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The 5 Levels of leadership from John Maxwell, from Position, Permission, Production, People Development, and Personhood.

Levels of Leadership

Many will experience or at least recognize the Five-Level of Leadership, as described by John Maxwell in his book by the same name, but might not have recognized the hierarchy of the structure. As we discuss the various levels of leadership, think about where you might be in your current journey and where you might want to go. There is no correct answer to where you want to go with your leadership. However, there are limits on your abilities to achieve results in people or tasks based on which level you might be at.

Let’s look through the 5 Levels and what they would mean to you in your current leadership role, as well as where you are looking to grow your role to become.

  1. You are starting from the foundation, Position leaders. This first level is the level of Rights. People follow you because they “have to,” and they do not have a choice to follow you. They have to follow whether they want your leadership or not. Please think of the game, follow the leader from your childhood, you had one of your friends who was the boss, and you had to follow everything they said. Another example could have also been your first supervisor or manager at your first job; you needed the job, so you followed everything they said. At this level, you are also a task-focused leader, focused on controlling how others accomplish their assigned tasks. On this level, your influence will not extend beyond the lines of your job description. The longer you stay in the role, the higher the turnover and the lower the morale.

  2. As you evolve to the next leadership level, this is the Permission Level. This level is built on relationships. People follow you because they want to follow YOU. They believe and trust in you, and they don’t “have to,” but instead “want” to follow you. A great example of this might be within a group of friends, and there might be one who holds the center of gravity or the ability to help influence decisions made. While all are equal in friendship, one friend is trusted to help guide the group in the right way. Other examples of this could include peers in the work environment who might not have a formal leadership role over each other, but they will follow you beyond your stated authority. Having a manager who might have formal authority over you to complete work tasks and your trust to advise you on your career growth is another example. At this level, you are a people-focused leader; while you will ensure that tasks are completed, your main focus is on building relationships with others.

  3. As the evolution continues, your growth as a leader pivots back from people-focused to becoming task-focused again. At this level, you focus on “production” and the “results” that you can deliver in your work. Problems are fixed efficiently with minimal effort because of your momentum. People follow you because you have figured out ways to optimize systems, implemented new solutions to speed up work, and delivered outstanding results. They sense your success and want to be on the victorious team. You can’t ignore the position you have achieved at the lower level either; they need to be combined with this new level of success — people like what you and what you are doing. Your experience here has allowed you to see how things work and how to use people and processes to get results, and you are reaping the rewards from the lower levels.

  4. With the success of production and results, you pivot back to people vs. tasks once more in your journey. At this level, you are focused on “people development,” taking the lessons you learned yourself on the way up and helping your followers learn them too. At this stage, the level of reproduction, people are looking to your to help reproduce the results you achieve for yourself in them. People follow you because of what you have done for “them” and what’s in it for “them.” You are focused on developing the organization’s future leaders for the long-range growth and ensuring that the organization will grow as well as its people. The more leaders you can produce at this stage, the great your impact with be. Do whatever you can to achieve and stay on this level.

  5. In the last stage of leadership, “personhood,” people respect and follow you because of your values and what you represent. The ability to impact followers at this stage is predominately indirect and through the leaders you have developed and the concepts and processes you have created. Leaders at this level have spent years growing people and organizations, and their name and reputation precede them; they are often viewed as more significant than life. Examples include Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, John Maxwell, John F Kennedy, etc. You also return to being a focused task leader through accomplishing changes and developments you would not have previously had the influence to achieve.

As you look at your leadership journey, where would you say you are? Based on the brief explanations, are you at the level you hoped to be? In John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership, an assessment can be used to self-assess yourself and assessments from contributors on your team for a 360 view of your leadership level. If you are looking for a guided offering for this, reach out to [email protected].

Threat Informed Defense Approach to your Career!

Earlier this week, I shared a Threat Informed Defense article on Medium based on the practice of using threat intelligence from the environment to adapt and respond to specific threats (link). In this newsletter I’ll share some ways for us to adapt our leadership using a similar model.

https://medium.com/@christophefoulon_55618/threat-informed-defense-be36d989016c

As you work to develop your leadership, using a threat-informed approach to your career will allow you to adapt and adjust to the changing threat/career environment. Understanding the business mission and critical assets in the threat-informed defense approach, understand your mission and purpose. Understanding the mission will enable you to adapt your career to changes in the requirements of the business environment.

Understanding your mission and purpose will allow finding companies and roles that align or will enable you to purpose that path, vs. going down the road with a company that goes against the things you believe in just for the money.

As the business environment changes or grows in your career, you might need to adjust your mission and purpose, which is perfectly acceptable. Recognizing and adapting to the changes is critical, as going against what drives you would likely lead to burnout. As a leader, you set an example for your followers and future leaders. The output of a great leader is the number of leaders they develop and the leaders who continue to get created from them.

Looking for a coach to help you with your career, reach out to me at [email protected]

Threat-Informed Defense

Having completed the AttackIQ Academy Live “Building Threat-Informed Emulation Plans” course, I wanted to share a high-level approach to Threat-Informed Defense which allows organizations to prioritize better defenses based on their threat landscape. A threat-informed defense enables an organization to have prioritized protection and understanding of the threat actors of an organization, a playbook with mitigations, and the opportunity to test and validate those defenses. Before we get into the details, let’s set some baselines for those who might not understand the terms.

Business Mission is the understanding of an organization’s core drivers that drive it to produce the products, services, and other offerings and the critical assets that support that mission.

Threat Landscape — an understanding of the environment in which a business exists, including threat actors, competition, customers, and regulatory and environmental factors.

Threat Actors — These items can include people like employees, competitors, cybercriminals, and even activities that might want to inflict harm on an organization.

Mitigations / Defenses — understanding the potential tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPS) that a threat actor might take to attack an organization. You can then devise tailored defenses that mitigate or limit the effects of those attacks.

Threat playbooks — documented and hopefully tested playbooks that validate the implemented mitigations.

Threat-Informed Defense

While a technically focused individual might be drawn to the network maps and devices when trying to understand the business mission and the assets critical to achieving this, do not overlook the people and processes of the business. A potential threat actor will likely target an organization’s human assets as part of its attack. Understanding how the people, processes, and technology come together to create the products, services, or other offerings that allow the organization to achieve its mission, is a critical first step in a threat-informed defense.

With a solid understanding of an organization’s critical assets (people, process, data, technology), understanding the critical vulnerabilities and the centers of gravity they surround is the next step in this approach. Centers of Gravity are particular collections of people, processes, and technology, for example, in a research site, corporate office, etc.

