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7 Questions with Ronald Martey
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7 Questions with Ronald Martey
Name: Ronald Martey
Current title: Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Current organisation: GCB Bank Limited
Ronald is a cyber and information security management professional with over 10 years’ experience. His experience spans across Government, Telecommunication, Financial and Technology service industries where he helped organizations build and mature their information and cyber security programs.
He is currently the Chief Information Security officer (CISO) of the largest indigenous bank (GCB Bank) in Ghana, where he leads the bank’s cyber and Information Security strategy and security related initiatives.
Prior to assuming the CISO position at GCB Bank, Ronald worked with International Business Machines (IBM) where he led the company’s enterprise security solutions portfolio across Central and West Africa.
Ronald is an IBM 2019 Hundred percent club Honorée and was also recently listed as one of the 2021 Global top 100 leaders in Information Security by Corinium – Business of Infosec.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Changing the cultural mindset of employees so they are more security aware. i.e.
Ensuring employees apply knowledge acquired during security awareness training and campaigns into their day to day operational tasks and activities.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
After graduating from university in 2007 with a BSc in Information Technology, I quickly shifted my focus to Information Security. I was fortunate enough to have great mentors who encouraged me to take risks in the earlier stages of my career.
My personal mantra is “continuous learning for continuous improvement” and I believe this has helped me to get to where I am today.
I also like to take on new challenges and I am inspired by Franklin Roosevelt’s quote which says that “A smooth sea never makes a skilled sailor”.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I plan my week in advance. I usually do this on Sunday evenings. My week starts with a team meeting on Mondays to catch up on where we are with security related projects and other important tasks. I spend the rest of the week in meetings and in discussions with key stakeholders and third-party service vendors.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
If there is anything Covid-19 has taught me as a leader then it is to be more empathic towards the people I work with. I try to put myself in other people’s shoes both emotionally and cognitively before being judgmental these days.
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?
“The seven habits of highly effective people”, a book written by Stephen Covey. The book highlights seven key habits that leaders need to become successful at both personal and interpersonal levels. The book emphasizes the need to move from an independence mindset to an interdependence mindset by being able to work with teams to achieve great results.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Leadership capacity starts with effective communication. People would follow a leader who is able to clearly articulate his vision or “big picture” for an enterprise.
Leaders must also lead by example and must be seen to be chief servants.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
The work, effort and initiatives my team and I were able to put in place to minimize the risk of employees remotely accessing critical enterprise assets and services during the initial Covid - 19 wave in 2020.