Simon Anderson began his journey to leadership as an attorney in Sydney. He didn’t initially consider the path to becoming a CEO; however, this changed in the late 90s with the internet evolving. His interest in entrepreneurship began amidst the boom of new companies during this time.
As a result of his curiosity, Simon joined a venture capital firm in Sydney that invested in startups, which gave him the opportunity to meet CEOs and gain insights into their operations as an active board member. After relocating to the U.S., Simon’s interest in taking up the role of a CEO strengthened, and he began envisioning himself making crucial decisions and managing teams.
Simon had a brief stint as an interim CEO twenty years ago when he worked for Allen & Buckeridge, where he led a company for approximately six months. He was primarily motivated by the idea of contributing to the success of teams and facilitating significant changes. This ideology continues to guide him as the founder & CEO of Mission Cloud.
Over the next 15 years, Simon worked his way through various strategy, business development, marketing, sales and operational executive roles in the web hosting and infrastructure software industries before founding Mission Cloud in 2017. Simon founded Mission Cloud with a vision to become the world’s leading next-generation cloud-managed services and consulting company for AWS – helping companies transform their businesses with the most powerful and flexible technology platform in history.
He also wanted to leverage the growth of Mission Cloud to bring talent into the cloud industry from diverse and underrepresented communities where well-paying jobs can be obtained and lifelong careers can be launched. Mission Cloud has grown to over 300 team members and won awards for innovation, workplace culture, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
This journey wasn’t always easy, and Simon took his time learning about the different divisions of the businesses he worked with. He advises aspiring executives to do the same and invest time in learning multiple functions and roles, ensuring they understand and can lead major functions of a business in order to be well-rounded executive. The lessons learned in his previous positions led Simon to being a better leader at Mission Cloud. This held true for technical skills and broader concepts like values and culture.
When Simon first became CEO of DreamHost in 2011, he soon discovered that the amount of math and financial analysis involved in making crucial decisions was far greater than he had anticipated, and he learned how to use key financial goals to make well-informed decisions for the company. Sometimes, this meant saying no. This is a challenge every leader will have to face, and learning how to say no with the context of “why” is the key to empowering your team.
When it comes to empowering your team, Simon prioritizes strongly defining your business’s values and culture. These pillars help guide the team on collaborating and pursuing goals as a unit. These are especially important as a business grows. Poorly defined values can lead to tensions within the team, creating stress and friction that could be easily mitigated.
The last key lesson, and possibly the most important, learned on Simon’s professional journey as an entrepreneur is to always take care of your physical and mental health. These are not only important for you, but they also factor into your ability to do your job well. Simon has experienced this firsthand – when he has neglected his workout routine, diet, or sleep schedule during periods of stress, it has negatively impacted his performance as a CEO.
Despite the challenge of balancing these healthy practices with the demands of work, Simon has learned that self-care is crucial to his ability to be alert and responsive to his team’s needs. He recommends getting enough sleep, movement and nutrients – and minimizing alcohol – as strategies for maintaining optimal physical and mental health as an executive.
About Mission Cloud
Mission empowers businesses to invent a greater future in the cloud by leveraging the leading cloud platform. The dedicated team of cloud experts matches businesses with the personalized services and software they need to confidently migrate, manage, modernize, and optimize their cloud environments.