Good Cybersecurity Leadership Without Charisma

Nick Tasler recent­ly wrote an arti­cle over at Har­vard Busi­ness Review that is rel­e­vant to all cyber­se­cu­ri­ty peo­ple who are try­ing to make their orga­ni­za­tions more secure. And if you’re ask­ing peo­ple to change, that means you are try­ing to be a leader no mat­ter what your job title. But do you need to be a rock star to get the job done?

cheering crowd at concert

Here’s the intro to the arti­cle:

Vir­tu­al­ly every leader wish­es they had the pow­er to inspire peo­ple to change. That’s because every leader has expe­ri­enced times when they have iden­ti­fied a change that had to be made, devised a great strat­e­gy for mak­ing it hap­pen, but then strug­gled to get peo­ple mov­ing in the new direc­tion.

The prob­lem is that most lead­ers believe that in order to inspire oth­er peo­ple, they must exude the uncom­mon charis­ma of some­one like Steve Jobs, Mar­tin Luther King, Jr., or John F. Kennedy. Those inspir­ing exam­ples don’t feel espe­cial­ly rel­e­vant or attain­able to lead­ers who are not try­ing to build the first iPhone, end racial seg­re­ga­tion, or send some­one to the moon. What if you’re just try­ing to change the way your peo­ple han­dle loans, man­age a sup­ply chain, or inter­act with cus­tomers?”

Or choose bet­ter pass­words? Or think twice about click­ing on that unex­pect­ed URL? You get the idea.

Let me tell you a dirty lit­tle secret: I was hav­ing a dif­fi­cult time real­ly under­stand­ing the point of the arti­cle until I read this syn­op­sis by the author down in the com­ments:

…what the research shows is that in order to inspire peo­ple to change how they think, a deci­sion has to be more than just “right” or “smart.” It also has to [be] unex­pect­ed or coun­ter­in­tu­itive. Elim­i­nat­ing a “good” thing with lots of pros and lots of val­ue, is unex­pect­ed, and that’s why it trig­gers that domi­no effect of inspi­ra­tion in our brains.”

This new insight is encour­ag­ing for a nerd like me! What about you?

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