had a fascinating conversation with Mike Anderson recently. Mike serves as Chief Digital and Information Officer for Netskope, a global cybersecurity company that is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply zero trust principles and protect data.
Over the past 25 years, Mike has built and led high-performing teams across various disciplines, including sales, operations, business development, and information technology. He joined Netskope from Schneider Electric, a global Fortune 500 company, where he served as SVP, CIO and Digital Leader for North America.
Mike is a top pick for the HMG Strategy 2023 Global Leadership Institute Recognition Program, and I’m genuinely delighted that he took the time to share his insights with me. I asked Mike how Netskope’s global footprint helps to attract top-tier enterprise clients.
“The question I always ask clients is why they partner with Netskope. The challenge with a lot of security start-ups is that they have innovative technology, but they don’t think about how to scale security globally, how do you adhere to local privacy and local residency laws. So, the fact that we think globally and act locally is something that has made us a partner of choice. We have 100+ employees in more than a dozen countries around the world.”
At Netskope, the leadership team follows a strategy of “radical transparency,” says Mike. One of his favorite leadership mantras is, “Build bridges, not walls.” From my perspective, that simple phrase speaks volumes about Mike’s leadership style.
I also asked Mike to share the best advice he’s received from his mentors over the years. “Start figuring out who’s going to be on your own personal board of directors,” Mike says. Surround yourself with people who know you and who will serve as sounding boards when you have big decisions to make. “One of my first mentors told me that when I feel like I have a great idea, I should think of alternatives and investigate them earnestly, looking at all of the pros and cons,” Mike says. When presenting your ideas to the board, show them all the facts, without bias. Let them draw their own conclusions on the best path forward.
Another nugget of advice that Mike recalls learning from a mentor is to listen more than you speak. “You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth -- use them in that proportion,” he says. And never forget Leonardo da Vinci’s famous quote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Mike adds. Leonardo’s advice is especially relevant in the realm of cybersecurity, where complexity can make it easier for cyber-attackers to hide their activities.
Lastly, I asked Mike to talk about his leadership philosophy. “Great leaders don't light a fire under people -- they light a fire in people. For me, the greatest measure of success for a leader is helping people tap into their inner fire and achieving things they didn't think were possible before. That's always my definition of success, regardless of where I am.”
I’m sincerely grateful to Mike for speaking from the heart and for sharing his valuable advice with our community of technology executives. At HMG Strategy, we strive to produce the world’s best summits and events, custom-designed and developed to enable you to lead effectively into the C-suite and to accelerate your career ascent. I urge you to check out our amazing schedule of high-powered summits and see for yourself how the strength and power of our world-class community can help you and your team.