The MITER ATT&CK framework is a helpful tool that can help you understand what TTP major threat actors might use is the MITRE ATT&CK framework. Focusing on the threats that are most likely to attack your organization allows you to start to prioritize the threat actors. Then using threat intelligence, you can determine what these threats are and what they do and how they do it, allowing you to choose informed defenses and mitigations based on the threats.

When using this intelligence to deploy mitigations to the critical vulnerabilities of your organizational assets, You can prioritize the implementation of these mitigations based on the techniques described using the MITRE ATT&CK framework and potential mitigations described. Another tool that you can use for defenses is the MITRE D3FEND framework.

Having your defenses and mitigations in place is just part of threat informed defense process; next, you want to ensure that those defenses are tested. Using Purple Teaming and Breach & Attack Simulation, you can test your protection to ensure that they work the way you intended. Purple Teaming is the process of Red Teamers simulating the approaches of a threat actor within your organization and working with the Blue Teamers to ensure that they see their techniques. Breach & Attack Simulation is IT security technology that can automatically spot vulnerabilities in an organization’s cyber defenses, akin to continuous, automated penetration testing. It allows you to test your defenses and improve your cybersecurity readiness.

Using these processes allows you to develop playbooks to respond to different potential attacks and how your organization should respond to them. These should be regularly or continuously tested as changes in the environment can affect how the implemented mitigations work. This continuous process should take threat intelligence to adjust and adapt to changes.

BSidesCharm - What Employers are doing to grow talent

The Hiring Village at BSidesCharm 2022 has a great mix of small and large firms, some local to the conference's home city of Baltimore; others nationally recognized names. I wanted to try something different this time; rather than have the companies ask me about myself or what I am looking for in an employer, I wanted to ask them about how they were developing their junior talent pipelines to help them grow and develop as well as meet their resource needs. The results were reasonably inspiring overall, and I am enthusiastic about these companies' commitments to talent development.

All of the companies mentioned that they were open to hiring junior talent and seem to focus the majority of that effort on internships. As I asked more, I was surprised to find out that beyond offering the internship, many of the companies did not have a close relationship with the local schools, colleges, or universities in their area to help better the school understand their needs, potentially offer classes or tracks that better help students prepare for what they look for in talent or the market is looking for. Some, on the hand, did and mentioned how much that symbiotic relationship has helped attract and get talent that was better prepared to get running faster.

I asked if they had ever considered or had apprenticeship programs (outside of SkillsBridge discussed later), and I was surprised that many had not considered this an option for attracting and growing talent while receiving continuous education. Many other fields, from medical to electrical and others, have demonstrated that this is a working model. I hope that more companies become more open to this option in the future.

As the conversation continued, I asked what they did to invest in their talent to retain them as they continued to grow. The responses usually started with the benefits packages, which included tuition and training reimbursements, and unfortunately for some, it stopped there. On the other hand, some of the companies also had great growth programs from development platforms for learning the hands-on skills they needed and focused heavily on growing juniors to mid and up. Others offered mentorships, the ability to work on different projects to develop skills that the employees wanted to grow, internal mobility, and dedicated training paths.

Unfortunately, only a couple truly had dedicated approaches to hiring junior and growing them to more senior roles vs. recruiting only at senior levels. While we discussed the constraints of customer needs and needing to deliver at a specific level, this approach of senior-only recruiting will only continue to expand the talent gap.

I was pleased to see that most if not all of the companies present had or were open to recruiting veterans and transitioning veterans and using SkillsBridge as a mechanism for doing so. Considering that many of these companies directly service the government, it was still good to see that hiring veterans and transitioning their clearances helps them considerably. A couple of these companies took it a step further by having programs for mil-spouses, which was great to see.

All in all, I left rejuvenated by the fact that some companies still believe that hiring juniors, growing them, and promoting within as a fundamental talent strategy is excellent. As the current generation enters the workforce, they will need employers who hire for entry-level roles and are dedicated to growing talent.

Reflections on a week with inspiring cybersecurity leaders

Having wrapped up the week at an onsite conference, I wanted to share some reflections from the Cyber Future Foundations Cyber Talent Week (https://cyberfuturefoundation.org/ctw2022.html). Thinking about the challenges we have in tackling the demand for cybersecurity talent to fill some of the millions of unfilled jobs, some focus areas emerged, and the solutions required all stakeholders to take part. To solve the talent-gap crisis facing the cybersecurity industry, we will need to take a multi-faceted approach from the employers, candidates, and the educational system that supports them. Based on the scale of the problem, I am going to break down the solutions into phases for the short-term, long-term, and the next generation.

In the short term, most of the gap comes from employers whose demand for talent does not seem to be getting filled. We would encourage employers to start by re-examining their job descriptions to prioritize the problems that need to be solved and include the skills, competencies, and abilities to help solve those problems. Then, prioritize internal training and continuous education processes to develop all the other nice-to-have skills and aptitudes you can teach candidates over time. This focus on the problem to be solved opens up the apparatus to new diverse groups of talent from other workforce sectors interested in solving those types of issues and a retainment mechanism via continuous education and training. Additionally, for employers, do not overlook the existing stakeholder in your organization from the business lines who would be interested in these roles. Promoting from within and encouraging internal mobility does excellent for retention and culture. On the candidate side, start with narrowing down the problems you would like to solve and the roles you would be interested in pursuing. Having a broad job search scope hurts your ability to articulate your value to employers. Focus on areas of passion that help you achieve your longer-term goals; network with peers and hiring managers; demonstrate and document your abilities in areas where peers and hiring managers are likely to see them.

For the long-term, companies need to work on developing effective talent development pipelines so that they can start to ingest junior candidates while working with educational institutes to help work on ways to provide them with continuous educational programs based on the needs of the organizations in the general area. We do not need to reinvent the wheel. Some frameworks have already been developed. The government has already generated remarkable frameworks from the NIST NICE Workforce Development Framework (https://niccs.cisa.gov/workforce-development/cyber-career-pathways), National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) (https://www.nsa.gov/Academics/Centers-of-Academic-Excellence/), and international examples like SFIA (https://sfia-online.org/en). Companies can work with educational institutions on what else they might need to add to help fill their needs or develop those resources in coordination with the institutions and let them provide them to the community. With talent pipelines, companies can create paths with consistent levels of developed skills, knowledge areas, and proficiencies that allow candidates to see pathways for progression. They can start to open up the hiring aperture to a more diverse set of candidates with a foundational set of competencies transferable to various career verticals.

