"Be decisive. Right or wrong. Make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision."
As a Vet, I got into cyber – while in the FBI. After my military service, I joined the FBI as a Special Agent in New York City. I spent my first 7 years working undercover investigating online child exploitation matters – this was my first exposure to how the Internet works and how communications and identities can be anonymized. I was then promoted to the Supervisor of the Computer Crimes Squad where I was fortunate enough to learn from the best and brightest technically trained special agents and computer scientists – with the exception of one year as an Assistant Inspector in Washington D.C., I spent the rest of my FBI career leading the cyber program in NY which include all applicable criminal and national security federal statutes.
For me, a positive cyber mindset is – most accurately described by Winston Churchill, “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” Cyber professionals are constantly surrounded by negativity. Leaders must find ways to motivate their teams to prevent burnout and distress – a negative mentality will prevent both you and your organization from achieving your goals and greatness.
The knowledge I’ve gained that has set me up for success is – I have been leading people for 30 years. The only way to be successful is to make sure your team respects you more than they respect the position. Leaders do this by establishing trust, never asking someone to do something that you would not do yourself, and ABN – “always be nice.” Regardless of your position on the team – from the youngest, least experienced all the way up to the senior member – aside from our experience we gained from that last role, all we can take to our next position is our reputation – this will always follow you – and it is hard to change. I was taught this very early in my career and it has served me well.
The quote I live by is – “Be decisive. Right or wrong. Make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”
I would tell my younger self – “Let that sh*t go.”
What I most want to be remembered for is – being a great Dad, a trusted leader, and someone who helped care for Mother Earth and the creatures.