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Copy the Leader: Steven St. Denis

Jayhawks in leadership positions are everywhere you look, including through the Jayhawk Career Network. KU Alumni, in partnership with SumnerOne, is highlighting Jayhawk leaders who are models for others in their industries with our “Copy the Leader” program.

Steven St. Denis, c’99, is the VP of sales at SumnerOne. We sat down with Steven to learn what leadership means to him.

What do you do in your work?

 I lead a team of sales professionals, and together we develop creative solutions for area businesses to better manage and improve their essential office technology. That can range anywhere from multi-function printers and scanners to managing complex IT solutions.


What are the qualities of a good leader?

I believe a good leader puts the team first, embraces change and is always willing to listen to others. A good leader does the right thing no matter the circumstances.


How do you practice leadership at your job?

I try to lead by example and develop genuine relationships with my co-workers and clients. Building trust, both internally within the group and externally with our clients, is key. Strong relationships allow us to work more successfully through difficult issues and challenging times.

What makes a team successful?

I think our team runs most effectively when there is a clear goal we are looking to achieve. A successful team finds a way to collaborate to find solutions and can communicate effectively with one another. Teams who work well together actually enjoy each other’s company and manage to have fun along the way.

How have you adapted to the changes brought by the pandemic in your work?

We’ve adapted two-fold — for our clients and for our internal team. The pandemic has taught us that our team can perform quite well in a remote/hybrid environment, and we have all the tools necessary for employees to be effective wherever they are. We are lucky to have great facilities where we can collaborate together on-site or the technology to host remote meetings effectively.

The Copy the Leader program is brought to you by SumnerOne. SumnerOne is one of the largest independent office technology dealers in the Midwest, with offices in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. We’re a family of respected companies united by ONE goal: to exceed your expectations and help you get the most from your investments in printing, IT, and document technology.

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