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UNCHARTED: The Importance of Accountability in Business

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Starting the conversation:

In this conversation, Vince Scott, President at Defense Cybersecurity Group, shares the importance of knowing the way accountability is defined by and within an organization, in order to be able to add value and achieve success. The way people work together is determined by company culture; the ability to navigate that culture is a flexibility allowing you to be more adaptable and responsive when it matters most.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Vince Scott


Announcer 00:05
This is Uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed the Fast Track Your Business program to help you stay aligned to your business’ True North. Jess Dewelll is your guide, Jess brings you a 20-year track record of Business Excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place, your unique TrueNorth. Now, here’s Jess.

Jess Dewell 00:40
Welcome, everybody to this episode of the Bold Business Podcast on charted. We are talking today with Vince Scott. And I have to tell you, it doesn’t matter where we’re at or what we’re doing. Every time we talk, we talk about random things we talk about and important things to us. We talk about things that might be happening around the world. And then it was like, oh, yeah, we should share this with you, the listeners. So here’s how it’s gonna go down. For those of you who are regular listeners, you know, we’re going to talk to Vince, very openly for a little while, and then guess what, we’re going to continue to talk to him very openly in the second half of our program, which is for our Fast Track Your Business subscribers. So keep that in mind, because you’re not gonna want to miss the second half. So check out fast track your business.com to understand how to get those amazing, last tidbits that will be available to you. Now, I gotta tell you about this, because Vince is in cybersecurity. And this is a thing that every time I hear the word cybersecurity, I like tense up, what am I not doing? How can I not do it, right? Because it does include all those long-lost relatives and princes in jail that come to you and your email still, however, it encompasses so much more today. And the fact that the more we’re talking about it, the more we’re aware of it, the better prepared we can be for ourselves and our businesses. Vince is the founder of defense cybersecurity group. He’s helping organizations in every aspect of cybersecurity in through compliance through compliance assessments. And he’s also the chief security officer for STI, TC, where he’s been putting in and putting to work his security approach. I’m glad to have you on the show today, Vince.

Vince Scott 02:31
It is great to be here today. Just thanks for having me on.

Jess Dewell 02:34
Welcome. I’m glad you laughed out loud when I talked about the email because you know, people are like, Oh, I got that scam. But it’s not the, I mean, it’s just evolved today.

Vince Scott 02:44
Yeah, some of them are, you know, I’ve actually seen some really, really sophisticated ones. I, for major Fortune 500 company, I saw one that was literally, it was a person’s bought, it looks like the person’s boss, sending them the email that said, transfer this money. And it was the right you know, right spelling, it was the right signature block for her boss. And there was one letter off in the domain name of the email address. And that was the only thing that I could pick off. That was different. So they clearly had had some of her boss’s emails, right. And they modified that. And they had set up a domain that was one letter off from the company, and then sent her an email that said, hey, I need you to transfer this money in this fashion in and the company was very upset with that person. And I was like, No, really, you can’t come on. Could you, would you have if your boss had sent you this? Would you have, under would you have got this? Really? No, you would so, so you know you gotta have a little, little patience here. Now in that case, it was a BF but you didn’t follow our standard procedures. Right. But in that, that’s good. You know, you need to strengthen standard procedures and we need, still need to follow up on it. But it was not Nigerian, Prince’s please send monies right.

Jess Dewell 04:16
Definitely evolved from a long

Vince Scott 04:20
Way since then. Right? And so, in the targeting goes down to very low levels, right. So my wife was in real estate. And where we lived, we had individual intimate real estate agents being targeted, and then changing the bank routing information for that money you’re putting down on your house. And so essentially stealing the deposits on homes by having that money rerouted right before closing and so you have people showing up the closings going I provided the money No, you didn’t have the money. Yes, I did. What are the money? I wired it here. Well, no, you said the word there. I have it. Is that me? Oh, right. So if, you know, I really hate that, because you have young families who you know, save money so they can get 10% down or 20% down on a house, and they’re all excited, and they’re getting ready to close. And then that money is gone. And in really causes, of course, a lot of, a lot of problems. And it really resulted from, you know, targeting at a very small level, right, so that those real estate agencies are very small businesses, and people think, oh, you know, I’m just a whatever, who would, who would ever hacked me? Who would target me? And it’s anybody who wants a slice of your money. And really, there’s a lot of those people

Jess Dewell 05:43
There are a lot of those people. So when we think about that, that there are a lot of those people out there. And some are the traditional scams that we just have to get, you know, internet smart about, if you will, some we can plan for regardless of the size of our business, what are the top three things that you recognize and companies that they could, it might not necessarily be easy to do, yet the prudent thing to do to start making changes to become more secure in the way they’re handling your information?

