Archives For Leadership

brainCreativity is Essential

But where does creativity come from?

Success comes to those who are truly creative, but how many people do you know, that you can truly say have great, creative ideas?

My 13 year-old son and I were discussing creativity and inventions just yesterday. Who actually invents something or comes up with an idea that turns into millions or billions of dollars? Much of it is technology today and Steve Jobs is a great example. Read his life story and you’ll see some character attributes you may not appreciate, but you can’t deny he had some genius in him. Is this creativity limited to just a few people? Or can you build your capacity to create?

Creativity is a character trait. Some may be more creative  than others, but don’t for a minute believe that you can’t become creative, or more creative than you are right now. Here are three things to consider if you want to be more creative, and therefore achieve greater success.

Taking Time To Build and Organize Knowledge

Napoleon Hill calls each one of us  to become learners – but not generalists. He calls out the university system as broken. The university system would have you believe the lie that a broad, general, liberal arts education is what you want if you’re going to lead. They have also instilled in us the lie that you need a professor to master something. This is not the case. Hill says, “No, you want specialized knowledge – to be an expert in something.” And that comes from research, reading, and organizing knowledge as you learn it.

Greg McKeown agrees in his book Essentialism.   He stresses the importance of choosing to either know a lot about a lot of things, and therefore be mediocre in all of them, or to specialize and become the expert; the advisor. Of course he urges us to choose the latter. Choose to be an expert in something that matters.

Hill encourages us to be reading every month and to subscribe to online courses (what he calls home study courses) that give us that specialized knowledge in our field of choice.

Taking Time To Brainstorm

Seth Godin, well known author and former VP of Marketing for Yahoo (back when they were a stock you’d want to own), tells us that great ideas are the few that pop up in the midst of hundreds of bad ideas. In other words, taking time to brainstorm and write out ideas leads to lots of bad ideas and a few good ones.  Those who don’t have good ideas, don’t actually have any ideas. They just don’t take time to think up ideas.

Before Thomas Edison solved the lightbulb problem, he first came up with a thousand things that don’t work. You can’t expect to have great, creative ideas, unless you first spend time coming up with all kinds of ideas, good and bad.

Hill points to our inherent fear of failure as the hurdle that keeps us from creating. It’s one of the six major fears common to all men according to Hill. No one wants to be different. But being the same just means you’re average. If you want to be more successful, you have to somehow be different.  Again, it was likely the school system, where the oddly dressed person was the outcast. Everyone had to be the same – same clothes, same music, same hair style, same lingo. Different was bad…Just ask Bill Gates.

Taking Time to Rejuvenate

Finally, McKeown compares us to our cell phones. If we’re not charged we won’t perform. Looking back at the industrial revolution he describes our mindset as one that values constant work, not creativity. The idea of a machine being down simply means it’s broken. So when it’s time to take time off for renewal, we cringe. It’s seems like a waste of time. The guy working next to you, who never takes any sick or vacation time, and who works 80 hours per week, is seen as more valuable. The truth is, creativity is worth more than any machine can produce. And more than the average workaholic will produce.

McKeown schedules his vacation days first. Days to completely let go of work, put away the phone, and ignore check email. These are days of renewal, to reset the mind and prepare him for great things.

Taking McKeown’s advice, I am, right now as you read this, trekking through the most northern mountain range in New York with my 13 year-old son Josiah. There’s no cell service out here, and no place to charge a laptop. Our only electronics are GPS and a satellite phone in case of emergency. It’s a time for relationship and renewal – one that will lead to greater self-awareness, productivity, and creativity.

If you want to be creative, and therefore more successful, start reading, organizing knowledge, brainstorming from that knowledge, and taking time off to renew your mind.

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

 

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This fall over 600 financial security officers and supporting staff will be heading to Doral! In case you haven’t heard, my last book release, Digital Money, is with the publisher, and this is just one of the many venue’s I’ll be presenting at to show business leaders why they can’t continue to operate securely without changing their security strategy.

It’s time for every technology infrastructure and managed services provider to get serious about security. It’s not an add-on, it’s the most important part of your program.

© 2016, David Stelzl

Digital Money

July 29, 2016 — Leave a comment

2016-07-26_16-21-40Digital Money

The Book Cover…And More

Where making headway…a few things you’ll want to know.

First, the target audience – business leadership. This is not a technical read. Instead, it answers the question, who’s at risk and how much risk do they have.

