Introducing the Leaders of Tomorrow: Sheri Folks


Who are the people signing up for SSOPro? What are they getting out of it? How are they applying what they’re learning? We’re delighted to introduce…

Name: Sheri Folks
Title: Executive Director, General Accounting
Company: MGM Resorts International

Can weigh in on: governance/compliance and talent management
Wants to meet folks who know a lot about: project management and risk management

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The next Shared Services and Outsourcing Professional course demonstration will take place on 27 April 2011. Click below to attend...

Q: What is your key role?

A: Leader of General Accounting shared services team.

Q: What is it that attracts you to the online learning forum?

A: The subject matter was interesting to me, but whether it was online or in another format would not be a determining factor.

Q: What's proved most useful to date?

A: Talent management is a key area for me/my work group right now. War stories and case studies from presenters have been interesting. Many of the resource articles are quite useful and I have shared some with my colleagues. Since my company does not currently outsource, some of those topics are less relevant, but can be applied to other functional tasks.

Q: What have you set into action at your workplace as a result of this program?

A: I am taking a different approach to team management, not giving my opinion unless the team cannot resolve the issue itself. I recognized that I was offering my opinion on some items and it was swaying the resolution and people were less likely to express their own ideas when that happened. I've also started building a communications plan into change management initiatives.

Q: How does this compare to other training sessions you've taken part in?

A: This is quite a high level training and I prefer to get into details to really see how concepts discussed are put into action. I like to be able to ask questions of the presenter to mine their knowledge.

Q: How many Competencies have you completed so far? Is this what you had expected? Are you able to stick to the pace you had set yourself?

A: I have 3 completed so far – less than I expected. A few occurrences in my workplace have demanded more attention than normal.

Q: What do you think about the structure of the program?

A: When tools/checklists/document formats are made available in the resource section, it helps trigger some structural understanding of the concepts presented.

Q: In which of the 10 competency areas do you feel you have the most experience/expertise to share?

A: The areas I have had the most experience in are governance/compliance and talent management.

Q: In which of the 10 areas do you feel you have the most to learn?

A: Project management and risk management are the areas I believe I have the most immediate need for.

Q: What’s an unusual hobby or interest you have?

A: I met my husband riding dirt bikes. I sold my own dirt bike about six years ago, when I had my first child (I didn’t have enough time for kids, work and dirt). I’m looking forward to getting another bike and having family rides.

Q: Who do you look up to in business, and why?

A: Tony Hsieh of Zappos. He knew what was most important to him/his company and pursued it with an intense and unwavering zeal.

Q: What has been your greatest achievement?

A: My own personal greatest achievement is balancing raising a family with work pursuits and not feeling too guilty on either front. From a business perspective, I don’t consider the things I’ve done to be "my" achievements as they always involved a team of people. Maybe that is my greatest achievement, that I’ve been part of some great teams that have survived the turmoil of events and brought improvements to life. I’m most proud of my ability to keep an open mind and see/understand many sides of an issue.

Q: What is your greatest regret?

A: I didn’t take continuous learning seriously enough after leaving college. I felt I became stagnant for a while, with regards to skills and knowledge expansion, and have consequently had a lot of catching up to do.

Q: Which management books/magazines/newspapers do you read?

A: Recent books: The No Asshole Rule, Robert Sutton; The Tipping Point, and Blink, Malcolm Gladwell; Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh; Re-imagine, Tom Peters.

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

A: Tacky, but I like John Grisham (legal thrillers). For business, I like Tom Peters. He is a little intense, but mind opening.