Developing Passionate and Supportive Leaders

Anchore’s management program is founded on passionate people leaders who are kind, open, and invest in their team’s success.  Finding passionate leaders means opening the door to opportunities for all employees. We empower Anchorenauts to apply for management roles and participate in a cross-functional interview process.     

A few months into Dan Luhring’s (he/him) time at Anchore, a management role opened up in the Engineering organization.  When the Director of Engineering asked if anyone on the team was interested in pursuing the role, Dan immediately raised his hand. 

Developing Passionate and Supportive Leaders“When I interviewed for the manager position with the leadership team, I was glad that I was going through a formal process because it made me realize that Anchore understands how vitally important great managers are to the success of the company.”

Upon joining the Anchore management team, all leaders go through a robust training program where they learn more about different communication and working styles, coaching conversations, and the guiding principle of Anchore’s management philosophy: building trusting relationships.

“I love our manager training series.  I thought the role-playing exercises were really thoughtfully done and have been missing from manager training I’ve done in the past. Between the training sessions, ongoing employee programs, and overall partnership, I feel really supported by our People Operations team in my role.” 

Anchore’s continuous performance model enables our managers to set a strong foundation of trust and clear communication from day one.  Although Dan had already been working with his team before becoming a manager, the Stay Interviews gave Dan even more insight into his new direct reports. 

“I got a ton of value out of the Stay Interviews with my direct reports. It’s really useful to know what motivates people, how they like to receive recognition and feedback, and what their long-term career goals are.  It made me more aware of their professional interests outside of their day-to-day responsibilities. Because I know the motivators of my direct reports, I can assign special projects based on individual interest, even if it’s not something they do in their core role.”  

Reflecting on his opportunity to join the management team, Dan is excited to be part of making Anchore a great place to work and continuing to lead his team based on trust.    

“There are things that Anchore gets right that I find to be really unique. We are thoughtful about who we promote into the management team.  We have great support and autonomy with helpful programs and tools to facilitate trusting relationships, really caring about the people who report to us and wanting to help them achieve their career goals.”

Interested in becoming a team leader like Dan? View Anchore’s current openings here.

Carving a Career Path That Fits

Startups come with many opportunities – the ability to partner directly with leadership, to move quickly with decision making, and to work on a variety of projects across the organization. At Anchore, we have intentionally designed our internal programs to provide employees with equitable opportunities for mentorship and career growth. 

Through our continuous performance model, we built opportunity into the foundation of our company culture. We do this by ensuring every employee (regardless of background, tenure, or level) feels empowered to raise their hand with an idea, question, or express interest in a new project. Anchorenauts have ample opportunity to expand their skills as they work towards short-term and long-term career goals.  

Instead of focusing solely on linear career paths, we give employees the opportunity to pursue other roles or career aspirations.  

Andre Neufville (he/him) joined Anchore in November 2019 on the Customer Success team, with a focus on designing solutions that integrate container security best practices into customer DevSecOps workflows.  “My role was to interface with customers and prospects, help them understand how to operate Anchore in containerized environments and integrate container scanning in their development workflows, but there was also an added sales aspect that I hadn’t done before.”

Client service wasn’t always the focus for Andre.  Prior to Anchore, he worked on systems administration and network security. 

“Early on I developed an interest in understanding the components of a secure enterprise network and used that knowledge to design better security around systems and network architectures. At the same time, cloud adoption grew and companies began developing modernization strategies for enterprise infrastructure. I transitioned to the role of a Cloud Security Architect in which I was able to apply my previous experience to advise customers on how to secure their cloud infrastructure and workloads.

When Anchore’s InfoSecurity and IT team was expanding, Andre expressed interest in the role during a continuous performance discussion and was supported by his manager to pursue the opportunity.  The IT Security Engineer role proved to be the perfect opportunity to combine his past experiences and current interests (as Andre is also in the process of getting his Masters degree in Cybersecurity Technology).  

