The New CISO Podcast Episode 93: Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity and Vulnerability in Leadership with guest Chris Nolke
Podcast Transcript | Air Date April 20, 2023
Listen to Steve and Chris discuss the values that drive career decisions and how vulnerability can serve or harm you in the workplace:
Meet Chris (1:41)
Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Chris Nolke, the founder of Skycrane.
Chris first started his cybersecurity journey while studying electrical engineering in college. From there, he got a job as an engineer, which eventually led him to his current path. As a life-longer learner, Chris followed the most interesting path to him: cyber security.
Defining The Interesting Path (8:36)
Chris wishes he had done a “values” exercise earlier in his career to determine his professional wants. He advises other people joining the workforce to consider a process where they discover what they believe in.
When you understand your values, you can make more straightforward choices toward your career.
Evaluating Jobs (10:59)
Chris admits that every job he’s taken has been different than he initially believed. In those circumstances, it’s essential to determine your desire to stay in that position or pivot.
Personal Characteristics (14:40)
Steve presses Chris on what three bullet points his colleagues would list for him. Chris states that vulnerability, being a conversationalist, and expertise have become his brand in the workplace, which has made him successful.
Going Further By Saying Less (25:16)
Chris shares that many people who practice impulsive communication use that as a means of connection. Reflecting on this, Chris acknowledges the difference between impact and attention.
After trial and error, Chris learned he would go further in his career if he said less.
Sound Advice (30:31)
For leaders, Chris shares that neurodiversity is a superpower. If you can harness the pattern-recognizing skills of neurodivergent employees, you can build an incredible security team.
To understand how to use this superpower, Chris recommends leaders have mindful conversations with their employees. People need to learn what they’re good at to get ahead.
The Subject of Happiness (40:06)
As a CISO, Chris is fascinated by the construct of happiness and what comes with it. Happiness is made up of joy but also contentment. Balancing between the two is the key to understanding and taking advantage of this construct.
Chris recommends that every CISO creates a “happiness” process to avoid burnout, though burnout led Chris to start his own business.
The New CISO (49:10)
To Chris, being a new CISO is about creating a system of business relevance. You can improve your job when you understand the business’s daily needs.