Pinnacle Award Finalist Egon Rinderer: ‘Be Relentless In Every Conceivable Way’

Egon Rinderer, Tanium

The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 8, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place virtually Nov. 12.

Next up is Cybersecurity Executive of the Year (Private Company) finalist Egon Rinderer, who’s global vice president of technology and federal chief technology officer at Tanium. Here, he talks accomplishments, shaping future leaders and other career advice.   

What key achievements did you have in 2019 / 2020?

After the mandatory telework, my team and I aided in the restoration of basic connectivity for customers and alleviated congestion by moving management traffic off the VPN. Customers were able to not only continue normal operations, but do so in a secure manner, despite challenges of a remote workforce supported and managed by legacy tools.

We created a distributed workforce Runbook — provided instructions on how to move management traffic out of their VPN and properly secure remote endpoints and BYOD. We also helped numerous government agencies achieve success that was not possible with other security solutions

What has made you successful in your current role?

I set everyone around me up for success with a unique leadership style that provides, purpose, motivation and laser-focused clarity of direction. I’m dedicated to my team and the missions they support.

After the pandemic hit, my team and I became committed to supporting customers every step of the way as they navigate the rapidly changing environment.

What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?

I helped agencies operationalize a practical, effective and process-driven framework to reduce the overall burden on IT teams and infrastructure. Within just a few weeks of the massive shift to predominantly distributed workforce, my team and I helped customers quickly and efficiently gain control of their environment and provided teams with accurate and current information regarding the state of their endpoints

How do you help shape the next generation of government leaders/industry leaders?

I challenge each team member to be the best version of themselves, bringing intensity, acumen and overwhelming energy to every project. I provide strategic leadership as it pertains to Tanium’s use and impact and help drive decisions related to support, product direction and new technology

I am constantly in a search to replace myself that I may never be a single point of failure or remain in a role that has outgrown me.

What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?

Mission first, your people second, yourself last. Be relentless in every conceivable way. Never allow a toxicity within your teams.

What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?

In 2006, 15 years into my professional career, I was deployed to the Middle East as a reservist. A 9-month deployment turned into 2 years. Two years away from my career, from my wife and two young children. I lost friends in combat and after return due to PTSD and injury-related factors. The person (on a personal and professional level) that left U.S. soil in 2006 did not return in 2008. That’s not a negative statement. It’s recognition of the fact that this experience left an indelible mark on my life and forever changed who I am at a fundamental level.

I came to understand what real leadership looks like. What the result of poor leadership can do to those who follow. What a well-built, well-lead and well-resourced team can accomplish and just how impactful it can be. While that was the most difficult period of my life and I had to struggle to overcome some of the negative things I carried with me after, it reshaped me as a person in ways that I believe simply would not have happened otherwise. I am a better person, father, husband, employee and leader for it.

Meet the other Pinnacle Awards finalists here.

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