Jeff Pollard, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

One of the biggest challenges CISOs and security leaders contend with in today’s business environment is letting go. Passing responsibility for a specific task or process to a direct report can be difficult for any leader, but in the high-stakes game of security and risk, it’s often even more difficult.

In this episode, we hear a presentation that VP and Principal Analyst Jeff Pollard delivered at Forrester’s 2020 Security & Risk event, providing practical advice for CISOs on how to delegate effectively and empower their direct reports.

In the session, Pollard sets the tone by providing a one-line definition of a manager’s primary role: to get better outcomes from a group of people working together. In security, the challenge is often cultivating talent and developing future leaders. “This is what so many of the security leaders that I interviewed talked to me about,” he says. But how do you do it well? Pollard describes how management styles in the security organization vary dramatically and goes so far as to dissect one specific management style that can alienate instead of empower direct reports.

He then explains the real secret to empowering direct reports: successful delegation. While most security leaders agree that delegation is important, they often lack the direction or guidance on how to do it effectively. Pollard describes the most important elements to consider when delegating and highlights some common delegation mistakes. (Hint: Pawning off the “no win” tasks just to get them off your plate will only make your reports question why you gave them a task they were unable to complete.) Pollard goes on to provide specific examples of a three-tiered feedback system that can empower direct reports and flow down throughout the organization.

Be sure to catch Pollard’s “pro tips” toward the end of the episode. These are unique ideas and points of advice he’s gleaned from interviewing security leaders about their best (and worst) experiences with direct reports. The episode closes with Pollard’s recommendations for books and other resources that can help security leaders learn how to delegate effectively.

If you like what you hear in this session, be sure to check out the agenda for this year’s Security & Risk event, November 9–10. At the event, Pollard will present a keynote entitled “CISOs And The Trust Imperative,” while Senior Analyst Jess Burn will cover succession planning for the security organization.