Food for Thought

My wish for you is peace by creating margin.

I was journaling the other night after a 6-week break from writing. I usually get great clarity from the reflection, introspection, and insight I get from the basic act of journaling. I wrote, “I’ve been a little rebellious about journaling even though I know it is good for me.” I got to thinking about the other things that are good for me, but I’ve been rebellious about and stopped doing. I started to think about
WHY I felt the need to be rebellious about them. What I surmised is that my calendar is so full, I don’t have a lot of “margin” and I don’t or can’t fit in what is really important. Meditation, prayer, logging my food, even activities for work end up being crammed into some hole in my calendar instead of being scheduled, planned, and protected.


Think about any paper you wrote for school: there is a border of white space surrounding the content. It isn’t full from edge to edge. But sometimes my days are. I get up at 4:45 AM so I can work out. We eat by 6:10 AM so we can start to get ready for work. We leave the house by 7:00 AM so we can avoid traffic. We work until 5:00 PM, come home have dinner, do a little more work and head to bed by 8:00 or 9:00 PM so we can get up and do it again. I think, as Americans especially, we have this unhealthy and inappropriate “badge of honor” regarding how busy we are, how much we have to do, and how stressed we are. It is truly unhealthy and inappropriate.


What if you had the time for all the important things, not just the urgent? I submit that if you make time for the important, you’ll have a different perspective about the urgent and maybe even categorize things that others have asked you to make important in a less urgent fashion.


I also submit that rest, exercise, meditation or prayer, drinking water, eating right and just being in relationship with those important to you are things that you must schedule, make a priority, protect like any other important appointment. If you do that, then the rest will fall into place.


Years ago, I decided that I needed to get better informed about the industry I worked in. I committed to spending the first 20-30 minutes of my day reading articles, publications, and white papers about the industry. At first, the fear that some unanswered email was waiting to explode gave me some anxiety. I was wrong. I was also afraid I would be so far behind by dedicating 30 minutes to this non-productive act. I was always amazed at the end of the day when I had accomplished as much and sometimes more on the days I actually carved out that time. I’m sorry to say that eventually I let emails, interruptions and others determine my priorities and lost that time.


We all have the same 168 hours in a week. What activities are you not protecting in your schedule that deserve protecting? What would you like to have protected on your calendar that isn’t negotiable? If you had an appointment with a person, you would probably keep it. How can you make that appointment with yourself to ensure you respect it the same way you would if it was with someone else?


Put more margin back into your life. The content of what is left will be much clearer and much more relevant if you do.


My wish for you is peace. It will come easier if you create some margin around your life.

Vistage is offering a webinar THIS FRIDAY July 30 for business owners on cyber security. It’s free but you must register.

https://www.vistage.com/research-center/business-operations/risk-management/20210707-cybersecurity-roundtable-expert-advice-for-ceos/

Every week a new cyberattack appears in the headlines, bringing yet another business to a screeching halt. As CEOs are focused on capitalizing on the post-COVID economic surge, it is critical that they do not ignore the risk of a ransomware attack and its ability to instantly bring their business to its knees. Our research shows that 51% of small and midsize businesses still lack a current cyber strategy, leaving their business – and the golden opportunity of recovery – at risk.

In this session, I’ll be joined by a panel of cybersecurity experts from the Vistage community to discuss:

  • The foundations of a strong cyber strategy for the CEO
  • Cybersecurity and the hybrid workforce
  • What to do when you’ve been hacked
  • Best practices to keep your personal and professional information safe

How to attend

Date: Friday, July 30, 2021
Time: 10 a.m. PT | 1 p.m. ET
*Please register using the blue form on this page*


About the presenters

Carla Stone | President/CEO of Techguard Security

Carla holds a double BA Degree in Accounting and Business Administration as well as a MBA. She provides executive programmatic guidance and contractual oversight for current and future business development for clients such as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), US Marine Corps Cybersecurity Command (MARFORCYBER), United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as a host of other government and commercial entities.

Mike Foster | CEH, CISA, CISSP, CEO of The Foster Institute Inc.