A great example of this is the NSA Apprenticeship program with CSUSB (https://www.csusb.edu/inside/article/550111/csusb-awarded-million-grant-create-cyber-apprenticeships), or working with other companies like CyberUp (https://wecyberup.org/) that can help the organization create apprenticeship programs. These programs can help bring in junior talent and continuous education programs to get them ramped up. Candidates can work to highlight their skills, passions, and competencies through constant learning themselves and showing employers how they solve business problems through working with the technologies that employers are using and demonstrating their use of them on the scales available with an approach that can later be scaled to meet the organizational needs. Network with those in the field; this can be in platforms like LinkedIn and the informal platforms created by the communities in Discord, Slacks, and other organic communities that focus on the problem set (think cloud, application security, infrastructure security, etc.).

For the next generation, we will need increased partnerships between companies, government, and educational institutions to develop a minimum standard of aptitude through skills, knowledge areas, and hands-on competencies that produce a workforce that will be readily available and effective for employers. It does not end there; the partnership continues with a continued development journey for candidates supported by employers through on-the-job training and continuous education. For this partnership to be effective, you need to ensure that you are serving communities large and small with this training and education, while they might need investments in additional access to technology and infrastructure and awareness training to the communities as to the value of this career. Just because someone might have access to training and education does not mean that the students or the communities see the value in that career path as valuable to generating value for their community. Some great examples of this I have seen include some CSPs who work with the local school districts to provide them with increased resources for curriculums like computer science, development, AI, and cybersecurity. On the employers' side, with the improved job descriptions focused on the problems that need to be solved vs. a long list of requirements that seem only to screen out candidates, they can attract candidates from different domains who are attracted to solve those types of the problem set. Most of the skills that cybersecurity employers have stated are essential to them usually include curiosity, communication, persistence, and the foundation of technical skills like cloud technologies, networking, and application security.

As we look to take action on these outputs, we need to focus on the talent of today with how companies can utilize the diverse talent already available to them and continue to develop them; for the talent tomorrow, we should build talent pipelines via apprenticeships and internal talent pipelines; for the skill of the next generation, we need to drive awareness for the career path and value proposition to the community along with developmental programs from K to Grey. There need to be a holistic partnership between businesses, government, and educational programs.

I am a career coach focused on helping senior cybersecurity leaders develop themselves to help achieve excellent results and the success they are looking for in their career. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

Growing yourself enable you to grow others

The 15th and last law, from John Maxwell's "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth," The Law of Contribution, focuses on the that you can not pass on to others what you have not gone through yourself. I was reminded of that fact with a timely message from a connection on Linkedin I had in 2016; he wrote:

"I have been following your journey since we connected back in 2016, and I commend your persistence and intentionality in going after your career goals. You willed yourself into cybersecurity and are now a thought leader in the space."

As I reflect on this, I think about a quote from John Maxwell "be a river, not a reservoir." I wanted to make cybersecurity accessible to more people; I wanted to model that you can come from different background and make it in the community. I want to help grow people and have that flow from me rather than keeping it bottled up.

Do you have someone who mentors, coaches, or encourages you to be that better person or strive in your career? Someone who challenges what you think? Who cheers on your dreams? Provides perspective when it is most needed?

Being able to help others grow is a choice; are you making that choice? Are your best efforts focused on making yourself feel good or helping someone else be successful? Are you a "Go-Getter" or a "Go-Giver"?

No matter where you are in your journey, you can always give back to those a couple of steps behind you. However, if you need a coach to help you achieve goals first, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

Are you growing to get the capacity you need?

If you were like me, you are probably always looking for more hours in the day. How do you get those hours? Are you growing in the ways needed to get that capacity? Many do not correlate that there is additional capacity with natural growth, but the development allows you to find new ways to do the same things you were doing before except more efficiently, therefore providing more capacity.

What are some of the items that give you the greatest return for your investment of time? For example, when using the 80/20 principle, we are looking for 20% of the things that achieve 80% of the return in impact. This allows us to prioritize and optimize how we are working to ensure the best outcomes.

Another way that allows us to grow is a shift in the way we think. Shifting our thinking from asking “can I” do something to “how can I” do something or digging deep and asking why. When we hit a roadblock in life, if we have a fixed mentality, we often accept that something we tried didn’t work because we are not good enough. However, with a growth mindset, asking “how could I have done that better” or “why did my approach not work” and looking for ways to optimize it, we end up getting better at doing it and will eventually be able to do it and at a potentially greater capacity.

One of the other things that inhibit our growth with a fixed mindset is that we see the outputs as limited and might not want to share them. Approaching things with a growth and abundance mindset, we think about how putting the strengths of others together might produce better output for all or how sharing information with others will help achieve the overall mission or cause.

By stepping outside of ourselves and helping others, not letting “this was the way things we have done” and challenging the status quo, you help all of those who might be coming behind you and help make it easier for them to achieve their outcomes.

If you have a dream for something, then ask yourself:

If I knew I could not fail, what would I attempt?

If I had no limitations, what would I love to do?

What would I be doing with my life if money were not an issue?

Focus on What Works instead of More Work. For what works, look at the Required, Return, Reward to help you focus on the right items. If you are looking for a coach to help you and get your cyber career to that #nextlevel, reach out to me at [email protected]

How do you improve when you have no one to follow?

I was having a conversation with a client who permitted me to share this with you. She was at a crossroads in her career, pivoting from one area to another, and seemed confused on the path forward. Her career was a fantastic cross-section of outstanding skills and talents. She was such a promoter of others, yet not sure how to communicate a similar message about herself. She had CISOs coming to her to educate them on the vendor landscape and security adoption strategy and communicate it to the board. Yet, on the outside, in her public persona, she feels that she is non-technical.

In John Maxwell's The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, the "Law of Modeling," he states that it is "hard to improve when you have no one but yourself to follow," This statement was precisely what was happening to my client. She didn't have others who she felt she could model. As part of the way to help her improve, I made some introductions to other amazing women who might potentially serve as a model and someone for her to follow.

As you think about the people you have followed, what about them caused you to follow them? Did you investigate their skills and experiences? A good model provides a worthy example, is available, has proven experience, possesses wisdom, provides friendship and support, is already making a difference in people's lives. Do the people you follow do this?

Maxwell's law of modeling states that everyone needs a coach. Michael Jordon has said that there would be no Michael Jordan without Phil Jackson. Who is your Phil Jackson type of a coach?

For real growth to occur in your life, find a next-step mentor.

Before you meet with them, have thoughtful questions. Make a list of areas in your life you want to discuss. Have a forward focus

If you are looking for a Phil Jackson type of coach and to get your cyber career to that #nextlevel, reach out to me at [email protected]

Are you curious or do you say you are?

