Make Your Reps Count

Leadership Moment: “Garbage” Time

This was a good weekend for Boston sports. The New England Free Jacks won their first Major League Rugby championship, and the Boston Renegades are heading back to Canton to defend their WFA Pro champion title. One of these games was close – the Freejacks won by one point – while the other was a blowout (58-6). Yet players on both teams remained highly motivated and engaged, playing at a high level, despite one of the games being in what many fans and commentators call “garbage time.”

A team isn’t just playing to win that game; they’re playing to develop themselves for the future. When the Alabama Fire finally scored on the Renegades to narrow the gap to 51-6, their kickoff went out of bounds. An easy penalty to take, right? Instead, the Renegades called for a rekick, to give their kickoff return unit an opportunity to practice against an unpredictable opponent … making them a more dangerous team for their next game.

Even when you’re not playing for high stakes, use the opportunity to get better; don’t just go through the motions.

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One Minute Pro Tip: Use Your Substitutes

The next time you need something done, consider if you have three lists of team members in your head: those who can obviously do it, those who might be able to do it, and those who clearly can’t. It’s easy to always call on the first group – you’ll certainly spend the least amount of energy delegating the work and getting it done – but you’ll end up with the same team on the other side of the work.

Instead, call on two people. One from the “might be capable” list, and assign the work to them, and have one from the “obviously capable” list to shadow them and assist as necessary. Your team will spend more energy on this specific task, but both people will gain needed skills and experience (one in doing the work, and the other in teaching how to do work). And, if you’re fortunate, they might provide better documentation for everyone who needs to learn to do the work.



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Blog: 6 Steps to Landing a Job in Cybersecurity, Orca Security CISO Corner


July 20: Webinar, The First 91 Days of a CISO’s tenure, with Christina Shannon, KIK

I’ll be driving from Boston to Canton, OH area for the WFA Pro Championship game on July 22, if you’re on the way and want me to drop in for an event.

Aug 9/10: Reducing Your Team’s Energy Costs: An Inclusion Microtalk, at Black Hat USA

Sep 20: SANS CISO Roundtable

Interested in having me speak at an upcoming event? Contact me via

Chapter Cameo: Make Expensive Time Worth It

The anecdote and message of Chapter 12 of 1% Leadership is about extremely expensive time: when you are far away from your family, and making that time away worth it. But there’s another type of expensive time, which is every minute that you’re engaged in an activity. You could always be doing something else with that time, so it’s up to you, and the leaders in that space, to make that time worth it.

Often managers measure the value they’re extracting in time, which makes it hard to value. We should really value the energy we get from our teams and the value we create; if we can do it in less time, that’s to everyone’s benefit.

Learn more about 1% Leadership

Leadership Q&A: Promotion Time

Have your own leadership question? Drop us a line at

The tastefully-initialled Leader A asks, I’ve been a first-line manager for a while, and I think I’ve gotten really good at it. My boss and senior peers have been hinting to me that I should take a promotion to being a second-line manager, but that seems like an entirely different skill set to me. What do I need to focus on to be ready for this transition?

Well, A, it sounds like you’re in a sweet spot, even with that bit of impostor syndrome mixed in!

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