with veterans and so forth.
4. Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Making time for yourself is crucial, so I set aside at least one hour per day for time out, which could be for a walk, gym session or just some quiet time.
I believe if you don’t make time for yourself, you will end up in string of endless meetings which can have a negative impact on productivity and input. This is especially the case with a 24-hour company likes ours where you can receive directives or updates from the other side of the world at any time.
5. What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance is extremely important to me and one of the reasons I have been with NetSuite for so long is that I have been able to find the right balance here. I think work and life is integrated these days and it’s about finding the balance that works for you.
For example, I don’t mind taking a few calls, answering some emails or logging in to NetSuite to check pipelines or approve orders etc. while I am on holiday, if it means that I get to go on holiday in the first place.
6. What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Once upon a time I had BlackBerry phones, with a little red dot that flashed every time you received a text or email. Back then I used to check it every time it flashed, but I learned the hard way that this can quickly become detrimental to your work and personal life.
As a result, I am far more disciplined by trying not to be involved in absolutely everything, which can be difficult because I get copied into a lot of emails and other communications. The learning for me was to delegate and trust your team.
There are plenty of smart people in our business, meaning I don’t have to take on everything myself. I also think it’s important to listen to your family – they know you best!
7. Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I have two old favourites, The Challenger Sale – very practical, however I think, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman is very pertinent right now. Every business has been hit hard this year, no matter the size or industry. We all need emotional intelligence now more than ever to have that extra layer of empathy so we can band together.
8. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
My main focus is to remain positive, I know that sounds cliché – but it’s true. If you work for a company that values your contribution, one that evolves and offers you diverse challenges to solve, and you can surround yourself with fun and smart people, you will stay engaged.
9. Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Always have another passion or interest outside of your work life and always listen to your family. If you’re 100 percent focused on any one thing, you can lose sight of what else is going on around you.
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