S8E09: From Fortune 100 to a high-growth specialist, with John Maynard (CEO, Adarma Security)

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S8E09: From Fortune 100 to a high-growth specialist, with John Maynard (CEO, Adarma Security)

John Maynard (CEO of Adarma Security, a fast-growing cybersecurity solutions provider) speaks with Xquadrant's Founder Richard Medcalf.

We are continuing our season "The CEO Learning Curve". Interesting and inspiring CEOs reflect on what got them the top job, what they've learned over the first few quarters in the role, and what lies ahead.

In this conversation, you’ll discover:

  • The learnings as John moved from large corporates (HP, Cisco) to running a 300-person business.
  • The rule of thumb that has helped John prioritise his time between different stakeholder groups.
  • The one thing John overlooked in the first few months as CEO.
  • How to build the employer value proposition in a market where talent is much sought-after.

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."

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Transcript

Richard Medcalf
In today's episode, I speak with John Maynard, who is the Chief Executive of Adarma Security. John's had a fantastic career in some huge blue chip tech organizations such as Hewlett Packard and Cisco and he then made the shift from that corporate world into running a relatively small 300 people or so highly growth growing business in the cybersecurity area and this conversation we get into that shift. What did it look like? What was the learnings as he made the shift from the fortune 100 companies into the small and medium sized business and taking on the CEO role? We look at the thing that helped him prioritize his time between the different stakeholder groups, especially the first the stakeholders he overlooked and didn't spend quite enough time with during his first few months and we also talked about the employer value proposition in the tech market, especially that cybersecurity market talent is rare and sought after and so thinking about how, as an employer, do you build a culture? Do you build a value proposition that distinguishes you in the market, it's really important. So enjoy this conversation with John Menard, the CEO of Adarma Security.

Hi John and welcome to the show.

John Maynard
Richard, thanks for having me.

Richard Medcalf
Hey, it's a pleasure to have you, John and I know that we are, we're both ex Cisco alumni. So I know, we've just talked a little bit about that but now you are CEO, Chief Executive of Adarma Security, which fixes like, it's a really interesting high growth cybersecurity company. So why do you have to start by telling us, just very quickly, you know, what's, what is the Adarma? What's his rough size? And what's happening in it? And you know, what, that's what attracted you into that company? Given your previous roles?

John Maynard
Yeah, sure. Hey, very happy to do so. So, yeah, it's actually CEO of a Dharma security for for now one year and Adama security is a UK based provider of security, consulting, engineering services and managed security services. So effectively, what we're doing is we're running Security Operations Centers for large enterprises in the UK, really trying to detect and hunt for threats, cyber threats in their organizations and, you know, I left fairly large, you know, large organizations, as you mentioned, Cisco being one of them, you know, to really take the helm at Adarma Security, you know, background in Cisco Systems, you know, global roles at Cisco global roles at HP and before that, for my sins, I was in investment banking at KPMG and JP Morgan and really, you know, this leaving big companies and big structures and, you know, organizations that are, you know, well funded, and well invested to really think about how you how you scale and drive an organization, in the cybersecurity space is what really attracted me, you know, really, really taking an organization and, and driving a scale up strategy, you know, to really take some of these offerings and capabilities, not just in wider in the UK, but also to expand the company internationally.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it's really different, isn't it? Taking, you know, companies like Cisco, where everything's so huge, and even if you've got a senior role, there's still a lot of other moving parts, right, and then going into that CEO role, where Burks really stops, stops with you, in many ways.

John Maynard
Very much so and you're realizing that transition, you know, it's definitely a roll, roll your sleeves up type of role, you know, you look for the cavalry, sometimes when you're, you know, you want to get stuff done, or, you know, you've got strategic imperative that needs to be executed, you know, in Cisco, you know, or HP or bigger organizations, you've got this kind of organizational inertia, you know, it takes time to get stuff change, and you're moving a juggernaut, you know, and that takes time in itself. But, you know, you've got a team of people that will get stuff done for you. Whereas in a, in a midsize small company, you know, you look around and, you know, it's you you're in might be, you know, a handful of people so it's a really different different way of leading and, and it's it's a different style of leadership and, you know, it's a different world way of working to be honest, as a leader,

