Lead(H)er Profile - Bridget Gleason, Head of Sales at Tidelift
Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?
I grew up in Southern California. I am one of seven children. We were all fairly nerdy and I was no exception. I loved the same things then that I do now: reading, running, close friends, family, and the outdoors.
What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?
I was an English/Business major at UCLA. I was also a TA in the engineering school for three out of my four years there.
Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?
I often tell people that my career path looks more like a jungle gym than a ladder. My first job out of school was in marketing. Then I went into technical sales. Then I started a company. And then I sold that company and started consulting. It was through one of my consulting clients that I was persuaded to be an interim VP of Sales, and then I took the job full-time. This was the first time I’d had a sales leadership position and I haven’t looked back.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I’m currently the Head of Sales and Customer Success for Tidelift.
Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally? Was it always your goal to be in this position?
This isn’t where I thought I would be professionally, but only because I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I have always sought out interesting and challenging positions with interesting and innovative companies. My goal remains the same: to do meaningful work with like-minded people who are trying to make a difference in the world.
For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?
The most important thing is that you understand what makes you tick. What are you good at? What areas of work are the most rewarding for you? What do you want your day to day to look like? We spend most of our waking hours working at a job. IMHO, it’s not worth it to be unhappy, regardless of the position or the pay.
What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?
Hiring. Listening. Making decisions with very little information. Building a cohesive team.
What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work? What’s most challenging?
The most rewarding thing about my work is seeing the people around me thrive.
The most challenging thing about my work is keeping people motivated when times are tough.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment is having the courage to start a company when I was a single mom with two young children at home. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and also one of the most rewarding.
Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?
I am involved in various women in sales organizations as well as organizations that promote diversity of all kinds.
What’s next for you and your career?
I don’t know! That’s the beauty of it!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Reading. Running. Spending time with family and friends.
How do you manage stress?
I manage my stress primarily through meditation, exercise, great friendships, eating well, and getting enough sleep at night.
How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?
I have one cup of coffee first thing in the morning (which for me is between 4 am and 5 am).
What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area?
The Esplanade in Boston is a great place to read, bike, walk or kayak. It’s beautiful all year round.
Any book or podcast recommendations?
Winner’s Dream by Bill McDermott
What advice do you have for recent college graduates?
Enjoy life! You’ll never get the time back. Life is precious.
Want to learn more about Tidelift? Check out their BIZZPage.