Skip to main content

Authenticity in Action: Erik's Leadership Story as a 2023 Outstanding Role Model

Erik D. | SVP, Sales | Texas, United States

Originally Published: December 5th, 2023

Erik Day, Senior Vice President of Dell's Global Small Business Division, shared his amazing 24-year history with Dell Technologies in a recent interview. Erik's journey has been nothing short of inspirational, starting from his early career as a tech advisor and continuing to his current executive position. Notably, he is the Pride Employee Resource Group's (ERG) global executive sponsor and has been named by Outstanding as one of the Top 100 Executive Role Models for four years in a row!

Erik's journey with Dell has taken him across countries and into several roles. He has seen it all, from retail to product and marketing, traveling from the Philippines to London. Currently, his 1600-person organization spread over nine districts indicates the scope and intricacy of his duties. Erik calls his tenure at Dell his "career of a lifetime," a statement that sums up the enthusiasm and commitment he has for his work.

You are the global executive sponsor of the Pride ERG, and you’ve been named to the 2023 Outstanding 100 Executives Role Model List (4 years running). Why is this recognition so important to you?

I cannot overstate the significance of visibility. Particularly in the LGBTQ+ space, the acknowledgment and celebration of diverse identities is paramount. Even as we step into 2024, there’s still a lamentable career fallback for individuals based on who they are and whom they love. It is a reality that underscores the ongoing struggle for acceptance and equality. My call to embrace your authentic self is not merely a platitude. It is a powerful assertion that being 150% yourself always translates to being 150% present and engaged in the professional sphere. In this journey towards authenticity, visibility becomes a beacon for the next generation. To me, it serves as a testament that progress is possible, that embracing my individual identity enhances the workplace, and that by being true to myself, I pave the way for a more inclusive and enriched professional environment.

What do you do as a leader that makes you stand out among your peers?

In a recent workshop I led, I conveyed a strong message: leadership transcends the checkbox mentality; it's about development and empowerment. As a leader, you hold the reins to your career, and the next wave of leadership can carry that torch. Advocacy plays a key role too. I highlighted the importance of offering skills, allyship, mentorship and sponsorship within large organizations. Having advocates who can articulate your strengths is vital for ascending to the next leadership level. Ultimately, my differentiator as a leader is being inspirational and motivational in my approach.

What are you most proud of during your time at Dell?

Every day, I wake up fueled by the prospect of leading people; it's the most exhilarating aspect of my job. The ability to influence and inspire others is a source of profound joy for me. I firmly believe that a leader's fundamental role is to help people grow. Reflecting on my career, the moments I'm most proud of are those when I realized that making mistakes didn't diminish my success. Rather, they became steppingstones to growth and achievement. These instances highlight the importance of creating a culture of resilience and continual improvement – an environment where individuals can learn from their experiences and thrive.

What do you want your legacy to be at Dell?

When considering my legacy at Dell, I envision a transformative impact on the trajectory of inclusion. Our Culture Code has always been pivotal, and I aspire for my legacy to reflect a steadfast commitment to living and breathing that Culture Code every single day. Being a good ally, consistently, is integral to this vision. My legacy is about instilling a culture of inclusivity, sharing insights on how Dell can become more inclusive for everyone.

Is there anything else you want to share?

I want to emphasize that visibility is crucial. Integrating elements of who you are into everything you do is a powerful catalyst for personal and collective growth. As an openly gay executive, I recognize that my sexual orientation isn't the sole defining aspect of my identity. However, leveraging parts of myself that have been persecuted or rejected allows for profound transformation. Working through these challenges not only contributes to personal resilience but also has the potential to reshape societal narratives, fostering understanding, acceptance and positive change.

To learn more about life at Dell, visit Our Stories.

Be The First To See New Opportunities

Join Our Talent Network

Sign up, stay connected and get opportunities that match your skills sent right to your inbox.

*Denotes required field

Interested InSelect a job category from the list of options. Search for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

By submitting your information, you acknowledge that you have read our privacy policy and consent to receive email and/or SMS messaging communication from Dell Technologies. For users located in the People’s Republic of China: According to the regulations of the People's Republic of China on the protection of personal information, we need your authorization for Dell Technologies to transfer your personal data to Dell Technologies’ global talent database. The authorized personal information will be used for recruitment purposes only. Please read the Dell China Privacy Statement carefully.