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January 29, 2013

Management Principles – Tom Heiser, RSA President

by marcobuchbinder

Tom HeiserWithin seconds of meeting Tom Heiser, you immediately sense his high level of intensity, focus, competitiveness and energy that has driven him to a successful career in the IT industry. Tom joined EMC in 1984 as a sales trainee and rose to increasingly senior sales and executive roles. He has played a key role in EMC’s evolution into a broad-based information infrastructure leader, including being directly involved in the formation of EMC’s Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division. He also served as EMC’s SVP, Corporate Development and New Ventures.  He is now President of RSA, EMC’s Security Division, with ~$1B in revenues, 3,000 employees worldwide and more than 30,000 customers.

Tom is absolutely one of the best in the business and he’s offered to share his management principles.

Managing Self

  • Just Do It: It’s all about execution
  • Accountability: Look in the mirror
  • Express Passion: Look for passion
  • Do the Best Job Possible:  Career & compensation will follow
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Managing Peoplefrontward-pointing arrow

  • Hire good people
  • It’s all about the team
    • No individual is more important than the team itself
  • Top grade – all levels
  • Treat everyone the same
  • Aggressive solicitation of input from team but not a democracy
  • Inspect what you expect – Don’t micro-manage!
  • Problems are fine to discuss as long as potential solutions are offered

Managing Business

  • Focus
  • Balance strategy & tactics
  • Leave the politics in Washington!
  • Tough times may not be fun but look at them for learning experiences

pulling each other up the ladderLeadership

  • Empower, enable, measure, hold accountable and celebrate success
  • Don’t ever be arrogant
  • Keep healthy paranoia
  • Be persistent
  • Do what’s right for your company first
    • Don’t let current processes interfere
    • Be non-parochial
    • Don’t worry about optics
    • Solve for CEO, boss’s boss, etc.
  • Remember: It’s all about execution


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