Over the past sixteen years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many great minds in cybersecurity. As the CEO of Executive Alliance, I've had enlightening discussions with senior technology executives from Fortune 500 companies about the complex challenges faced at the top. I'm often posed with the question, "What makes a successful leader?" While leadership styles may vary from person to person; in my experience with executives in this industry, six core principles are guiding their success:
- Embrace anxiety: As these executives are in the top percentile of the workforce, anxiety is part of their life, as they continually push themselves into new territory. Unless they have dropped the ball, they have learned to recognize anxiety as a positive reminder of why they are at the top.
- Identify their expert: They have a trusted expert, someone who is smarter than they are, who helps them cut to the chase and reminds them what is important about what they are trying to achieve.
- Associate with the best: They surround themselves with the most successful people possible, inside and outside of work, to continue to be reinvigorated by people who are excited and passionate about what they do.
- It's in the details: Their teams execute exceptionally well due to a top-down mentality of ensuring the details are covered and rechecked.
- Persistence: These executives are persistent...maybe not coming in first all the time, but they always, always finish.
- Self Belief: Teams thrive under a leader who is confident in their choices and exhibit the ability to make the hard decisions.
Navigating the ever-changing security landscape means executing on a clear leadership strategy and adapting to the fluidity of the environment. Executives that are successful in applying these principles have shown a direct correlation between their approach, the continued growth of their organization and their career.