This is a guest post from F-Secure Fellow Marita Markkula.
My name is Marita – and I am passionate about building businesses and teams with purpose and growth mindset.
I have been an F-Secure Fellow since the beginning of 2015. At first I was responsible for global sales and marketing for F-Secure FREEDOME, the award-winning VPN for consumers. I loved my job, working close with the product team and my online sales & marketing team that was recognized in driving the growth of F-Secure consumer business. After two years, I felt ready for the next step and I got the opportunity to start heading our global B2B country marketing organization. I am very proud of my team that spreads across 15+ countries, building our global B2B business growth in tight collaboration with sales and other counterparts.
The longer I have worked in the quarter-based economy, the more I think success and growth often comes down to us people and our mindset. It’s the people (in companies or privately) who have pain-points, it’s the people who create products as solutions for these matters, it’s the people who ultimately make purchase decisions and also talk to one another about those decisions. We operate in human-to-human business, be it for consumers or businesses. Ultimately in any business it’s crucial to be able to answer to the core question ‘Why should I care?’.
That’s what’s exciting working at F-Secure. Cybersecurity is now more relevant than ever and touches both consumers and businesses, as we see in the news on a daily basis now. Throughout my career within international ICT industry, I think F-Secure is the one where I’ve seen the highest purpose-driven approach in serving the customers. I have huge respect to our developers, researchers and consultants, who truly care about fighting against cybercrime to make the world a better place with intelligence, competence and passion towards this industry – simply by working hard in outpacing the cyber threats, being driven by that challenge. For example, have you seen how our CRO Mikko Hypponen starts his keynotes with “My name is Mikko, and I hunt hackers.” How frigging awesome is that? Seriously. That’s what gets him up every morning and on the road, alongside our other Fellows. Mikko has a rock-star schedule as he travels the world in customer meetings and speaking opportunities, yet he is the most down-to-earth guy you’d ever meet. I’ve done a few projects with Mikko – make sure to check out the award-winning Take Control series for F-Secure FREEDOME here and here and let me know if these helped to answer to ‘Why should I care?’.
At F-Secure, every internal employee is a Fellow. Fellowship is deeply rooted in our company culture and F-Secure leads the way in having the employees close to decision making. F-Secure even selects an employee to its Board of Directors. That representative, elected by the Fellows, is not there as a union representative, but as an equal board member, impacting our future direction. I find this fascinating, showing trust towards the Fellows. Our Board of Directors also host small lunch discussions with Fellows and I got the privilege to attend this just recently. F-Secure is the baby of our Founder and Chairman of the Board, Risto Siilasmaa . I have discussed briefly with Risto a few times and I can honestly say that you seldom meet a person as present as him in a meeting. No fiddling with phones or laptops – he comes well-prepared and focused (I’m so tempted to say ‘knowing his sh*t’), looks you in the eyes without a blink, listens carefully and pins you down with deep dive questions on your personal impact to the company and on your ideas of how to improve things at F-Secure, concretely and with sense of urgency. He is curious and driven by growth, and these are the attributes that I frequently meet with my fellow Fellows.
Our CEO Samu Konttinen has a similar entrepreneurial and driven soul as Risto. Did you know that Samu started his career at F-Secure more than 10 years ago as a sales representative, a random sales guy as he would say himself? He told me this when I interviewed with F-Secure and I was truly taken by that. He built his career through fellowship, hard work and great results piece by piece, ladder by ladder. Building growth with personal long-term commitment and team work. Samu is truly an engaged leader. He nourishes an open door policy and he’s obsessed with understanding what drives business growth – it makes me laugh the way he pops his head into the meeting room if he hears my voice and instantly asks where I’ll land that quarter. Never a break from the pulse!
This brings to my first point of driving business growth with purpose and nurturing growth mindset in my teams – as these are truly my passion. Alongside my work, I study social psychology at Helsinki University – this is the science behind leadership, growth mindset, motivation, influence, group behavior, drive etc. I simply love that and I am starting my thesis on leading growth teams. My biggest inspiration in psychology is the world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, who has done research on achievement and success for decades. She talks about growth mindset, mindset that is focused on practice (& some more practice), trial & error, improvement, continuous development. The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset, that embraces that your qualities are carved in stone, and you just statically stick with that. I believe in growth mindset – working hard for something that you believe in. It is relevant in so many aspects of life – think about it, be it parenting, business, sports, relationships – anything really. Read Carol Dweck or Frank Martela, both of their work is truly eye-opening on this topic and hopefully as big of an inspiration to you as for me personally.
As a company, F-Secure is at a verge of several exciting transitions, continuously introducing new products and solutions for the fast moving cybersecurity industry to fight against the forever changing threat landscape. We are growing by acquisitions and investments into our business offering. I’m super proud to be part of this team and while we grow, I am also currently recruiting for marketing positions globally. If you share a growth mindset and you dare to be the best in data-driven marketing, truly impacting business growth – be in touch.
Ps. One more Fellow-tip behind the scenes. Did you know that one of our chief cybersecurity consultants looks exactly like the blond version of Superman. Hilarious, I know! I seriously think he wears a cape outside office hours. Let me know if you know who I mean. ?
Marita Markkula works as B2B Marketing Director at F-Secure. Her global team is responsible for lead management, opportunity pipeline creation, awareness building and partner activation. Marita is currently hiring B2B marketing talents with growth mindset globally in Finland, Germany, Italy and Japan. Photo: Senja Jaloluoma