If you provide security solutions, especially assessments and managed security solutions, you’ll want every one of your customers to read this. Without beating around the bush, I clearly tell business leaders, they need your help! Not only can they NOT afford to maintain the right level of security people, they can’t afford the ongoing detection technology. Except with very large F500 accounts, they’ll want to outsource to you.

But I also provide insight into the kinds of things service providers must provide to small and mid-market companies.  Study what I say in this book and begin equipping your company to meet the core needs outlined in this book.

Due out in August!

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

2016-07-25_13-25-41Digital Money, The Book

David Stelzl’s Latest Book

 

It’s been a busy summer. Some traveling, lots of work, and lots of writing. It’s all in preparation for the fall. Most of my fall will be spent in front of business leaders talking about security. Central to these presentations is my new book, Digital Money. I have conferences booked with CPA associations, banker’s associations, distributor conferences, and several exclusive executive lunch meetings hosted by resellers and technology manufactures. It’s all in an effort to create awareness – getting business leaders involved in their data security programs.

What is Digital Money?

You’ve heard of fintech and cybercurrencies – these are all related. But the data itself if worth a lot of money too…it’s all digital money. From bitcoin and blockchain to intellectual capital and trade secrets. Even your personal data – actually, that’s where it all starts.

I’ve been furiously writing since the start of the summer – the Digitalization Megatrend affectively changes everything we know about security, other than the fact that companies all around us are failing to keep their data secure. We should all know that. It’s in the paper every day.

The book should be out next month (August 2016)! I have my editors and internal team reviewing it now, and the artwork is in motion! What is this book about? Here are a few teasers…

  • Don’t like the word, Profiling? – Making decisions about someone based on what they look like is nothing compared to the data aggregation effort going on in the Net – Did you know that everything you do, including driving newer cars, is being recorded digitally? Everything from cookie syncing to fingerprint canvasing, all designed to understand everything there is to understand about you. You are absolutely being profiled.
  • Data aggregators know far more than your spouse will ever know about you. They know what you believe, how you think, what moves you, what convinces you, and how to get the most out of your bank account.  What’s worse, they will sell that information – and some of it is extremely private.
  • They know about your health, your morals, your politics, your fears, your finances, and how to manipulate you. If you’re wondering who you will vote for in November, there’s a computer out there that probably already knows…and the Russians just hacked the Democratic National Convention computers to get some of that intel. (Note: the GOP systems were hacked not long ago). Will there be voter fraud this year? Yes – you can count on it.  No doubt the winner will be determined by hackers…
  • Social engineering is bigger than ever.  If Mitnik had the kind of data available on individuals today, his hacking efforts would he netted millions more.

Data is Essentially Digital money – A Look at Business Security

Social Media is growing because of data aggregation. Facebook is worth about 75 Billion simply because of the intelligence they have on you. The more social media grows, the more promiscuous end-users become with data that used to be secret. And the more data that get’s aggregated, the more hackers can convince users to open doors.

In this book I take a hard look at the  trends – what hackers are up to, how the latest technology trends are opening doors, and how big data and deep machine learning are eating away at companies that don’t take the right steps.

This is not an IT book – it’s not technical. It’s about data, business, and leadership.  If businesses are going to be secure, the leaders must lead. The alternative is to delegate it to the government, letting them impose millions of expensive, ineffective regulations that will ultimately cost small businesses to the point of bankruptcy.

It’s time to get serious about security.

© 2016, David Stelzl

morton

Small Business Owners in Dallas

Hosted by Howard Financial Consulting and IT Services…

This morning I’ll be speaking to small business owners at Morton’s Steakhouse in Dallas – an event sponsored by Howard Financial & IT Consulting Services.

Our goal: educating small business owners on what’s happening in the data world, and why security is more important than ever as we move forward in the Digital Megatrend.

In my research to complete Digital Money – the next book on the “To be published” list, I am more convinced than ever that small companies can no longer afford to treat security as a “Nice to have”.  It’s essential.

Not Just Any Security…

But not just any security – ransomware, corporate account takeover schemes (CATO), and the rampant theft of intellectual property are at an all time high, and growing fast. Having your Microsoft server patched, or running a clean backup are not the answer. You need both, but without a detection/response strategy in place, these companies are wide open to data loss and future business failure.