Vince Scott 06:16
I think the top three, so number one would be two-factor authentication. So lots of commercial banking etcetera now offer two-factor to you some banks are now starting to insist on it right. But your Google email, it offers a two factor and a lot of people do a lot of stuff and have their banking password reset, and a lot of that stuff set up in their Google email account. Put two-factor authentication on that. Does it make it impossible to hack? You know, nothing does. But it really complicates the life of somebody who’s trying to steal your stuff. And so I think, absolutely at the top of the list would be two-factor authentication. Maybe the second thing would be that realization that we already touched on that you’re not too small to be very specifically targeted. Right. So any company of any size could potentially be targeted by hackers in order to get a slice of their money, right? In, I still do run across a surprising amount of we’re a soap and diaper company who would hack us. Well, everybody who wants a slice of your, you know, gross profits. That, that’s who would hack you. In then there. There also is for some people and I work in the defense industrial base quite a bit, right. Then there’s the next level of play, right, which is very advanced, nation-state hacker organizations. They talk about, you know, we had Sony Pictures Entertainment, packed a number of years ago, they stole unreleased movies, all because the North Koreans were upset about the movie that made fun of Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator in North Korea has a 6000 person cyber army. Right? So, so as a company, you know, who has a 10 person cyber workforce, right, you’re now playing against the 6000 man army. And that can be very challenging, right? As you look at your cyber defense, so companies of larger sizes, as you scale up, I think you, you need to be mindful that there are multiple levels of play in this field. And as you work on sensitive research and development stuff, you know, a lot of West Coast companies who have really cool technology, right? Companies supported by their, their nations from Asia could be targeting you to steal your very cool technology. And that is something I think, particularly in the entrepreneurial and developmental spaces, people have a hard time really understanding that, no, I have to do things differently in order to protect that information. So I think that awareness is probably the second thing. And then a third thing that people should do in order to better protect themselves. patcher systems update, right, so, so we just get down to micro-businesses patching is maybe not as applicable, because they’re doing a lot of stuff in the cloud, etc. But even Google Chrome comes out with updates, make sure the updates are in your Google Chrome A very small level in companies that run any infrastructure. Patching sounds really simple. Oh, okay. Patch myself. Yeah, download a patch, no problem. But there’s only one problem a lot of times that makes your stuff blow, oh, my patch good. Now this doesn’t work or that doesn’t work. And, you know, it causes problems in it. And so it’s much more challenging than it sounds. It’s easy to say just imagine that great. Particularly the I’ve noticed that this year, my, my chief security officer hat, right, we’re where I work with the director of it. And we have a fairly sizable on prem infrastructure that we’re trying to keep up today. Oh, my gosh, this year has been terrible. Every time I turn around Microsoft is going they got me again, you got to patch all this stuff, you know, and then you patch your email server and oh, by the way, it blows up and email stops working. Okay, so now this is a major crisis. And we’ve got to work. Yeah, work all night to get the email server back up. And so patching can be no fun. But, but I think it’s still really important. And even at the local personal level, making sure your Windows updates downloaded update, you reboot your machine making sure Chrome or your web browser is updated. That sort of thing is really important.

Jess Dewell 11:14
Right? You know how hard Okay, so here’s an here’s something that comes to mind. And then I want to get to the topic, which I want you to tell us about a problem that you face and how you’ve worked through it. But because I’ve got you to so great doing a PSA to Vince. And that is I’m companies that share passwords. Whoops.

Vince Scott 11:35
Oh, no one would do that anymore. Right? That’s so old.

Jess Dewell 11:38
I don’t know about that. So first thing, I’m telling you, every company I go into well, here, let me just give you the password to that. I’m like, what? Let me and I you know, and I’m not working on defense level. I’m not working with large companies. But these medium-sized companies and these smaller companies all and especially when you get down to the real estate agents, right? The individuals that have their businesses, it’s easy to go Hi, admin, take this password. Hi, Secretary, take this password. Hi, person who manages the calendar, take this password. And I’m and if we have I think having separate passwords is one of the things that we could all do differently. Even within our families, by the way.

