Today we’d like to introduce you to Maegan Lujan.
Maegan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m living proof you can come from all walks of life, feel comfortable in your skin, do things you’re passionate about, and succeed. No matter where you came from, or what the data says about you as a child on paper. I wasn’t born on the path to success. It just wasn’t in the cards for me. But when I stopped associating myself with the labels given to me by society, I started to experience success. I grew up without a mother or father. My basic needs weren’t met. I was a foster kid—and I experienced everything that went along with that stigma. I didn’t get tucked in at night with a bedtime story or kiss on the forehead. I wasn’t treated to family dinners and birthday parties filled with presents.
By the age of 14, I was completely on my own. I attended high school for just 3 short months. Going to college was never an option for me. The truth is, I fought hard to survive. Yet here I am, at the top of my game, at a major corporation, and successful in ways I never dreamed possible as a strategist, storyteller, and leader on a mission to motivate and inspire others. I’d say what brought me to this specific career path started long ago when I was in foster care. It was then, right as I was striking out on my own, that I made the conscious decision never to let the stigma surrounding my upbringing define me. Rather than fall victim to the instability of my surroundings, I decided to take control of my journey and channeled my energy towards positive growth and self-improvement.
At first, I took any job possible to make ends meet and survive. Then, I followed my curiosity by starting as a temp scanner operator. From there, I moved into a position selling document scanning and archival software. And with each role, I’ve developed critical skills that served as stepping stones to the next opportunity.
In my quest to understand how products were developed, I landed at another software company where I learned about imaging, print, document, and content management technology. At that point, I developed a passion with product lifecycle management and developing go-to-market strategies, which led me into portfolio management—and my director role—with Toshiba.
Has it been a smooth road?
When someone asks what made me the person I am today, I answer “my failures.” Not just one failure, but all of them. But I never let these failures stop me. Instead, I channel them into success. Not because I have all the answers, always feel confident, or have a clearly defined plan for whatever life throws my way. Because I know that failing means I’m succeeding. Everyone needs to know, we all go through difficult times. We’re blessed to be alive and in control of our own path.
My strength came from being able to walk into an environment with confidence, knowing I was different than everyone else. That my lack of education wouldn’t hold me back, knowing that I wasn’t afforded the luxury of a formal education path would mean I would never lose my insatiable appetite for learning. I also knew I had to show up and be the hardest worker in every room. For the most part, I’ve always been that person. I’ve learned to embrace the grit and roll up my sleeves and work through the perceived insurmountable task at hand. Because that’s what survivors do. I’m better for it. In these ways, I’ve allowed my biggest weakness to generate my greatest strengths.
This is a way for me to share my story, vulnerability, and all – in the hopes of inspiring kindness and love. I’ve come to embrace that my personal secret recipe to success centers on my differentiation. More self-aware than yesterday, more experienced by the journey, and more joyfully present in the climb.
Please tell us about your work.
I started out with simply the desire to succeed and the skillset of communication. So, naturally I’ve spent most of my career in sales. This made moving to Marketing a natural transition. I truly know what it’s like to be in the trenches with our sales team, supporting revenue growth on various product lines. I’ve taken that field experience into Product Marketing, which enables me to develop products and programs that drive revenue growth and support our channel. Keeping up with the evolution of technology and bridging the gap with how those changes impact the business environment and delivery business continuity.
My team’s focus is to keep ahead of the curve with our offering and to move where the market is heading. The underlining goal is to introduce products and services that provide our distribution channel a source of differentiation in their marketplace. Like others, our industry is evolving – businesses are going digital overnight to respond to customer demands and the recent COVID19 impact. They are surviving on their physical relationships and creditability of their digital footprint. Of course, technology drives change within our company, just like it does within the industry. Understanding how technology changes impact Toshiba as a company, helps me understand what our customers’ needs are. We are using this to shape Toshiba’s offerings and go-to-market strategy of solving problems and connecting the voice of our customers with product strategy.
To support the next generation of customers, our portfolio team meticulously curates a best-in-class portfolio, partnered with industry leading technology providers, and optimized internal processes that provide our resellers with a frictionless experience. This enables our resellers to grow revenue, expand into new markets and create an ongoing revenue stream through a diverse product portfolio of hardware, software and reoccurring services. We are one of the global technology brands inventing the future of work and “future proofing” our reseller’s product portfolio has been a long time mission for our team.
As for professional development at Toshiba, over the last six months I’ve been participating in a mentoring program, Executive Leaders Tomorrow (ELT). I was selected as the protégé and mentee to our CEO, Scott Maccabe and have been developing my skillset in corporate and executive leadership. During this time, I’ve also been working with my executive coach which has navigated me through varies assessments and programs on results-driven leadership development, problem solving, strategy execution, collaboration, enhanced communication and so much more. This program has shaped me into a battle tested digital leader, able to assess strategic business needs, develop strategy and design new, innovative solutions that address the challenges of today while preparing for the future.
Next on my journey to be a well-rounded business professional, I’ve begun shadowing key executives at Toshiba to gain a working knowledge in areas of the business; Human Resources, Operations, Finance, Supply chain management, and Japanese business model management. These areas interlink to the Sales and Marketing strategy, and spending time with these leaders provides diversity in our voice-of-customer feedback loop.
On the personal side, putting a focus on myself and accomplishments isn’t something I’ve taken time for. Case in point, in 2016, I was recognized by a leading industry publication as a Young Influencer—someone to watch in the industry, I barely lifted my head from the desk long enough to say thank you. I was too busy working away on our next product launch. The quote I gave then still sticks with me today: You are the CEO of your own brand and how you represent yourself matters. Build relationships and establish creditability with your customers and colleges – become a trusted advisor.
When I was again recognized last year as 2019 Woman Influencer, it finally started to register with me that I was making a positive impact within our industry.
I’ve now realized that I have a platform, and I want to work to raise awareness and help make an impact in this world, any way I can. Sure, it’s nerve-wracking to think that I’ll be sharing all my skeletons and my biggest insecurities with the world, but the plus side is that I get to be a beacon of hope to those whose paths are similar to mine. So, I took my own advice and have built a strong digital community. And now, I’m launching launch my personal brand and showing other businesses and professionals how to do the same. Businesses need to know how to show up digitally and why your personal brand can and will make an impact on your business.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Peter Davey, Vice President of Services at Toshiba is one of my biggest supporters, mentors, and cheerleaders… He taught me to understand the landscape of a business and to navigate at both the strategic and tactical parts of the business.
And our CEO taught me the valuable difference between having a mentor versus having a sponsor.
- Website: www.maeganlujan.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maeganlujan/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maegan.lujan/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/maegan_lujan
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/MaeganLujan
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maeganlujan/