Nina Simosko, a catalytic leader in the technology industry is giving a new dimension to the definition of leadership. President and CEO of NTT Innovation Institute Inc (NTT i³), Nina is a leader who puts her team first and considers everything other as secondary.
At NTT i³, what is created, shared, and learned from each other is founded on the principles of open innovation. This is a core premise of the Silicon Valley-based company’s innovation practice – the belief that the best ideas are developed by a well-curated and engaged global ecosystem of technologists and business experts.
Nina gives huge credit to her team and the people involved in NTT i³’s daily business and says, “We are fortunate to have an amazing group of individuals with which to engage – from NTT‘s own operating companies, to the startup community of technologists and investors, to NTT’s global customers, to industry partners, and to our own executive advisory board.”
Leading from the front, Nina is redefining leadership with her excellence and experience in the business. After doing great at Nike, while leading the creation and execution of Nike Technology strategy, planning, and operations worldwide, Nina turned to SAP.
She was a Senior Vice President of SAP’s Global Premier Customer Network (PCN). At SAP, Nina led both the PCN Center of Excellence and SAP’s Global Executive Advisory Board. During her eight-year tenure, she was a part of SAP’s Global Ecosystem & Partner Group, which was charged with continuing to build and enable an open ecosystem of software, service, and technology partners together with SAP’s communities of innovation.
Additionally, she served as the Global Chief Operating Officer for the worldwide Customer Education organization, responsible for driving more than half a billion Euros in global education software and services revenue.
She believes there is no single path to progress. Many different and circuitous routes can lead to the same successful outcome. Repeatedly, studies have shown that teams that harness individuals’ strengths and that are clearly empowered by management to find their own way – are more productive and committed.
Nina believes being an optimistic leader is about being more than a mindless cheerleader or a doe-eyed fool. It’s about coming to work each day and being positive about yourself, your company, your mission, and your team – but making certain that you are backed by the facts. Optimism drives performance. If you are going to strive for the extraordinary, optimism is an essential ingredient. If you hope to shape the future, optimism is what shapes your belief in the future.
For Nina, a quote from the best-selling author Stan Slap, “Be human first” is much more important. She is a leader who goes to work every day with a belief that ‘if you do what you love and have fun every day – the rest will follow’, this is what makes Nina a true inspiration!
She advises budding entrepreneurs to start now and keep escalating, “It is never too late to cultivate a growth mindset, but it is a challenge that comes with obstacles. Some of these obstacles are external – can be identified and overcome, while others are internal and require a deeply personal response. Successful leaders are constantly working on their growth mindset and expect the same from their teams.”