The meteoric growth of cyber-extortion as a prominent threat faced by enterprises has raised a new ethical conundrum for information security executives: to negotiate or not to negotiate? As extortionists have become more creative and precise in their theft and ransoming of valuable business data, what was once unthinkable—negotiating with criminals—has increasingly become standard practice. In fact, it's so standard that nearly one-third of security professionals surveyed are willing to play ball with cyber-criminals in order to get valuable data back. Such is the stand-out finding of a recent survey conducted by threat prevention software vendor ThreatTrack Security. "A surprising number of security pros would concede to cyber-criminal demands to avoid the consequences of data compromise, loss or misappropriation," said Stuart Itkin, ThreatTrack senior vice president. By re-evaluating their security strategies to ensure rapid detection and elimination of threats, as well as the ability to restore encrypted data, Itkin said that enterprises "will neutralize the incentives that are driving cyber-crime extortion and help ensure security professionals will not have to face this difficult choice."
When I observe Hidden Leaders in action, they lead through relationships in the following ways: They posses a technical or professional expertise. That expertise may be based on their function, like engineering, manufacturing or specific to technology. The technical expertise needn’t be technological though as it may come from a discipline like sales, or customer service, or accounting where they’ve established a track record. Whatever the source of that proficiency, it strengthens relationships and supports the connection to others in the business, because with expertise comes trust, which is the foundation of business relationships. They are recognized as having good judgment and rational thinking. Colleagues view them as being able to understand what the business is trying to accomplish, and having the ability to think of pragmatic approaches. That doesn’t mean they are always right, though. But even when they aren’t correct, it is easy to see the reasoning and course of thinking they used. In this way, Hidden Leaders are frequently able to express their rationale for an idea to be implemented, an innovation to consider, or a process to be changed. So even when there is disagreement, the logic is clear. They are good at making emotional connections with others. I’m always careful about using that phrase. In fact I wrote an article for Harvard Business Review on the ways leaders make emotional connections, and I’ll reiterate that I’m not talking about wild displays of emotion or what is pejoratively labeled as “being emotional.” I could replace “emotional” with “human,” I suppose, because the essence of these connections is that logic supports thinking and emotions support action. So using emotions as a means to connect with colleagues is powerful. That could be the energy-creating effect of enthusiasm or passion, the collaborative sense of mutual concern or frustration, and the effect of engagement on shared goals. People rarely act on information or data alone, and when we influence each other, emotion is almost always part of the equation. Hidden Leaders tap into those emotions.
1. You Insist Everything. Must. Be. Just. So. We can’t move on – I don’t have all the pieces figured out! Our site is too ugly – we can’t share it! Yes, I did just spend five hours deciding on this color. Do any of these sound familiar?
If you said yes: Get comfortable with good enough and ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Remember, “Done is better than perfect.” And you can always make improvements later.
Fewer Distractions Have you ever had those days when the phone just wouldn’t stop ringing? Have you ever daydreamed about all you could accomplish if people stopped distracting you and you focused on your work?
With a non-traditional work schedule, this is completely possible. If your work week is, say, Tuesday through Saturday, then you could plan for Saturdays to be your “get stuff done” day. As most people don’t work on Saturdays, the volume of calls, emails, and interruptions should go significantly down, allowing you to focus on that all-important to-do list.
Another alternative is to plan regular long breaks during conventional work days to handle errands or simply relax, then pick up when the rest of the world has settled down.
The bottom line is that it’s easier to be productive when you can focus on the task at hand. Using a non-traditional work schedule is one of the easiest ways to give yourself this luxury.
Myth #1: You Can Either Work Smart or Hard. You Cannot Do Both. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can it not be both?
Every day, I’d track how I was spending my time (I used Rescuetime) and I’d ask myself: Did each task help me move the business forward, or was it a distraction?
Since I was targeting 11 hours of “productive” work a day, I hardly had any time to watch that Youtube video. I wouldn’t want to watch it because this would mean I’d have to finish work later, which meant less time with my hubby. Driving and other necessary yet non-productive activities wouldn’t count towards my 11-hour goal either.
So I became very vigilant with my time. Back when I was working eight hours a day, I had time for busywork. But when I raised my standards to 11 hours of productive work a day, then there was just no time for not working smart.
By now, it’s become pretty commonly accepted that multitasking is bad. While it’s true that trying to do multiple high-concentration tasks at the same time isn’t a great idea, there are several opportunities throughout the day during where “double-tasking” can be your friend.
By grouping the activities below together, you can add up to four hours of productivity to your day without worrying about damaging your brain.
The key is to pair routine, muscle-memory tasks that don’t require much thinking with more challenging ones
Leverage the critical insights of even people who are idea killers by using their healthy skepticism and constructive criticism…
Don Dea's insight:
The Minimum Viable Product
In Silicon Valley, and elsewhere of course, new approaches to starting and growing companies are always being tried, and recently a set of principles has been defined by Eric Ries and documented in his fine book The Lean Startup. One of those principles is the notion of the “minimum viable product.”
That is, what’s the fastest, quickest thing you can put out in the market that would indeed be viable as a product, and which will enable you to learn how potential customers and actual customers feel.
Minimum means that you don’t have to load it up with features that aren’t essential, even with features that you know may be needed later on.
Viable means that you don’t just trust the judgment of the product design team; you actually put the product out there in the market and see how people really respond to it.
Ries also describes the process of split testing, or A-B testing, which simply means creating two versions of a product and testing both in the market to see which is more attractive. A structured series of A- B tests can yield tremendous insights, eliminate a lot of guesswork, and neutralize a lot of ungrounded opinions.
Want to change culture quickly? Create an environment of mutual respect, and encourage collaboration at all levels, including with IT professionals. Sure, you might encounter a little annoyance when you forget your password for the third time this week. But when it comes to the big stuff, you’ll have a better – and far more productive – relationship.
Don Dea's insight:
Looking at Both Sides of the Coin
As with most difficult relationships, there are two sides to the story. From their perspective, IT often feels:
Like order takers. Internal customers come to the tech team and tell them what they want, without discussing whether it’s even possible and without inquiring about better alternatives; simply put, they do not respect the knowledge and expertise of IT.
Ignored, especially when it comes to security. IT develops security policies and protocols to protect the business, when employees ignore directives or best practices, they feel disrespected (and could also face additional work and/or scrutiny from their supervisors).
Frustrated by employees’ lack of knowledge — or willingness to learn. IT professionals are a wealth of knowledge. However, employees sometimes “just want things fixed” and aren’t interested in learning how to fix recurring issues themselves – or how to avoid those problems in the first place.
At the same time, employees often complain that IT:
Develops policies without employee input. Employees often feel IT creates unnecessary roadblocks or implements solutions without consulting the people who actually use them.
Communicates poorly. Not everyone has a technical background, but IT tends to use terminology that assumes they do. Or, when they explain something, they too often display a condescending or insulting demeanor.
Long wait times. Employees call for help only when they have exhausted all other options, and get frustrated when they have to wait a long time for help.
Clearly, these issues are not present in all organizations. But for those that do have issues, what can be done?
Sharing feedback is tough no matter what circumstance you face. Most of us try to be constructive, to balance positive and negative, to tailor it to the recipients’ communication preferences and, ideally, to communicate your overarching goals while sharing.
The first thing to know is that the responsibility of sharing effective feedback should not rely solely on the provider. Feedback should be a two-way dialogue. Expectations should be set to create a collaborative environment open to feedback, and all parties should agree upon the end-goal in mind, as well as everyone’s role in reaching said goal.
Don Dea's insight:
Keep it Professional, but Friendly
Feedback presented with hostility enters dangerous territory. The recipient will immediately become defensive, and the discussion will turn into an argument that lasts way too long. On the flip side, there’s a fine line between being empathetic and being passive when taking a friendlier, softer approach.
Remember that you’re having a professional conversation. When providing feedback, your tone should be friendly, but not overly casual; assertive, but not mean or demeaning.
The best way to refine your tone is to practice. Ask your loved ones, friends and colleagues if you can practice giving them feedback, then have them critique your approach. How meta, right?
More importantly, remember that you’re talking to another professional — an expert on the thing that you hired them to work on.
The essence of any given problem, according to Harvard Business School professor Herman Leonard, can be reached through question zero. As practiced by design firm Ideo, question zero is a sequence of "whys" used to get designers through a chain of answers until they reach the actual challenge they need to address.
Applied to creative strategy, question zero can clarify the exact thing we are trying to accomplish and help us create smarter solutions. It allows us to address bigger and more important issues than we originally set our sights on. The question zero of a successful creative strategy is to ask what the problem is, why it is a problem and how we can use resources at hand to solve it.
Don Dea's insight:
At the bottom of most problems is a human truth. If we do a better job of understanding it, we can do a better job of satisfying our customers’ needs. Our task is to observe how our customers are currently solving their problems and build a better product or service offering based on this observation. A simple look at our immediate environment offers proof that we are surrounded by things constructed around machine needs rather than human needs. For example, think: vending machine. We need to bend all the way down to get a pack of snacks from it. It is easier for a machine to use gravity to drop a pack of snacks into a bin at our feet than to deliver it at waist-height into our hands. Machine wins, we lose.
In our eagerness to put bliss above getting the job done have we fostered societal complacency?
Don Dea's insight:
“Follow your dreams and go broke” – and it does nothing to help a struggling economy. Here’s why:
Opportunities for economic development are missed when people are always looking inward. Rowe speaks eloquently about the pig farmer with whom he worked on one episode. The farmer realized that all the foods that were thrown away from the Vegas Strip buffets were protein-rich and an ideal source of nutrition for his livestock. It wasn’t his dream to go into the business of collecting food scraps for livestock but years later he’s worth millions of dollars because he saw an untapped market and entered it.
We forget to imitate because we all want to innovate. We have this need to be the first to do something, rather than heralding those who piggyback on inventions. Ford didn’t invent the car, but he used the car as a springboard for other possibilities.
One of the most important tasks of any leader: build a solid team around the mission at hand.
This always sounds easier than it really is. Bringing diverse individuals – with different strengths, weaknesses, skillsets, and in most cases, their own goals and agendas – to work toward a common goal is not an easy job.
And yet sometimes the right team is in place, only to have the leader make mistakes that torpedo team dynamics. Teams become unproductive at best… and toxic at worst.
Don Dea's insight:
1. Not Leveraging Individual Strengths
Rarely is one team member good at everything. It’s the leader’s responsibility to identify team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and play to them. Mary might be great with customers, but struggle with deadlines. John can develop incredible marketing copy, on time every time, but doesn’t have great customer service skills.
When you know where your employees excel (and where they don’t) – and combine that with what they like to do (and don’t) – you can foster a positive team environment; one that embraces those strengths, which continually improves engagement and performance.
Rather than making the mistake of expecting the same level of performance from every member of the team, this means tailoring assignments, pairing individuals with complementary skills, or perhaps offering additional training to those in need.
If your company has a business outcome tied to brand equity, marketing can move the needle by improving engagement and loyalty. So, what do you need to do to build your model and put this construct into play?
Don Dea's insight:
Know the current levels of customer engagement, loyalty and brand equity, ideally by customer segment.
Analyze your current engagement and loyalty data and determine what marketing programs are impacting both of these.
Understand the brand equity target, again ideally by customer segment.
Establish how much engagement and loyalty need to change in order to achieve the equity target.
Define what channels and touch points will best impact engagement and loyalty and establish performance targets for these.
Problem 1: Results Will Be Skewed When it comes to surveys, timing is everything. Asking employees once in a blue moon about how they feel regarding their whole work experience will inevitably come with conditional biases influencing their state of mind in that moment.
A good mood, poor night’s sleep or frustrating interaction with a co-worker all become factors that can skew answers toward the positive or negative end of the spectrum. Additionally, by the time you’ve got all of the survey data on your desk, it may not include any new-hire feedback while, on the other hand, it still contains responses from employees who’ve since left the company.
Capturing feedback at one moment in time is like taking a snapshot rather than a video – it just won’t provide an accurate, comprehensive illustration of what’s actually going on.
In Dale Carnegie’s classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living*, a central lesson is to live in day tight compartments.
Carnegie makes the point that large ships have watertight compartments. In the event of an accident where a portion of the ship takes on water, any section can be sealed off to prevent a catastrophe from downing the entire ship (poor design of these on the Titanic led to its demise).
Living in day tight compartments means that you identify what you have the capacity to handle today and then “seal off” the remainder of your worries. Focus on what you can do today and stop worrying about tomorrow’s troubles.
Goodman cites Intel's prediction that we'll go from 15 billion internet-connected devices now to 200 billion in 2020. That's an insane number of devices that can be hacked, and as Goodman says, we can't even keep our existing laptops and smartphones and internet servers safe now: Just look at the Target breach, where somewhere around 70 million people had their private data stolen by hackers.
"President Obama recently talked about cybersecurity in the State of the Union address and called for enhanced penalties for identity thieves," Goodman said during his talk. "We're going to need to think much much grander if we're going to solve this problem. I think we need a Manhattan Project for cybersecurity."
We will eventually get to mobile wallets, and the majority of consumers will use them. The biggest barriers are cultural, including sloppy business practices.
It's not exactly a news flash that technology moves forward faster than people do. The ATM was invented in the late 1960s, but it didn't achieve widespread adoption until two decades later. The earliest smartphones appeared in the early 1990s, but the concept didn't take off until 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone.
House of Multitasking. Fifty percent of the general population considers texting or taking calls during meetings rude. Unfortunately, these individuals invite the ire of those who mistakenly believe they are "getting more done" by texting during meetings.
House of Awkwardness. Three-quarters of adults surveyed admit they use their mobile phones in the bathroom and carry on business conversations there. While it's probably not fair to describe this as a complete waste, one can only hope they wash up afterward.
Matt Rosoff Business Insider Yes, Apple computers are susceptible to malware, too. Apple used to brag its computers aren't as vulnerable as Windows PCs to viruses, but the company quickly changed its marketing page after a Trojan affected thousands of Mac computers in 2012.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
A leader shows the way and guides his people to get it done. At the end of the day, the leader shoulders the dilemma. The approach they use will greatly affect the overall strength of the organization.
It is my belief that leaders always surround themselves with smart people who can help the organization grow and increase its capacity. If a leader finds herself to be the smartest person in the room, she either should hire new people or move on to another organization
All of these tricks-of-the-trade will not get the work done but they can get and keep people engaged. And an engaged team produces more.
Don Dea's insight:
Iyengar teaches us that too much choice will shut people down. She also teaches us why framing is so important and why being the first to propose a solution anchors all other solutions to the first proposal. Gigerenzer outlines the fact that an outfielder uses his “gut” to catch a fly ball versus calculating the parabola to find the best spot to catch the ball is important but the fact that the ballplayer learned this instinct is more important. Fast and Slowteaches us that our thoughtful brain is mostly right but is lazy and will always defer to our instinctual and reactive brain which can be very wrong! So spooling up people’s thoughtful brains will help keep it engaged and drive to better outcomes.
Ultimately, all of these tricks-of-the-trade will not get the work done but they can get and keep people engaged. And according to many articles on this subject, an engaged team produces more (25% more according to Derek Irvine) and if focused in the right direction, can drive a ~20% increase in income according to Towers Perrin and Gallup. I also want active and curious minds at the table that both ask questions and challenge assumptions. Only then will I have positioned a team to be successful.
Passion creates meaning for doing what we do every day. Why do you do what you do?
Don Dea's insight:
1. Boost Your Self-Confidence
This may seem easier said than done, but you really can increase your self-confidence, which builds influence, by sharing your knowledge with others, offering your opinions and ideas in group settings, and even speaking publicly whenever the opportunity presents itself. If these things make you nervous, practice what you are going to say until you know it by heart. Many times we don’t give ourselves credit for the experience we have or the knowledge we possess. By sharing regularly, we can sometimes receive validation that leads to a greatersense of confidence. Remember, practice makes perfect and these are things that must be done over and over again.
Waiting sucks. It always has. As kids, we had a hard time waiting for the afternoon school bell. As adults, we hate waiting for the weekend to start. Every day, almost universally, we hate waiting for replies to our emails.
Why is it, then, that so many companies keep their customers in email limbo?
It is safe to assume that a customer writing in with a problem feels a sense of urgency about getting that issue resolved. The troubles they’re facing are disrupting their workflow; perhaps their whole day.
Don Dea's insight:
Why it Pays to Respond Quickly
The economic argument for communicating quickly and efficiently: responding to customers in a timely manner directly impacts customer conversion and retention. An expeditious response to a customer’s initial inquiry into Shippo, before their first transaction, captures them at the moment of their intent, before they can find something else to busy themselves with or, worse, a competing service to try out.
We’re happy to say that many converted customers have explicitly pointed to our responsiveness as a major reason for choosing Shippo.
Let’s work on it together. Save your exclamations for things worthy of the extra punctuation. Tone it down with a simple period unless you have something really big to say. And take a minute to read “’Just’ Say No” if you didn’t up above; the thinking reinforces what’s shared here.
Small changes to everyday actions can be easy when we look at the thinking behind them. And those changes can affect other, more important things in our life, relationships, work, and even the way we feel. When something truly great happens, share all of the exuberance the occasion deserves.
Zone in on these questions to ask the team: What were the positives to the failed approach? What could we do differently to make it work next time? Is the benefit of trying this new tactic worth the risks involved? How can we minimize those risks?
Don Dea's insight:
Creating a positive environment where people are encouraged to try new things will benefit the company, the team and every individual, even when new attempts are not always successful. By providing the kind of leadership that celebrates mistakes in addition to the successes, you can generate the energy that will foster new ideas and keep employees engaged in delivering great results.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.