“In the past, I partnered with and advised customers on architecting solutions without the ownership of seeing it through.  The InfoSec role has given me an opportunity to apply the same principles internally, but rather than just advising how it should be implemented, I get to follow through and look for areas of improvement. The whole end-to-end approach really intrigued me and my general affinity towards security that I’ve had in all my roles. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of our internal IT Security initiatives and look forward to learning and growing in the role.

Supporting employees to pursue alternative career opportunities within our organization is an integral part of Anchore’s culture – truly embodying our core values of kindness, openness, ownership.  For more on our open roles, check out our careers page here.

How Core Values Can Foster Open Performance Discussions

Kindness, Openness, and Ownership.  These are the core values that Anchore was built on and our team members exhibit every day.  At the core of these values are the underlying themes of trust, empathy, and communication, which are paramount to our continuous performance model.  We designed this model to create manager and employee relationships that enable and empower every employee to feel safe to raise their hand with new ideas and ask for help, creating open two-way communication.

Every other month, employees sit down with their managers for a Top 2 conversation, where they discuss two things that went well and two things that can be focused on in the coming months.  Most importantly, this feedback goes both ways.  Employees have a regular opportunity to share feedback with their manager (wanting more frequent check-ins, interest in stretch projects, etc.) and managers have regular opportunities to coach employees, providing the tools and resources they need to be successful. 

Additionally, every six months managers sit down with their direct reports for a Stay Interview, providing a dedicated time to discuss motivators, communication styles, and long-term career goals. With this understanding, the feedback and opportunities presented can be deliberately aligned with each person’s individual goals and objectives. 

To learn more about how our continuous performance model has given our team members the tools to build a trusting and open relationship, we sat down with Brandon Lee (he/him), Senior Accountant, and his manager Alaina Frye (she/her), Sr. Director, Finance, Accounting and RevOps. 

Brandon has worked at various sized companies, from large financial services firms to small startups, all of which had infrequent and unclear performance models (or none at all). When he joined Anchore, Brandon welcomed the opportunity to participate in a robust and regular performance development program. 

“I think what we have with the Anchore Top 2 discussions and Stay Interviews is pretty awesome and has enabled Alaina and I to have a very open and honest relationship,” said Brandon.  “Because the Top 2 meetings occur so often, it’s easy for us to reflect on what went well in the previous months, as well as help identify some of the processes that we can continue to enhance and refine. The transparency and open dialogue we have in our Stay Interviews is really helpful for my career growth and happiness at Anchore. I enjoy the opportunity to share my short-term and long-term career goals in a very candid way and really appreciate the continuous support in accomplishing my goals.”

Alaina, whose experience also ranges from large financial services firms to small startups, has become a champion of Anchore’s Top 2’s and Stay Interviews.  As a manager, they give her the ability to have constant communication with her direct reports. This ensures that expectations and goals are clear on both sides – ensuring strong communication all around. 

Top 2’s help everyone digest feedback because we have this set framework and recurring time to discuss performance regularly. It facilitates the opportunity to receive feedback and then work together on action plans,” said Alaina. “Some months there is specific feedback about how I can better support Brandon, but other months we sit down and talk at a higher level about process improvements we want to make.”

Even ad-hoc feedback conversations outside of Top 2’s have become more natural because Brandon and Alaina have built a foundation in their sessions, understanding how each other thinks, communicates, and what motivates them.  This sense of trust and psychological safety with one another has opened the door to real time feedback opportunities. 

Through Alaina and Brandon’s embodiment of Anchore’s values they have cultivated a strong relationship where they can learn and grow – together.  If you are interested in working on a team that fosters kindness, trust and open communication, head to our careers page. 

Taking A Healthy Viewpoint

Since Anchore’s inception, healthcare has been a central tenet for CEO Saïd Ziouani. “We want everyone at Anchore to focus on creating and being a part of something really special here. Employees should not have to worry that their physical and mental health is not being taken care of. It is, and will always be, a priority for us.”

In this Mission: Impact health profile, we sat down with Shannon Goulding to hear about her wellness journey with Anchore’s benefits program.

