AT&T 28 Days - Angela Baskerville
Vice President-Technology Development, AT&T
As one of five vice presidents reporting into the Chief Information Officer at AT&T, Angela Baskerville leads a nationwide team of more than 1,600 AT&T employees and contractors charged with developing systems that support mobile service. If you want to know where the world of mobile is headed, ask this Spelman grad.
Q: Which tech tools help you accomplish your professional and personal goals?
A: I'm a professional "texter". I'm required to process, send and receive copious amounts of information personally and professionally for all of the hats I wear as technology leader, mom of three, mentor, friend, volunteer, etc. Waiting for my calendar to magically display times for actual face-to-face or phone conversations has the potential to make me the bottleneck, so conveying short sound bites of information via my smartphone and iMessage or other SMS tools is very productive for me. I'm also pretty partial to and dependent upon location-based services and have a newfound love for the app Waze due to Atlanta traffic.
Q: How do you mobilize your network to stay connected?
A: By utilizing internal AT&T Collaboration Tools, such as t-Space and some of the external social collaboration tools such as Instagram. My worlds recently collided when I was on Instagram doing a "Throwback Thursday" post of me and my Spelman College friends from "back in the day" and I encountered a sponsored ad from AT&T about a product that my team just helped to deliver. That was a full-circle moment, and I was filled with a lot of pride.
Q: Which qualities are necessary to be an inspiring leader?
A: Wisdom and humility top my list. The level of intellect in our DNA is not ours to negotiate. We're as smart as we are due primarily to genetics and God-given ability. Smart and wise are two different things. Intellect without wisdom as a border has a limited shelf life. Wisdom is utilizing good judgment, past experiences, current climate, relevance, and other factors to supplement your finite intellect to make good decisions. I think we all have encountered very smart, yet unwise people. Humility is a grounding force in leadership. I can think of no scenario in which self-importance is either redeeming or useful.
Q: What is the trait you believe has most helped you impact others?
A: Empathy. We're all the products of our life experiences. They can continuously serve as our frame of reference if we allow them to do so. I'm ever mindful of my modest beginnings, my world being minuscule in the grand scheme of others' plights and current circumstances. And, most important, I believe that life is indeed a vapor and can change in a matter of seconds. Regardless of the setting, urgency, project, political climate, or level of risk, treating others how you want to be treated is foundational and effective.
Q: What is your personal manifesto?
A: "Be authentic." Bring your authentic self to the table. That particular forum is in need of you and no one else can be that. Don't spend time trying to be anyone other than your best you. Knock-offs only work in the fashion industry.