Mike Foster, widely recognized for his broad range of high-level technological expertise, is CEH, CISA, CISSP – CEO of The Foster Institute Inc. His company assists clients in saving money with IT, being in alignment with Best Practices and handling all IT Security issues. All those are areas for business survival – including IT Security.

Russell Safirstein, President/CEO of Redpoint Cybersecurity

Safirstein is President and CEO of Redpoint Cybersecurity, LLC, a subsidiary of Anchin where he is also the Partner in Charge of Anchin Digital Risk Solutions. A senior executive and a progressive thinker with over 30 years of experience, Safirstein has been successful in bringing non-traditional solutions to an ever-changing work environment. He has co-founded several organizations that specialize in AI & Machine Learning and hold several patents.

Do you know someone who cannot apologize even when they are wrong? Or is that you? Here is some insight from Ted.com about what drives that.

By Guy Winch

Since I started writing the “Dear Guy” column, I’ve received many letters from readers asking why some people in their lives just seem unable to apologize — even when they’re clearly in the wrong.

Are they just stubborn? Or is there something in their psychology that stops them from being able to take responsibility for their actions and simply say they’re sorry?

To be clear, even the most conscientious among us occasionally fails to apologize. When this happens, it’s usually for one of two reasons: (1) We don’t care enough about the other person or the relationship to take on the emotional discomfort of owning our mistake and apologizing for it; or (2) We believe our apology won’t matter.

For example, let’s say you snapped at a colleague who interrupted you while you were racing to meet a tight deadline. If you think the coworker already holds a grudge against you for an earlier incident, you may skip apologizing since you feel it really won’t help your relationship with them.

People who can’t apologize appear to be tough individuals who refuse to back down. But they don’t do this because they’re strong — it’s because they’re weak. 

But what about the people who can never admit they’ve misstepped, no matter the circumstance? What makes them incapable of apologizing even when they’re obviously in the wrong? For these people, admitting wrongdoing and offering an apology is too psychologically threatening. Offering an apology implies that they’ve harmed another person in some way, which can elicit feelings of shame

People who cannot apologize often have such deep feelings of low self-worth that their fragile egos cannot absorb the blow of admitting they were wrong. So their defense mechanisms kick in — at times, unconsciously —  and they may externalize any blame and even dispute basic facts to ward off the threat of having to lower themselves by offering an apology. When they double down on their wrongness by blaming circumstances, denying the facts, or attacking the other person or people involved, non-apologizers can make themselves feel empowered rather than diminished.

Unfortunately, many of us mistakenly interpret these people’s fragility-driven defensiveness as a sign of psychological strength. That’s because outwardly they appear to be tough individuals who refuse to back down. But they don’t do this because they’re strong — it’s because they’re weak. 

Psychologically speaking, admitting that we’re wrong is emotionally uncomfortable and painful to our sense of self. In order to take responsibility and apologize, our self-esteem needs to be strong enough for us to absorb that discomfort. Indeed, if our self-esteem is higher and stable, we can tolerate the temporary ding that such an admission involves — without the walls around our ego crumbling.

But if our self-esteem is seemingly high but actually fragile, that ding can pierce through our defensive walls and score a direct hit to our ego. Indeed, as a rule of psychological thumb, the more rigid one’s defense mechanisms are, the more fragile the ego they’re protecting.

The mistake we often make when faced with someone incapable of apologizing is to become irate and try to win our argument with them. But the sad reality is: We’ll never win. 

The mistake we often make when faced with someone who’s habitually incapable of apologizing is to become irate (for good reason, of course) and try to win our argument with them (because we’re right!). But the sad and frustrating reality is we can never win. Even if we demonstrated that they were wrong in stark, inarguable facts, they will either deny those inarguable facts or pivot to a personal attack by saying something like “Why do you always make things difficult and unpleasant?!?”.

In these situations, the best we can do is to make our points as calmly and as convincingly as we can and then disengage from the argument when it becomes unproductive — like when they dispute the facts, come up with ridiculous excuses or pivot to petty remarks. Once they calm down and once they no longer feel attacked, we can then look for signs of contrition. Are they extra kind or solicitous to us? This is their way of unconsciously trying to mend the relationship with us in ways that aren’t threatening to their sense of self. By going that extra mile in the aftermath of their misdoing, they can feel good about themselves rather than bad.

