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Ciellos' philosophy of equality has been evident since the company was founded 

At Ciellos, we strongly advocate for the Women in Dynamics (WID) movement and workplace equality. In this interview, we delve into the significance of equality within the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem. WID promotes gender equality and diversity, fostering inclusivity for all. This conversation with Daryn Terlesky, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Ciellos, explores the importance of equality, mentorship, and innovation in driving success within Dynamics. From our commitment to diversity to the impact of mentoring on talent development, we uncover insights into cultivating inclusivity and innovation in the Dynamics community. 

Violetta Stemasova: Hello, Daryn. Could you please describe your role at Ciellos?  

Daryn Terlesky: Thank you, Violetta, happy to discuss one of my favorite topics. To answer your question, my role at Ciellos is serving as our Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. This entails two primary responsibilities, overseeing professional services and leading technology, which involves managing our technology investments, and how they are deployed across our service lines.  Secondly, I focus on the innovative aspects of our services, ensuring they bring value to our partners and to Microsoft. This involves leading research and development efforts to explore emerging technologies and producing innovative solutions that address our partners' evolving needs. 

Violetta Stemasova: And what is the story behind Ciellos? What type of company did you aim to build? 

Daryn Terlesky: Ciellos is built on the principle of being a partner for partners. Our focus is on fostering long-term relationships and providing value to our partners. We emphasize technical depth and aptitude to solve problems in a structured manner. Our goal is to serve as a project and advisory company for our long-term partnerships. We strive to be the go-to resource for our partners, providing them with the expertise and support they need to succeed in their Microsoft-related initiatives.  

Violetta Stemasova: When you mention partners, are you referring specifically to Microsoft partners? 

Daryn Terlesky: Yes, exactly. We exclusively serve within the Microsoft domain, catering to partners working with Microsoft technologies, or looking to engage with them. Our deep expertise in Microsoft technologies allows us to provide our partners with specialized support and guidance that is tailored to their unique needs and objectives. 

Violetta Stemasova: Let's talk about equality. What does equality mean to you? 

Daryn Terlesky: Equality, to me, is about treating everyone in the company fairly and equally based on their merit. It transcends factors like gender, race, or age. At Ciellos, we focus on recognizing individuals for the value they bring to the company, and support their career growth through mentoring and education, ensuring a level playing field for all. We believe that diversity and inclusion are essential for driving innovation and fostering a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their best.  

What we have is a market-based challenge where we are also encouraging more individuals to promote themselves and come into the company and into the Dynamics community based on those factors. The experiences that you bring are more valuable than the demographics that you come from. 

Everybody has their own experiences, education, training, industry knowledge, and roles they have had in the past. It is also just as important to understand where an individual wants to go with their career and what energizes them. It is the difference between looking backward into experience and looking forward into what the person wants to put their energy towards. 

Violetta Stemasova: It is commendable that you prioritize equality. How do you ensure equality within Ciellos? 

Daryn Terlesky: We maintain a merit-based approach throughout our hiring and management processes. Our emphasis is on individuals' contributions and experiences rather than demographic factors. Additionally, we actively promote programs to encourage diversity, particularly in regions where there may be disparities. This includes implementing initiatives to attract and retain talent from underrepresented groups and providing training and development opportunities to help them advance in their careers.  

Violetta Stemasova: What is your favorite interview question?


Daryn Terlesky: What energizes you? What interests you? What makes you excited? You get some very interesting answers, and it also helps people reflect better during the interview process. Most people are looking for a career to support themselves and their family and their obligations, and their decisions can feel like a burden in conflict with personal responsibilities, or feel energizing, which is what we are looking for! 

We want to empower people to be successful, and that flows to their personal enjoyment, and their family responsibilities and overall happiness. The energy then keeps cycling forward.  

Violetta Stemasova: What is your favorite interview question?


Daryn Terlesky: What energizes you? What interests you? What makes you excited? You get some very interesting answers, and it also helps people reflect better during the interview process. Most people are looking for a career to support themselves and their family and their obligations, and their decisions can feel like a burden in conflict with personal responsibilities, or feel energizing, which is what we are looking for! 

We want to empower people to be successful, and that flows to their personal enjoyment, and their family responsibilities and overall happiness. The energy then keeps cycling forward.  

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Ciellos team of Microsoft Dynamics Consultants and Engineers from Albania

Violetta Stemasova: And what is your philosophy in treating people who already joined? 

Daryn Terlesky: Very similar. It's about ensuring that individuals are placed in roles that align with their skills and interests. It is also crucial to recognize that people's skills and interests evolve over time, along with their personal circumstances. Thus, our approach mirrors that of project management, where we continuously identify changes while striving for positive outcomes. 

We approach people management in the same manner, understanding that individuals evolve over time and their interests may shift. Likewise, family responsibilities can change. Therefore, when managing individuals internally, we don't just consider the present; we anticipate and adapt to changes, avoiding rigid categorizations. 

That's life! Many businesses aim to maintain stability by keeping employees in the same roles for as long as possible. Our company prioritizes ongoing assessment of personnel, allowing for growth and change. This approach ensures that the company's energy remains high, while individual happiness thrives—hence our overarching goal. 

Also, much of our strategy revolves around controlled, gradual change, rather than sudden shifts. We carefully gauge how much change is feasible at any given time, maintaining our focus on long-term objectives. Excessive change can destabilize the business. 

