Is your security project stuck and causing you to burn out?

You invested a lot of time and energy to get your security project approved. You thought that meant everyone was onboard and ready to make it happen. But shortly after kickoff, did you notice that people starting skipping meetings? Then you started experiencing decisions getting reversed a few days after everyone agreed? Are you frustrated that no one seems to understand the importance of what you’re trying to do?​

The longer the project is stuck, the more: 

  • Value is lost -- not just of the project, but all the wasted time and effort and the rework that always seems to pop up
  • Trust is destroyed, making it harder to work with people again
  • You burn out​ and just want to go home, open the freezer, grab the ice cream, a spoon, and binge watch Netflix for a few hours 

It doesn't have to be this way

Instead, you can take action to get unstuck. That means you won't burn out (but you can still have the ice cream and the Netflix). Instead of destroying trust, you'll build trust to pave the way for future efforts. And you'll unlock value quicker. 

The opposite of stuck is Straight Talk

Straight Talk is the antidote to friction. That’s because it provides the structure and system for people who start in different places, collect their own experiences, and favor approaches that work for them to reconcile their value with others. Less friction leads to better results - and happier teams.

People often think Straight Talk is a communication skill you are born with. Good news! Straight Talk is actually a mindset, a skill set, and an experience. That means if you are willing and do the work, you can learn how to give and get the Straight Talk you need to get unstuck.

The funny thing about getting stuck

​When your project gets stuck, sometimes it's hard to see. Sure, things slowed down. While people skip meetings and dodge deadlines, you simply scale back functionality and extend the deadlines. Because the friction creeps in, it's easy to avoiding asking, "Is this project really stuck?" And even if you do recognize the project is stuck, it's natural to think you don't need help yet. You got this. 

No one wants to be told their baby is ugly (and when we meet, I'll tell you what you can say instead - just remember to ask me). I know sometimes accepting that your project is stuck feels a bit... humbling. Stick around, then. As I start explaining what's happening, you'll see things in a whole new way. You'll gain insight to why projects get stuck and, more importantly, what to do about it. ​

What's the catch?

Early in my security career, I realized that smart people were either going to do something or not. Teaching them about security didn’t create a problem. In fact, it was the opposite. See, if someone was inclined to ask for help, now they got better insights into what to ask for. If they already decided to do it themselves, hopefully I offered them some valuable guidance. The folks on the fence got a chance to choose for themselves.

I want to work with people and teams that are stuck, realize they are stuck, don’t want to be stuck, and embrace help to get unstuck.

But I also know that the more people who use even the basic Straight Talk Framework are going to be better off. That means better conversations in our industry, with our partners, and across our organizations. More Straight Talk means less friction. Less friction means less stuck security projects. That means more value and stronger trust. I am convinced that leads to better security for everyone.

What to expect from this site (and from me)

I’ve spent over two decades stepping into situations where the confusion and complexity of security created problems. Big problems. My role is to rapidly assess the situation, bring people together, and work as a group to reach the goal. And I do it by reducing the friction. That’s how I was given the nickname catalyst (I didn’t choose it for myself). In the process I asked a lot of questions, discovered a lot of answers, and built a framework to get consistent results.

To be successful, security requires working with — and often relying on — other people. In our organizations, we struggle with how to reconcile our uniqueness with the need to work together. Which almost instantly creates friction. It’s not your fault. Think back to “group projects” from your school years. How did you feel when the teacher announced it? How much stress did that create? Most of us simply endured the process and wished for the project to end. We never really learned how to bring people together and get remarkable results.

If you want to learn how to bring people together and work with them to get your security projects unstuck (or avoid getting stuck in the first place), you’ve come to the right place. This is where you can count on getting Straight Talk about what it takes to get the results you need. Actionable insights with explanations. No fluff. Well, sometimes you might pick up a “Dad joke” or two along the way. That way you can crush it during the day and still get a laugh when needed.

3 reasons you should subscribe

Reason #1: No popups. No fake scarcity. Nothing about this site is designed to force an action. That by itself is important.

Reason #2: You are busy. But you also need to get insights that make it easier to do your job and enjoy the success you deserve. Let me help guide the journey.

Reason #3: We’re in this together and you want to know about the new insights, articles, tools, and other things when they are ready. Or maybe you want a chance to contribute and help shape where I head. Either way, I reach out to the newsletter to share insights, ask questions, and preview resources I’m working on.

And a bonus: How about a free gift, too? To be clear, the subscription is free. And so is the powerful e-Book I wrote for you.

Learn to spot the hidden reasons your projects get stuck

The friction that causes us to get stuck is sneaky. It creeps in a little at a time. The causes of friction are subtle, too. We get stuck when the friction builds. Unless you know where to look.

I put together a powerful e-book that reveals the 5 hidden reasons why security projects get stuck, and fail. Quickly learn how to spot the friction that almost certainly is causing your project to slowly grind to a halt - eroding value and destroying trust in the process.

Knowing what to look for is important to get you security project unstuck. Then come back here for more insights and help along the way.

The journey is just beginning

The uniqueness of your journey is not in conflict with the universal truths of the pathway. Take time to carve your own path through this site. Along the way, ask questions, make comments, and let me know what you need from me to elevate and accelerate you on your journey.

  • ​Might I suggest starting out by exploring how to get Straight Talk?
  • Maybe you’re interesting in working with me? Check out the Straight Talk Simple Start program
  • Or maybe you’d like to check out the showcase to see how it worked for others

Ramble about the blog, check out the book I wrote about breaches, or listen to some podcasts. The choice is yours. 

PS: Everything is a work in progress

I'm a work in progress. I hope you are, too. I spent a lot of years holding myself back. Waiting for what thought was perfection. Well, knowing it wasn't quite perfection... I've stopped. That means this site, the straight talk framework, and my efforts to help you are all in progress. If something doesn't quite connect... let me know. Got a better example, let's have it. Contact me and give it to me Straight.