Kim MacLeod, Associate Director of Enterprise Services Q&A
Why is it important to celebrate AAPi heritage Month?
During AAPI Heritage Month it is important to recognize accomplishments and contributions to our country. Growing up, I was taught and viewed the United States the melting pot. Recognizing and appreciating every culture and race that makes us who we are is important. Diversity is what makes us so unique, in our work, our educational system, in this country
How do you define successful leadership?
Successful leadership is understanding and seeing the big picture to be strategic with one’s decisions, communications and actions. It’s about taking accountability not just for one’s own actions but for your team as an entity. Finding the balance between showing empathy and making the right decisions for the greater good without bias.
What are the biggest challenges to successful leadership?
Diversity is my biggest challenge. I celebrate it and think it’s amazing but it is a challenge. Our backgrounds mold who we are, and who we are defines how we think. Diversity challenges us to think outside our own box which is great but it adds a level of complexity when dealing with people that think and perhaps act differently. You can have two people that are hard workers and brilliant but their approach to get to the end goal is very different and we should embrace both. But when you start defining rules or guidelines, embracing both equally is a challenge.
Why did you choose to earn a degree in computer science?
I happened to stumble upon computer science. I was working towards getting into Pharmacy school and my current University said I had to declare a major in the sciences. I selected Mathematics. In doing so I was required to take Introduction to Programming in C++. I fell in love. It felt right. I had always been more analytically which is why I enjoyed Math. At the time I had no idea about Computer Science. Halfway through the semester I changed my major and never thought about Pharmacy School again.
What is something about your time at Georgia Tech/College of Computing that you will carry with you, or that still informs your professional life?
So, prior to working in the College of Computing, I worked for the Office of Information Technology at Georgia Tech. One of the last projects I was on was testing of systems to see if we could accommodate the new OMSCS program that College of Computing had started. Less than a year later I was working for the College of Computing and though I was no longer directly doing support for OMSCS, I was able to see the impact of the new program and see it grow. Knowing that what I do helps the faculty and the administration do what they need to teach the students and accomplish the research is what motivates me.
Beyond money, awards, and job titles, what’s the biggest measure of success?
I would say the biggest measure of success is the results of ones’ efforts. What is the impact that you make on others.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
My biggest challenge(s) relates to knowing when to let go. Whether it has been letting go of a failed project, letting go of a successful project to move on to the next thing, letting go of what one believes in order to find the right compromise.
What’s the next big thing you’d like to accomplish?
I would say that in my current role, what I’d like to accomplish next is working towards streamlining some of the processes within TSO so that we can be faster and more consistent. I believe that will allow us to be more proactive in our support of the faculty, staff and students vs being reactive to their needs.