AGP Ep 22: Robert Mead—Alert but not alarmed. Information security as an enabler

by | Feb 28, 2017

Robert Mead is an executive security adviser with over 20 years of experience. He shares with us about his somewhat unique approach to practical risk management and how he has been able to use information security as an enabler of business outcomes.

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“Most technical people don’t see that the picture is bigger than what’s technically right”—Robert Mead
“If you are going for a short-term win, you better make sure it’s worth it and know that you will need to repair relationships afterwards”—Robert Mead
“As a technical leader, it’s really important to hold back on frank and fearless feedback until you have a relationship and trust in place”—Robert Mead

Show notes

Credits

Topics/Transcript

Topics discussed

  • Robert’s career in information security and leadership
  • The importance of the relative risk, the bigger picture and being pragmatic
  • Information security as an enabler in organisations
  • The importance of emotional intelligence for technical professionals

Questions asked

  • 0:29 How did you get into development in the first place?
  • 5:25 What would you say the biggest security risk at the moment that we are underestimating?
  • 12:35 Where do you think that bigger picture thinking came from?
  • 19:09 Tell us about your first management role? What were the challenges you faced?
  • 29:10 Tell us a little bit about the grounding technique?
  • 36:09 So how do you deal with emotion enough so that you can get back to the rational place?
  • 37:47 What would you say your biggest piece of advice to security professionals looking to increase their influence and impact in their careers?

Quotable

  • 10:52 “One of the fastest ways to kill your influence is to say no, particularly when you are wrong”—Robert Mead
  • 11:27 “Most technical people don’t see that the picture is bigger than what’s technically right”—Robert Mead
  • 14:32 “If you are going for a short-term win, you better make sure it’s worth it and know that you will need to repair relationships afterwards”—Robert Mead
  • 26:08 “As a technical leader, it’s really important to hold back on frank and fearless feedback until you got a relationship and trust in place”—Robert Mead
  • 39:03 “Just because business people don’t do what you want doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world for you as a technical person. Focus on what their goal is, not yours”—Robert Mead

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