Corporate

Tamara Gulley on Leading with Empathy

August 7, 2020

After many successful years working at different startups, Tamara knew she wanted to grow her skills elsewhere and a career at Adobe was top of mind for her. 

She always knew Adobe’s products were at the leading edge of technology, that the business was growing 20% year-over-year, and that they were constantly innovating despite being a company that is over 35 years old. When she landed the role, it didn’t just feel like the next step in her career—it felt like she was meant to be here and lead.  

Having been here for over 3 years now as a Senior Manager of Inside Sales, Tamara has experienced a lot of growth and opportunity, such as seeing the team she’s leading grow from 6 people to now quadruple the size, and also being awarded a Women in Sales Award last year, being named a Best Sales Manager.  

The key to her leadership style—especially during COVID—is simple, “Be human, be more of a coach versus just being a manager. Being empathetic and understanding, finding ways to break up our goals into weekly consumable bites, and banding together to remain resilient through this unprecedented time has been so important. Controlling what we can control–together and one day at a time.”  

And that’s not just for her team either—that’s also how Tamara’s team is approaching customer interactions as well. “It’s all about being aligned to our values as a company. We’re a really empathetic company, and we’re supporting and committed to our customers and communities” she says. “I’m very impressed with my team. I always have to pay it back to them. I like to give my team space to be the unique and creative people that they are.”  

So what is Tamara looking for in ideal candidates?  

“I’m looking for people who are hungry and people who understand what taking complete ownership is—being more proactive and being a self-starter. And of course, you’ve got to be extremely curious and coachable.”  

Always one to give kudos her team, Tamara emphasized the importance of being a strong unit together, “We have a team that’s fostered one another. We wouldn’t be as well off if we weren’t always sharing with and supporting each other. That’s what makes us great, especially in times like this.”