Curiosity is a superpower and a transferable competency that follows you no matter what role. Many people say that they are curious, yet they do not tend to ask “why?” and fail to learn the discoveries along the way. While many might have some ingrained level of curiosity from the way they were raised or biological inheritance, I feel that it is something that you can consciously grow.

What are you currently curious about and want to learn more about it? This is an excellent start to becoming curious. Start consciously making notes or writing down topics you would like to know more about, then make an effort to research what you want to know.

Do you remember when you were a child and asked “why” so many times? As you grew up, you lost the need to ask why, or society conformed you do not challenge the norms all the time with responses like “it has always been done this way.”

What makes you want to ask “WHY” today? Do you only ask why or want to learn something more because your job requires it? Or are you asking why because “YOU” want to learn more? As a hiring manager, there is a significant difference in motivation, persistence, and follow through when someone only knows because they want to achieve the bare minimum required for their jobs, versus being truly curious and asking why with genuine curiosity. You can take someone who has a genuine interest and the drive to learn more about something and ramp them up quickly to a new role in a new space. On the other hand, those that exhibit forced curiosity seem to ramp up significantly slower.

As you follow your curiosity, sometimes you will hit a wall, feel like you are limited, or even fail. What do you do when you get here? Do you ask “WHY”? Are you curious to investigate the root cause and work to ensure that you don’t repeat it? Have your stopped looked for the “right answer” to your question when you find the first answer to your question?

During the journey of life, you will have forks on the road, and sometimes being curious about those paths can value you greatly, even if you fail along the way. Asking questions along the way allows us to continue to grow and learn, so never stop asking questions.

Are you ready to continue to grow and learn? If not, what has caused you to become less curious? Ask yourself “why” five times to that answer and write them down on that piece of paper, then “why” again, and again, and again, and again.

If you are looking for a coach to help you find your “Why” and get your cybersecurity career back on track and get you to that #nextlevel reach out to me at [email protected]

Have you been holding on to the past?

Whether growing from a child to an adult or trying to learn a new skill, you will have things that you need to be willing to let go of from the past to grow. They could be bad habits holding you back or preventing you from moving forward. In John Maxwell's book "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" in the Law of Trade-Offs, "you have to give up to grow up."

One of these examples for me was when I was younger, the majority of my friends at the time ended up not having the same interests as me, and while having their friendship meant a lot to me, it felt like they were holding me back rather than encouraging me to grow. As I decided to focus more on my growth at the time, I gave up the time that I used to spend with them and eventually gave them up to grow up.

As you look into yourself, what are the things that might be holding you back from growth? It could be the certainty of living at home with your parents or a job that keeps you shackled to the desk if you crave the variety of seeing/doing different things? They do not have to be friends like me.

What will it take to get to the next level of your potential? Are you looking for that feeling that you are producing something of unique value or importance, or expanding on your capability or understanding of a topic, or that sense of contribution to the community?

What tradeoffs are you willing to give up for the growth opportunities? Are you choosing the right ones now, which will fuel your growth?

For trees to continue to grow, they produce buds, which become flowers for them to pollinate and continue to grow. Will you go through the change, or will you rise?

Change is a very personal issue, and it is not the same for everyone. How do you help enable growth in your life? It is never too late to go. There are examples of people achieving degrees, starting a new business, and starting over very late in life. Do you want to keep waiting or go for it now?

If you are going to make the tradeoffs, the one question to answer is, is it worth the price? Because tradeoffs have a price connected to them! What security or certainty are you surrendering for significance, contribution, or growth?

Make a list of the things you are willing to tradeoff to grow yourself. As you create your tradeoff list, create a "no compromise"/no tradeoff list and safety measures that will ensure that you do not stray from their priorities.

If you need help with creating these lists and helping you with your growth through coaching, reach out to me at cpf-coaching.com

Is stretching a word in your vocabulary?

Sometimes life shows you a lesson in different ways; this time, life showed me this one in my health and career at the same time. Recently prescribed physical therapy (PT) to tackle some ongoing pain issues I have been having, and at this point, I was open to trying any new options that could help me. The night before, I was a little apprehensive, wondering how PT would help me with my chronic pain issues; how could the two be related?

On the first day of PT, I went in willing and open to see how this could help me and see what exciting technology the PT therapist would be using. I quickly discovered that she would be using me. She showed me simple ways to start to bend my body to help stretch the muscles, which might have been so unused, potentially sitting at home at my desk working for the past two years that they tighten up, causing pain.

I could start to feel slight results from day 1. These results encouraged me that this could be something to help me with my pain and demonstrated to me that I had a LOT more flexibility than I ever thought I had. A couple of weeks in, my wife says that she has never seen me as flexible in the 10+ years she has known me.

This adventure into stretching leads me back to John Maxwell’s book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” and the law of the rubber band. He mentions that “Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be” and that life begins at the end of our comfort zone, and we get there by stretching.

Your greatest gift to yourself is your potential; are you developing it? I have always been one for the challenge looking for the next best challenge to take in my career or learning new technology to keep up with the changes. However, there have been times when I feel like I have been languishing, not getting any better, not getting any worse, just being there, and those have sometimes been the most challenging times. To some, it looks like you are doing great, but inside you feel like you are not stretching. One of my coaches helped me pivot my perspective on what I was focusing on and looking for ways to stretch, which I had been neglecting myself because I didn’t see the challenge. “Find the hard work that no one else is doing, and just do it... don’t sit and wait to be asked for it... don’t just pass up the results, ask for a seat at the table” stretch the role that you are already in and you have let go while looking outside.

Stretching is a critical tool in your arsenal to get the results you want, whether in your health or your career. Have you been using it?

Where have you been stretched in your career?

Have there been times where you recognize that you have not stretched yourself? Why?

Abraham Maslow stated, “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy the rest of your life.”

Where do you need to be stretched so you can grow to the next level?

If you have just settled and need help stretching, I can help you there.

Are you climbing your ladder?

In John Maxwell’s book “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,” he mentions that character growth determines the height of your personal development. As you think about your character, it reflects something that would attract or repel people from you.

How would you measure success for yourself?

Do you focus on the internal rewards or external rewards?

Some of the times we model success based on role models or others, what are the traits or values of others that you admire or want to emulate?

For many leaders, honesty is one of the most valued traits. Honesty is the core of good character; it is the quality that enhances or damages the personal reputation and the single more valued characteristic in good leaders.

As you start designing your growth ladder, what are some of the rungs that you would describe along the way? How would you measure that you achieved them?

