Executive Spotlight: Q&A with EMEA Senior Vice President, Adam Philpott

Tips & Advice

Welcome back to our executive blog series, where we’re sitting down with some of the pivotal players behind McAfee Enterprise to hear their takes on today’s security trends, challenges, and opportunities for enterprises across the globe.

Q: Do you have a role model? If so, who is it?

Well, there are work and there are more personal role models. At work, I have several past and present role models I’ve met across my career that share the same traits. They’re typically great leaders who lead authentically and with a strong sense of purpose and values. For these, I often think when facing a challenge, “What would he or she do?”

Personally, I have many people who have inspired me. A current, topical favorite is Gareth Southgate – manager of the England national football team. He’s not only achieved great success in getting the team to their first final in over 50 years but has challenged the status quo by focusing on young talent and has played a pivotal role as a visible leader in support of diversity.

Q: What’s the most important thing happening in your field at the moment? 

The pandemic, coupled with the ongoing digitization of society, are probably the two most dominant topics in the cyber domain. Ransomware and cyber threats continue to rise in profile, as does cyber security and information assurance in the macro, geo-political sphere. Our purpose has never been greater as leaders in this field.

Q: Will zero trust be a requirement for agencies?

Yes. Organizations deliver outcomes through partnerships, both at a human and systems level. Implementing mechanisms to ensure trust is increasingly important as these partnerships increasingly digitize in operation. Thinking of zero trust as an architecture and framework matters. Many suppliers articulate zero trust as a feature. It is not. As a true partner, it’s important to consider its role more broadly, to not trust and always verify, not just a virtual choke point (remember, there is no perimeter), but throughout the data journey.

Q: What was your mindset to build your team and establish the right culture to drive success for the new company and continue to strive for new goals in the future?

In building a team with the culture to drive growth, the most fundamental attributes I seek in every team member is attitude and energy. Those are the power and velocity needed as a foundation. It’s amazing what people can achieve, and how they find ways to do so, with those fundamental ingredients.

When you combine a group of those people with a common goal and assign each a clear role to play, you end up with a phenomenal team. Rather than offering either no parameters, or parameters that are too narrow, you must empower them with a framework in which they can innovate and find ways to win. This is critical – giving them the scope to use their talent for a positive outcome. Listen to them. Hiring great people who push boundaries brings a lot of intellect and creativity. It’s a waste of intelligence if you don’t take the time to learn from them to continuously improve the business.

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