The New CISO Podcast Episode 90: How To Build Trust Within Your Team, Your Business, and Yourself with guest Adam Currie
Podcast Transcript | Air Date April 20, 2023
Listen to Steve and Adam discuss the right time to challenge yourself and when leaders should foster an environment where it is safe to fail:
Meet Adam (1:38)
Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Adam Currie.
Adam was first the head of security operations and architecture at HCL before transitioning into the CSO role. When Adam joined HCL, he brought his breadth of technical knowledge and understanding of how their user base consumed their tools. In this business, it’s essential to understand how these programs are used while ensuring they are secure, a mentality that helped Adam move into the CSO position.
The Main Framer (4:41)
Steve asks Adam about his experience on the main frame.
When Adam was a student, he worked as a tape librarian. This after-school job led to him taking classes and learning about mainframe operations and basic coding language.
Desktop Support (8:26)
Adam believes that having a desktop support background benefits security professionals because it provides an understanding of how end users operate. Communicating with this community with empathy adds significant value to any security team.
Unexpected Steps: CISO to Soc to CISO (12:38)
Adam did end-user support work at Bloomberg before moving into backend enterprise applications. Then he was asked to run Bloomberg’s tier one and tier two service desks, a type of work Adam did not plan on returning to. However, this opportunity offered Adam his first management role, and he credits this position as getting him to where he is today.
Building Trust With Your Team (20:05)
Upon reflecting on his job journey at Bloomberg, Adam shares why people seek new opportunities.
When people leave positions or accept roles, it is for job growth. Most people want to consider how a job will help their families and goals before making a career transition. Adam would rather help his team explore their options than subdue it–though no one wants to lose valuable employees. He wants his team to trust him enough to be honest with him about when they want to make a change.
A Challenge (25:21)
For Adam, it is always a struggle to stay out of the weeds of the tech side of the business. He gravitates toward technology but understands that that is different from his role now.
For leaders, it is more important to nurture an environment where employees are safe to fail because that is how people learn and grow. You shouldn’t be reckless, but being inactive is more of a risk.
Owning Failure (29:02)
Steve presses Adam on how far he will go to own his team’s failures. Adam thinks it is his job to communicate with senior management and shield his team from scrutiny.
No matter what, we must be honest about what we can do to improve and have productive, unemotional conversations.
Building a Brand (36:13)
Building a brand comes with trial and error but is critical to success. Often this comes with changing the perception that security is a necessary evil. Demonstrating that security is a value-add partnership that leaders actively want to engage in is essential.
Putting Yourself Out There (47:54)
Though Adam is not a fan of public speaking, he believes in pushing himself past his comfort zone. Although he has experienced imposter syndrome about his experience, he is putting himself out there as a podcast guest today to share his career journey.
The New CISO (54:23)
To Adam, a new CISO establishes a strong team and establishes trust within the business and with your peers. Trust is necessary to claim success.