Richard Medcalf
It's not for everybody, I've came across a number of people in my time who kind of said, oh, you know, we're not sure we want somebody from Cisco, right? Or a large company, because just what you said, we're not sure they're gonna be to cope with this kind of roll your sleeves up, you don't have all these resources, you don't have global marketing, global, legal, global procurement, global, whatever it is to support you, you're gonna have to do it and I think it never directly applied to me, because I was always in kind of what you might call fighting entrepreneurial roles within Cisco that required me to roll up my sleeves anyway, in many ways, but I have heard that for multiple people, right, that it can be quite hard to make that transition. But in your case, it was was that actually a Was that a surprise? How much you had to roll up your hands? Or was it what's the you actively looking for?

John Maynard
So one, so it's interesting, because it was a big part of the interview process with the chairman and the board of directors and with the investor, you know, with private equity owned, so private equity investor and you're absolutely spot on, right and it's very, very difficult to make that transition if you're not prepared and you're not aware of the the change in, you know, both in less about work ethic, but how to get the job done, and how to bring a team along with you, you know, big matrix organization is very, very different to a, you know, a small or midsize company. So it's kind of went in into this opportunity, kind of open eyes. And being very aware, I think even even with that up front, it still shocked me, the amount of and I think some of that Richard is maybe not having the complete team around you, right, because the number one thing for me coming into a role like this is to build a team that can can take, and that might be a blend of existing and maybe new people, but really to take the organization to, you know, to the next phase and to align with the strategy and direction. So you sort of, you're in a new role, you're in a different environment, you're in a different size and a different structure and there's a need to, you know, execute in the short term, right? Because expectations are you're going to come in, you're going to make a difference and I think there's a, there's a real risk, I think, for some of the bigger leaders in bigger organizations coming into this this type of environment, that, that you, you don't optimize for long term, medium term building, the team driving short term results and that's where I see people perhaps, you know, failing in that transition or struggling in that transition, because that's, that's quite a complex mix of things to try and solve for.

Richard Medcalf
So you saying that people would mean, not delivering the short term, they'd be too busy investing, or...

John Maynard
They go the other way... On the short term, you know, focus on getting into detail focus on making short term impact versus actually, you know, focusing on the long term, long term direction, long term strategy, you know, really focusing on that competitive differentiation, you know, and that sustainable advantage that you really need in a business like this as you as you scale up. So it's making sure that you don't oscillate one way or the other.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, it's interesting, because this season, the CEO learning curve, and I've written a short email series, actually, I think it's in the show notes, even on it around the CEO learning curve, I talked about three things that every CEO really needs to kind of get right. In that curve and number one is exactly what you said, is balancing the short term with the long term because of both things, right, you know, you can't necessarily just focus on long term and people you know, and people are waiting for this mythical future that never arrives, rightut equally, it's very, very easy to kind of get snowballed into all the fire fighting or the operational staff, and fail to actually give the company the structural clarity that it needs in order to, to kind of get out of its current loop, whatever that is that it's on.

John Maynard
Yeah, absolutely and, you know, it's very much part of my, you know, hiring my leadership team and hiring, the next layer of below is to, is to help people with that transition, you know, and that might be, you know, smaller, smaller organizations where this is a bigger organization for them and that might be an investment in their, you know, their career and their leadership capabilities. Or it might be a bigger, you know, person that's used to bigger organization going down. So it's definitely it's top of mind for me as I start to invest in the teams that they're helping me drive drive what we need to get done.

Richard Medcalf
So how would you do that concretely, like, you know, how, how would you? What would be your recommendation for somebody CEO coming in? Because looking to balance the short and the long term?