Vince Scott 12:19
Yeah, I certainly password security is that’s a great point. Maybe that’s, that’s something I don’t think about so much. But because I’m most places I operate that, that isn’t it’s a standard. Right. Although in fairness, right, we had the solar winds hack. I don’t know if that. Were the government and many agencies of government, Treasury, commerce, etc. were hacked as a result of this service provider SolarWinds who provide software to the government in the software server that they had. Right. Did you hear that? When they briefed Congress, that the intern from seven years ago had set the password on the server as SolarWinds 123? Yep. And it was his fault. Right? And I’m like, Really, you’re gonna brief Congress that it’s the internet’s fault from seven years ago that that password is what it was, and it’s not updated.

Jess Dewell 13:16
Can Happen anybody password updates, and don’t share them.

Vince Scott 13:20
Password updates, and don’t share them while I’m here. So here’s a couple of things that latest research says you don’t have to update your password more often. Right doesn’t necessarily make things better. But longer is the best thing. Right? We talk about complexity. If you can go. I really love Biloxi, Mississippi. That’s a that would be a pretty if you spelled all that out. That would be probably pretty easy, remember, and really long, because Mississippi is a long word write passphrase it doesn’t have any complexity, potentially. It might be something easy to remember. And in length counts a lot more than complexity. So I’ve run into companies that go well, I only had to do a seven-character password, but I can force a lot of complexity. That, that you’re not helping yourself. Right? Make them longer in I’m not as worried about the complexity because every letter you add in the requirement is a requirement. It makes it more difficult, right? And eight is not enough. Not enough is not enough, right? You eight was when we set the standard for passwords at eight. That was 20 years ago. The, the modern computing power of a PC can crack a character password in a couple of seconds or less. Right? So you really need to be up in that 1214 16 is 16 is where I’m at plus Um, I think that’s where you need to be from a password length, Perper. Bective. Today, in order to have some reasonable assurance that it’s not going to get crapped out the gate.

Jess Dewell 15:09
Right? Right. And don’t be, don’t be getting blamed like that in turn in the government from seven years ago.

Vince Scott 15:17
Yeah, that’s just that …

Jess Dewell 15:19
I was like, I thought, Wow, way to pass the buck. Oh, yeah.

Vince Scott 15:24
No, it’s the internet’s fault. Okay, responsibility. Where’s your cybersecurity programming? Why are you insured passwords are changed and why? You know, what do you mean? SolarWinds 123 was okay. You know, there’s all these things, right. It was sort of like OPM saying, when they briefed Congress about why everyone with a security clearances, personal information was stolen, that really they were working on getting any virus ruled out everywhere in their environment. And you’re like, really, you’re going to get that’s your note to Congress is, hey, we’re working on a virus. Don’t, don’t push us.

Jess Dewell 15:59
I’m telling you. Yeah, amazing. Totally amazing. And by the way, I will say it’s easy to pass judgment from the outside. So I’ll just throw that in there for everybody else. Don’t be like them. But also recognize where you are like them?

Vince Scott 16:15
Well, yeah, I use the internet from seven years ago. I can, I can wait a minute, I can throw stones at you for that, because I agreed that that is enormous, passing the buck the fact that you went to Congress and said, This is the internet. Come on. Really? Right. Exactly. You did that. So I think that’s fair to throw stones at. But the other thing to remember about hacking, right, is there are no guarantees, right? Everybody can be hacked when you’re working against the 6000. Man, cyber army. Right? So from a corporate perspective, as you particularly as you move up the size scale, you need to be prepared on what happens when How do I know when I’ve been hacked? And what do I do about it? And I think that’s a, that’s a critical point, when you start getting to be 100 person, company or above, you really need to be thinking about that. I no longer in that, that, that ultra small company, right? If you’re a five person company, maybe this isn’t higher on your list. But, but as you move up the size range, you really need to think about how do I know when I’ve been happening? What do I do about it? I think that for companies of any size, the detection issue is way under appreciated. Right? Most companies ransomware, I don’t know. Detecting it puts a little flashy screen up on my face and laughs at me, and tells me I need to pay the ransom. Right. So the fact that I’ve been hacked is intuitive to everyone in the company at this point. But that detection piece, often times before the ransomware, you know, you get your flat splash screen that says I’ve been ransomed. That happens it human speed, right? Somebody comes in and figures out your network, and they’re looking at what to encrypt, that’s going to hurt you the most and how much ransom Should we ask for. And it’s that it doesn’t happen in six seconds after the link is clicked. What I often see is actually a pretty significant gap between an initial hack. And when that devastating exploitation occurs in so if you can detect this early and say, Hey, why are my internal systems talking to China or talking to Moldova? Right? And go man that that seems odd, in detect that and fix that. A lot of times, I think you can head off that devastating impact. Because you were able to detect it, you were able to clean it up, you were able to fix it before it became devastating. So I think the the detection aspect is one of the things that many companies really miss out even at good side, good scale. You know, significantly larger companies don’t understand how hard they need to work at attention.

Jess Dewell 19:19
Yeah. So I want to know, and this is this may lead right into from where we’re going, but we may also take a sharp turn or go over the edge of the roller coaster. Who knows Vince, I want to know though, in your as you’ve been moving through the companies you work with as you have been elevating yourself in your career. I would love to know about a time that you had a, you had a really difficult time in your leadership position. And if you would tell us about the situation and what made it difficult at the time

Vince Scott 20:01
Right. Um, so I think one of my biggest challenges in retiring from the military and then going into commercial practice, right? Initially, when I retired, I was actually working in a relatively military-oriented organization with a lot of other retired military guys. And it wasn’t as big a deal. But then I went off to Procter and Gamble, right, a Global Fortune 50 with its stunningly good reputation for how they treat their people, their leadership. You know, everybody said, Procter and Gamble, a wonderful place to work. I really struggled, because they, they hired me for my expertise in cyber, and then culturally said, Well, we’re not sure that you really know anything and and began to treat me like a new college graduate. And it was, that was so hard for me to sort of navigate that culture, it was we appreciate your service. But we’re not really sure how your service as a military veteran, actually relates to my company. And I think this is something that many veterans and companies who want to hire veterans struggle with, right, because there are cultural differences, right? Yeah, there, the military tends to be a higher accountability, culture. Civilian commercial practice tends to not be as strong on that high accountability thing. Those are tough conversations, and maybe we don’t have those as much as we should, right. They, the military guys and gals tend to be have learned a very direct form of leadership from their culture, right? See problem address problem, shortest distance between two points in straight line, right. And I may exemplify these characteristics particularly well, in my own person, but, but I think it’s, it is generally true, right? Of the, what we learned from a military perspective. This problem is not all on the side of the veterans. I also saw in the culture from a commercial perspective, a failure to understand what the work environment from a military really brought to the table potentially, from an experience perspective, right. And honestly, I put it down to the Hollywood effect. And most people what they know about the military, they learned from Hollywood, right? Something like 95% of Americans don’t have a direct family member or 90% of Americans don’t have a direct family member or direct person that they’re close to who’s got military service? It is, for more people don’t really know, even a military service member, much less actually serve, I think the actual service is what in the 3% something somewhere in there. And so for me, I was also saying on the other side, which is like, it’s not that different. So I have a cubicle and I have a computer and I have deadlines. And I have weekly reports. And, you know, I have let me tell you, No, really, I had a budget, right, in sort of the attitude of, you know, what, can you No, no, you know, you work for the government. You know, what was it like to have an unlimited amount of money to do everything? That’s not really the way that works?

Jess Dewell 23:40
Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Vince Scott 23:44
My thought was honestly boiled down to, it’s a lot of cubicle living, which is a lot like, you know, commercial companies in many instances, right. It’s a lot of cubicle live in. So there wasn’t this extreme Delta, between my experiences in the military and what, what we do on a day to day basis, and big corporate, certainly, but I believe that the big corporate, we people saw that that campus is significantly more much more significantly different than actually it was right. And so that I think that biggest challenge is the cultural aspect. As a transitioning military member, and as a person hiring military members being conscious of these different cultures, and how to bring someone on into your culture. No, I think I saw Procter and Gamble is because they’re such a good company, and people go there and stay there. And they want to, you know, think they’re not a company where lots of different people move around, move in and out of the company. They also they had their own cultural blinders on, right. Well, of course, this is the way the world works. It’s the proper giveaway. That’s the way things work, right, because that’s all we’ve ever done. experience. So, so, so they also have their own cultural biases in, in, in box that they sit in, right. So, so I think on both sides of this equation transition military members hate really need to be conscious of how the culture is going to be different. And conscious of adapting to the culture that you’re moving into. In companies they’re bringing veterans in also need to think about how the culture is different and how they hope those people adapt to the culture. But they’ve lived a lot in a lot of cubicles, too, right? So they’re there, it’s just a matter, it’s just a cultural difference, maybe not an experience difference, or a value-add difference, per se.

Announcer 25:46
We will return to Uncharted in a few moments. How you work on your business often means the difference between failure and success. When you commit to developing skills, increasing capacity for the unknown, and prioritizing your mission, you’re taking action toward success. Find out more about how to Fast Track Your Business at FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com. Let’s get back to Jess.

Jess Dewell 26:11
I love it that you’re really calling out the cultural difference compared to the other things and illustrating that difference? Because when you do that, then boy, it sounds like we could talk for a long time about all of the misunderstandings the, the strike the disk coherence, right that can show up is that is there one particular that you remember saying that you can attribute to this cultural thing? I have, I actually navigated this with this amazing setup that you just gave us.

Vince Scott 26:55
Oh, boy, it’s so ubiquitous. Throughout my, throughout my experience, a place where, where I navigated this arm.

Jess Dewell 27:10
Or if it’s a theme, that theme is cool, too.

Vince Scott 27:13
Yeah, I was trying to think of a specific example that would, would demonstrate it. Uh-huh. I think in the, in the communication, both as a leader and as a subordinate, right, so when you’re getting communications from your boss, and when you’re, if you’re, you know, a military person who’s come in to be a leader, right. The directness that we’re used to, is not the directness that I see generally in corporate culture, right, corporate culture tends to be a little bit softer. And so modifying my approach, right to be a little bit softer with those people who are working for me, certainly, and peers across the table. Right. So, so that direct, a very clear, very blunt a direct addressing of whatever a problem or shortfall is, right, which in a military culture would be. Okay. You know, that’s kind of normal. In a corporate culture, I think you need to approach that in a softer sense. Yeah. From a in the other direction from a I’m bringing in military people, I think at times, being too circumspect about, okay, don’t really tell me what you want. Okay, might be a good approach, right? So you don’t the military person is used to coming in and say, No, you didn’t get this all the time. Tell me why. And let’s talk about this. And let’s get this done, because we need it, or whatever that is. Right. Right. So I think that cultural, that communications difference, particularly around directness of would be the example I would use.

Jess Dewell 28:57
All of you type a people out here, who can relate to what Vince is saying, even if you’ve never been in the military, right? You raise your hand for yourself.

Vince Scott 29:08
Okay, right. Everybody talks about themselves as being type A, and there’s actually a, b, c, and d types as well. And, and really, the majority of people actually aren’t typing. Right. There’s a lot of creative, a lot of other kinds. Yes. It’s funny, you bring up type A, I actually when I retired, I took the Air Force, senior officer transition course. So there’s a regular transition course and then there’s one for old people that are retiring, right? And I got that one. And I took the, the ABCD personality tests and I forget it’s not Myers Briggs, it’s a different one. At that time, and I actually the guys that who I’ve never seen anybody score off the chart like that on a because they did it in two modes. They did it in a regular mode in which I was very type A and then they did it In a crisis mode in which I scored actually outside the circle off the charts, all my other sensitive pieces, you know, fall off, and then that really were just given direction now, but so some of this may apply to me. But I do think it’s in general to the military, we tend to have that sort of military esque approach to leadership. And that can be a different culture when you move into the civilian workforce.

Jess Dewell 30:30
For those of you who are listening, thank you very much. This is the Bold Business Podcast, and we are here with Vince Scott. All you Fast Track Your Business supporters and subscribers, head on over to your dashboard here, the rest of this conversation there for the rest of you. We’ll see you next time. Okay, Vince, so I want to pick up exactly there. Leaving into those skills that you have, right, that transition, you took this course you’ve got this type A, and you know, in crisis you like can let everything else go to take care of crisis. How does that relate to the role that you were doing today? And has it actually helped you hurt you been neutral for you?

Vince Scott 31:20
I think in cybersecurity, and one of the areas I specialize in is incident response. So it’s actually what I, the program I built the Procter and Gamble was how do we know when we’ve been hacked? And what do we do about it? So this, this concept of we detect that we’ve been hacked, and then we go deal with that. And there’s, there’s a lot of crisis management aspects to that. So I think I gret, you know, me personally, I gravitated towards that and using those crisis management skills, in a way that was beneficial for the company. Yeah. Because that sort of approach is, is more effective when decisions have to be made, they have to be made. Now, we have to stop the bleeding for the company, right? No, we really need to decide to take this server down, because I know the ops guys don’t want us to do but we’re taking them down because they’re stealing our stuff. Yeah, those types of activities. Crisis Management, I thought was, was a natural fit for me. And that’s a place where I’ve used that, and I continue to do so sort of across my career.

Jess Dewell 32:22
Yeah. Does that in those times of crisis? How do you change your leadership these days? Or does everybody just No, got it? We’re in crisis show up and let’s go together. And they’ll, of course, they’ll be taken care of along the way. Right. But there’s a different approach of to your point of that very blunt, direct, timely requirement to the use the word softer side of communication, and sometimes avoidance and blame shows up there, too. How do you, how do you mix those two together today to keep everybody moving? Especially during crisis?

Vince Scott 32:58
Yeah, so I think for me personally, writing, we talked about my extreme type A personality, right? Why? In some ways, the governor comes off for me in crisis, right? I’m able to take off some of the restraints I put on myself. I actually work really hard every day from a day-to-day basis to not let too much of that creep into non-crisis activities. Right? How can we be kinder more more understanding more empathetic in the day-to-day communications with employees and, and people you work with and work for and, and everything out, you know, you’re the group your team. I think that is one of the most important leadership skills and that’s one that I have to work on. On a every day, you know, I’ve been working on it for years. I’ll you know, My callsign on a number of times, separately developed I never shared with people, but then I got the same callsign again, was Spock and it was because no emotion logical completely on empathetic, right? Just but, but this is not logical. Why are we doing this? You know, and not understanding the emotional aspects of that. Okay. So for me, that’s just an area where I’ve identified the shortfall in myself in my leadership style, right and said, I have to work on this I have to make myself better. You go back to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type. You know, you have introvert-extrovert is the first characteristics in my Myers-Brigg. I scored off the chart. They are 100% for I on my in shop to the Naval Academy as a new freshmen, new plebe, they made us take that and I maxed I, as an introvert, which was a little unusual that not sort of the normal mix there, right. And then when I retired I did that’s another test I took, I took that one again, and I was he and I equal. That was learned behavior over the course of that military group that I had to work on the I had to make better. And so as you talk about the leadership podcast and the aspect of your, you know, the people that are listening to this, we all have shortfalls, every one of us is going to have we’re going to be for thronging areas. And because I was 100%, I, that means I’m a very small leak, right? extrovert, not so much. So we all need to identify where those weaknesses are in our own personalities in our leadership style, and then work to buff those, maybe we’ll never be great at that. But we certainly need to work on balancing those things across our leadership style. So we can interact well with lead, well bring teams together well, that will support the things that we’re trying to do, whatever those objectives are business, not for profit, you know, organized Little League, whatever it is, where you’re, you know, that leader, you have to identify those shortfalls and help mitigate them in yourself. And so for me, I, you know, I still think I work on it every day to try and be more empathetic, more understanding because I know it myself, that is not my strongest point of sale.

Jess Dewell 36:37
Yeah. I really appreciate that you brought that up and actually used Myers-Briggs as an example. Because we tend to take that label. And we tend to take that, that and go, Well, this is who I am, take me or leave me, right. And we’re really dramatic about it these days. In a lot of cases, by the way, I am too, all on my drama, this is who I am. If you don’t like me, whatever, right? When you have people that report to you, that doesn’t work anymore, you still have to be able to be who you are, and not in an authentic fashion. Yet, to your point, you’ve got to actually start buffering some of these things. So more kinds of people can relate to you. Because the people who are just like you aren’t going to be the ones that are on your team. A team is supposed to be bigger than somebody who’s doing just what you were just doing.

Vince Scott 37:26
You want those people who are gonna compliment you on places where you’re weak. Right. And so yeah, it’s critically important. But I think that, for me, the strongest thing is that identifying weaknesses, and, and then working on them. And it’s not easy.

Jess Dewell 37:42
No. And working on him could just be well, I noticed I just did that. Okay, can’t just change what happened, but I can’t change what happens next.

Vince Scott 37:50
Right. Right. Well, that phone call didn’t go as well. You know, I said that. And I don’t think that resonated the way I wanted it to.

Jess Dewell 38:00
That’s right. That’s right. And do I even need to make that callback and fix it right now? Right? I mean, there’s an element.

Vince Scott 38:06
Call him and say, Hey, I’m sorry, or send him an email mode or, or whatever.

Jess Dewell 38:09
Totally, and completely. So talk to me about, um, and it sounds like I’m trying to think I feel like I have to switch this question. Because usually, I’m like, Well, what do you lean into in times of uncertainty? Well, you told us all things come off. And then Spock comes out. Right? Okay. So on. I feel like I’ve got to flip that around. So in the day-to-day, what are you lean? What skill Do you lean into that you already have to help you bring that empathy, bring that kindness bring that curiosity about situations to the table?

Vince Scott 38:47
So so for me personally, I think I’m an analyst. Right. And so I and you heard that in my talk about Myers Briggs and all this right? I analyze this very much. Why didn’t that work? What is good about this, what isn’t? And so I try to bring that analytical piece to the table for the teams that I’m working with the organizations working with. And I think that that analysis then leads to planning, which should lead to execution. Right. So I, my prepared answer for you. What do you lean into in crisis was chart the course. Right? I think a critical aspect of leadership is how do I chart that course. And I think that starts with analysis and saying, what are the problems? Where are the rocks and shoals that I need to avoid? That I can understand today? Can I know all the rocks and shoals I cannot, you know, some of those rocks are hidden under the water and you just got to do your best. But you can avoid some of them. There’s some obvious ones and just running into the obvious pitfalls maybes, not good. So a little bit of analysis, and then how to chart the course. And then from an uncertainty perspective, I think you, I’m one of my favorite Maximus. from a military perspective. No plan survives contact with the enemy. Right? So, so no matter how good your plan is, when, when the enemy shows up, you’re playing gets screwed up. That’s why they call them the enemy. Right? So the, the, it’s important to be flexible and be able to change in your point. It’s also important to realize if something comes my way I have some problems and challenge is does that materially change my analysis? Which means I should change the plan? Or is this just the thing, and it is fun, but it really doesn’t change. You know, I need to keep doing what I’m doing. And I need to do maybe better or execute better. Because this input doesn’t fundamentally change the rules by which I made this point, right? And then recognize when I get information that fundamentally changes the calculus. Yeah. Then I have to adjust. And I have to be prepared to go when this plan isn’t working anymore. I need a new plan. Yeah. For divorce, charting.

Jess Dewell 41:12
I like that. Very cool. And how about and then now I like that you share that answer. I still want. I still want the other question, too. Is there? Is there a trait that you lean into for you to help you know, and maybe it’s to help? You know, that last part? Is this just a thing? Or do I have a right?

Vince Scott 41:34
Yeah, well, in so from a day-to-day perspective, as I’ve already said, I really focus on my governor to make sure that I’m being empathetic, I’m taking into consideration sort of the EQ as opposed to the IQ aspect. So you’re probably familiar with that, but, but for your listeners, IQ, right, intelligence quotient, we’ve measured that, and a lot of things go off of it. And there’s a famous book out there about EQ, which is emotional intelligence, the emotional equivalent of that, right? So how do I take those EQ things into account, particularly on my person-to-person dealings, right? Because I can not be as sensitive on that as I could be, and I need to work on that every day, every single day, I need to be concerned about that. Because, you know, over 50 years, I still continue to get that wrong on occasion. And I want to make sure that I’m fully enabling all the people that I work with, right, so that they feel good about what they’re doing, and how they’re contributing to the mission and all those things and too much, you know, non-emotional disk, where logical stuff doesn’t necessarily feed that for people.

Jess Dewell 42:56
And so, because you analyze, I’m guessing you also are learning all of the time. Do you have a book or a resource that you go to for learning and inspiration?

Vince Scott 43:09
Yeah, so um, I am a huge reader, you can see a few of the books that are on my shelf behind me, because my wife who built floor-to-ceiling bookshelves all around our living room, and I completely filled them with all the books. So I do, I do cover a lot of ground in that regard. But I still consider Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to probably be the best look book on leadership, personal development that I’ve ever read. Anybody who hasn’t read it, I highly recommend it. It’s, you know, in the classic session now, but it is anyway, they wrote a number of books since then, and I’ve read those and I don’t think there is good, go back to the original seven habits of highly effective people in the approach that they take to how you make yourself better over time, I think is wonderful.

