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CISO in Software, 51 - 200 employees
I was told, “Make sure you write everything down that you do that's good. Ask for a promotion, and keep asking.” So I did. I just kept moving up the chain over the years. Then I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I became VP, and then it just rippled from there down the road.
VP, Chief Security & Compliance Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Over the years, I just have had the privilege of having really strong sponsors. My forte is very aggressive problem-solving. Typically, what would happen is, I'd get dropped into projects that were off schedule, over budget, or on a critical path that weren't resolving. Was asked to get it back on track and get it under control, which is really how I grew my brand over the past X years.

In the cyberspace, there's these thought leaders who have been running ahead of us. Their generation has passed on, the next generation coming up. As thought leaders are helping to shape and question how we are implementing secure software. I just really appreciate those honest and candid conversations. They've been helping to shape my career.
VP, Director of Cyber Incident Response in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
I've had a collection of failures, which is good. Because I can pretty much relate to just about anything anybody has to say. I think that the truth of some of the things that happened in my life, without embellishment, is better than a lot of things that fiction writers can come up with. I'm good at story time. I've enjoyed that.
2 1 Reply
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

Jeff, you're singing my song. Many times when I'm speaking to a crowd, I tell them "I'm not up here telling you what I'm telling you because I got it all correct, I'm up here because I made a ton of mistakes and learned from them".

Director of Technology Strategy in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
A leader at the start of my career who recognised where my skills were best suited and organised a secondment into the service management team.
CEO in Manufacturing, 11 - 50 employees
I attribute it to three factors. First is being curious. I always wanted to learn how things worked and dove in to learn as much as I could. This led me to creatively and effectively solve problems. Second is having champions - people who saw the potential, helped develop my skills and open up opportunities. Third is my network, both personal and professional. These are all complimentary. The first one was under my control and the second was a result. The third was the way that I kept expanding my pool to find fun, challenging problems to solve. I had many opportunities emerge because friends, peers and leaders around me saw the potential and nurtured it. When I stepped into a leadership position I followed the same pattern looking for curious, passionate people. I then mentored them and opened up doors for opportunities. It’s very rewarding to look back and see who helped me (and thank them even a decade later) and watch the people I have helped continue to thrive. Pay it forward. 👍
Managing Partner, Partnerships & Strategy in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Among other things (mentioned by other folks already) is some funny but very helpful and practical advice passed on to me by a friend:

1) never work for an a$$hole
2) be true to yourself
3) have a plan [but be willing to change and adapt]
4) listen to the young
5) never work for an a$$hole

- yes, 1 & 5 emphasize the importance of this principle
- #3 [ ] mine: because it’s all good to have a plan or a roadmap, but inevitably we must all face uncertainty and must make decisions that don’t follow the “plan”
- I nearly sprayed my friend with coffee when she said #5 because in the moment, it was hilarious and oh so true!
CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees
Hard work!
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
A ton of luck, some privilege, hard work, but also being lazy, some great advice, and never being satisfied. 
Some of the best advice I've ever received: 
- Don't worry about whether your co-workers are working hard enough, unless you want to see the same reviews, raises, and promotions they see. 
- Work yourself out of your job and I'll find you a better one.
CIO in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I learned how to work really hard from my parents, sports, and the military. And focused on working as smart as possible throughout my career. I love learning new things and tech has continually scratched that itch for me. Tried to absorb as much as possible from more experienced people. Spend more time asking questions than giving answers.
3 1 Reply
Managing Partner, Partnerships & Strategy in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Agreed. And the attitude that you can always learn from someone else, and walking into a room with the humility to accept there’s always someone smarter than you.

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Yes, but vacation time could have been offered through a less disruptive model.49%

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