Where would you place yourself if you had to rate yourself from rung 1 (lowest rung on the ladder) to 10 (highest potential as a leader)?

What steps would you take to get yourself to the next rung?

When you look back on some of your failures, was there a character trait that you have that held you back or potentially prevented you from achieving your highest potential? It is said that 99% of failures are failures of character. What are your thoughts on this?

Character development is a lifetime process. While we might never plan to mess up, it happens. What is important is what we do when we mess up; how do we address it and respond to it. What steps are you currently taking to develop your character?

Do you focus your growth energy on things on the outside or items on the inside?

How do you balance the time spent on external and internal growth?

Do you schedule specific times to develop humility, character, seeking others first, and family?

Sometimes in life, things do not always work out. According to John Maxwell, “there are many decisions one must make before they have to, or they will make the wrong one” “emergencies don’t develop character, they reveal it.” In my belief, this is so true. We must practice the way we want to play because when it comes time to set things in motion, any shortcuts will reveal themselves.

Ruts

When things outside of your control are changing, health, workloads, environments, etc, and you feel that things might not be going the way you wanted or expected, you might be headed down a rut.

The question then becomes what do you do? Do you want to keep heading down this road? Can you stop or even course correct? Or do you need to brace for impact before you can even assess where you are and where you want to go from here?

Signs that you might be headed down a rut

Inability to concentrate, leading to find mindless ways to procrastinate. The inability to do recreational activities you once enjoyed.

Mindless procrastination leading to giving less care (sh*ts or f**ks) about a given situation of importance.

These signs could be impacting both your professional and your personal life.

What are you options?

The first recommendation is likely asking for help, hard to see that you are in a rut or what the impact of that rut might do to you without seeing the full expanse on the rut all by yourself. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but as sign of understanding that you are part of a community. That community can only help you when you ask for it.

If you are in a rut, ask for help.

Next, stop, assess where you are and where you want to go. Create the vision of where you want to be. Develop some major and minor milestones that can help guide your path there. Use your community to help you.

New year, new experience

I was thinking about the concept of experience, and how does one gains experience, which made me want to help dissect the topic a little. Generally, it’s thought that the only way that someone can experience something is through doing it themselves, and while that is certainly one of the ways to gain experience, it’s not the only way.

In cybersecurity, the role of the hacker (can be both good or evil) is the curiously test all the ways something should or should not be working. When things work as they should the developers of those are happy, when they don’t and discover a new way for something to happen which was not intended, developers need to find ways to reduce or minimize the unintended activities. But how do hackers learn how to find these unintended uses.

For some trades or aspects in life, there is the saying that many people will end up learning it the “hard way”. This means that they will work hard at doing something and likely fail very often as they are learning all the ways “not” to do something the “right” or most efficient way. This could be called the “hard” way because of the number of failures and negative results one must go through before seeing a positive return on their effort. However, once achieved this individual has learned many valuable experiences, the most obvious of which is the most effective way to achieve the task (what some might call the right way), as well as the less obvious lessons all the ways not to do the task. Someone with a growth and learning mindset will pay attention and learn the lessons and experiences from both successes and failures.

In today's society, there is a certain expectation of immediate gratification, to get things when they want them and get them quickly, think about your Amazon Prime delivery coming the next day or even the next couple of hours in certain cities.

While this might work for commodities, when it comes to the skills and competencies needed to succeed in your career, learning those does not come as easy. Back to the story of learning.

Another way that individuals can learn lessons is under the supervision of someone more experienced. The more experienced individual has learned the hard way and is providing an environment for the novice learner to learn the efficient way in a faster manner. They still allow the novice to fail but fail in ways where they will learn the ways to do it efficiently faster. (Be wary of those that claim to provide you with ways to avoid failure) The novice will learn is a pace faster than his trainer with the right mindset that allows the failures and successes as lessons on approaches. This approach is usually used in vocations, as it is sometimes just as important to learn how to do something the wrong way and see the failures than just knowing the right way.

While this approach is faster, there is the requirement of duplication of resources or at least partial overlap of resources during the time of learning. This overhead might be seen as an unduly burned-on organization.

Another way that an individual can acquire experiences, is through the lessons of others without them supervising their efforts. This method has been used for a long time as well, but it shifts the ability of the student to pick up the lessons shared by others in an expedited manner, as there might be limited time for experiences or the exchanges might not be reciprocal.

Teaching is a way of sharing the gathered lessons from others and providing them in the form of information and instruction for the learners to pick up this information. It requires them to see the lessons learned in the experiences of others and extract them themselves. These lessons are often generalized and formed from a collective of experiences from many people to validate that they can be replicated. Some learners might struggle with acquiring the lessons learned as there might not be that reciprocal conversation with someone who has experienced the lessons learned themselves. This causes some inefficiencies in knowledge in the form of the experiences of others.

Many people love the idea of the shortcut of learning the lessons from others to avoid making the mistakes themselves, however, the ownest to learn from these experiences is solely on the learner.

Mentorship allows an experienced individual to help share the lessons learn and provide the student with the information needed to improve their work without being there to supervise them. This form of learning of shared experiences requires the student to share some of their failures with their mentors. The mentor will then share their similar failures and how they overcame them. The novice learner should hopefully learn from the shared experiences of their mentors to speed up their own experiences.

Unlike mentors, coaches work with learners to understand their failures and situation. Coaches work with their clients to explore their struggles and ways to learn from their failures. They also work with their clients to explore opportunities to efficiently improve ways to learn and implement lessons as they gain experiences. The ownest is still on the learner to implement the strategies to reduce their failures or improve the efficiency in which they gain successful experiences.

How do you want to learn and gain experiences?

If you are looking for a cybersecurity-foucsed career coaching, reach out to me at [email protected]

Wrapping up 2021

As the end of the year approaches, I would recommend you take the time to reflect on the past year's results. Take some time and think about the different aspects of your life (personal, job, career, hobbies, family, faith, etc.).

  • What are some of the positive progress made?

  • What were some of the challenges?

  • What are some of the lessons learned from those challenges?

If you think about the goals you might have set at the beginning of the year, did you complete them all?

  • Did you continue tracking them throughout the year?

  • Why not, if you did not follow them?

Were there any consistent themes in the analysis in the different areas of your life?

(Need help with goal setting and development, check out my course or ebook)

Do not just plan for the year, but think about your career and life planning for the next 3-5 years. There will always be goals that might not be able to be achieved in one year. Try to break those longer-term projects into more minor phases, which might be achievable within a year. I would also recommend that you remain open and flexible to uncontrollable life events (a global pandemics might have demonstrated).

