In an interview with Insights Success, Michael Greene, CEO of Enzoic, shares his journey and experiences in leading multiple organizations as a CEO. He reveals the essential traits of being a great leader and leading the organization with collaboration. He is a firm believer in the thought, “Leadership is not about always being right, leadership is about being genuine when you are wrong.”
Below are the highlights of the interview between Michael Greene and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in Enzoic:
I am a growth-oriented CEO and General Manager with extensive experience across the organization from product and operations to sales and marketing, in a variety of international high growth companies. I am currently the CEO of Enzoic (formerly PasswordPing), a cyber-security company that helps organizations detect compromised credentials. Prior to joining Enzoic in 2018, I was the CEO of ID Watchdog, an identity theft protection company that was sold to Equifax in 2017. Before IDWatchdog, I held senior management positions at Symantec, Webroot, Thompson Micromedix, Raindance and Baxter. I graduated with an MBA from the University of Colorado in 2000 and I have a BA in Biology. I live in beautiful Boulder, Colorado with my wife and 2 sons.
How do you diversify your organization’s solutions that appeal to your target audience?
Enzoic has certain core capabilities around dark web research, compromised credentials, and high transaction architecture while maintaining high levels of security. When clients come to us expressing a need for our services and we see a common set of needs forming around a certain group of clients, we work hard to define, differentiate, and produce a unique product offering. One key example of that process is our active directory product. We heard our customer’s challenges with employee account vulnerability and their struggles complying with the new NIST 800-63b password guidelines. Then, we worked with them to craft a solution and then we built it. Now it is the only fully compliant NIST 800-63b Active Directory plugin on the market.
What is your thought process behind leading the organization effectively?
The key to effective leadership is to define common goals, inspire open communication, and create an environment for mutual success. You cannot play the game for yourself alone; you have to be in the game with the whole team- which includes your employees, partners and customers. Their success is the company’s success.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every best performing CEO should possess.
- Passion- If you are not passionate about what you do, how can you expect others to be “all-in?”
- Market Knowledge- If you don’t already know it, you learn it fast and then work to help define the market
- Emotional intelligence- This is key for leadership. You have to listen, have empathy and create understanding. Without it, you will not have the trust of your team.
- Adaptability- Sometimes you head the wrong direction or the market changes, you need to be flexible and adaptable. Companies that don’t respond well to change will lose.
- Grit and resilience- Mental toughness, grit and resilience gives you the courage and resolve to not only recover, but thrive in the face of adversity. The ability to overcome doubts and circumstances that prevent you from reaching your objective is one of the largest challenges a leader can face.
- Decisiveness – This is the ability to make firm decision with full commitment. At the speed in which markets evolve, especially the fast paced cyber security market, leaders who are indecisive will inhibit their organization from keeping up with the market and hinder growth.
- Ability to align key stakeholders to achieve business success – Alignment and consensus among the leadership team is one of the highest priorities of a CEO. Successful companies do not have stakeholders moving in opposite directions.
- Focus on Execution and delivering results – This one seems like a “no brainer” but if you just strategize without having defined plans to execute, you have nothing to deliver customer value. And if you keep investing in things that are not delivering results, there is a high opportunity cost that will hurt your business in the long run.
- Being Genuine – Being genuine and authentic builds trust. Genuine people can admit their faults. Don’t try to be someone else at work, everyone in the organization will see through that. No one likes to work with someone who is fake.
What are the experiences and lessons that you’ve learned across your journey?
The lessons are numerous and the key is to be open minded. Recognize that challenges and obstacles are just another way to label opportunities. Embrace people and their different backgrounds, skills, and styles. Be genuine. Embrace your passion.
Explain how your strategies are helping employees to bridge the gap between idea and execution.
When our organization is mapping out our business strategy, we meet as a team to outline all of the factors that must be weighed and together we outline the steps to put our strategy into action. We all commit we all execute. This collaborative approach also ensures everyone is “bought-in” and keeps us all aligned on the objective.
Where does Enzoic sees itself in the near future and how do you plan to sustain its competency?
Enzoic will continue to be a growing leader in the cybersecurity arena. We start by attracting and retaining outstanding talent. Then we place our trust in them, we listen to their perspectives, and we partner as a team, which provides them with a great environment to pursue their passion. With this approach, we will continue to grow the product, service our customers and be a leader in our market.
What advice would you like to give to the young minds?
Embrace the world, enjoy your life, and welcome the boundless opportunities around you. You are in one of the best market expansion periods the world has ever seen. You are in one of the most innovative business environments in history. Embrace it!