Asking CxOs is a blog & podcast created to help existing and inspiring Leaders with practical tools and values to help them improve & be the best they can be.
Sam is the CSO of Cyber Reason, http://cybereason.com/ and after a short amount of time, we learnt that Sam is not just a a great security officer, he is a leader and a visionary. Here is what we learned from him:
What are the main areas the security department deals with?
I make sure that all the areas of the company will be 100% secure.
What type of people can work inside your department?
You may never know that you have a passion for security, the world of security is an incredible place.
People may miss the fact that they love security, that’s why I don’t look at skills, I look at attitude. When I say attitude, I mean that they need to be passionate about security;
skills come when you’re passionate about something.
You’ve got to realise the exact identifiers that push back your attendant when you’re looking for attitude; that’s how, I as a leader build a team.
You know for sure who the person is that you want to hire because of the attitude he/she has, that’s how you know for sure that you found the perfect candidate.
As a chief of security, how do you grow your department?
Most people think that security is a kiddie pool, when in reality, we make sure the business is secure enough for the business to run; without it you can literally close the doors of your business.
One of the most forgotten problems I'm facing is convincing the CFO to give me some money to grow the department, so what I do is: build a new layer of security that makes innovation, most C Level executives aren’t faced with that problem.
I think that’s what makes us special, the reason we need to be in a constant growth makes me feel more eager about our industry.
How do you build an environment that people can feel and perform in a more productive way?
That’s a good question, frankly, what we do is first of all looking for growth, that electrifies the atmosphere between us, secondly, we have values that we all follow. Lastly; it’s taking care of each other, by the end of the day, you want to feel like you belong to where you are, and if not, your performance will decrease instantly.
How do you make people feel like they belong as an executive?
I think that’s a question of leadership, not as a manager, or an executive.
There is a famous video of Simon Sinek that talks about start with why. You realise that without your why, there is no way you can actually play the role of a leader
Simon talks about leadership, he says that being a leader is like being a parent, if you don’t like taking care of your kids, giving to them, taking care of them, you’re not a leader.
Do you think that Simon is right?
Well, Simon is right, he says that you need to be a parent, but it is not just about giving, is also about taking care of your team.
It’s not just about asking them to help, if they need something, it is about doing and fulfilling their needs. Then you become the greatest leader; when you lead them to success and actually see them grow, it feels amazing.
Trust is actually created between you and them, when you help them grow. You know, I used to play soccer, hockey, but the game that I learned the most from is rugby, when you play rugby, you need to trust your teammates to do what they need to do to be a successful team.
What makes trust in rugby more special than soccer or hockey?
There is a famous book called the trust equation. There are 4 factors but the most important of all is alignment.
You need to know how great your teammates are and that they want the same thing as you.
It’s not enough for you to know that, you need to feel it, in my eyes, that’s what trust is all about.