Going into 2022, I would encourage you to plan out the applicable goals in the different areas of life you are looking to complete? Ensure that you prioritize the goals and then break them into potentially smaller milestones that can be more easily achievable. Do not forget to include buffer time for unexpected events and any potential funding or training needed.

Whether you are in leadership or not, career planning is a crucial skill for success. If this is an area you struggle in, reach out to me to see if my cybersecurity-focused career coaching services can help you.

Job Hunting

Many might wait until after the holidays to start job hunting; here are some helpful tips if you are one of those.

Focus on your search on a specific role and potentially within a particular geography. While many companies are more open to remote stakeholders, based on anecdotal feedback from my network, there are still inherent biases for those in the geographies of those main company offices.

Network with those in those roles, potential hiring for those roles, or in the companies where you would potentially love to work. Focusing solely on applying via applicant tracking systems makes you a number in a system subjected to filtering of those systems. Humanize your search and focus on the people. You might even make some friends along the way.

Your LinkedIn profile, Resume, and blogs can be used as marketing materials for the role you want to achieve, not just the things you have done in the past. Document your past success, but also how they are related to your desired role. Highlight the competencies you have learned over the years, which can translate into the needed skills hiring managers might desire.

If you are Job Hunting, this eBook is designed as a framework to provide you with insights into the various aspects that should be considered part of your job-hunting strategies. It is included as part of my https://cpf-coaching.teachable.com/p/advancing-your-cybersecurity-career course.

As always, if you are interested in either long-term or hourly coaching, check out https://www.cpf-coaching.com/long-term-coaching for more details.

Fall 2021

As daylight savings time will fall back for many of you, at least if you live in the United States, it's a great reminder to look back at the year so far. As a leader or individual contributor, it is crucial to measure your performance, growth, or even potential decline, which would have occurred in the past year. Fall also usually falls into a similar period as many organizations are preparing to conduct their annual performance appraisals and calibrations. Whether your organization does this or not, as a future leader, you should be able to do this on your own, and in this month's newsletter, we will discuss some of the tools you can use to measure and assess your performance.

Performance Data

Firstly, let's start with metrics, measurements, and things you can use to track your growth or performance with data. If you developed S.M.A.R.T goals for the year or quarter by quarter, you could gauge progress based on their performance. It becomes tricky if you had less measurable goals that only had a complete or not complete outcome. If you did not have plans but tracked things that delivered results to a determined product (e.g., Delivered the Anderson project early and under budget by 10%), these can be used to show progress.

Need help with goal setting and development, check out my course https://cpf-coaching.teachable.com/p/goal-development-for-career-development

Feedback

Apart from data on your performance delivered by your ability to deliver on goals, building relationships in business is often critical; this is where feedback comes into play. Many organizations with performance management systems have centralized ways of requesting and receiving input towards this process. However, even without these systems, you can receive feedback by simply asking for it. While there are good and bad ways to deliver feedback, accepting it can be the same. My recommendations are to ask for behaviors (leadership, teamwork, results-focused, etc.) rather than actions (which you may have done which they like/did not like).

Additionally, do not just ask for the behaviors you excelled in, but also be open to ones that could use improvement or should be stopped. Reach out to individuals above you, below you, and your peers for this feedback. Whether or not your company uses this as part of their process, you can work on your performance.

Relationship building is a critical aspect of both being able to achieve business results, as well as being able to grow your career.

If you struggle with managing work relations or affecting your performance, coaching can help explore ways to improve in those areas.

Adjustments, Migrations and wrapping up

With the ability to gauge your progress in data from your goals, and feedback from your environment, it is now time to implement adjustments, mitigations, or wrap-up goals or plans that you hoped to complete by the end of the year. The alignment of goals to the calendar is habitual, and the fall season demonstrates that the year is coming to an end soon. Analyze your goals accordingly to see if only minor adjustments or tweaks are needed, if you need to implement significant mitigations or changes to keep things on course, or complete wrapping them up and documenting lessons learned. Having lessons learned at the end allows you to document and learn from the mistakes from the goal or project to avoid or limit their impact in the future.

Career planning, whether you are in leadership or not, is a crucial skill for success. If this is an area you struggle in, reach out to me to see if my cybersecurity-focused career coaching services can help you.

When things go wrong

When things go wrong, what do you do? Is it something you have learned from, or is it something that happened to you due to the circumstances? Good management of bad experiences and learning from them leads to tremendous growth.

One of the strategies I have employed throughout my life is looking at what went wrong (inexperience, incompetence, disappointment, conflict, change, lousy health, hard decisions, financial loss, relationship losses, not being number one, traveling or responsibility). I then look at ways to learn and grow from the experience so that I don't experience the same pain again.

What choices have you made that didn't work out the first time? What choices did you make? Did that make the horrible experience worse? What can you do to turn that negative into a positive? Are you a victim or victor of that situation? What steps did you take to demonstrate that?

Coaches can help you define the problem, understanding your emotions, articulate the lesson, identify the desired change, develop some pathways and a course of action. If that interests you, reach out to me at https://www.cpf-coaching.com/long-term-coaching

Talk up your brand.

Have you been taking the time to reflect on the strategies that work or do not work for you on your growth journey?

Self-reflection is a critical aspect of growth, but it requires more than just looking back at the past year. Another critical lens that one should consider is to reflect and have the ability to dissect the strategies which have been the most effective.

What value did these strategies or practices bring to your life? As many have noticed over the past couple of years, there is more to life than just one's career. How can you find the strategies to help you effectively work on each based on your priorities without putting too much imbalance on the other?

Can you turn these strategies into systems for your life? Systems allow you to implement tactics, techniques, and procedures that you have identified as working productively to achieve your goals and will enable you to use them in a manner that delivers the most results.

As you develop your strategies, things to keep in mind might include the big picture, your priorities, organization, and your ability to apply them consistently. Another aspect to consider is how you can determine that you have achieved your desired outcome through defined ways to measure this progress and completion.

Coaches can help you identify these practices for developing strategies that work for you. If that interests you, reach out to me at https://www.cpf-coaching.com/long-term-coaching

Smartest person in the room

There is a saying that “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” ~ Confucius

The environment you are in can significantly impact your ability to grow and achieve the growth you desire. It can inhibit your ability to change or make the choices required for the development needed.

Often, people cannot directly see the impact of their environment on their overall growth because they are too closely attached to it. You are not a victim of it; you are in charge of where you are and can change it.

