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Mike Howard

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Mike Howard

About Mike Howard

Board Member, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation Board of Directors; Co-Founder of the Michael and Janice Howard Foundation 

16 Years at Microsoft - Chief Security Officer - CSO
22 Years at the Central Intelligence Agency
2 Years as a Police Officer - Oakland, California
BS - Criminal Justice/Sociology - San Jose State University - 1980
Martial Arts Expertise - Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido
Married - No Children

International Security Management Association (ISMA) Board of Directors, Past President.

Former member of OSAC Advisory Council and Former Chair of the Fostering Innovation and Threats and Risk Council 

Past member -Security Industry Association Board of Directors as of 2011 -2018

Past President ASIS CSO Advisory Roundtable

Member of GenNext - Gen Next is an invitation-only organization of successful individuals dedicated to learning about and becoming engaged with the most pressing challenges facing future generations — including global security, education reform, and economic opportunity. The collective influence of its national network of civic-minded leaders empowers bold and innovative solutions to these challenges.

Regularly asked to speak on Security and Leadership Issues

Mentors and Coaches Leaders 

Specialties: Experience in working with the U.S. Government and Corporate Security entities globally. Experience in working in foreign countries with extensive travel overseas. It is truly a pleasure to reconnect with you once again, Mike. It’s been several years since we spoke when you were Chief Security Officer at Microsoft and now we have the honor of also speaking with you as a best selling author!

Congratulations on the release of your latest book “The Art of Executing Ronin Leadership Strategies” which follows the release of “The Art of Ronin Leadership Strategies” last year.


We read with great interest on Amazon:

The Art of Executing Ronin Leadership Strategies - Planning, Alignment, Continuous Improvement follows on the heels of author Mike Howard's bestselling book, The Art or Ronin Leadership - Strategy, Execution, Sustained Success. In that first book, Mike described his own journey of leadership spanning over 40 years as a Police Officer, CIA Operative/Leader and Chief Security officer at Microsoft. That book gave the reader the definition of a Ronin Leader. In this new book, Mike shows the reader the "how to" of Ronin leadership.

Please elaborate on this, Mike, and share with us what motivated you to author these 2 works on Ronin Leadership and what is your vision about the most important “takeaways” and benefits for your readers?

Mike Howard: I have spoken on leadership for many years when I was CSO at Microsoft. I always wanted to write a book on leadership and I took advantage of quarantine to write my first book “The Art of Ronin Leadership – Strategy, Execution and Sustained Success.” I wanted to tell a leadership story from my lens. The lens of someone who was not born a leader. From the lens of someone who made mistakes along the way but learned from his mistakes, learned from others and hopefully became a great leader. I saw too many examples of poor leadership both in government and in the private sector and I wanted people to understand what I believe to be great leadership.

The takeaways are that being a truly great leader means being selfless. Meaning it is not about you, your title, your office or your money. It is about the care and welfare of the people you are entrusted to lead. It is about knowing yourself in such a way that you understand what you are good at, what you are not good at, and how you work hard to continuously improve as a leader. I have seen too many arrogant, self-centered leaders who feel they have made it and know everything. They don’t. True leadership, true Ronin Leadership is never about you – its about your troops. I want the readers to understand what true leadership looks like, the benefits it can have on your teams, your business and the world. Your troops will emulate you for good or for bad. Your responsibility as a leader is to groom the next generation of leaders by exemplifying true servant leadership Care to acknowledge any particular leaders that inspired you, Mike, and influenced your thinking, along the way on your journey?

Mike Howard: Bill Cervenak who I mention in my first book. He was one of my leaders at the CIA and first coined the term “selfless” to me as I was assuming a leadership position for the first time in my career. He was a Marine veteran of Vietnam and a tough guy. But he was also humble, cared about his people, held them accountable and led by example. He inspired me and still does. We understand that you are committed to mentoring the next generation of leaders. Please tell us about your work with Gen Next.

Mike Howard: Gen Next is now called Alder. When it was still called Gen Next, the Seattle Chapter asked me to speak to them when I was CSO at Microsoft. The organization is a national one made up of the most talented business people in the country. The organization is committed to making this world a better place where equality, justice, compassion are important and works hand-in-hand with promoting great business practices. I have been involved in work designed to deradicalize people on the cusp of becoming radicalized. I also mentor, and participate in forums where important issues of the day are discussed in an environment that is safe, open, honest and where all views are honored and accepted. Let’s turn to the current security environment for a moment. The world we live in has certainly changed quite a bit: Covid, violence where we work, shop, and send our kids to schools, political unrest, natural disasters, cybersecurity, and other issues are, unfortunately, headline news all the time.

As a former Police Officer, 22 year veteran at the Central Intelligence Agency, and 16 Years as Microsoft - Chief Security Officer, your impressive background is, without question, second to none in the security space. Please tell us about your consulting practice, Mike. Care to comment on “Best Practices” that leaders in public and private enterprises should be implementing in this unprecedented high-risk environment?

Mike Howard: In terms of consulting, I have helped baby CSO’s early in their careers by mentoring them, helping them to build strategies and business plans. Right now, I concentrate on helping people in their careers and their enterprises. Advising them re strategy and acting as a sounding board for them. Re “Best Practices,” it is the same thing I have always preached. There needs to be an end-to-end approach to any enterprise risk management strategy. All verticals in an enterprise responsible for risk/security must be integrated in terms of strategy, technology and execution. There still are too many silos between physical and logical security, enterprise risk, business continuity, disaster preparedness and crisis management. Silos prevent what I call “Strategic Integration” from taking place. This is the best practice that will do more to keep enterprises, both public and private, safer. Without divulging anything proprietary or confidential, of course, care to mention any recent consulting or speaking engagements, success stories or testimonials?

Mike Howard: I’m very proud of the fact that my first book became an Amazon Bestseller in 6 countries including the US. How exciting that Mark Wahlberg visited F45 Studio recently! Please tell us more!

Mike Howard: Wahlberg is a major investor in F45. He just moved to the Las Vegas area and has been working out at our studio. He is a wonderful guy. He high fives everyone during the workout and is encouraging to all. He works out hard and is very approachable. We are proud to have him work out with us regularly. What about upcoming events?

Mike Howard: On September 29 in Las Vegas, NV, I’ll be appearing at this event for a select group at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce members.

The Path to Great Leadership � The Journey is Yours

Here�s a brief overview.

Being a great leader is not easy. It takes time, effort, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and growing over time to becoming a great leader. Leadership is about selflessness and thinking about the care and welfare of your team over your own needs. Great leadership is about being strategic and learning how to delegate effectively to those you are entrusted with leading. Great leadership is all about knowing yourself, your true self, including strengths and weaknesses, so that you can learn to be the kind of leader that inspires and motivates people to be the best they can be. There are common traits of great leadership but each leader’s journey takes its own individual path.

At this event, Mike Howard, 22 year CIA veteran and former Chief Security Officer at Microsoft Corporation for 16 years, will walk you through his journey of leadership, warts and all, to show you how you can maximize your ability to lead people effectively. It’s not about you – it’s about them! Mike is the bestselling author of two leadership books “The Art of Ronin Leadership – Strategy, Execution, Sustained Success” and “The Art of Executing Ronin Leadership – Planning, Alignment, Continuous Improvement.” Thanks again for joining us today, Mike. Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?

Mike Howard: Let me emphasize the importance of finding harmony in your life as a leader by working hard and also finding time to rest, rejuvenate and enjoy life.

How to engage with Mike Howard:

"The Art of Ronin Leadership Podcast" is available ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS:



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