One of the top concerns leaders and companies face is how to stay competitive. In the video interview series CEO Insights, we sit down with Finnish CEOs to discuss the key capabilities leaders and companies need, to stay competitive now and in the future. As we speak to top leaders from different industries about the future of business, leadership and strategy, we learn what has worked for them and what challenges they see that we’ll be facing in the future.
Listen to the interview podcast
“You need to have your sensors out”, Samu Konttinen, the CEO of F-secure says, as we sit down to talk about what companies need to be successful now and in the future In a changing world, we must have a deep understanding of our market and our customer, we need to have customer intimacy. Strategic agility and the ability to constantly renew yourself, and at the same time having enough rigour to doing so, are other factors Samu mentions and emphasizes the importance of balancing between the two.
“Leadership is about creating stars and if you create stars, only then you become a star as well. It's never the other way around.”
By investigating and solving cyber incidents, breaches, and custom-made attacks, F-secure learns about attacks no one has ever seen before, Samu says. Being right at the front line and working directly with the customer gives F-Secure deeper insight and knowledge, which they hope to transfer to their products, making the F-Secure technology better and more competitive. Samu further continues explaining that the combination of F-secure’s consulting business and product business is a great marriage and they strongly believe that makes it something unique and magical.
What has been your moment of insight?
“Leadership is actually not about being a better expert, but leadership is about making your team succeed and enabling success”, Samu states. Often people have the misconception that you are a good leader if you are a better expert than the subordinates. Leadership is not about telling how to do things, but about showing direction. “Leadership is about creating stars and if you create stars, only then you become a star as well. It’s never the other way around”, Samu says.
A centrepiece of F-secure culture is trust. Samu says that trust can’t be claimed and that you have to earn it. F-secure has three pillars how they want to be earning the trust; integrity, commitment, and excellence. Combining these three pillars allows them to earn the trust of their co-workers, or as F-secure likes to call them - their fellows, as well as their customers and partners.
“Book yourself time in the calendar just to reflect.”
What do you do to stay ahead?
“Always keep the beginner’s mind”, Samu answers. “Stay curious and book yourself time in the calendar just to reflect”. We easily occupy ourselves or make our calendars full of urgent things, but things that are not always important. Samu emphasizes that it’s critical, especially in strategy work, to ask yourself if you properly understand what are the right questions that you should be answering. Asking the question “what are the questions” alone is a very good question, Samu concludes.