John Maynard
Yeah. So so I think it's, it's so first of all, you know, I look for, you know, the attributes of it's very easy to say, you know, I want someone that can roll their sleeves up, and that's used to get you know, can get the job done and go into the detail if we need to step back, but actually, you know, getting solid examples from from candidates of, you know, it's quite easy to hide in a big company, you know, and be a top performer to be to be perfectly frank. So it's really getting, you know, you mentioned at the outset of this podcast, right, you know, being in a small entrepreneurial part of a big company is very different than, than maybe being, you know, a big cog in a big organization. You know, that's very much my background, you know, emerging cybersecurity, kind of parts of the organization that are trying to do things differently in a big company. You know, that's very challenging, you know, you're questioning the status quo, you're building new organizational designs, you're, you're hiring different types of people, you know, Cisco very much for me was, you know, hardware and software to SaaS and cloud services. So that's a very different type of person, it's a different way of seeing the world and so, in, there's a whole lot of stuff that happens as you as you try and, you know, change a big company from from the inside and so I look for, you know, someone that can give me evidence and to talk to examples of where they've directly impacted change, rather than necessarily been a recipient of change. You know, I think that's, that's something I look for directly.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's nice. Like, it's a good, it's a good example. So what are the biggest so I guess we've started to get into what it looked like, as you got into the role. One of the surprises being quite how much you had to roll up your sleeves, right? And do that? And what were the other surprises, perhaps, that you encountered? You know, what are the other things that the CEO learning curve that that you you came face to face with?

John Maynard
I'm gonna say, stakeholder management

Richard Medcalf
That's another one on my list...

John Maynard
You know, and that's, you know, if you're, you're gonna get, I'm gonna use the difference between a big company and small company, right, you know, big company, you know, if you're in a senior role, you know, you're used to presenting to, you know, the, the lead executive leadership team, or maybe the board or, you know, you've, you've had experience of engaging with executive leadership teams, you might be part of that team. You know, but actually, when you when you go into a midsize organization, and, you know, you've maybe got a, you know, one investor, two investors, you might, you know, my case of what co founders have got, you know, a whole different set of stakeholders, it can be quite, you know, there's so much value that you can get out of these stakeholder groups coming in, you know, there's inherent learning, you know, there's different perspectives with different businesses, there's, you know, different ideas of, of how, you know, your job could be easier, or what we could do to help you, you know, it's, it's actually coming in soliciting those ideas from from those key stakeholders, you know, and the employee base is a stakeholder, the existing leadership as a key stakeholder, but I'm specifically at about the investor in the board level, you know, just trying to harness that, you know, get best practice, get some ideas, building those relationships, right there board, you know, an effective board is critical with with an effective chairman and an effective executive and non executive team. You know, I think one thing I underestimated Richard, to be quite honest, is the amount of time that that consumes from a CEO, you know, and but it's, but it's absolutely valuable time, you know, and it's, it's time well spent, but it's this, you know, this focus on, I've got to run the business, I've got to change the business, I've got to manage the stakeholders and I've got to effectively build the strategy and the vision whilst also executing the short term, you know, that that whole sequencing and how you start to think about, you know, when you're in the chair, okay, this is what I'm going to do, and this is the plan for the first six months. You know, don't overlook the stakeholder management and and make sure that you give it the investment that it needs, I think is probably one of the big learnings that I have.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it's, yeah, I often ask my clients, something like, you know, what's the one phone call that you need to make? It's gonna change everything at the moment. Because often we get so doing so many operational things, there's like one conversation that would actually make the biggest impact, right, or one decision to take?

John Maynard
I think that's a great way. That's a great way of looking at it, right? Because, yeah, the biggest, you know, the biggest thing for a CEO or a leader, you know, time is scarce, and makes making sure that that time is put to the biggest effectiveness is absolutely critical. You can find yourself being dragged into the weeds to be honest and dragged into things that you probably shouldn't be doing. To be very cognizant of, is this the best use of my time, you know, constantly asking yourself that question is really, really, really critical.

Richard Medcalf
Another one, which which you might want to play with yourself is thought about running the business and obviously in one level, the CEOs role is to run the business but you could say the job is to run the business of running the business.

John Maynard
Yeah, it's very, it's really interesting, right? How you, you know, my, my job is to almost make myself redundant, to be quite honest, you know, if I can build the team underneath me, you know, set the strategy, set the vision, set the direction, but actually build the team that can execute without me, you know, that's effectively what my job is.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It's, it's really hard and especially because most people get used to, you know, as you're going up any organization, you know, there's a moment when you're like, This high performer, and everyone depends on you, and relies on you, and it's quite a good feeling. But I think actually, to go beyond, you know, as you go higher, you actually have to become less essential in a way, because that's how you get out of being a bottleneck and how you...

