June 2020 – Marva Morrow

Marva Morrow, Sr. Strategic Pricing Manager

The Trifecta of the Industry: Business Acumen + Leadership + Technology

The core of who we are at AT&T is seen through Business, Leadership and Technology. As a Senior Strategic Pricing Manager, I learned early in my career to seek opportunities to help me move towards my long-term goals. Working in several industries [including Semiconductor, Defense, Food and Beverage and Telecomm within large and small corporations] afforded me the opportunity to transform into the person I am today. I am a Technology leader with extensive experience in Process Improvement, Production Support and Pricing.

Having a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Tennessee – it was easy to see the dynamic of technology evolution. The evolution allowed society to find ways to operate more efficiently and showcased flexibility within the workforce. Technology is built into the fabric of everyday life. The way we exist in the world further explains how we cannot live without it. The food we eat, our clothes and even the cars we drive are part of the technology transformation made years ago. Also, as we go forward, we will continue to see technology evolve based on what we are doing at this moment. That is why it is important that we understand how to use it to our advantage. Strong acumen in technology is a prerequisite to effectively creating change and leading an organization towards growth and success.

Business acumen, also known as business skills or business savvy, is the culmination of your skills, your knowledge and your awareness to recognize a business case then execute efficiently and effectively. Business acumen is not just one skill that’s taught but comes after multiple experiences and acquiring various competencies in different areas of the business. Being business savvy isn’t only being a Finance guru but understanding Finance, Strategy, Marketing, and Operations. It is the act of seeing the big picture, conquering complexity and powering through uncertainty all while staying focused on the details. Having the ability to extract information using business acumen and create a clear link between the vision and the strategy as well as developing the action plan is one feature of a true leader.

To be a leader means having sound judgement, it involves taking risks, and it means standing up for your principles. To be a leader means that there are people willing to follow your direction. This role is not to be taken lightly. In order to lead you also must understand your leadership style: Authoritarian leaders are control leaders; Democratic leaders allow input from all involved parties; Laissez-Faire leaders allow the team to function without much interaction or input. Communicating your style properly with your team will save time and eliminate confusion. Other key components of leadership include operating with integrity, the ability to delegate, communicating with honesty and, just as important, mentorship. Many may see this as counterintuitive however all great leaders were students at some point. Having a mentor helps to navigate through unpredictability and avoid pitfalls. One of the best ways to grow as a leader is to grow as a learner.

Possessing these 3 attributes has allowed me to understand the direction of our company and its position within the industry. Individually these 3 attributes are good and will serve you well. But when you can master all 3, you become an extremely viable candidate and a valued asset in any organization. This trifecta differentiates you from your peers in the industry.