Career Notes 9.11.22
Ep 116 | 9.11.22

Mark Logan: March towards your goals. [CEO]


Mark Logan: My name is Mark Logan, and I'm the CEO of One Identity.

Mark Logan: I would say that I was always a competitive person. I played some college sports and I wasn't very talented, but, um, I did end up matriculating to be our, uh, our co-captain my senior year. So, uh, there might have been a little bit of, uh, leadership, uh, that was in the DNA. I was, uh, not strong in all subjects, but, uh, but I had a bit of a, uh, a pension for, uh, for math and sciences. So when I headed to college, I dove into engineering and then as I got through college, um, I saw the intersection point between business and, uh, the technical side of things. So I ended up graduating with a double major in engineering and in business management. So of course, I wasn't in a management role right out of school, but over time, uh, I really leaned on some of the early on foundational skills.

Mark Logan: I was with Hewlett Packard for a six or seven years and HP was pretty wedded to hardware and, uh, and I'm dating myself a bit, we're going back to the, uh, the late eighties and that's when there was really a pivot to, uh, enterprise software and, uh, relational databases and so forth. So I made the pivot, uh, tough decision to leave HP, but, uh, the right decision and, uh, got into software.

Mark Logan: I worked for a couple of large software companies, Sybase being one of 'em, one of the true, uh, leading, uh, RD bMSs and then myself and, uh, four colleagues from Sybase, co-founded a CRM business. So I went from these companies that had tens of thousands of employees that were publicly traded to, uh, to just five of us and it was both, uh, any given day exhilarating and terrifying. We ended up with a, a very good, uh, exit and, uh, we were acquired by a large enterprise software firm and I had the good fortune of that background and, uh, and I also had the good fortune of having worked shoulder to shoulder with the other co-founders for a number of years and, you need a lot of trust. You need to trust, work ethic, and integrity, and character of those you go into business with. Over time, you know, you get recruited to various other startups, but if I were to offer any advice to anybody, if you're gonna make that leap from a secure, larger public company to a less secure, smaller startup environment. Boy, you, you really need to have that deep embedded trust with those that you go into business with. 

Mark Logan: I ended up staying at JD Edwards and what I think is also noteworthy is, uh, some people find a company sale as a little bit scary and for us at YOUcentric, it was, uh, it was a wonderful career opportunity for virtually every one of our couple of hundred employees. So, it's actually, you take advantage of those opportunities, of course, uh, I could have elected to leave, but in this case they, uh, they rolled out the red carpet for us. And, uh, it was really a good experience then ultimately, uh, that company got acquired. I did ultimately decide to leave to take my first CEO opportunity about 20 years ago and they were the venture capital investors that were hiring. Again, if I were offering advice, don't be afraid to join small companies. This was the second time I joined a fairly small company, but that was a great run. I spent years and years there as the CEO.

Mark Logan: After Rivermine I was fortunate enough to be, uh, recruited for two other CEO roles and one role as the president of a public company called Attunity and more recently I was the CEO of a cybersecurity company that is owned by Thoma Bravo, spent many years there. Then the One Identity opportunity came up and it really checked all the boxes. So the, the timing, the market, the industry, the products, everything really came together for this opportunity.

Mark Logan: I've never been at a company, including Hewlett Packard in which the engineering team said, we're good, we have all of the resources we need, and I've never been at a company where the product team said, we're good, we don't need to develop anything else, we've got all the functionality we need. So there's always more, there's always a need for more resources, more capabilities, etc. Um, so one of the key jobs here is to prioritize, and determine what you are and you aren't going to do. I think, uh, there's a famous Steve Jobs quote that says just that, it's not what I say yes to, it's what I say no to, uh, because you can't say yes to every initiative, even though, uh, I might get presented with a dozen initiatives any given week or month. They're all great, but you have to pick the ones that are going to have the highest return for our customers, for our enterprise, and for our team.

Mark Logan: I've been successful being collaborative, but delegation is also really important. So I guess if you, you tie back together with the team, um, and with the board, you set up a series of goals that you're going to march towards over the next year, in the next multiple years. But, but there are financial goals, uh, in any given year and then you collaborate with the team on, uh, almost, you know, a daily, weekly, monthly basis on how we're going to attack the market, how are we going to delight our customers? How are we going to grow the business? And, uh, and then if you have the right people in the right roles with the right expertise and, and the right tools, then my objective is let's back off and let people do their jobs and I'm here for an escalation resource when there are those challenges or conflicts or priorities that have to be reconciled. But, I've found that the more you can delegate, provided you've got the right folks in place the better.

Mark Logan: I think we all got presented with little adversity, was it March, uh, 11th or 12th, when the pandemic hit? We took the world and turned it upside down, that's a time when you want to over communicate, when things are tough, you need to really batten down the hatches and, uh, and pull the team together. It might be a little overused, but find a category within the industry that you're passionate about. There's some folks that are natural tinkerers and just have to get to the core solution set and the core answer, perhaps development is the right place. Uh, there are those folks that are really passionate about, uh, uh, the future and, and creating a vision. Well, perhaps product management, uh, is the right sector. Then there are people that are just really interested in culture and human interaction. Well, perhaps human resource is the right silo for you. So once you found that passion, that doesn't mean that's it forever. So, uh, so, so I started on the, the go to market field marketing alliances side, uh, and then, then, uh, pivoted over to other aspects of, uh, within business management.

Mark Logan: I know folks that have said, nope, this is my domain, I'm going to be the greatest human resources executive of all time and that's where they've gone. So, it's often overused, but find that initial area that you're passionate about, because if you're not passionate about it, then you, you won't have that self-fulfillment and potential advancement.

Mark Logan: Be remembered for those that you helped. You helped to advance their careers. You might have helped them through a tough time, um, whether it was within the enterprise I was leading or in other places. I think, uh, another piece of advice is networking and not just networking for self, uh, advancement, but networking to keep out there, uh, maintain a robust group of individuals that you can lean on for advice, perhaps mentorship, etc. and in order to pay it forward, I have to do the same, so I've made myself available and do so whenever possible to my extended relationship sets. So, you know, those, those folks that, uh, that I worked with 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago, I attempt to still stay in touch with. But I hope to be remembered as somebody that's helped a lot of careers and a lot of folks get through some tough times and, and land in a better place.