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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Dean Lane

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Dean Lane

Name: Dean Lane

Current title: Executive Vice President

Current organisation: Svitla

Dean Lane serves as the Executive Vice President of Svitla Systems. Just prior to joining Svitla Dean was the Senior Vice President of Cyber Intelligence at The Institute of World Politics. While currently living in Virginia, Dean was located in the Silicon Valley, for 20+ years.
Dean has in-depth operational know-how in the IT industry, having been a CIO at four different companies Allied-Signal, Plantronics, Morton-Thiokol, and Henley-Putnam University. He was also a cyber consultant for Ernst & Young, Gartner, AT&T, and had his own consultancy in the Silicon Valley. Dean also had profit and loss responsibility while at Allied-Signal for the F-18 aircraft and the Apache Helicopter. Once at corporate, Dean was responsible for 26 major divisions and 104 facilities.
Dean has written three technology books, and consulted with Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Barach. Dean is also a highly decorated Naval Officer, and served as the Seal Team Officer for the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet.
Dean is also the Founder and President of the CIO Scholarship Fund. His first book, CIO Wisdom brought many Silicon Valley CIOs together to promote the fund and became a #1 Best Seller for Prentice Hall.
Dean is Certified as a Master Project Manager and also, by ISACA, in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT). Dean’s experience is global and as found on the internet, he is considered an expert on more than one topic. Dean has served as the CEO for VariTRAK Inc., a company that provides compliance software. Dean speaks internationally and has given keynote presentations for the Adam Smith Society in Moscow, for CIO Magazine in Korea, for the Congress of Progress in Washington DC and for the Imagineering Conference in Florida.
Having completed many interim CIO and mentoring assignments, Dean’s knowledge of how a company operates, as well as his IT experience make him a valuable asset to CEOs and Boards of Directors. Dean turns around IT departments and significantly improves the overall systems, thereby enhancing a business’ ability to execute.
He also serves on various advisory boards as a co-founder of the Consortium of Information Systems Executives, a member of PMI, APICS, and is Past President of SIM’s Silicon Valley Chapter.
Dean obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California (UCLA) and his MBA from National University.
Please click the link below and take a quick look at one of his articles: “What the C-Suite Needs to Know About Cyber Intelligence”.

7 Questions with Dean Lane


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

The culture

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

The only way to ascend the professional ladder is to assert oneself. Nobody beats down your door to offer you the job. That said, it is imperative to work hard in your current position, be a team player and learn as much as you possibly can.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I work on the most pressing, big, or difficult items first. Friday is back burner day. Unless there is an emergency, I only work on the small things.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Do not compete in a competitive way. If you find people competing with each other, get both people on the same page and ensure the winner will be the company

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Leadership Lessons From Attila the Hun. This book takes what we know to be true from a leadership standpoint and codifies them - Best part of the book were the Attila-isms.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Define org structure needed to accomplish mission. Define leadership capabilities of staff. Put people in positions where they will bring value and be successful. Not everyone will get a position, in which case you will have to reduce your current force and hire leaders with the skills needed

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

We tend to pigeon-hole or lock down into a position those employees that have done a great job. One possible outcome of doing that is to lose a valuable employee. The better alternative is to move that employee to another position. Cross training is a good thing

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