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The Motivator





For Joe – each style created a spark – and sparks start fires. Joe used his father’s behavior as a spark – an incentive to produce and accomplish. Whether out of fear, pride – or both – Joe was determined to earn his father’s approval, or at least prove him wrong. His mother lit a second, and different spark – he was determined to show that her love and encouragement were justified.

Joe grew up on the east side of Detroit, Michigan in a Depression-era slum. Times weren’t easy for anyone – earning money a priority for everyone. Joe, at age 9, would come home from school, eat what there was then head out in pursuit of men needing a shoe shine. It quickly occurred to Joe that it made sense to find a place where people congregated to relax during rough times. Bars were such a place – filled with potential customers inclined to be generous. Lesson learned. Another lesson was that alcohol could cause problems – Joe rarely drank for his entire life.

His next endeavor was to sell papers. A contest whereby the Detroit Free Press awarded a case of Pepsi for each new customer, resulted in Joe’s next business venture. He won so many cases of Pepsi that he began selling soda to the neighborhood kids. The next contest would award a brand-new bike to the person with the greatest number of new subscribers. Joe knocked on doors in every free moment, personally seeking new customers. He loved his bike.

Things continued tough at home, Joe often choosing to sleep in a flop house rather than face his father. He continued working wherever he could. He left a job at a stove company because of the impact of breathing insulation particles. He eventually joined the army, but was honorably discharged a week later due to a pre-existing back injury. He finally caught a break when a building contractor hired him, ultimately retiring and leaving the business to Joe. Joe married, had two children and then it happened. Joe invested in a major project based on information from a less-than-honest real estate speculator. Needing to feed his family and recover from the failed investment was another spark.

He was hired as a salesman at a Chevrolet dealer – but only after promising to seek prospects only by telephone so as not to take business from the other salesman. He sold a car his first night, borrowed $10 from his boss and brought groceries home. After selling 18 vehicles in his second month, he was fired for being too aggressive – seriously! It seems the other salesmen didn’t like the competition. Spark!

Joe was soon hired at Merollis Chevrolet in Eastpointe, Michigan. By now, Joe knew that he could sell cars – and did he ever. Each year he was tremendously successful. Each year he sent a copy of his annual earnings to the first Chevy dealer with a note saying – “You fired the wrong guy!” For the next dozen years, he set records for car sales – not for his dealership – but worldwide. Joe sold so many cars that he is recognized in the Guinness Book of World records as the World’s Greatest Salesman. He would ultimately leave car sales and become a highly-sought after motivational speaker and author. Results like these happened because Joe Girard is a fearless brand.

Fearless Brands use sparks to ‘start the fires’ of success

Joe Girard sold over 13,000 cars in his 15-year selling career – all at retail – no fleet sales. His selling bests were 18 cars in one day, 174 in one month, 1,425 in a single year. Joe averaged six sales a day when the average salesman sold five per month. Joe’s individual sales were more than 95% of all North American dealers.

Not surprisingly, Joe Girard has been asked countless times – “Joe, how did you sell so many cars?” His answer would surprise many – “I’ve never sold a single car – all I ever sold was a Girard!” That is the true essence of personal branding – YOU ARE THE VALUE!

Joe Girard didn’t sell as much as he built – and maintained – relationships. He worked hard and long hours. Much of his time was spent sending personalized notes to customers – and their family members – recognizing birthdays, graduations, marriages etc. Joe cared about his customers – by doing so, the sales would ‘take care of themselves’.

Joe exemplifies a basic tenet of The Go-Giver – Give exceptional value. Enjoy extraordinary results.

Girard also developed the Law of 250. After separately attending both a funeral and a wedding, Joe learned that, on average, each of us has 250 people that are close enough to attend a special occasion. He quickly surmised that every individual he spoke with represented the potential of 250 referrals. That’s a significant audience.

Joe retired from selling cars at age 49 and turned his efforts to speaking and writing. He’s authored several best-selling books including How to Sell Anything to Anybody and How to Sell Yourself. Joe Girard is clearly a go-to expert on selling. He is also a tremendous example of how to build a fearless brand.

