Friday, March 07, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes to Lead?


Do You Have What It Takes to Lead?
This question recently came to me from one of my security resume writing clients.  Since his resume project is complete, my client thought that I knew enough about his background and skills to be able to predict his future.

Career History and Skills
It is true that I’m now intimately familiar with my client’s career history and skills but I don’t know what my client should want to do next in his career.  My client thinks he wants to move more deeply into leadership but he isn't entirely sure.

I explained to my client that the only way I could properly answer his question is to know how he his hardwired.  By that I mean that I can’t tell him if he has what it takes to move towards leadership or if he should stay on a more technical architectural path until I know if he has the core traits and strengths that are required in a leader.

Technical Competency and Skill
Technical Competency in a skill area alone does not qualify someone to lead.  They have to possess a variety of additional skills such as exceptional communication skills, relationship building skills, collaboration skills, integrity, vision, strategy and in many cases much more.

In order to properly answer my client’s question about what he is qualified to do in the future, I first need to understand what he has the natural potential to be great at.  We have tools and coaching methodology that brings this information to the surface in crystal clear language.

A CISO's Coaching Results
A recent CISO coaching and resume writing client who had been slow in delivering his resume worksheet to me shared this:

“Seriously Jeff, my first day that isn't booked for a lunch meeting or with a coworker this month is this Thursday.  Amazing for a person who couldn't beg, borrow nor steal a lunch invitation for the last three years.”

What he meant by this statement is that he has implemented some of the changes we've been coaching on and he’s telling me that people are once again wanting his company.  If you knew the rest of the story, you would know that this is career changing news.

For this CISO, we had to determine how he was wired to gain an understanding of his traits and strengths.  Once we could see how he was built, it was easy to understand what he was likely already great at and we could also see where parts of his job were causing him to experience serious health-altering stress.

For this CISO, when he asked me to help him map out his future, I could clearly answer his questions because we had scientific evidence in hand to helps us to see what his future career road map should look like.

This CISO has what it takes to lead.  He simply needed to find clarity around what he is built to do well and what he needs to delegate to others.  He needed a course correction.


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