At Centrify, we highlight the idea of “the team” – we work together and collaborate on building and selling technology that keeps organizations safe from cyberattacks. And whether we work in accounting, sales, marketing or engineering, we all are part of the Centrify team and mission. With over 400 employees worldwide, we all come from different backgrounds, have unique skillsets and partake in different interests and hobbies. Our company culture capitalizes on our differences and unites us through our passion, motivation and dedication (not to mention a little bit of goofiness now and then). Together, we make up the Centrify team.
To highlight our team, we are launching a new blog series, “I AM Centrify” – with each new blog post, we will be highlighting a different team member. For our first blog, we’d like to introduce you to Lee Godby, director of business development. Lee is responsible for our partnerships with SAP, ServiceNow, Netskope and Dropbox, and he works with just about every department within Centrify. But, director of business development is not Godby’s only title – he is also a battalion operation’s officer for a field artillery battalion in the National Guard. He is currently training to deploy to Qatar, with the mission of guarding six site locations for various units and training the Jordanian army in fire support tasks.
Godby joined the U.S. Army in 2003 as a private and was in active duty for 10 years. During that time, he worked his way up to sergeant and spent time in Korea. After Korea, he went to officer candidate school and became a lieutenant, and then went to field artillery school to become a field artillery officer. During that time, Godby lead a group of about 40 soldiers as he transitioned through his junior officer developmental positions. In 2007, Lee deployed to Tal a far, Iraq as a military advisor to the Iraqi Border Police who served near the Syrian-Iraq border in the Ninewah Province. Following his year-long deployment, Lee returned and graduated from the captain’s career course in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, where he was developed to become a battalion staff officer. Following his time at the career course, Lee and his family moved to Hawaii where he prepared to deploy back to Iraq for a year with a 600 soldier infantry battalion as a fire support officer. When he returned from Iraq in 2011, he became the commander of a 100 soldier firing battery.
When Godby went into the military, it was just him and his wife – now, he has four children. In 2013, his family decided that it was time to transition to something a bit less demanding after all the time apart. However, they decided as a family that Godby would finish out his ten years in the Reserves or National Guard. So, he joined the California National Guard and began to pursue a career in sales and then business development. Godby credits his time as a field artillery officer as providing him with the skill sets needed to do well in business development and sales.
“A unique aspect of people in the military is their commitment and drive. They are going to see everything through and they will use whatever resources are provided to them. Field artillery officers are master coordinators out there – we coordinate and synchronize resources, and we analyze and assess the mission from all angles. In business development, you need to look at partnerships from all angles and you need to be a master coordinator.”
Godby also says that soldiers know how to communicate differently because they have a lot of experience in different countries and with different cultures.
“You learn to understand things from their perspective. You learn how to communicate differently. You learn how to build and develop relationships that are complex.”
This has helped him in his roles in sales and business development.
And it is through his initiative and communicative skills that Godby is able to balance both civilian and military work well. Currently, he works as a director of business development for Centrify under Ben Rice. Technologies such as Zoom allow him to speak with his partners and coworkers, no matter where he is. Moreover, the team is just happy to still have him as part of the team. Rice says,
“We are proud to support Lee in his career here at Centrify and with the California National Guard. Lee is a fantastic person to work with and we are honored that we will be able to continue getting his help even while he is deployed. Thanks for the freedom Lee!”
Not every member of the National Guard realizes that there are employers out there that are willing to work with them to balance both civilian and military duties. Godby realizes this and hopes that his example will show them that there are more companies like Centrify out there.