John Maynard
And that's, you know, you know, I think my, certainly over the last 12 months, you know, I find that every day in myself, my own psyche, you know, I've had different, I've been very fortunate to have different levels of experience in different functional roles, you know, from sales from, you know, from product management strategy to operations and that's great, you know, certainly for a CEO role, because you can see the 360 picture, and you've had experience in the majority of the functions that you're you're now in, in, you know, in driving the leadership of, but also, there's a risk that you, you dive in too much and you actually, you should be stepping back, it doesn't mean you shouldn't inspect, and you know, you but, but actually resisting the urge to, to dry dive top down on a lot of these things.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah.

John Maynard
Really, really got to make sure that you empower the team and let the team execute.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I read an article, actually, it might be a call to start co decisions, and saying that actually, you know, what decisions should a CEO be making? And obviously, the first one is, well, you can't do anything that's functional, because you've got the functional team for that, right? Second one is you can't do this anything, it's cross functional, because otherwise you becoming the referee, you know, an arbiter between two members of your team, you want to get them figuring it out together, right, rather than you being the arbiter and so you when you start to eliminate all these other things, you know, what is it actually, you know, and it becomes around vision, leadership culture, you know, making sure that, you know, the executive team, you know, that they've invested, you know, there's a number of areas, but it's not necessarily where most of us actually spent all their time...

John Maynard
That's exactly it. That's exactly and it's, you know, getting, you know, getting attune to that mentality and, and all of that is, you know, trust as well, right, you know, as, as a new executive coming into an organization, you know, trusting the team around you to be able to deliver and to execute. You know, that that's not immediate, you know, and actually, that takes some time, but but, you know, that's the function of a whole high performing team, right, you can trust, you know, give them give a direction, go execute and hold accountability. You know, that's, you know, that's, and to enter your point, right? Make yourself irrelevant in a way, you know, it's, you know, let the step back, remove obstacles, but let the team execute.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So pretty interesting discussion, you talked around the time requirement around managing stakeholders in the board. Module will often be you know, if you were to say to a new CEO, look, you need to reserve this many days a week or hours a week, you know, what would what would your role of them be just for them to plan their? And their diary?

John Maynard
Yeah, it's, you know, when I, when I was at Cisco, or HP, you know, there's a real, and, you know, it still holds here, right, there's a real risk of becoming too internal, you know, and not spending enough time with, with stakeholders, with customers with partners. So I've always kind of driven myself, you know, a third, a third, a third is really how I see it, you know, third, I want to spend my customers a third, I want to send with partners, partners, or your ecosystem and a third, you should be spending internally. You know, I think it depends a little bit on the stage of maturity or the stage of transportation or, or what you're trying to drive in the organization you're in, but trying to balance and being very conscious, like, you know, am I spending enough time internally, am I spending enough time externally, you know, is my external relationships to the organization? You know, am I managing the investor base talking to the investors, you know, both existing and future? You know, am I talking to customers, both existing and prospects, you know, am I talking to partners, both existing and potential, you know, being able to kind of slice and dice yourself and make sure that you're spending your time, you know, their week by week, it might oscillate. You might spend more on one or more than the other. But, you know, we're at we're on a monthly board cycle. So we spend, you know, a fair degree of time as a board and with our investors given the amount of investment that we're making in transforming the business. So we spend, you know, a formal time once a month, you know that that's typically half a day to a day, depending on what's on the agenda. But we would have probably an update board meeting maybe an hour or two hours, every in between that if we needed it. But I think what is really valuable or the informal, just pick up the phone and have a chat with the investor, you know, pick up the phone, have a chat with the chairman, you know that those types of timeout, the diarrhea always well spent.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, absolutely. Oh, yeah. I mean, balancing the formal and the informal structured and the, the the planned is, it's always a balancing act, because you can put in too much or too little structure. And, yeah, that's it's a great one. Pay, let's quit, I understand the times. Moving on, I wanted to talk to you about the transformation you mentioned, you've been really transforming the business. And I know that you came in during, you know, during this pandemic season, where there's been a lot of moves into remote work and hybrid work. We had a lot of people talk about literally arriving in business as lockdown happened, whatever. But that wasn't your case. Right? You're kind of coming in and but there was a lot of tele work remote working a lot of hybrid work, and people were having to still adapt to these new ways. Yeah, what still learning being from that about trying to transform a business, where people are still getting used to how they actually do their work?

