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Tech CEO John Lombard’s advice: ‘Surround yourself with really smart people’

If you are not the smartest person in the room, it is not at all a bad thing, CEO of IT firm NTT Data in the Asia Pacific John Lombard said as he shared lessons that has learnt in his career. It is far more important to be surrounded by smarter people, he told CNBC.

John Lombard, CEO of IT firm NTT Data in the Asia Pacific, talked about the lessons he has learnt in his career.

He said, “You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. So remember when you’re building a team to surround yourself by really smart people. Always employ people that you think are smarter than you are.”

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Best decisions in most organisations happen when people challenge the status quo, he said. “People who haven’t just accepted what everybody else says is the way we’ve always done things. And it’s those smart people that will often do that. So, it’s really important to always surround yourself with really smart people,” he said.

Another thing that the tech boss has learnt is to try and always be prepared for scheduled events. He said, “You should never go into a client meeting unprepared or into an employee presentation or a townhall meeting without proper preparation. The greatest sign of respect you can give to anyone or any organisation is to show that you are prepared. Understand about their industry, understand some o the challenges they have been facing.”

Suggesting professionals to be aware of what has been happening in the industry, he said, “So, always prepare.”

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