Posted: 3 Min Read Diversity & Inclusion

A Mission Bigger Than Me

Lance S., Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition, shares his experiences about teamwork and protecting society as a Navy Veteran, and draws parallels to working at Symantec.

As part of the recent Veterans Day celebrations, fellow veteran Barry Manter and I were proud to represent Symantec at the VetsinTech Gala. Why was I so proud? While serving in the Navy, I cherished being part of something larger than myself; along with my fellow service members, we were protecting America and our allies. 

I particularly remember landing after a grueling, very successful operational mission at the height of the Cold War. It was November, and our aircrew was completely exhausted, having flown all-night in a violent North Atlantic storm. As we walked across the flight line, we were surprised to see a breathless Duty Officer hustling towards us to say our mission the next day had been canceled. The Duty Officer saw our immediate reaction of “What? Cancel us?” We had just crushed our mission, and we couldn’t wait to get back on-station the next day. The Duty Officer responded, “Wait, it’s good news. The Berlin Wall is falling!” 

I can still feel our unbridled joy and immense pride. We helped make that happen; we won the Cold War! I felt that same sense of mission accomplishment after the liberation of Kuwait following Operation Desert Storm, and our initial response to the 9/11 attacks and the Global War on Terrorism.     

The same sense of purpose is alive here at Symantec; we are protecting society! I’m inspired by how this company and my fellow team members have rallied around our work and each other in a challenging FY19. Like the military, we are mission-focused; we care deeply about our work; and we embrace the responsibility and accountability we have to our customers, our clients and – most importantly – each other.  

Lance S. and Barry M. at the VetsinTech Gala
Lance S. and Barry M. at the VetsinTech Gala

Like the military, we are mission-focused; we care deeply about our work; and we embrace the responsibility and accountability we have to our customers, our clients and – most importantly – each other.  

And it’s not just the work. I’ve found complete alignment between the Navy’s Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment and Symantec’s Core Values. “Our values celebrate diversity, promote teamwork, and encourage every employee to contribute and to thrive.” Here at Symantec, we are encouraged to be our authentic selves and operate by these values. The same holds true for our Leadership Blueprint, which fosters our mission-focused, purpose-driven culture. A daily read of any newspaper around the globe proves how distinct this is; very few companies do well by doing good. What we have is special.

Having the good fortune to lead our TA (Talent Acquisition) Team, I also get to partner with and observe the difference-making work our ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) are doing to further our impact in the communities where we live and serve. As an active member and executive sponsor of our VETS (Veteran Employees and Troop Support) ERG, I’ve witnessed Symantec team members in their active support for veterans and military spouses transitioning to the corporate environment. 

Our website states, “We pride ourselves on living our corporate responsibility values both as a company and when working with our broader community and world. All our ERGs play an important role in delivering on our diversity and inclusion strategies, while building cultural awareness and a sense of belonging for our employees.” 

The VETS ERG works to support the efforts of our employees who have served our country and to make sure we value their unique experience. 

The VETS ERG works to support the efforts of our employees who have served our country and to make sure we value their unique experience. The group – in collaboration with many leaders and other passionate employees – is partnering with some terrific organizations, including Shift.org, VetsinTech, the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, Team Rubicon, and NPower to engage outstanding talent for Symantec and the broader corporate community.   

Earlier this month at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month", I took some time to remember why we celebrate Veterans Day. I reflected on the extraordinary people I served with and the honor and privilege it was to serve my country in the U.S. Navy. I also recognized the importance of the family, friends, and countrymen and -women who support our military service members. It takes all of us –those who serve and those who support those who serve. 

Finally, I am grateful to be part of an amazing team here at Symantec. I’ve found a new mission.  

As Greg Clark, our CEO, stated at our recent All Hands, “Cyber defense is a team sport.” Here we go; society is counting on us!

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About the Author

Lance Sapera

Global Head of Recruiting

A purpose-driven leader and developer of high performance teams in tech, fitness, and the military, Lance was drawn to Symantec’s people and mission as the global cyber security leader protecting the world’s data and making society safer.

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