If the non-apologizer is a close connection, tap into your empathy and compassion. Remind yourself that beneath their stubborn exterior, they are incredibly vulnerable.  

OK, so what can you do about the non-apologizers in your own life? Especially if they’re your family members, coworkers or friends? Well, if they are not people you interact with regularly, you can consider minimizing contact with them. But if they are close connections, you can try to make your peace with them.

The best way to do this is to accept their behavior — annoying as it is — and realize they’re simply psychologically incapable of apologizing. What’s more, they’re not going to change. Practicing acceptance can help you disengage from arguments with them and help you limit your feelings of frustration, anger and hurt.

Then, if the non-apologizer is a close connection of yours, you can also tap into your empathy and compassion. Remind yourself that beneath their stubborn-as-a-bull exterior, they are incredibly vulnerable.  

The bottom line is this: We all have moments when we refuse to admit we’re wrong. But when someone never takes responsibility and is habitually incapable of apologizing, it’s a sign that they’re a person with a fragile ego and a weak sense of self.

This piece by Seth Godin shares the new economy perspective from employees needing to meet the expectations of business but I believe a different reality that the employee is going to determine the course for the near future. As a business owner it’s important to figure out how to engage them differently.

A return to cottage work

Businesses care about productivity. At the core of their ability to create a profit is the simple formula of work produced per dollar spent.

Frederick Taylor used a stopwatch to revolutionize the production of cars and just about everything else. By measuring the output of each person on the line, he was able to dramatically increase how much a company like Ford could produce for every hour of labor it used.

Working in a system like this can be exhausting. While it brings the comfort of knowing precisely what’s expected in any given moment, it’s also an endless tug of war between humanity and profit.

Many in the idea economy haven’t recognized the rare situation that they might be in. Better pay, better working conditions and a job that’s hard to measure with a stopwatch. So you’ve got the chef for the Grateful Dead cooking you lunch and a purple couch in the lobby, along with a long series of perks and benefits. I had one friend who worked at a law firm for two years before they realized that he kept switching departments every few months so he could avoid being asked to bill too many hours.

But management has never stopped looking for a way to measure output. Sooner or later, they do, or the company disappears. It can vary from the insulation of paying for your time (but keeping track of impact created) all the way to paying by the keystroke, the click or the sale.

When bosses had trouble measuring output, they bought our time, and then layered ‘process’ and bureaucracy on everything as a stand-in for actual productivity. But now, measurement is everywhere, freelancers and contractors are easier to find, and work is being atomized. Being good at process is a weak stand-in for being good at work.

The shift to self-directed days, working from home, focusing on projects and not simply selling our time means that this push back to cottage industry management is going to be accelerated. Before Manchester factories were up to speed, this was normal–you did your work on your kitchen table and got paid by the piece.

The alternative is to double down on work that’s truly hard to measure, to sign up for emotional labor and experimentation and group leadership and working on the frontier. These jobs are harder to get, harder to keep and are fraught precisely because they’re less measurable. These are the jobs that create quantum leaps in value, but are hard to spec and manage.

Companies aren’t going to trust you because you asked them to. They’ll do it when they believe that you are one of the few people who can lean outside of the comfort zone and bring back something extraordinary.

It’s pretty clear to me that we’re unlikely to see much in the way of steady jobs where someone tells you what to do all day, allows you to allocate your own time and effort, but doesn’t measure your output. Because one thing that we all keep learning is that if something can be measured, it probably will be.

My Wednesday wish for you is peace through presuming positive intent

There is a story of a man who would come home every day and his wife would nag him about the chores he didn’t do, the things he promised to do and hadn’t and she would express how he didn’t meet her expectations. Naturally, he would look for things that she was missing the mark on so that he could defend himself, or at least even the score. If you are not aware, fighting negativity with negativity doesn’t just add to it, it multiplies negativity. In a brief moment of clarity, the man took stock of what he had. He realized that his wife was working hard to make their life good. He decided to focus on the fact that she was the best wife he had. (No, he didn’t have another wife.) When he changed his perspective, he changed his world. The interactions he had with her were different, the intent was different and the negativity reduced. When he realized that she was the best wife, he WANTED to do things for her and make her happy. He started keeping his commitments and she had less to complain about. Over time their relationship was much more positive.

I recently had a conversation with a leader who was irritated with a colleague for not stepping up and doing what they said they would do. I asked them, if this was their best employee, how would they approach it. They indicated that they would give the benefit of the doubt, assume positive intent and see what they could do to help them succeed. I then challenged them to use that same approach with the person they were challenged with.

What would your life look like if you presumed positive intent? What if instead of gathering evidence of incompetence, poor judgement, disregard or lack of commitment, you assumed they were the best employee, colleague, friend, spouse or child you had? What would the conversation look like? How would you approach them and support them?

Take stock right now: who do you presume positive intent with? Who do you not? What is the nature of those relationships and which one is better?

Whether we have decided to look for the negative or the positive we can find evidence to support and prove our position. What if the evidence you looked for was positive and presumed positive intent on the part of the other party? In addition to a nicer environment for those around you, I can tell you that your head space will be a nicer place too. When you decide that you have to gather negative evidence it takes a lot of brain space to hold it and remember it. When you presume positive intent, you don’t have to defend against anything so your brain space is less occupied and you get to lean in authentically be in relationship and collaborate to get things done.

Who is that person that you have been gathering evidence about? How has it served you? How has it impeded your ability? What if you started to presume positive intent on their part. What would that look like? What if they were your best colleague, teammate, employee or boss? How would you support and challenge them and partner with them to succeed?

If you are struggling with someone, I encourage you to presume positive intent, give the benefit of the doubt and see what happens. The conversations will look different, the relationship will grow, the trust will improve and the outcomes will astound you.

My wish for you is peace. Peace can come when we presume positive intent.

Thanks to @charlenesmith for sharing this very relevant article from Forbes on the upcoming “great resignation”.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2021/07/06/how-professionals-and-organizations-need-to-prepare-for-the-great-resignation/

As many of us have heard, recent data suggests that the great resignation is coming. The term “great resignation” was coined by Anthony Klotz, a Texas A&M University associate management professor who has studied the exits of hundreds of workers. In his interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Klotz shares his prediction that many more people who had hung onto their jobs during the pandemic because of uncertainty are now readying themselves to quit.

Throughout the pandemic, workers have become accustomed to the flexibility of remote work, and are realizing that rather than being pushed back to an office or held to certain hours, the opportunity to work for themselves as freelancers is ideal. In fact, freelancers are projected to make up more than 50% of workers by 2027.

How will this shift to freelance work impact the overall job market? And what do corporate employees need to understand to make the right decisions about moving to freelance work? 

To learn more about how professionals can determine if freelance is the right direction for them, and how companies can prepare for the freelance revolutionI caught up with freelance economy expertShahar ErezErezis a co-founder and the CEO of Stoke, an on-demand talent platform empowering companies to adopt a hybrid workforce model that scales as quickly and efficiently as needed. 

A tech-scene veteran in Israel and Silicon Valley, Erez has fifteen years of executive experience in engineering, product and marketing under his belt at companies like HP, VMware and Kenshoo and has built a reputation as a strategic thinker who leads organizational change and drives growth by developing talent and promoting a learning culture.

Here’s what Erez shares:

Kathy Caprino: Shahar, from your perspective, what is the best way people can determine if they should become a freelancer or work full-time?

Shahar Erez: To determine whether or not you should become a freelancer, it’s important for people to think about what makes them happy in their jobs and workplace. I like to recommend that people ask themselves a few key questions.

First, what type of working environment best suits your personality? If you thrive in an environment that is predictable, or cannot get comfortable with instability, then freelancing may not be for you—and that’s okay. For some people, the unknown and ability to chart their own course every day is exhilarating—it helps them feel empowered when they have full ownership over their projects, workload, and income. People who work well under pressure, have ambition, and can navigate the unknown seamlessly often excel as freelancers. 