Find your spark! – It’s called your why, your purpose, your passion, your motivation – I call it your drive – Joe Girard calls it his spark! Throughout his life, he had many sparks, the one from his father easily the hottest burning. Girard has said that with every single customer he was ‘selling to his father’. It was a spark from a bitter and dark childhood that drove much of Joe’s success. Simply put, find your spark!

Seek the positive – “From every negative – there is always a positive” says Joe Girard. Find the silver lining. Dig until you learn the lesson which exists. Our setbacks are merely learning opportunities. Look to increase your personal value through your challenges.

The real selling starts after the sale – “All things being equal, people will buy from – and refer business to – those people that they know, like and trust” as Bob Burg details in his blog. Joe Girard knew that to be successful, required repeat business and referral business. That is why he ‘only sold a Girard’ – not cars. He was completely authentic in his pursuit of relationships with his existing customers – and prospects. He cared about what was important to them. It was then that he delivered true value. Learn what your customers want. Know your value. Combine the two. Simple, right?

Joe Girard, the World’s Greatest Salesman, is also a truly fearless brand. That shouldn’t come as a surprise because the purpose of building your fearless brand is for the results which follow. Learn from Joe Girard. Find your spark. Satisfy your customers’ needs and wants. You too will find extraordinary results.


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Plans have been unveiled to launch self-driving taxis in London by 2021.

Taxi firm Addison Lee Group says it has struck an agreement with Oxbotica, an Oxford-based startup specialising in autonomous software.

The companies plan to create digital maps of more than 250,000 miles of public roads in and around the capital.

They will include the position of every kerb, road sign, landmark and traffic light, in readiness for the deployment of autonomous cars in the city.

Addison Lee is aiming to gain a share of the autonomous vehicle technology market, which the government forecasts to be worth £28bn in the UK by 2035.

Jaguar Land Rover create driverless cars with eyes
Video:Driverless cars with eyes on the road

Addison chief executive Andy Boland said the company intended to be at the forefront of change within a transport industry anticipating the introduction of self-driving services.

He said: “Autonomous technology holds the key to many of the challenges we face in transport.

“By providing ride-sharing services, we can help address congestion, free space used for parking and improve urban air quality through zero-emission vehicles.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond has championed autonomous cars, saying that he wants “genuine driverless vehicles” on Britain’s roads within three years.

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Peers are a great source of information for the CISO because they are tackling the same security problems in different ways. Taking note of what they are doing is useful for replicating their successes in your own organization.

We recently sifted through dozens of interviews with, and reports about, CISOs, to uncover several knowledge gems. The emphasis highly effective CISOs place on the less tangible aspects of the job – leadership, culture and business savvy for example – is readily apparent.

What follows below is a roundup of useful comments, facts, and statistics – big cybersecurity ideas – for the CISO by CISOs.

1) Businesses do not exist to provide information security

It’s all too easy for security leaders to forget that the business of their business isn’t security – it’s to fulfill customer-demand for products or services:

“It is very easy to fall into a myopic view and focus strictly on information security without taking into consideration what is it ultimately that the organization is trying to accomplish strategically. So, keeping that front and center for our teams helps not only enable the business but keeps us all grounded because we, as a company, we exist because we sell toothpaste and tennis shoes and all of those things that customers count on us to provide. At the end of the day, we’re not in the information security business. So, the day that information security makes that prohibitively difficult, there is really no reason for us to be here, so we have to keep that organizational mission front and center.”

– Jerry Geisler, SVP & Global CISO, Walmart; source: Walmart’s Jerry Geisler on the CISO position, retail challenges by Kathleen Richards.

2) Understanding how IT supports the business

More than just understanding the IT infrastructure, security leaders need to understand how that infrastructure supports the business. While this comment stems from a healthcare security leader, it has broader applicability for any vertical market:

“CISOs need to know the entire architecture of a healthcare organization’s IT environment and how it supports each line of business. They need to fully understand the environment’s technological composition and nature of all the data contained therein, the process for storage and transmission, as well as the process of all critical and sensitive data and the complete flow of data in and out of the organization.”