Therefore, we remain vigilant over time, considering changes such as job transitions within a year. If everyone changed roles annually, it would pose challenges. Similarly, frequent shifts in interests wouldn't align well with the natural rhythms of human behavior resisting too much change at any given time. 

Violetta Stemasova: You mentioned attracting talent into the ecosystem. How do you identify A-players, and do you perceive any risks in investing in the development of these individuals?

Daryn Terlesky:  From a business perspective, we aim to pinpoint individuals who exhibit a strong drive in their careers, a willingness to enact change, and a commitment to delivering enhanced value to our customers. These are the individuals we target for greater responsibility, fostering their growth as managers and accelerating their mentoring within our company. Consequently, our A-players tend to remain with us over time, contributing to our exceptional retention rates, particularly within management and senior management positions. We strive to identify potential superstars or A-players as soon as possible and provide them with opportunities for career advancement. 

At Ciellos, we look for individuals who work hard, embrace change, and care about our customers. We give these people more responsibility and help them grow, which keeps them with us longer, especially in management roles. It's important to spot these top performers early so we can help them succeed and grow in their careers. 


Violetta Stemasova: Many candidates are attracted to Ciellos for the training and mentorship opportunities. How do you approach mentoring, and how do you select individuals to mentor? 

Daryn Terlesky: For me, it primarily involves mentoring senior managers or key individuals in delivery that are providing continuous high value. What we've implemented within the company is a structured technology career path, specifically tailored to our service delivery roles. This framework enables every employee to envision their career trajectory within the company and understand the steps required for advancement or in transitioning their focus. 

Ciellos Team of Microsoft Dynamics Consultants and Engineers from Albania

For instance, a proficient consultant could also excel as a developer, and vice versa. However, such transitions require careful planning, which our career path program facilitates. Over time, individuals can thrive in one domain while simultaneously acquiring mentorship and skills in others. This approach ensures that employees are not confined to rigid roles but are free to evolve naturally based on their interests, all while delivering value to our customers. 

Every individual joining Ciellos should be prepared to engage in career planning discussions, where they can openly articulate their goals and aspirations for the next two to five years. For example, if some have expressed ambitions of becoming a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), that's perfectly fine. It's my responsibility to manage and mentor them, accordingly, fostering their success along their chosen career path. Our aim is to promote an environment where continuous growth and development are encouraged at every level of leadership. 

Violetta Stemasova: As a leader, what is a valuable lesson you learned and would like to share? 

Daryn Terlesky: One of the most valuable lessons is promptly addressing problems or challenges as soon as they arise. It's essential not to let issues linger. Our approach involves creating plans and objectives to tackle these challenges head-on, allowing us to monitor progress effectively. Swift action is crucial; if a problem proves too challenging to resolve, the sooner it's addressed or removed, the better for both individuals and the company. 

Sometimes, identifying the root cause can be difficult. In such cases, the second most valuable lesson is to foster open communication and information sharing. By involving others in problem-solving efforts in a collaborative and constructive manner, we avoid potential pitfalls like mistrust or politics, which can hinder progress and resolution. 

Our management philosophy is rooted in trust. We trust our team members to handle shared information responsibly and to actively participate in problem-solving and the pursuit of business improvement. This approach emphasizes direct resolution of issues and transparent communication. 

Transparency is key to effective leadership, and by openly addressing issues and involving team members in the decision-making process, we can build a culture of trust and accountability where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their ideas and perspectives. 

Violetta Stemasova: Looking ahead, how would you like the industry to evolve in the next five years? 

Daryn Terlesky: I'm passionate about this industry. I'm fascinated by how investing in structured processes and systems can transform businesses and enhance the lives of those working within them. By refining the processes and systems they rely on, we directly impact their efficiency and effectiveness over time. This has been my focus for the past 25 years, and I'm eager to continue this work. 

What's particularly intriguing to me right now is the rapid acceleration of technology. Looking ahead five years, I envision myself continuing to contribute and shape the broader business community, however, I also aim to introduce and implement advanced tools, harnessing the power of new investments in AI, automation, and process efficiency sooner. This will enable us to not only empower our own team members but also deliver greater value to all our customers, projects, and partners in this fast-paced technological landscape. 

It's about driving systematic change, embracing structured programs for continuous improvement. 

In the coming years, Ciellos team hopes to see the industry become more collaborative and innovative. We envision a future where companies prioritize inclusivity, diversity, and technological advancement, driving positive change and growth across the ecosystem. By embracing diversity and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, we can unlock new opportunities for creativity and problem-solving, leading to breakthroughs that benefit businesses and society. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, I believe that collaboration and innovation will be essential for staying ahead of the curve and driving meaningful progress in the industry. 

Ciellos Commitment to Equality and Inclusion 


As we move forward, let's remember that equality isn't achieved through words alone but through concrete actions and commitments. At Ciellos, we're committed to walking the talk, implementing programs and policies that promote diversity, inclusion, and equality every step of the way. 

We continue to promote initiatives like Women in Dynamics (WID) to ensure that everyone, regardless of gender or background, has equal opportunities to thrive. By doing so, we empower individuals and strengthen the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem. 

Finally, let's all strive to be mentors and allies, supporting one another in our journey towards a more equitable and innovative future. Together, we can build a Dynamics community where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to reach their full potential. Thank you for joining us in this important conversation. 

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Ciellos Team of Senior Managers

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