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Corporate Responsibility in Action

Postcards from Peru: An Executive's Perspective

Created: 26 Mar 2014 • Updated: 26 Mar 2014
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By Aled Miles, Symantec's Senior Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean

As the inaugural Symantec Service Corps (SSC) assignment wound down, I had the enormous pleasure of hosting the team for dinner in Arequipa, Peru before they left for home. As you know, this team of ten was selected for Symantec’s first effort at a long-term international service project, spending four weeks applying their professional skills to assist three Peruvian organizations. I know we’ve all been following along on their journey through the Postcards from Peru series on this blog, but I wanted to share my personal observations after the privilege of spending an evening with this interesting and focused team, that had only known each other for 28 days.

I was genuinely impressed by each and every SSC member. This team has done truly amazing things. I had spent the first part of the week in Sao Paulo with our Brazil colleagues. I often route back to California with a stop in Lima and a direct flight to San Francisco. I’ll be honest … my energy was a little low as I faced a fourth night out after even more air travel. I shouldn’t have been concerned … this group gave me a full recharge.

Their experiences were humbling. These exceptional employees committed themselves to 12 hour days for four weeks away from their families – dealing with food poisoning! – and still made a significant difference in a community that needs their expertise and energy.

We sat for hours over dinner (until 12:30am!) discussing their experiences – team dynamics, individual learnings, adapting to a new culture, and how they would “show up” at Symantec upon their return. This is a group that has clearly listened and learned from one another. They also looked after each other, leaving their egos behind.

They reminded me: when you are focused on a clear business outcome with a short and urgent timescale – focused only on the customer – you can make a material difference.

Do the right thing. Set a high bar and seize opportunities to improve. Have courage to take smart risks. Commit and deliver. Value individual differences. Own our collective success and failure. This team demonstrated our new Symantec values in every action they took.

To Alicia, Allyson, Ashley, Chris, Claire, Craig, Joe, Kamal, Marq, Prakash … I clearly saw that you have changed lives in Peru during the last four weeks.

Thank you for being our brand.

Aled Miles is Symantec's Senior Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean.