Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Heiner Luntz, NTT Com Security

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

Heiner Luntz

Company: NTT Com Security

Job Title: CFO

Location: Germany


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

Learn, learn, learn (which links with the proverb “luck is when opportunity meets with preparation”). I have been taught that you should never cease to learn - whether in a structured or open environment. It’s important to expand your understanding at every moment because frankly, even if you don’t know why you are learning something today, the opportunity to use it may just be around the corner.  


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

A lot of people are trying to simplify things with regards to building a business and say it’s all about the money. But this is not the case. If you think about why people are in business, it’s about relationships, social interaction, and being challenged as a person. The money you make is a hygiene factor.

I believe most people do not make decisions based on money alone. When NTT Com Security has acquired a company, for example, it has never been about the price we pay alone. It is an important factor, but more significant was the discussion about what the acquisition means from a personal growth perspective for the management and employees of the acquired company or how it will deliver added value to customers. 


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

If you are looking for a more conventional and mature industry, you are in the wrong place. Anyone starting a career in technology needs to understand that it’s all about embracing constant change. 

In fact, the rules that are relevant today need to be challenged - and broken - if we are to take the next step in technology. If you want to drive this change, and actually influence the world in being something different from what it is today, then you should definitely consider working in the industry. 


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

It’s important to be able to pull back from all of the detail and abstract the most crucial factors. Look at the overall picture and, most importantly, trust your instinct. In technology, you will find people trying to sell something that is too good to be true. More often than not, it is; in the long term anyway because someone will change the rules, a strong competitor will emerge or the thinking is flawed.

If you have the feeling that something doesn’t add up at an abstract level, it is likely you will prove your own point when moving into detail.


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

A manager should always take a keen interest in the development of people but it is not one career, one boss or one piece of advice that drives the success of people that may have even been with you for some time. It is our obligation, as colleagues and managers, to support and challenge people on their own way (wherever it may be) rather than determine it.


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