Second, it’s important to think about whether or not you are truly a self-starter. As a freelancer, everything boils down to the work you do—the projects you get, the hours you keep, and where your next paycheck is coming from. The most successful freelancers have enough direction and drive on their own to succeed without a manager over their shoulders. However, if you need a team environment to motivate you or guide you, going out on your own as a freelancer may not be the best career move.

The third and most important question is why you want to freelance. Becoming a freelance worker gives you a level of autonomy you simply cannot get in a traditional employment setting. But it will take time before you’ll only work on projects or campaigns that you are passionate about, or those that leverage your unique skill set. 

It takes time to build a name for yourself and gather enough customers so you can pick and choose your project. Until you get to that position, you’ll need to do projects that might be less than ideal and work with people or companies that might not be a perfect fit for you. The freedom to choose your customers as a freelancer may not translate to working only with people or companies you love as it’s a matter of supply and demand, but still gives you more of a level of choice.

Caprino: What are the full pros and cons of freelance work that people don’t necessarily understand?

Erez: Most employees believe that becoming a freelance worker will give them complete freedom to do as they like. It is true to some degree as you’ll have more control over your schedule and you will be able to decide who to work with and who not. Freelancing takes flexibility to a whole new level, since in most cases you are not dependent on other people to do your work and can decide where to work from and when.

Freelancers also have the opportunity to become an expert in a niche area since they work in the same area across many different industries or companies—which also allows them to work on a diverse set of clients. After developing this expertise, experienced freelancers have the potential to earn a lot more as they are paid for results and not time.

However, as a freelancer, you need to build a reputation for yourself so you’ll have enough customers to pick and choose from, and that is not easy. Many experts need to invest a lot of time to market themselves and the impact of their work to ensure they’ll be in high demand. Many freelancers report it can feel like a constant job search.

In addition, you’ll need to deal with a lot of administrative work that employees are not aware of like complex tax calculations, taking care of insurance, collecting late payments from customers and more. Not to mention you’ll need to build a financial plan as most freelancers experience busier and slower months which are not always predictable, and you’ll need to build vacation into your annual income as you won’t enjoy paid time off anymore.

Caprino: How can companies better prepare for the freelance revolution?

Erez: Similar to other processes, the first and most critical step is admitting you have a problem. All tech companies are complaining today they are unable to hire the talents they need due to a tech skills gap, but they are not changing their strategic workforce planning.

Most companies view their workforce as employee-based and hire freelance talent for specific projects per demand and not as part of their strategy. This means that HR teams are almost entirely focused on employees and there’s no strategy or processes implemented around sourcing, onboarding and managing freelance talent. This impacts the productivity of leveraging freelance workers.

Once there is a team within the organization focused on managing freelance talent, then it will be easier for the organization to identify the freelance talent needed, source them, onboard them per all tax and legal compliance requirements, manage them, and pay them. 

If companies do not have the required tools and processes to properly manage their freelance talent, they will not be able to leverage them in a productive manner.

Caprino: What is the hybrid work model in existence today and why isn’t it sufficient to keep employees as full-time workers?

Erez: The main motivation why so many employees are interested in becoming freelancers is to gain freedom—the freedom to work wherever they want, whenever they want, on projects they feel passionate about, and with people they enjoy working with.

The fact that many companies are now transitioning into a hybrid model—meaning working some days from the office and some days from the home—will increase employees’ flexibility to some extent, but it isn’t enough to keep most freelance-want-to-bes as full-time employees because they have grown accustomed to more flexibility during the pandemic, and still crave that. 

They want to work on their own time and from their own homes to achieve a better work-life balance. In many cases, executives think a formal return-to-office plan is best, but workers don’t necessarily agree.

Caprino: What is the disconnect you’re seeing between C-suite execs and junior staff and why is it causing people to quit?

Erez: A Harvard Business School survey found that C-suite executives are more visionary than lower level managers when it comes to the future of work. C-suite leaders believe more in empowering the workforce by giving them more freedom and increasing utilization of freelance talent.

However, it seems that VPs’ and directors’ attitude reflects a more realistic understanding of the administrative struggle that comes out of giving employees more freedom and relying more on non-payroll workers—and the reason for that is that the current processes, structure, and tools are not equipped to properly manage remote and freelance workers.

