Life as an EMC Leader with Chad Sakac Ep 97

The Geek Whisperers have the pleasure of discussing careers with the very special guest of Chad Sakac, President of Presales at EMC. He’s grown into leadership, starting as an ChadSakac_Croppedindividual contributor and is now up to 4,000 “nerds in the field,” and that’s just part of his day job. We discuss the unbelievable awesomeness of Chad’s job and recognizing the challenges he goes through at the same time. Some topics we cover include:

  • How Chad’s job extends beyond the day job
  • Work/life balance is an illusion
  • Better analogy is more like a marathon with sprints (sprint, rest, sprint, rest)
  • The challenge of a distributed team and how it leads to crazy travel hours
  • Be mindful of what you want in your career (the quid quo pros)
  • The balance of incredible happiness and incredible tragedies
  • How to roll with the sheer scale of the work
  • Balancing the micro and macro view of the job
  • The difference between understanding politics and being a politician
  • Speaking truth to power “without being a doink”
  • How authenticity brings its own power
  • The unconscious process of his career growth
  • How social media is part of the formula these days
  • How the web of influence transcends organizational boundaries
  • Mapping “impact radius” of company contributors
  • His advice to us all: take bigger risks earlier
  • Beware the “Us vs Them” dynamic to team building


A few specific questions we dig in on:

  • How do you go from managing 10 people to 4,000 people?
  • What would Chad say to Younger Chad if he had a time machine?
  • Can people adapt to Unicorn culture or do you grow them?
  • What is culture in a team – the process? The people?


And, especially for Amy, here’s Chad by the numbers:

  • President of 4,000 people
  • Father of 2 daughters
  • Receives 3,000 emails a day
  • He has 17.7K followers on Twitter
  • This episode is a 53 minutes long, which is a bonus 23 minutes than most 🙂



This episode was recorded well before the Dell and EMC merger news, so don’t anticipate any of that here. Thank you again to Chad for these incredible insights. Be sure to read his personal and professional thoughts at

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  1. […] what they would be like – all of them, together over dinner?  Interesting I think.  In this episode they talk with Chad Sakac.  I know Chad, and like him a lot.  I always learn, and am always […]

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