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Rabenold kicks off leadership series

Photo courtesy of Nancy Rabenold

By AISLINN FALLON

Leaders see life not as a threat but as an opportunity to place their mark upon society. On Oct. 4, UT is providing students with an opportunity to learn and interact with some of today’s most inspiring leaders. The leaders coming to the university are providing details and tips on what one needs to become a leader of today. These leaders from all sectors are coming together to share their personal journeys about leadership with UT students at the Leadership Speaker Series held in the Vaughn Center.

Nancy Rabenold, co-founder and CEO of Xcira, is one of the speakers featured in the series. Rabenold’s company is the global leader in live simulcast and timed auction technologies. Her perspective as the head of this company will be presented during her presentation “No Regrets.” Her presentation will focus on maintaining balance as a leader. As a mother and CEO, her perspective offers success in life and in business.

“The success I have been able to achieve both in the business world and in my personal life requires a lot of balanced activity,” Rabenold said. “If you give a customer value, it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female. Always know your value. If customers can rely on you to provide a value proposition, you have a really good thing going.”

Rabenold is a mother but she has developed strategies to balance her company while raising her two boys. Statistically speaking men are more likely to hold high-level leadership positions, but Rabenold is a strong believer that hard work pays off and in the end gender makes no difference in terms of leadership. Although many focus on her outstanding successes, she has let opportunities go for the sake of maintaining balance in her life.

“I have had failures along the way; every CEO will tell you that,” Rabenold said. “But by and large, my mistakes have been my best teacher. I’ve been fortunate to have a really intelligent support structure around me as well as a family that I truly adore.”

Through Rabenold’s eyes, the world appears not to be a separation of male and female successes but rather a separation of those who thrust themselves into their own reality of unlimited opportunities and those who choose to stay within the boundaries of the expectations imposed by others, she said. Rabenold never focused her mind solely on business success but instead told herself that one day she would do what she set her mind to do.

“It’s always been a function of how I would get there; it’s the balance in the journey along the way that I find people struggle with a lot,” Rabenold said.

To date, Rabenold is the CEO and co-founder of a global technology company but that is not the only leadership position she has held. Along the way to her current position, she served in senior program management positions with IBM’s Federal Systems Division and contributed to projects including NASA’s Space Shuttle, the Navy’s ballistic missile systems and submarine platforms, and tri-service programs involving collaborative efforts with the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Rabenold had advice for future leaders and students at UT, “Always stay true to yourself and don’t ever put yourself in a position where you’ll have regrets,” Rabenold said. “Know what your goals are and go for it.”

Students can see Rabenold and many other leaders share their stories during the leadership speaker series located on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center in the Board of Trustees room at 4:30 p.m.

Aislinn Fallon can be reached at aislinn.fallon@spartans.ut.edu

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