John Maynard
Yeah, so I have Richard, it's a great question. Because it's, it's almost, we're in the kind of the testament of our time, right around some of the transformation that we've seen in the technology space, you know, and, and, and the move to remote working, you know, what that's driven from an industry perspective, but also from an employee expectation perspective, in terms of what, you know, what the future of work should look like. So, I was a, I was a COVID, lockdown employee myself, so you know, I joined the company, you know, in a, in a work from home state, you know, we pretty much have the offices closed for the first eight, nine months of my tenure, right? You know, we opened up a little bit, you know, got the team together, managed to get some face to face time with the, with the company, but then now we're obviously, you know, in a work from home state now and, you know, one of the one of the things when you're when you're driving, you know, change and transport transformation is it's clarity of communication, you know, Cadence and transparency of communication, and, and driving, you know, engagement of teams and employees as you, you make some difficult decisions. And, you know, you might disrupt structures that have been around for some time, you know, you've got to try and get buy in from from teams and an individual's, you know, at a time when, you know, whether, whether people call it the great resignation, or, you know, people moving around and changing and reconsidering what they want to do as, as individuals. You know, it's extremely challenging, right. So we, you know, we've been trying to focus on the employee employer value proposition here at Adarma, you know, so what do we really want to stand for? How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we accommodate and actually drive, hybrid working or work from home as a core tenant to our strategy? You know, we actually did open new offices during COVID. You know, we went the other way and what we did is we opened an extremely collaborative space, you know, where, where people can come they can socialize, they can, you know, more of a brain brainstorming kind of place rather than what you would typically associate with an office. Again, very, very well received, you know, just a testament to the fact that the workplace is changing, to be honest. But I think you know that employee engagement, communication, transparency, you got to make sure that as an incoming executive team, that you're not in an ivory tower, and it's very hard, you know, that there's no water cooler kind of conversations, you don't pick up the informal, you know, everything is scheduled via a zoom call, or, you know, teams, or, you know, your platform of choice. You definitely miss out on those types of conversations. So you have to try and find another way to do it.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it's requires a lot of intentionality right to do that and also, I think some, I think, some different structures because you said, the, yeah, the random aspect is not really there anymore. So you have to kind of try to try to do interesting other ways, but it's, yeah, I've you, what would you say has been a success there? What have you been able to do? The you're looking? I know, it's a complicated thing, right? And it's moving, but what, you know, what's the English you kind of quite happy that you managed to institute?

John Maynard
Yeah, so it's a clear, clear expectations, I think, on on what the office is nowadays, you know, and, you know, opening the new office was a was a signal that, you know, that we don't need people in four or five days a week, you know, we do have people that, you know, client commitments, or they might work rotations, or shifts where, Brian, our client expectations for some of these, but again, that's changing as well. So, you know, just that, you know, communicating that we're all going through this, this is new to all of us, and actually, we, you know, accommodating, you know, a hybrid model, you know, if you want to work from home, and that's your preferred location, then, then that's fine. You know, I think we see a lot of people that want to spend time in the office and to collaborate physically as well. So we want to be able to do that. You know, and just being, you know, I think, been very conscious that whilst, you know, productivity and, you know, sustainability and security, you know, we got through it in the short term, it's been tough on people's well being, it's been tough on, I think that the relationship with a company, you know, becomes a bit more transactional, in terms of your relationship with your employer. So it's trying to make it and trying to drive, you know, development training, career signposting, and where people can go here at a Dharma and give them clarity on their, on their pathways. You know, and just being very clear that, you know, we're all going through the same and it takes time to transition, you know, that that's, that's something that's worked, but certainly, you know, we've amplified our communication, and that's, you know, regular town halls, that's, you know, how we communicate, we want to communicate, you know, through through videos through short podcasts that we might issue to the organization. You know, people don't want to sit here, maybe, and listen at a desk, there's been a lot of time on their desk, they might want to listen to it on a bike or on a run, or, you know, that's fine, too.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, that's a great point, actually, I think often HD video, as you know, you know, Cisco video was the thing because it was, you know, driving, and it's great. You love video, right? But it's like, sometimes you just want to be able to stick some earbuds in or whatever, and go for a run and, and not actually stuck to a screen again, just to watch a walk in a speaking head. It's a good point, hey, let's go just a way of time. So let's move into a little quick fire question round. Just it's always interesting to kind of get a few thoughts on on some of these these topics. So what's the favorite quote that your leadership?

