Originally posted on 5/19/2014
Russ Buchanan, Xerox’s vice president of worldwide alliances and ASAP’s former chairman of the board, shares his thoughts about ASAP, taking on leadership roles, and what he’d do if given a “do-over.”
RLF: After about 20 years of managing corporate partnerships, you joined ASAP in 2004, when you were building Xerox’ go-to-market strategic alliance program. Why join ASAP?
RB: I joined ASAP in order to learn as much as I could from other expert practitioners and companies that had a long and successful history in building joint go-to-market alliances. I also wanted to learn about the organization structures, skills, talent development, programs and much more that other firms had used to build their programs. An additional benefit was working with other companies that had common interests to develop new tools and capabilities for the profession, for example, alliance professional certification.
RLF: Why did you choose to step into a leadership role for ASAP?
RB: My goal was to meet a lot of people that were passionate about the profession. I wanted to be plugged into the latest thinking and best innovation in the profession. I knew if I were willing to lead, I’d really have a lot more opportunities to learn and follow the leadership of others. It was a great decision that’s more than met my expectations.
RLF: What do you feel are the most valuable contributions you made as ASAP's Chairman of the Board?
RB: There are a lot of people that were part of what worked well. I recruited and retained a talented group of volunteer leaders who have made great contributions to the improved quality and direction of ASAP. I supported the recruitment and staffing of a strong staff at ASAP HQ. This has lead to material improvement in our members’ experiences and the quality of the services they receive. I’m especially pleased with the addition of Mike Leonetti. He’s an amazing addition as a leader for the next phase of ASAP’s evolution. Restructuring the Chapters was critical to enabling them to thrive and to enable the association to grow through the addition of new chapters. The old model was no longer working and it was essential that we make the changes that Leonetti is now implementing.
RLF: Given the opportunity to go back in time, is there anything you would do differently in your role as Chairman?
RB: I guess if I could have a, “do over,” I would try to get out and meet as many alliance professionals through chapter meetings and events as possible. This is what I set out to do at the beginning. I regret that I wasn’t able to visit every chapter during my years as chairman.
Russ Buchanan is the featured Alliance Champion in the Q2 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine, which will be delivered to your mailbox in June.
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