C-suite career advice: Hubert Da Costa, Cradlepoint

What tips would the c-suite give to the next generation?

We ask industry leading C-suite professionals for their expert career advice...

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Hubert Da Costa

Company: Cradlepoint

Job Title: VP EMEA

Location: United Kingdom


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?
Never run to a company just for the money – research the culture of that company and ensure their DNA is compatible with yours and that it inspires you.  If that company and its leadership does inspire, grasp the opportunity with both arms and go make a difference with passion.  Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?
Win at all costs.  Winning with the wrong behaviour means you lack integrity and those kinds of wins are short term and not sustainable.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?
Over prepare in every aspect of your role – from the product and solution perspective, to understanding your client and the pain they feel so you can help them find a solution.  Don’t limit your research to your clients.  Find out about your new employers, so you know not only who the key decision makers are, but also who could be a roadblock to your objective.  This will help you drive accelerated success in all you do.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?
Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with A-grade people.  This makes you a better person and a stronger leader.  In the same vein, don’t shirk away or get defensive if you are told you are wrong.  As long as judgements are based on fact, encourage debate from your team and peers.  You don’t have all the answers and you shouldn’t feel weak by acknowledging that.  Great leaders never forget to give credit where it’s due.  Your success is, after all, driven by the effectiveness and contribution of your team.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
I’ve been blessed with working for two great leaders in my career.  Both were totally different in style, but both gave me awesome advice and helped me develop as a leader.  One was all about being relentless in speed and execution, the other about being balanced and pragmatic in equal measure.  Both were high on integrity, preparation, empathy, social awareness and self-empowerment.  They backed me with a mandate to make decisions and – while these may not always have been right – as long as those decisions were made with the right behaviour, they taught me to learn from those errors without penalising me.  I believe I have imparted those very principles to everyone who has asked me to mentor them in turn over the years.