John Maynard
So it's what it's one that actually I keep, keep referring to keep thinking about? Right? Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm and I think eight is really resonates with me, given what with what, you know, what we're trying to change and what we're trying to do. You know, you see it with politicians around the world with what we're dealing with, you know, you see the best of people and you also see the, you know, the challenges that people have as a leader. You know, when the see is not calm, so it's, you know, I keep looking back and say okay, that's, that's, that's why that's why I'm in the role.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I like it. I think I'm smiling cuz it reminds me of, I always used to say to myself, you know, anyone can ski a black woman on a sunny day or whatever. When the clouds come in, everyone starts falling over and cursing themselves, you know?

John Maynard
Yes. Yeah.

Richard Medcalf
Actually, I'll give you a bonus quote as well, which was my my father was a business owner as well and he had a great quote, he had a sales background and his quote was any for can give it away. Which I think for anyone in sales is a great one.

John Maynard
It's a great one.

Richard Medcalf
So anyone can help the helm in the sea is calm. What about a favorite app? What's the app you go to on the phone, that's, you know, favorite app.

John Maynard
That might be, oh, it's, I've got to be honest, I'm a bit of a I'm a bit of a news junkie. So I have multiple news applications, newspapers and news aggregators. So, you know, I'm not one that scrolls social media necessarily. I do like LinkedIn, I've got to be honest, I think it's a great platform for networking and staying in contact with with people but I have a far too many news applications and subscriptions and I tend to oscillate between between those applications, to be honest.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. How about a book that really influenced you professionally?

John Maynard
Oh, there's, there's one actually, I really, really stands out to me and it's, it's by it, you know, I lived in the US for five years in California, and I, you know, part of it was, you know, got into CrossFit and I got into, you know, exercising and things like that but it's also kind of when I wear a shape some of my leadership aspects and it's a book by an ex, seal SEAL Team Three, commander who was in Iraq, and, you know, commanded a number of team teams during that that period and it's a it's a guy called Jocko willing, and it's called Extreme Ownership and it's one of those books, and I've read a number of leadership books and you know, consistently, that are referred to another one, which is, which is really good. But this one, you know, he uses his experience, you know, commanding these troops as part as part of Seal Team Three, and turns it into how you can apply it from a business application perspective, you know, to this concept of Extreme Ownership and extreme accountability, you know, very much as a CEO, you know, the buck stops with you, right, as he said, you know, just because, you know, things weren't perfect, or the world changed, doesn't matter, you know, you still accountable, right and so, lots of concept, I won't go through the principles, but they cover and move. There's a great reference to decentralized command, which is, which is what we were talking about, right? Build the team, set the direction, let them execute and Galloway, you know, decentralized command is effectively you know, his militarisation term for that, two really, really good principles and really good stories behind it and that they really, because when I when I start to think about, you know, leadership principle, I always refer back to that book and the cover move, I get that protect the team. Yeah, nice. Yeah, check that one out. I've heard of it. I haven't read it. So yeah, really and then there's another one, just, you know, I did an MBA, you know, back a few years ago and so you go back, you know, Harvard business reviews, and all that sort of stuff. One of the cofounders at Adama introduced me to a book called The Age of competitive advantage and, you know, really, you know, effectively, you know, we all work about, okay, you know, we need to build sustained competitive advantage, and then we need to execute, and we need to extract, you know, the economic benefit of having that sustained advantage. You know, this book is about, effectively, that competitive advantage. Advantage is transitionary, and transitory. And so what you're looking to, is to try and capture those, capture these transitions and be very agile, you know, don't build up loads of assets, because you have to disengage to catch the next wave. It's almost like waves of advantage that you should be thinking of. And it's really interesting, it's how we think how we're now thinking more about, okay, these are short term transitions and, you know, how you organize and how you set up and making sure you don't burden the organization with too much process or too many assets, you know, in one specific advantage area. You know, I just think it's a very interesting way of thinking versus what you kind of typically get caught taught at business school.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, nice. What, what advice would you give your 20 year old self?