I can’t stress this enough…there has to be intelligent detection, and a solid – timed response plan. And having in internal IT person doing it, is no longer an option. This requires special skills and technology only available to enterprise fortune 500 companies – or through a special managed services offering provided by well equipped IT services companies.

Can They Afford This?

Will the small business owner spend the extra money, and make the extra effort to do these things? They will…these educational events continue to receive a strong response, because they put risk into business language.  When a business person hears the truth, in their own language, it does lead to action.

My fall is booked solid with events just like this, simply because business owners are recognizing the need to know…in the coming weeks I’ll be in San Jose, Helena Montana, Buffalo NY, Las Vegas, Richmond, Santa Ana, Denver,…it’s time to get this message out!

If we don’t carry the message forward, we can expect more expensive compliance laws, and more business failure.

If you are an IT Services Provider, it’s time to get on board… Start here with my book, The House & The Cloud <<< Click for more information.

 

foxThe Apple Encryption Dilemma  is a Bigger Issue Than Most Think…

Yesterday FOX News Interviewed Me on The Apple Phone Issue…Watch The Video!

The VIDEO REPLY (CLICK)

Here’s the Fox News Article: http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/93368477-story

Trump said, “They must open it.” It sounds simple, but he’s wrong in my opinion – Yes, terrorists are hitting our country and planning more attacks. The San Bernadino Phone could provide information that would stop the other attack.  But have you read Tim Cook’s letter on the Apple Site?  News reports like Donald Trump’s Interview miss the main point of it all.

The court is ordering Apple to change their operating system to make it less secure.  What do you think Apple should do?

Some things to think about….

  1. Security Experts spend decades developing encryption that will meet FIPS standards, allow for online banking, investing, and money transfers – even Apple Pay!  The government is asking them to now create a backdoor to it all.
  2. Nothing digital is actually safe in the long run – who keeps the keys to the new back door?  Does apple or the NSA. What happened when RSA lost their encryption keys? Will this happen again?  Who do you trust with your phone as it becomes more and more the repository of your private life?
  3. This is Apple – what if the next terrorist uses Blackberry or Android?  So now there are no secure phones on the market. Do government officials now get a special phone that can’t be tapped into? What if the terrorist is in the government?  Hmmm.  Can that happen – have we seen any military personnel involved in shootings. Texas?

What About Stopping Terrorists…

  1. Is this the best next step? Did our government have some indication this couple was getting ready to do something? My understanding is that they did – through Facebook. But were called off by their superiors.  Is this better than some profiling measures?
  2. What about gun control? I know this is a hot topic. But the truth is, all good security is based on DETECTION / RESPONSE.  You can’t keep bad guys out. Was there a response plan in place once this couple was detected?  Not a good one – in fact all gun-free zones are targets and Apple Phone encryption won’t stop it.  The bad people are armed – Government can’t stop that. Are the good people able to respond?  Not without a response plan that include self defense and stopping the attacker.
  3. Could government issued malware be used, like it was with StuxNet? Is this a better solution that compromising the security our businesses depend on?  This is simply the next step in bugging a phone or staking out someone’s house under court order.

I’d love to hear what you think….

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

What’s The One Big Mistake Just About Every Business Is Making When It Comes To Security?

There are lots of mistakes being made…I guess you could argue one over the other. But the big mistake I constantly see is a lack of insight into what’s going on.

No Detection. No Intelligence.

As Mike McConnell put is months ago in the Wall Street Journal, IT lacks the data and the trade-craft to bring intelligence to their company.

This morning, 8:30 AM, I am on stage in Charlotte, NC. speaking to business leaders and IT personnel on this topic. Usually I am doing this talk at Lunch & Learns, sponsored by resellers and security product manufacturers. But this morning I decided to accept an invitation to speak at SecureWorld.

My hope is that my talk will generate opportunity for the many resellers and technology vendors I work with. It’s the education session in my conversion chart, but this time there’s no real conversion. The sponsoring technology companies will be lined up in the Technology Expo Hall. If you’ve read my book, you know that conversion goes way down once they leave this room.

If you really want to drive technology sales, you need a presentation like this in you home town, with a sign up sheet calling your audience to an assessment. Without, it’s just education.

Even so, I am looking forward to meeting with this group simply to learn more about what they are thinking, doing, and needing. The more you know about the CIO and IT culture the better equipped you’ll be in your next meeting.  Hope to see you there – learning about CIOs and IT. But don’t expect a big conversion.

Copyright, 2016, David Stelzl