Jess Dewell 44:10
I appreciate that. You’ve read the other ones and you still like the original the best. Right? Yeah. And, and to have that context, I am glad that you shared it because I’ve also read some of them and the first one is also my favorite. As soon as you know all the variations of win friends and influence people, that’s another one that you’ll find man and I love that and I, I because there’s some of the same concepts just presented in a slightly different way. Stephen Covey for a long time, until I went to a digital calendar. I had that Stephen Covey planner events where I use it every single day. Do you still use it? Or did you also move to an online calendar?

Vince Scott 44:53
No, come on. We have to do everything online. Now. I indications I have gone to the plane Old? Oh, yes, book. Right. And that is my, my, my note-taking and action item list and then the calendar has to be electronic.

Jess Dewell 45:12
I’m the same way I cannot put my tasks online, we might have to have a meeting of the minds about that there might be something psychological and helpful for people and

Vince Scott 45:23
I find it useful for me, right, I have like going back through and saying, so what is still on the task list? And how do I, you know, package that and prioritize it? And think about when am I getting those things done? I you try to use a similar approach to the Kobe model, which was put the big rocks in first. Right, right, and make sure you’re scheduling time to do these things that need to be done. Yeah, I don’t. I’m not as disciplined about it as I would like to be. But I, it’s the methodology I try to use. Isn’t that great?

Jess Dewell 45:56
I like that. That’s where I lean into these days, I’m working on that time management piece, because it’s really what I have found in the last five years for me is that I have to manage my energy a whole lot more and then figure out what time is leftover to actually get the stuff done. Hmm, if that’s because I …

Vince Scott 46:17
Describe energy. What do you mean by energy?

Jess Dewell 46:21
And it could be all kinds of things, the things that just take up space in your head, and I’m listening to you and I’m like, Boy, I wish I could just like turn off my governor and know what needs to be done and prioritize that which by the way I can in crisis, probably not nearly as well as you can. But I do recognize on a day-to-day, that’s why I wrote down that thing. Is this really, is this just the thing, that’s what I’m working on. That’s the energy management, is this just the thing because it if it’s taking up my headspace, and it’s taking away from my creative time, or my thinking time, or my strategic time, or my planning time, and I’ve got all these other things like eroding into that, that’s the energy I’m trying to manage. Because if I have 15 minutes to do something, if it takes me 10 minutes to get rid of the head trash, or what’s the writing in the energy, or the negative thing that I need to reflect on from a conversation, I don’t think is went as well as it could have, or something from yesterday, or somebody’s got something going on? And I’m thinking about them, right? That’s what I’m talking about energy, how do you work those in and have space for them? Because they’re there for a reason, yet still be able to go? Okay, good. I can manage the energy so that I can make use of the time?

Vince Scott 47:34
Yeah, you don’t want to let those just to things? Yeah, suck your energy. Right? You go. Exactly doing that. Let’s move on to the things that are really important.

Jess Dewell 47:43
So I, until, until we had this conversation, I didn’t have a deal, I think a name for it. But now I do is, is this just a thing, management? That’s I’m gonna change it from energy to is this just a thing, because that’s really what it is. So that you can actually use the time and be productive the way you want to be. And to be able to be all in and present for the people who have put time on your calendar, or you have made time for in your day? Because that’s to me, that’s the worst the people part if I show up, and I’m really not there.

Vince Scott 48:12
Yeah, right. It’s harder in the virtual world, it’s easier to not be there in the world virtual world than it is in the virtual world. Thanks. That’s something that I think all companies are gonna have to, you know, consciously work on managing a little bit more than they did previously. So it’ll be it’s gonna be interesting to see how the post-COVID virtual teams thing works. You know, in my, my current company, I just moved as we discussed pre pre-recording, to past Christianne Mississippi, because where I was living previously there, there, I, you know, we didn’t hardly go into the office anymore. We had COVID, we did, we do in we had multiple locations. So even when I went into the office, I find myself closing the office door and being on teams all day. So, so do I need to be there if we’re really going to do all these things, you know, in that virtual environment? And that’s a change for companies. Right? And that’s, that’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out across society and how business gets done over the next, you know, five years, let’s say, I think it will be there’ll be differences, you know, pre and post COVID for sure.

Jess Dewell 49:20
Alright, Fast Track Your Business. Voice, a Bold Business Podcast. You’ve got it. You’ve here you’re here, you’re uncut with Vince Scott. See you next time.

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