John Maynard
is quite a simple one. Really, don't don't overthink it. You know, I, you know, I left university way back when, you know, I wanted to be an investment banker, that's all I wanted to do. It's very strange, but unfortunately, that was the way my mind was wired, was, that's what I'm going to do, I'm gonna do it for the rest of the life. You know, things change, you know, that my wife, you know, wanted to, you know, be an entrepreneur and be a change agent, rather than necessarily buying and selling businesses, but I always wanted to be a CFO or CEO and, you know, I think, you know, I had that long term direction that that's where I wanted to go but you know, saying yes to opportunity when it arises, you know, I've managed to work in, in Asia, I've managed to work in the US, I've worked in different functional roles and just saying yes to opportunity, and if you've got that kind of, yeah, that's where I want to go and, you know, the path can meander a little bit that's, that's fine. So I think it's, don't overthink it and say yes to opportunity.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. What about who do you admire, you know, who's an impactful CEO, that perhaps made a difference in your life, you know, who would be a good guest for the show.

John Maynard
So, there's, it's kind of two that I really admire, you know, that big company CEO. So one is Microsoft, and Atelier, and that's around a massive turn around massive just phenomenal, you know, in terms of strategy, direction, capturing opportunity, and, and changing a lot larger organization. You know, as an individual, Brian Humphreys is the CEO of cognizant, you know, I think he's doing a fantastic job of changing and transforming, you know, Cognizant as an organization, which is, you know, so it's a high performing organization and then, you know, closer to home as an individual, who I've been working with, who I went to business school with, who took the big jump, you know, while we were at business school, you know, left a big networking organization, not not the same one and really, you know, launched a FinTech and built software as a startup. It's a guy called Ayan Mitra here in UK company called code. You know, someone like that, you know, really, you know, he took the bull by the horns and really just went for it and, and I think I'd say the same about, you know, a number of, of individuals that, you know, believe in what they can do, you know, step into uncertainty and trust yourself to execute to be honest.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it's inspiring, isn't it when people believe in themselves and go for it, right, and drive it through? Yeah. Hey, thank you for these great, I guess my final question is really, no matter where you are, how far we've got, there's always the next level and so what's the next year as you continue to transform this business at Adarma and get the growth he obviously the you you've you've come into to generate? What are you going to need to personally do differently to multiply your own impact?

John Maynard
I saved a very hard question to last.

Richard Medcalf
Yes. Though, is the next level rival?

John Maynard
Well, yeah, I mean, the next level for me and for our businesses, you know, we want to kind of expand our expert expertise, you know, we're building a, frankly, the next generation portfolio in cybersecurity. So, you know, a lot of what we're going to be doing is technical leadership and software development and, you know, for a services organization to move to software development, you know, it's a cultural change, and that require expertise and different types of leadership and individuals. You know, we also want to internationalize the business. So that that might be organic, organically, plus also investments in m&a and it just means that, you know, constantly need to be stepping back a bit more, and being able to focus on those types of things that will create shareholder value, and stakeholder value and that just means more and more that the team have to execute and allow me to step back to be able to do some of the other things that really a CEO is the only only role that can do right to focus on those kind of investment, m&a, strategic aspects of what we want to do to transform the business.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect, really clear. Hey, John, it's been a real pleasure speaking with you. If people want to find out a bit more about you about Adarma, how do they get in touch?

John Maynard
Yeah, perfect, have a look at www.adarma.com there's a contact us page, you know, ping us a note and we'll get straight back in touch.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. Well, hey, John, it's been a real pleasure. I've loved speaking understanding a bit about this, this CEO learning curve you've been on and, and the really interesting, interesting things we've been talking right about letting go about remote work about stakeholder management, you know, finding this link between the short term and the long term, I think, some really helpful insights. So thanks once again, for that.

John Maynard
Perfect. Thank you very much for having me.

Richard Medcalf
Take care. Thank you.

**Note: This transcript is automatically generated.
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