Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As 2013 Comes To an End and 2014 Begins

Reflection Time
What a year it has been.  I’ve personally experienced the sweetness of victory and success in business that came to me from working with some of the best clients I’ve ever encountered.  My year is coming to an end having just worked with one of my favorite clients.

What makes this particular client one of my favorite clients? 
I’ve given a significant amount of thought to this question because in 2014, I want to do everything in my power to find more clients like this one.  Not just for me to work with but for me to be able to lead top-shelf security, risk, compliance and privacy professionals to through my security recruiting efforts.

I’ll call this client Susan.  Susan is a woman in what is predominately a man’s world.  She has successfully managed technology architect skilled professionals for the past decade of her career.  Susan is really smart.  She has a high IQ but what I’ve discovered to be the key to her success is her exceptionally high Emotional Intelligence

Susan demonstrates an understanding of her own abilities but what I really like about her is that she concentrates on hiring very smart people and she then concentrates on building her team members up to be all they can be.  If I had a boss, that’s the kind of boss I’d want to work for.  One who isn’t afraid to see me excel and one who would give me the best of everything they have to give me as my leader. Susan is a servant leader.

Susan is smart!  Susan always works with me to establish mutually agreed-upon processes that guides our working relationship.  Every step of the way when we’re working on a project, we both know what happens next because we invest time on the front end to prepare for success on the back-end of a project.  Susan puts me in a position to clearly communicate expectations with the candidates I recruit for her.  This clarity works out well for me, for Susan and for perspective employees for her team.

On a highly personal note, when Susan speaks, when she sets clear expectations.  When she makes promises, I can set my clock by the expectations she sets.  Susan’s words and her actions always meet in the middle. 

Susan exemplifies what it takes to be a successful leader.

On The Flip Side…Tom

In 2013, I learned lessons I never wanted to learn about humanity by working with the worst client I’ve ever encountered in a quarter century of recruiting.  I’ll refer to this misplaced Chief Information Security Officer by the name Tom.  Tom is a highly educated person who holds multiple degrees and multiple certifications from several different educational and certification granting bodies.

Tom’s IQ is high enough for him to consistently pass tests in order to earn degrees and certifications. 

The book “The EQEdge” has an explanation that fits Tom like a glove:

“In order for us to take advantage of our cognitive intelligence and flex it to the maximum, we first need good emotional intelligence.  Why?  Because regardless of how brainy we might be, if we turn others off with abrasive behavior, are unaware of how we are presenting ourselves, or cave in under minimal stress, no one will stick around long enough to notice our high IQs.”

My personal experience with Tom suggests that his Emotional Intelligence is quite low.  For example, when Tom speaks, there is seldom if ever a direct connection between his words, the expectations he sets and the actions that follow.  In his case, it is more often the actions that don’t follow.  Tom is not aware of how his behaviors impact others around him.  This is a significant problem.

After several months of exposure to Tom, a colleague of Tom’s, another CISO who is a friend of mine suggested that Tom sounded like a Sociopath.



[soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-]  Show IPA

noun Psychiatry.
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks asense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Yes, my CISO friend is correct.  Tom’s behavior is that of a Sociopath. 

CISO Leadership

A CISO who acts this way by the way can’t be a leader.  Why would I make such a bold statement?  A leader always needs to establish an environment of trust.  A person who is placed in leadership who does not understand how their behaviors impact those around them (Emotional Intelligence) will not succeed as a leader.  Tom’s inability to connect his words with his actions alone is enough of a case to disqualify him from the leadership role he currently occupies. 

Back to Reflection….But Wait!

Just when I thought I could call it a year and I thought it was time to take inventory of successes and shortcomings I’ve encountered in 2013, another one of my favorite clients made my phone ring last week.

Bob’s Energizing Call

I’ll refer to this CISO as Bob.  Bob has been in my life for an entire decade going all the way back to 2004. I’ve done placement work with Bob when he was with a previous employer.  Bob was instrumental in getting me invited to my first public speaking opportunity.  Bob has become a personal friend as well as a business colleague.

Bob’s Career Is On Fire!

Bob is now the first CISO of a company that has acquired over 20 other companies in the past 2 years and has several more acquisitions in the pipeline.  Bob talked to me earlier this week about finding two talented people to join his security team in 2014.  One will be Security Architect and the other will be more of a GRC Analyst.

Just when I needed a boost to get past the emotional drain that Tom brought to my life over several months, Bob came along and offered the boost I needed.

What makes Bob such a special person? 

Who wouldn't want to work for a CISO who is both competent and who operates with high level personal integrity?  That’s how Bob operates.

Who wouldn't want to be involved in building an entire information security, IT risk management and compliance program from the ground up while working for a boss who wants to help them succeed and grow? 

I Can’t Wait for 2014 to Begin!

Between Susan, Bob, the outstanding people I’m privileged to work with through SecurityRecruiter.com, SecurityJobCoach.com, SecuirtyCareerCoach.com and SecurityLeadershipCoach.com and the outstanding people who are coming my way in 2014 through each service, I can’t wait for the new year to start!

How can I be helpful to your career’s success in 2014?

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