June 24, 2006

I came across this post by Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone : And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. I am enjoying this book and his insights, and plan to introduce and explore the relevance of some of his concepts to our practice of security over the coming year.

In his post, he talks about stretching out celebrations and celebrating life, but it is this sentence that really captured me:

If only today, you called the 5 people in the world who are most important to you and let them know that they are, it’s a great gift to give to yourself and them.

So what has that got to do with security? I realized that a lot of times, we we forget to acknowledge and thank the people closest to us, whether it be a spouse, family member or good friend — the very people who support our efforts to improve security. These are the people who support and inspire us, who let us vent and encourage us to continue with our passion. Have you stopped and honestly thanked them lately?
But then I kept thinking about this simple passage, and realized that in security (and generally in technology and even the workplace), we seldomly remember to thank those around us for their help. In security, it’s *easy* to tell when something went wrong or when someone makes a mistake. In the wave of recent data breaches, we have seen a lot of finger pointing. So rather than focus on the negative, I think we need to accentuate the positive. A simple, sincere thank-you is important to remember.
In my career, I have found support and inspiration from some really great people, often at times when I least expected it. I have tried to remember to thank people and tell them why they inspired me or helped me to be a better person; Keith’s post helped me remember what is important.
For next week, thank one person each day (so 5 people). Call them or visit them, and spend a few minutes telling them how you appreciate their ideas, support, inspiriation, approach or whatever is appropriate to share with them. Simple, honest and direct, no more. I know you will be pleased with the results and you will have further improved your practice as a professional.

About the Author Michael Santarcangelo

The founder of Security Catalyst, Michael develops exceptional leaders and powerful communicators with the security mindset for success.

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