Having outside objective observers can help with this process, but you must be open to their assessments. Ideally, this observer should be an individual who is detached from your environment and experienced in giving this type of observation. This assessment could come from a senior leader in the field, a mentor, or a coach.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself.” ~Jim Rohn

Who are you choosing to spend your time with? Are these people adding value to your environment or detracting from it? Do they hold you accountable and challenge you for growth? Do they help you identify your blind spots, or are they just an echo chamber?

Coaches can help you identify value adds or detractors from your environment and hold you accountable for executing that growth.

Growth

Growth is not as much focused on the environment we might be in vs. the consistency in which we implement what we learned. What does this mean for you?

Growth is not about whether you are learning about skill, talent, or knowledge domain in a school, Bootcamp, or on your own, but instead if you are consistently implementing what you are learning to become more proficient at it.

While goals can help plan your path or direction, becoming growth conscious is more critical than being goal conscious.

"WHY is growth important to you?" is more important than simply accomplishing your set goals.

Continuous growth is about the journey of discovering that there is more to learn and what you might not know yet.

Coaches can help you discover ways to facilitate the motivation that drives continuous growth and hold you accountable for exercising that growth.

Growth is never linear

While many might not realize growth in themselves because they have been gradually growing, it is there. Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.

It would help if you took the time to reflect, as reflection turns experiences into insights.

Everyone needs a time and place to pause. How do you work on developing this reflection skill for yourself?

Designing a guided process for this reflection is critical. Pausing with intention expands and enriches thinking.

When you pause, please take the time to think about what you can do to gain that understanding through investigating, incubating, illuminating, or illustrating what you learned for yourself or others.

What are you learning and growing from in your reflection time?

This is the way to self-awareness.

Sometimes the distractions or pressures of commitments to the world around you might prohibit you from doing this by yourself. A coach can be a helpful tool in creating boundaries and guard rails to facilitate this process. If that interests you, reach out to me at cpf-coaching.com

Mindset

A critical aspect of developing your career is developing yourself and your mindset. According to "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" by John Maxwell, you must first be able to see value IN yourself, and then you would be able to add value TO yourself.

Often in coaching those transitioning from other fields or those trying to break into cybersecurity, they don't see the value in themselves and are not adequately able to help articulate that value to hiring managers.

Previously I mentioned the concept of a SWAT analysis and GAP assessments. In these processes, you should see the value that you bring to the table and opportunities for defined targeted growth. This defined targeted growth is your opportunity to add additional value to yourself based on the demands from the market to help make yourself a more attractive candidate.

Your self-talk and self-limiting beliefs might be what is holding you back from truly achieving excellent results. Do not let these cloud your value like a diamond in the rough. Shine through and polish your skills up.

A coach can help break through these self-limiting beliefs. If you are interested in my coaching services, whether to help you in the short-term on your job hunt or longer-term to grow in your career, reach out to me for more information at cpf-coaching.com

SWOT

A critical aspect of developing your career in any field is your ability to be aware of where you lay regarding your skills, competencies, and knowledge required to be effective in your roles.

To effectively grow yourself, which is a continuous process, you must know the following:

  1. What are your strengths?

  2. What are your weaknesses?

  3. What are your areas of interest?

  4. What are your areas of opportunity?

What is your current level of self-awareness in these areas? How can you improve that?

This approach is similar to the SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) Model, used in business for evaluating opportunities. You can use it to assess potential roles or other decisions in your life.

If self-reflection is not one of strength, having a neutral, non-judgemental third party to help you with this assessment is extremely helpful.

Self-awareness and accountability are critical aspects of the coaching process, where the coach can help you explore the different opportunities and help hold you accountable to action forward.

This process is discussed in a recent book I helped co-author called "Develop Your Cybersecurity Career Path: How to Break into Cybersecurity at Any Level" available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1955976007/

Which GAP is stopping you?

I have been reading a book called "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" from John Maxwell, and I wanted to take the time to pull out some highlights from the first chapter "The Law of Intentionality: Growth doesn't just happen"

Often times we get to a point where we are comfortable in our lives and we forget to think about ways to grow and get to the next level. We might be struggling with the fires of the day, balancing things at home, trying to keep our health in check or just trying to take it easy. Growth does not just happen, we need to intentionally go after it.

In this chapter, some of the common traps for growth are described:

The Assumption gap - I assume that I will grow automatically

The Knowledge gap - I don't know how to grow

The Timing gap - It's not the right time to begin

The Mistake gap - I am afraid of making a mistake

The Perfection gap - I have to find the best way before I start

The Inspiration gap - I don't feel like doing it

The Comparison gap - Others are better than me

The Expectation gap - I thought it would be easier than this

Which of these gaps are you facing at the moment or have faced in the past?

What action steps can you take right now to break out of this trap?

What might keep you from accomplishing this?

How can you successfully deal with these hinderances?

Personal growth requires that you change your mindset from accidental growth to intentional growth.

I would love to see how you tackled these, reply to this message with you story.

If you are interested in having help with this or other areas, reach out to me at https://cpf-coaching.com

Goal Setting

In thinking about goal setting and development, the ultimate purpose of a goal is to help develop the person you want to become in the process and less about what you might achieve.

This doesn't make sense on the surface, and too many, thinking about goal setting and development. Through the process of coaching, you can step beyond the superficial focus of activities and short-term results and able to focus on developing the person that has the skills and competencies needed to achieve those outcomes and the potential to accomplish even more. Our natural tendency to measure the extent of our potential against our lives' existing conditions and circumstances often becomes our own limiting beliefs. Another common hindrance is the common tendency to focus on what society or others in your close circle of influence consider success vs. what you have the potential to achieve or want to achieve for yourself.

What goals are you working towards? Having your been holding yourself back from exploring larger goals due to your own limiting beliefs? Who do you genuinely want to become?

Are you asking the right questions?

I was thinking this weekend that the quality of your life is often linked to the quality of the questions which you are asking.

When it comes to career planning and development or growth in the different areas of your life, asking open, curious, explorative questions are the ones drive the conscious awareness in our lives to what is really important. Asking these types of questions allow us to explore the different options and opportunities that are available to us. Often times, we are in the habit of focused on what is directly in front of us, and these habits have the side effect of blocking off or putting blinders (like those used on a horse) and causing us not to see all of the options. The ability to detach from your current situation, and ask those open, curious, explorative questions are the foundations of success. They allow you to take a more strategic approach in your career or life. They allow you to focus on the items that drive the most impactful results, vs just the list of things that you need to do that day.

So as you finish reading this email, what steps could you (or someone help you) take to ask yourself the right questions that open the aperture and allow you to see more of the options available to you.