This is obviously a growing pain as the workforce transitions into a new model. However, the acceleration of this model due to the pandemic has increased the gap between the market need and companies’ abilities.

Agile companies are already changing the workforce processes to adjust to the new reality, but the main area companies should be focusing on is to enable their front line managers to execute the vision most C-levels agree on.

Caprino: What else do leaders and employees need to understand to thrive in today’s new environment?

The world of work is changing, and the changes are not over yet. We need to be able to adapt quickly, be flexible, and become accustomed to working with people in many different places, different time zones, and with different skill sets and strengths.

The main thing leaders must do is to acknowledge that the workforce has changed, and the majority of the current workforce wants the freedom to make their own decisions and drive initiatives. For that, leaders need to empower their teams by providing them with the tools and processes to act without constant approvals. This is why at Stoke, we encourage all of our clients to grant every employee or team a budget so they can do their job as they see fit within their budget, saving them from asking for approvals on any works they need to get done.

On the other side, workers need to understand that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Therefore, if given the freedom to act, they no longer get to use excuses for a lack of initiative or a lack of action. It’s their responsibility to get the job done, assuming the company has provided them the tools to do so.

More insight from HBR on how to meet those graduates where they are at

https://hbr.org/2021/06/dear-ceos-a-gen-zers-open-letter-to-his-future-employers?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=dailyalert_actsubs&utm_content=signinnudge&deliveryName=DM139186

by 

For the class of 2021, our last year of college — supposedly the best time of our lives — was spent following restrictive regulations in response to the pandemic. Even though the circumstances leading up to our graduation were not ideal, we made it to commencement and into the job market.

After grinding through a virtual recruiting season, a lucky few have a handful of offers from which to choose. For this group — what you might call “top talent” — the conversation is less “Will I get a job?” and more “Where do I want to work?” We are ready to exercise the autonomy we lost this past year.

We know you want to create a diverse, inclusive, and great place to work for current and future generations. However, you are often not given the unvarnished feedback for why it is so difficult to make this happen. For your sake, and for ours, let me clue you into our decision process and share what often goes unsaid.

If you’re still making the business case for diversity, your company isn’t the place for us. 

As a freshman, I attended an investment banking event for underrepresented minorities where a recruiter told us about the efforts of the company’s diversity recruiting team. The team struggled to get adequate buy-in and investment to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. What finally broke the inertia was a robust business case that proved that diversity was good for profits.

Although the recruiter didn’t intend for her story to be received this way, our big takeaway was: When it comes to DEI, that firm would only make progress if it was directly framed around profits, not because it was the right thing to do. It told me that they may not value ideas I bring to the workplace unless there was a direct link to revenue growth. I stopped considering working there after that session.  As one of my peers recounted, “If you care about your people, you care about what your people care about.”

We want companies to take a stand.

Gen-Zers grew up in the era of social movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo. For most of our lives, we’ve been immersed in fast-paced political discussions on social media. Regardless of our political leanings, though, we’ve always known the importance of taking a stand.

For us, it’s more about our values and expectations of social justice than politics. A fellow Black student leader turned down a coveted internship at a renowned aerospace engineering company because the CEO and the company failed to make a statement after the George Floyd protests. Unlike other engineering companies, they did not have an explicit plan to address the striking lack of gender and racial diversity in their workplace. As my colleague said, “It was as though I was expected to be comfortable in a work environment where [I would be] one of few women and one of even fewer minorities. Why would I want to do that, especially when there are other options?”

We are works-in-progress.

Gone are the days when Ivy League admissions were just for the nation’s elite. Today, programs that provide financial aid and assistance have broadened the socioeconomic representation in top schools.

We are America’s most diverse generation, but many of us are still the “firsts” in our families and communities. We’re not fluent in the language and social conventions of corporate America. We need to learn a new vocabulary to belong.

Consider the case of another classmate who completed an internship at a top management consultancy. She was raised in a household where, “If someone is in charge, your job isn’t to confront them [about their ideas] but to accept direction, keep your head down and do your work… and that doesn’t translate very well into many corporate cultures.” She notes that, “the biggest thing isn’t what I learned at home, it’s what I didn’t learn … like how to take up space, how to properly introduce myself, how to have networking conversations.”