“Last year I joined Anchore and upon enrolling in benefits, was blown away at the number of plans that were fully covered by the employer – my experience of the industry standard is that the lowest HDHP-type plans were the only ones covered at 100%. While I consider myself a generally healthy person, I enrolled in a low-deductible PPO at ZERO extra cost to me, so I buckled down and got serious about using my insurance. I saw all the specialists that I had been putting off for years due to cost, and for lack of a better phrase, got my act together!

Thanks to having comprehensive insurance from my employer, I now can afford the things that I have realized are a necessity as I advance in a challenging career in talent acquisition at a startup, during a totally unprecedented season of life. As a result I now wear glasses, resulting in fewer headaches. Plus I have easy and affordable access to tools that are helping me keep my mental health in check.

It’s a win-win for me AND for Anchore because when I’m happier and healthier, I’m a much better recruiter!”


It All Started With a Fish Tank

It all started with a fish tank…  You don’t hear that often, but for Anchore employees Touré Dunnon and Amy Oxley, this hobby was just the thing to start their Anchorenaut friendship.  

Touré’s 250 gallon saltwater aquarium is the real deal. It has an impressive mechanical and biological filtration system that holds 400 gallons total (2500 lbs). Touré grows seaweed and keeps the water extra clean for his nine fish from Fiji and the Caribbean.  

This advanced level of aquatic life didn’t happen overnight.  Touré learned his love of fish through his Dad, who started him out with a 10 gallon saltwater tank when he was 13.  After college, Touré got back into aquariums with his two daughters who help manage the water changes, clean the tank, and feed the fish.  Since he was interested in becoming a marine biologist as a kid, Touré is hoping his daughters will be inspired to pursue that path when they get older.

Outside of his fish tank fatherhood, Touré is a Senior Software Engineer on the Anchore platform team, primarily working on policy engine with a key focus on keeping active containers within compliance.  

Meanwhile in Texas, Amy’s three-year-old daughter Fynn’s obsession with the Finding Nemo movie piqued her interest in starting a fish tank hobby. It wasn’t until seeing Toure’s aquarium during an Anchore All-Hands virtual meeting that she was inspired to commit.  Amy’s 40 gallon freshwater tank has 11 fish, complete with schools of tetra, catfish, and shrimp.  

While still aspiring to make her tank more automated (and eventually upgrade to a saltwater tank as “saltwater fish are way cooler”), Amy and Fynn love to count the fish and learn their names. 

Amy is the Senior Manager of the IT and Information Security team, filling her days with managing Anchore’s internal systems for both ease of use and compliance while maintaining and managing the company’s security initiatives.

Toure and Amy’s friendship has continued to grow – with Touré being a fountain (dare we say, an aquarium) of knowledge for Amy as she has embarked on her fish tank journey, being her go-to person for questions on everything from water changes to the ideal plants and fish to purchase next.  They even connected on their hobby of woodworking, and strategize on how to build stands and support systems for their fish tanks.  

In a distributed company during an unprecedented time, Touré and Amy’s friendship is an example of the unconventional ways people can make a connection through something as simple as a video conference background. You can keep up with Touré and Amy (and their aquatic hobbies) on LinkedIn.

Curious what it’s like in a startup?

Curious what it’s like in a startup? As we continue our culture-first series, today we’re diving into the jobs and people at Anchore. All startups are different, at Anchore we focus on ensuring all employees, from individual contributors to the exec team, are given the opportunity to challenge themselves and explore new skillsets.

We talked to Support Engineer Tyran H. in the UK about his time on the team.

“Anchore is my first encounter working at an actual startup and is an amazing place to experience the real deal. Plus, I also have the opportunity to learn and develop technologies at the forefront of the tech world.”

Not only is Tyran part of our growing customer success team, but he was also Anchore’s first UK-based employee.

“As the first overseas hire, being welcomed as part of the family to help Anchore grow from the ground up has made settling in easy. It feels more like working on a passion-project with a group of friends than ACTUAL work, which is a massive bonus!”

Want to join Tyran and our team? Check out our latest job listings here.