Categories of Human Needs

I was saddened that a friend of mine felt that she couldn’t share her struggles. She had moved roles and felt that the new role isn’t a good work environment for her. In my experience when a role doesn’t play to your strengths, passions and the below human needs, you get the feeling of being in the daily grind, or the rat race of life. Outside the certainty of a paycheck, many people look for their work to deliver on their other human needs as well.

Throughout our life we strive outcomes in the below categories of human needs to complete ourselves:

  • Certainty

  • Uncertainty (Variety)

  • Love / connection

  • Significance

  • Growth

  • Contributions

If your needs are being meet, you start to feel stressed, burn out or worse from forcing yourself to settle for an undesirable situation.

How would you rate your career on a scale of 1-10 in the above needs categories? Do you have at least 2-3 categories which are being met at a high level (8-10)?

If not, it might be time to see what changes might be needed to satisfy more of your needs in that area of life?

Career coaching and coaching in general is a great way to help challenge your assumptions and limiting beliefs.

#careercoaching #growthmindset #nextlevel

Challenge to all looking for a new role:

Day1- I challenge you to find one role you like, dig into 6 job description for that type of role.

Day 3- Do a self assessment of where you stand up with regards to requirements over the average of the roles. What you would need to work on?

Day 5- Interview 3 people in those roles and see if you would really like it.

Did you test it out?

I had a moment of reflection this weekend because my community had a community-wide yard sale and my 6 yr old son made a purchase that didn't pan out the way he wanted.

There is an important lesson in this for all of us.

The entrepreneur in him wanted to also sell some of his toys that he no longer uses so that he could get some funds to buy something that he really wanted a drone. While he had not shared with me a drone was what he really wanted, he knew it.

We worked together and collected all the toys he didn't value as much for himself but figured someone else might value and got them lined up in the driveway. He was so excited, as cars passed by to see if they would come and buy one of his items.

One of the neighborhood friends and their mom was going to see if there was anything the kids wanted to buy from the garage sale at the other houses. My son jumped at the opportunity to go with his friend. I know my son has typically been the one to really weigh out on decisions to spend his money, often regretting sometimes that he spends too much. I was not too worried that he would spend his $10 on something that he would regret.

I stood to watch over his own garage sale as he went off. After about 20 minutes he comes back smiling cheek-to-cheek holding a huge box in his hand... it was a drone that one of the neighbors had for sale. My son was so excited that he was able to get a drone and it was only $10. That is when I got a sad sinking feeling in my stomach.

Why would someone sell a drone for $10? How much was this thing brand new? (Answer $60 on Amazon) Maybe he got a steal of a deal? Did it even work? Would someone really sell a broken item to a kid?

It was time to test it out. We unboxed it, put all the pieces together. Put the batteries in the remote... It seems to power up... which's a good sign. The remote syncs up with the drone. Another good sign. Time to see if this thing files.

This is where the heartbreak begins. Only 3 of 4 motors would spin... hmm maybe it was stuck, maybe there was a way to tweak it. Nope after playing around with it, it seems that this motor has been damaged and doesn't work.

On one hand, I was sad for him that someone sold 6 yr old something they maybe knew was damaged. He says he asked them if it worked and they said IDK. On the other hand, this is an important life lesson for him.

Sometimes in life, when it seems that things are too good to be true, they usually are. If you want to take a risk on it, it could yield a reward (a cool working drone) or it could lead to a lesson (ask for someone to show you that it works, test driving the car before you buy it).

As a parent, I wish I could have been there to prevent him from that pain, but learning lessons like this are an important part of life.

Of course, he was frustrated after, which leads to another lesson. You can't control the decisions of others (them selling a broken item to a kid), but you can decide on the impact it has on you.

My son wanted me to give him back the $10 he lost, to which I said no. I did say I would help him try to sell the drone to someone who wants it for parts or who might be able to fix it and get his $10 back.

For those of you who follow me for cybersecurity and career development... the same lessons apply.

The vendor might try to sell you a broken drone, it's up to you to make sure that it works for what you want it to do. If you just wanted a cool-looking drone/AV/AI/EDR/etc as a model, it was a good deal. Once you made a decision and it was a bust... what lesson did you learn? How would you avoid making it again in the future?

The same goes for those that are interviewing. The company wants everything to look like green pastures and roses to get you on board, you will only find the manure and skat splattered all over the field when you get inside it. What lesson did you learn? How would you avoid making it again in the future?

If you are looking for a cybersecurity-focused career coach who can help you challenge your limiting beliefs, and help you overcome those obstacles. I can help you there. Here out to me at https://cpf-coaching.com

Find your Why

What is your WHY?

Finding you why and what really drives you, will help you push through the struggles or challenges you might face why job hunting, trying to advance your career or taking on new challenges.

What are your WINs for the week?

Don't forget to celebrate the little wins along the way, whether that is reading a book, doing an interview, completing a course or researching a new topic.

WINs don't all have to be career-focused, they can be personal too! This week I did 2 OrangeTheory Workouts, plus ran over 10 miles throughout the week. I also went on a couple lunch dates with my wife. #celebration #littlethings

A win for me for this week was to see that Paul Cummings, who was someone that I have been helping with his transition was able to land a role. https://lnkd.in/dGAtW7y

Building your Brand

How To Grow A Strong Business By Building A Personal Brand https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/04/15/how-to-grow-a-strong-business-by-building-a-personal-brand/?sh=8dc5c763fdd1

While this article was focused on building a business, the concept translated directly to your personal brand as a candidate for a role or as a contractor or consultant on the open job market.

  1. Understand What Makes You Credible To Others

  2. Get Into The Mind Of Your Ideal Customer (or Hiring Manager)

  3. Stick With Topics You Know When Building A Personal Brand

  4. Become A Trusted Advisor To Create A Personal Brand

  5. Prioritize Authentic Video When Building A Personal Brand

  6. Always Ask 'Why' Before Investing In Any Activity

Building A Personal Brand Is All About Integrity And Expertise

Stop and Think

Stop 🛑

Let’s take a minute!

This could be the most important minute in your day and it could have an amazing impact on your future.

Turn off all distractions for the next minute.

Let’s imagine for a minute, you just had the most amazing year in your life.

What did you accomplish?

How do you feel about what you accomplished?

Who was part of that journey?

Now take that emotion, who was there in your journey, and that accomplishments and think about...

What skills do you need to help achieve that?

Who are those people that helped you with the things that you aren’t the best at, or do you need to find that “who”?

What steps might be needed to get there?

Need help getting there, reach out to me at cpf-coaching.com, maybe I am one of the “who”s who help you.

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