– Mark Beckmeyer, Director of IT Security, Binary Fountain; source: Securing healthcare organizations: The challenges CISOs face by Zeljka Zorz.

3) Articulating the value of cybersecurity to the business

In business, cybersecurity is often seen as a cost. Yet one security leader found his experiences in government helped him translate the value of security in business:

“Cybersecurity is all about the management of enterprise risk. The value a CISO and security department provides to the company is the continuous management of this risk so the business units that directly generate revenue can focus on being innovative and helping the company meet its strategic objectives. So my value is risk management as a service: We support the business units so they can focus on what the business needs, and together we are all successful.”

– Gary Hayslip, CISO, Webroot; source: A Career CISO’s 7 Observations on Public vs. Private Sectorvia TechWire

Note: Mr. Hayslip co-authored a two-volume CISO Desk Reference Guide.

4) Managing security to your organization’s tolerance for risk

Experts say cybersecurity boils down to an exercise in risk management – the probability of an event – combined with the severity of impact. Investors might add another factor in tolerance, which is why this commentary from a CISO at a big investment bank is so relevant:

“To pre-empt this question, the CISO should have a conversation early on with the CEO to determine the organization’s risk appetite. This will allow the CISO to align and prioritize security initiatives accordingly.

We are in the business of information and technology risk management, so the ‘Are we secure?’ question is somewhat misguided. The question should be: ‘Are we managing risk according to our risk profile?’ To answer this, the CISO should be able to easily demonstrate, based on a recent risk assessment, how the various cybersecurity initiatives and projects are in fact reducing risk, shrinking the attack surface of the organization and aligning the security program with the firm’s overall risk profile.”

– Israel Bryski, Vice President, technology risk, Goldman Sachs; source: 8 Tough Questions Every CISO Should Be Ready to Answer by Joan Goodchild.

5) Translating security risk into business decisions

Some researchers say the best CISOs learn to lead without authority. It’s a nod to the idea that ultimately, successful security leaders identify and articulate the risks to business leaders so they can make the right decisions:

“It’s very important that the CISO take the time to translate the enterprise security/risk/compliance needs into what executives can assimilate and make the decision.”

– Rebecca Wynn, Head of Information Security and DPO, Matrix Medical Network; source: Leading Cyber Security Execs Describe CISO ‘Toolkits’ by Dan Gunderman.


6) Security leaders and technology leaders need leadership parity

Business wants to innovate – to deliver a service or make a product better and faster. Yet faster comes with risks and someone needs to examine those risks and pump the brakes when the risk exceeds the business’ tolerance level:

“You need to make sure that your heads of security are on equal footing with the heads of tech, otherwise there is an inherent conflict at play.”

– Anthony Belfiore, CSO, Aon PLC; source: Companies Unleash CISOs from Ties to Tech Chiefs by Kate Fazzini

7) A “security first” culture is a path to business efficacy

A “security first” approach is derived from culture and a security-conscious culture may enable a business to favor efficacy over stronger prohibitions and rigid policies:

“We’re not a blocker unless it’s absolutely essential. What I’m aiming for is when security does ‘say no’, the people take it seriously, because it’s so rare that they know it’s a serious occurrence.”

– Kevin Fielder, CISO, Just Eat; source: Just Eat’s first CISO is building security in from the ground up by Tom Allen.

8) Best-of-breed tools may help ward off future threats

The security tools fielded yesterday were designed to defend against yesterday’s threats. That’s why cybersecurity inherently involves economics. It’s may also part of the case for best of breed tools aimed at modern threats:

“As the threat landscape changes, some of the things that we think are a priority today may have a different priority tomorrow. And that’s part of the reason why when we have a vendor come in and do our security operations center, we will have the best-of-breed tools that will allow us to evolve in the next five years to deal with the current threats.”

