Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Raytheon CEO On Creating A Cyber-Safe Workplace

Chief Executive asked Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy to discuss what the CEO’s role is in creating a cyber-safe workspace and the role company culture plays in creating a more secure organization.

It’s getting every employee to recognize that cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem. Everyone has a role to play.

It’s driving home why it is so important to practice good cyber hygiene. Where it becomes second nature to take the extra step or extra minute to check something out, even though it might initially seem inconvenient. To have the discipline to avoid shortcuts and pitfalls like opening email PDFs and zip files from people you don’t know; using those free thumb drives you found at a conference; and having the same password or pattern across multiple websites.

For me, trust and accountability are the key values and behaviors you want to reinforce. It’s trusting that employees will do the right thing once they have the right training. It’s creating an environment where employees feel empowered to raise their hands if something doesn’t seem right. And it’s holding teammates accountable when rules are intentionally broken.

That’s how you gain and maintain the cyber-trust of coworkers, customers and partners.

How has your personal leadership style evolved over the years?

As I’ve progressed in my career from engineering, to program management to managing the business, I’ve had to become adept at knowing when to lead from the edge and when to lead from the core. Essentially, strong leaders need to be able to lead from the “edge” – knowing when to be strategic, embrace change, think creatively and seek input from others. But they also need to know when to lead at the “core” – making operational decisions based on known expertise, and emphasizing consistency and performance. I have to give credit to Lee Hecht Harrison for articulating the concept, especially as it relates to the importance of adapting these styles. The current marketplace is dynamic and leaders need the agility to go back and forth between edge (strategic) and core (operational) − adjusting their styles to fit the situation.

Essentially, strong leaders need to know when to lead from the “edge” – when to be strategic, embrace change, think creatively and seek input from others. But they also need to be able to lead at the “core” – making operational decisions based on known expertise, and emphasizing consistency and performance.

What’s the best piece of leadership advice that you would like to share with peer CEOs?

When it comes to cybersecurity, the best advice I can give is to surround yourself with a great team. The threats and opportunities are evolving so rapidly that it’s a challenge for any one person to keep up with it. It should keep you up at night.

But with the right team, you’ll have the expertise in place to provide for a cyber-resilient and cybersecure organization. You want leaders and subject matter experts who are inquisitive and not complacent. They’ll tell it like it is; give you an honest assessment of the cyber challenges, risks and opportunities; not what you want to hear.

And it goes back to culture. You want an environment where people feel empowered to sound an alarm to leadership. You want issues elevated quickly. Since the sooner you know about something, the sooner you can get down to solving the problem.

He’s No. 118 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies

Thomas Kennedy

Headquarters: Waltham MA

Age: 64

Education:  University of California, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Bachelor’s Degree Electrical Engineering

First joined company: 1983

Prior to joining Raytheon: U.S. Air Force

Named CEO: 2014

Read more: Dennis Muilenburg’s Moment

 


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.