Not surprisingly, her performance evaluations consistently surfaced these as opportunities for improvement. Even though she received a return offer, she turned it down because the institution had a number of blind spots when it came to understanding the needs of people from different upbringings. She says, “When I vocalized my frustration, it was turned back on me. [My boss] said, ‘Well you should have asked for help in this area proactively,’ but if I don’t even know what to look out for, I am not going to know to ask for help.” We don’t want special treatment — just help us level the playing field by understanding our context.

We want to be ourselves.

From TikTok to Clubhouse, we love expressing our unique identities on social media, and our career prospects have benefitted from the exposure. As digital natives, we can be assets to the companies where we work. We’re adept at a range of technology tools and services — whether it’s Facebook marketing or Google ads or gamification.

So, when we’re presented with a multi-page compliance manual that severely limits — or worse, forbids — our use of social media, we’re inclined to search for an environment that can provide similar work and pay while allowing us to bring our whole selves (even our social media selves) to work.

A friend who worked at a prestigious global consulting firm left to pursue entrepreneurship because, as a part of the firm’s requirements, she was bound by a restrictive set of social media guidelines and higher-ups discouraged her from using social media entirely while working there. “Salary isn’t as attractive as it used to be,” she says. On the flip side, when I completed a fellowship at ghSMART, I was encouraged to build out my LinkedIn, TikTok, and personal website by sharing insights related to social justice and business leadership. We want to be positive ambassadors for our companies, and we understand that our views are our own and we should be held responsible for consequences should we cross the line.

We want to make an impact.

Gen Zers are highly motivated to support social progress in our nation. For many of us, this is no longer a “nice-to-have.” We want a workplace where we can support nonprofit and social impact organizations and take on passion projects that do well for society.

Many of our potential employers allow for this by way of internal “extracurricular” programs or social service days. While admirable, this only serves to draw a line between our “work” and the “positive impact” we want to make. Carlos Brown Jr., a student nonprofit leader and community organizer at my university, says, “Making a positive social impact just can’t be an optional add-on, it should be built into the way work gets done.” Whether it is documented on employee evaluations or calculated into paid work time, an employee’s dedication to making the world a better place should be credited and encouraged. After all, the leadership skills we gain with social impact initiatives make us better leaders in the workplace and raise the profiles of the companies we represent in the community.

Gen-Zers will soon take over Corporate America. We are coming in with high standards for ourselves; we want to contribute to the companies we join and the societies of which we are a part. My hope is that this “straight talk” is a step toward building a bridge between generations and mindsets, so we can collectively create an inclusive and prosperous future.

Are you aware of this cyber threat?

What Executives Need to Know Urgently about the PrintNightmare Attack

by Mike Foster | Jul/2/2021

Update: Microsoft released an update that addresses the PrintNightmare attack. This is one of those updates that requires your IT Team to go beyond installing the patch. Microsoft provides them instructions: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/kb5005010-restricting-installation-of-new-printer-drivers-after-applying-the-july-6-2021-updates-31b91c02-05bc-4ada-a7ea-183b129578a7 They will continue to get updates and find details of combatting PrintNightmare here: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-34527

(Originally posted on July 2, 2021)

Microsoft confirmed that attackers are exploiting systems now using a PrintNightmare Attack. As of this moment, there is no security patch.

IT Pros are so busy managing other projects and initiatives that they could be unaware of this new exploit.

Forward this message to your IT team so they can, if they haven’t already, review Microsoft’s recommendations to mitigate the problem: https://msrc.microsoft.com/update-guide/vulnerability/CVE-2021-34527

After they’ve had time to review this, preferably today, you can discuss the pros and cons with them. Fortunately, the mitigation is reasonably straightforward, and Microsoft provides two options. Your IT team might want to address Domain Controller servers first.

Remember that allowing remote workers to use a family computer instead of company-issued equipment to access your office is dangerous.

Please forward this to executives you know to confirm their IT teams know about this new exploit and take steps accordingly.