– Marcelo Peredo, CISO, City of San José; source: San Jose’s first CISO braces for ubiquitous connectivity by Colin Wood.

9) The toughest questions a CISO must answer

Security leaders are often faced with difficult questions. A group of CISOs narrowed down what is surely a long list to the top five – as compiled by Kudelski Security:

> “Are we secure?”
> “How do we know if we have been breached?”
> “How does our security program compare to peers within the same industry?”
> “Do we have enough resources for our cybersecurity program?”
> “How effective is our security program, and is our current investment strategy aligned to it properly?”

– Survey of CISOs; source: The 5 most challenging questions CISOs face and how to answer themby Macy Bayern.

10) The 4 “Tribes” of CISOs

Personality tests strive to group people into categories based on characteristics, habits and communication style. Doing so is intended to provide insight into our preferences and weak spots so we can improve. A research project by Synopsys did something similar for the CISO “based on factors related to workforce, governance, and security controls.”  The research found CISOs can be used to grouped into one of four tribes:

> Tribe 1: Security as an Enabler;
> Tribe 2: Security as Technology;
> Tribe 3: Security as Compliance; and
> Tribe 4: Security as a Cost Center.

– CISO research project; source: Which CISO ‘Tribe’ Do You Belong To? by Kelly Sheridan

11)  What CISOs think makes CISOs successful

New York University Professor Nasir Memon once observed that security isn’t just a technical problem, but a legal problem, a policy problem and perhaps most importantly, a human behavior problem. CISOs it seems, agree with that assessment, according to a survey of CISOs by the Enterprise Strategy Group and ISSA.  The top skills CISOs say influence the success of a CISO are as follows:

> 54% say leadership skills;
> 49% say communications skills;
> 44% say strong relationships with executives;
> 33% say management skills; and
> 21% say upon technical skills.

– Survey of CISO; source: What makes CISOs successful? by Jon Oltsik

12) Individual consequences for getting phished?

While attacks have grown more sophisticated, many being with the same initiation stage: phishing emails. The organization can pay a heavy price when an individual gets phished and some say the risk and consequences should be shared:

“Someone who fails every single phishing campaign in the world should not be holding a TS SCI with the federal government. You have clearly demonstrated that you are not responsible enough to responsibly handle that information.”

– Paul Beckman, CISO, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; source: DHS infosec chief: We should pull clearance of feds who fail phish test by Sean Gallagher.

13) One upside to a breach:  a learning moment 

Once a breach has occurred, the dynamics between security and business may change. A breach is a learning moment, that makes conveying the message about the importance of security easier.

“One of the things that I really love about being a CISO in a post-breach environment is it gives you such an immense opportunity to drive fundamental, meaningful change in a very short timeframe. I felt like I did good things when I was at Los Alamos or at NASA, but it takes so frickin’ long to push some of this stuff. The barriers you face at any company not post-breach is you’re always fighting for budget, you’re always fighting for face time, trying to justify and convince people about the importance of security and risk management. When you’re in a post-breach environment, everyone already knows that it’s critically important.”

–  Jamil Farshchi, CISO, Equifax; source: Equifax’s Security Overhaul, a Year After Its Epic Breach by Lily Hay Newman.

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KPMG LLP plans to add 110 jobs over the next five years in a new Stamford office.

The audit, tax and advisory firm recently signed a long-term lease and plans to renovate space in the former UBS building at 677 Washington Boulevard, which it expects to occupy next spring. KPMG has had a presence in Stamford for nearly 40 years, where it currently employs 315 professionals at its location at 3001 Summer St. The firm’s Hartford office has 231 employees.

“KPMG’s commitment to growing its operations and creating jobs in Connecticut is a testament to our top-notch workforce and unbeatable quality of life,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “It is an encouraging sign that world-class companies are continually choosing to set up or expand operations in our state.”

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development is supporting the business expansion in Stamford with a $3 million grant in arrears for leasehold improvements, equipment and other project-related costs. Portions of the grant will be released when certain job-creation milestones are met.

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