C-suite career advice: Ruvi Kitov, Tufin

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

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

[image_library_tag e639859e-e7d3-4cfb-9ead-6e094cd2b3fb 108x119 alt="12-09-2017-ruvi-kitov-tufin" title="12-09-2017-ruvi-kitov-tufin - " width="108" height="119"class="left "]Name: Ruvi Kitov

Company: Tufin

Job Title: CEO

Location: Israel


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?

Always strive to learn new things – for me that meant reading books and articles (in my free time) to understand various aspects of my role, learn new skills and understand the market in depth. You can learn anything you set your mind to, if you work hard enough at it – in my book, tenacity is the number one success factor in anyone's career. Successful business leaders become "learning machines" – the world is changing so rapidly, and businesses change so rapidly, that you will almost always be faced with different challenges every year.


What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?

The worst piece of business advice I ever received actually came from friends of mine. When I was thinking about launching a startup they told me about the startup attrition rates, and the low probability of success. I was at a point in my career where I could take some risks, and felt confident enough to try it, even if it could fail. I'm very glad I did not listen to their advice; if you have a dream, and you can afford to take a calculated risk and go after that dream – you should go for it!


What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?

Make sure that the companies and roles you pick are great stepping stones for where tech is heading. For example, if organizations are migrating to the cloud (and they are), I would pick companies that enable or use the cloud. You also want to make sure you stay on top of the technology – as Marc Andreessen once said, "Software is eating the world,” and you can see that everywhere today, with the advent of big data and AI. If you can learn to script or code, I would invest the time in that, even if the only way you'll apply your knowledge will be to better understand developers and architects.


What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?

First, you need to be very dedicated to your job, and go the extra mile – work/life balance is great, but (unfortunately) will be difficult to achieve if you're shooting for a c-level position. You will be expected to be available and responsive almost all the time, because the business never sleeps, and you're competing with others, both on results and on dedication. Second, you need to understand the company's strategy and long term objectives, and make sure that you align your goals and plans with the strategy. If your work becomes instrumental to the company's critical objectives that will help your career. My third piece of advice is to build positive relationships with others within the organization, as well as the industry. The tech industry is actually quite small, and it’s important to not burn any bridges along your career path. Always treat people with respect, even in challenging situations.


Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

I've recently helped someone who wanted to get ahead in their career as a sales manager. I convinced them to read "Influence – Science and Practice" by Robert Cialdini, which I found both fascinating and relevant for anyone in sales or marketing, as well as attending a public speaking course, which I believe is essential, both for sales and c-level management. This sales manager is very successful and credits some of that to the knowledge he gained.