Jonathan Lister and LinkedIn Canada Connect with AIB
AIB has boasted LinkedIn as an Industry Partner for some time, with leaders from the company including Matt Tindale and Olivier Legrand sharing their practical insights across a range of subjects as AIB Industry Guest Lecturers.
Expanding this partnership to Canada, we’re excited to welcome Jonathan Lister on board as an Industry Guest Lecturer in marketing. Jonathan holds two roles at LinkedIn – Vice President of Sales Solutions and Country Manager for Canada. The global Sales Solutions team at LinkedIn works with multinational brands to help them leverage their employee and client networks and increase sales. As Country Manager, Jonathan is responsible for increasing brand awareness and adoption, focusing on driving revenue, user engagement, strategic partnerships, marketing and general operations in Canada.
Jonathan describes himself as a “career sales person”, having been in sales for 20 years. Although he’s experimented with roles in publishing, operations, marketing and business development, he says, “I’ve always come back to my core, which is sales.”
Before joining LinkedIn, Jonathan worked for Google Canada as Country Manager and AOL in numerous roles. He joined LinkedIn in 2010 and was the first full-time employee in Canada. As Country Manager, he leveraged the work of LinkedIn leaders in other countries to build a world-class team, establish a strong business rhythm and execute at scale. Today, Canada is one of LinkedIn’s top performing markets.
He became Managing Director of Canada and Latin America a year later, building the case for LinkedIn’s entry into Latin America. From there, he became North America VP for Marketing Solutions and later for Sales Solutions.
Sales Solutions is one of LinkedIn’s four commercial lines, selling a product called Sales Navigator, a tool that helps salespeople target prospects more effectively and harness social media to engage them in richer and more meaningful conversations.
Jonathan holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and a Bachelor degree in literature from the University of Toronto. Unsurprisingly, Jonathan believes that education and learning in all forms is a crucial part of career success. “What’s most important is to be a lifelong learner. Every opportunity to learn is an opportunity that potentially makes me better, makes me help those around me and helps make my company better,” he says. What’s most important is that one adopts a growth mentality and never stops seeking opportunities for learning.
He points to technology as a catalyst for change, and consequently a reason to keep learning. As technology changes the way we work, the skills we need change with it, and it will be a constant focus to keep abreast of those changes. “If we fast-forward five or ten years, there will be a tremendous emphasis on learning all the time. You are going to have to learn all the time in your career to develop the skills that technology is manifesting,” he explains.
In addition to a commitment to lifelong learning, Jonathan’s tips for achieving career success are three-fold.
Firstly, communication. Make sure that you understand how to communicate in your environment, both up and down the chain of command as well as sideways to other sectors. If necessary, he says, find a coach to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and tailor your communication to different audiences.
Empathy is part of that strategy. Before communicating with executives, for example, Jonathan puts himself in their shoes to establish what their priorities are. “Having that context allows me to craft that conversation in a way that is relevant to them,” he explains. “I would do the same thing whether I am talking to my cross-functional peers or people in my team. Understanding what is important to them and what the goal is so we can get the best outcome is super important.”
The second is focus. Jonathan doesn’t approach this as an academic exercise, but an actionable list of things to work on. He explains, “Know the goal that you are driving for and don’t get distracted by things that are unimportant, even if they seem urgent. Come to work every day and understand what those big rocks are that you are going to move to get to where you need to be.”
Jonathan’s third ingredient for career success is passion. “Do what you love, and when you love it, let it show.” When you’re passionate about your job, you bring energy to its undertaking. Others pick up on it and respond to it.
We’re delighted that Jonathan will bring that passion to help our students strive for success in their studies and careers, and we welcome him aboard as our newest Industry Guest Lecturer.