We can learn a lot from legendary general George S. Patton. He was bold, and decisive with an unwavering desire to get to victory quickly. He was also controversial and had a few missteps along the way. But you cannot be an effective leader without shaking things up somewhat.
One of the hallmarks of Patton’s style of leadership was that he was determined to move as soon as he had a feasible plan. And move quickly. Patton did not wait around for approval of some committee or a report from some affected department. He knew that he needed to make his move and make it now.
Now, this might sound reckless at first, but Patton was fighting a war. And in war, there is a saying “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” And Patton knew this. He knew that war is a fluid situation and that plans would only get you so far. But speed and decisiveness would lead to victory.
He also knew that he would have to make adjustments along the way. And he was ready and willing to make them. But his principles were always intact. Don’t be married to your plan and be ready to adjust. Look at his race to Anzio, it was brilliant. The speed with which his 3rd army crossed France. It was truly impressive. These were the actions of a decisive leader.
Cybersecurity Requires Decisiveness
And yes cybersecurity requires the same amount of decisiveness and speed to action. It cannot be just all plans. Yes, you do need some plans. But while you are planning. The hackers are getting closer to breaching your system. The cyberwar may not be a shooting war but it has all the characteristics of a real war. And the sooner we treat it this way the sooner we can make some headway with this critical problem in American business. Just ask yourself would you rather have Patton fighting alongside you or some other person who excessively careful and risk-averse?
So, make your plans. Include the right people but don’t take two quarters to get it done. Don’t wait a year to start implementing your new cybersecurity strategy. You have to move fast because the cybercriminals are moving fast already. Follow Patton’s lead. He knew what he was doing.