The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Wolfgang Goerlich

November 15, 2022 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 16
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Wolfgang Goerlich
Show Notes Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't.

Our guest today is J. Wolfgang Goerlich, an Advisory CISO for CISCO

Today, Wolf tells us about a typical day in his life and what his job as a CISCO entails.

He'll outline to us his career journey, starting with his "illegal modest beginnings", and explain why he freely left his own consulting firm to return to a "regular job."

Wolf talks us through his "imposter syndrome framework," which he has developed over years of experience, and discusses why trust is as strong as or more powerful than technical skills, as well as how he always felt he was working a bit ahead of his abilities.


If they trust you, you can have a degree of freedom to interact, explore, to get it right.

But if they don't, it doesn’t matter how good you are.

They are gonna doubt you.



●    Blog

●    Twitter

●     Securing Sexuality podcast

●     Securing Sexuality Conference


Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us at the links below:

You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon.

Make it a great day.

The following transcript is machine generated and may contain errors.

[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast where everyone belongs. And yes, that means you. My name is Chris Grundemann and I'm here with my wonderful co-host, Zoe Rose. 

[00:00:20] Zoe: Hey! 

[00:00:20] Chris: This is the Wolfgang Goerlich episode, and it is gonna be a treat for all of us. Wolf is an advisory CISO for Cisco Secure, a chaotic, good strategist and futurist, and an unflinchingly optimistic gray beard in this cyber dystopia.

[00:00:38] Chris: Hey Wolf. 

[00:00:39] Wolf: Hey. 

[00:00:39] Chris: Did I get that right?

[00:00:40] Wolf: You, you nailed all the beats. Yes, I am. I I am old. I think that was covered. I'm very optimistic. Strangely, I think that was covered and yet I, let's all acknowledge that this dystopia that we've as hackers and as technologists, have, have built and found ourselves in.

[00:00:57] Wolf: Yeah, I think you hit, you hit it all. This is good. Great to be here with you guys. 

[00:01:01] Chris: Yeah. Thanks for being here. I wanna start with, you know, your journey. I think... You weren't always a cybersecurity executive. Uh, I believe you started, uh, in technology as a systems administrator, but why don't you tell us how did you get you started in technology?

[00:01:14] Wolf: Yeah, and that is a really good story to begin with because for much of my career I've been in a a position where, I didn't really know if I was doing the right thing because there's no one there like above me or guiding me or mentoring me. When I started off, uh, I was running all, uh, technology for a hospital system and, and I like to say, you know, "Oh yes, the way that I got into this field is no longer legal" cause it sounds edgy.

[00:01:40] Wolf: But the reality was we didn't have HIPAA laws. And I was like an 18 year old kid and they're like, Hey, you know, computers, why don't you computer with us? And I'm like, I would, I would love to. Can I have sysadmin and root? I didn't know what that was, but I knew that was what hackers wanted. So I'm like, Can I have sysadmin and root?

[00:01:55] Wolf: And they're like, uh, Sure. And so I ended up running cables and building servers and writing code and doing digital transformation back when that meant taking typewriters away from angry nurses. And it was, it was really a good start to, uh, to this career. But there was no like, uh, other gray beer there to go.

[00:02:16] Wolf: Yeah, well, don't do it that way, or, Oh, by the way, You shouldn't, uh, you shouldn't do this. And so a lot of it was me just doing trial and error, trying to find my footing. . 

[00:02:25] Zoe: I like that comment. You say, uh, you know, I want all the things. Give me all the access. Okay. But on top of that is when I started, I also ran cable, which you're not allowed to do now, is also.

[00:02:37] Zoe: At least in Canada, you're not allowed to do because it has, um, power over it. Yeah. Uh, PoE now. So also not allowed. Illegal all the things . 

[00:02:47] Wolf: So you and I, Zoe, uh, rule breakers from the beginning. 

[00:02:51] Zoe: Yes. But not on the sexy things. Just on the, We accidentally happen to do things. We're not allowed to do . 

[00:02:57] Wolf: We don't need to go into details.

[00:02:59] Wolf: Details don't matter. exactly. 

[00:03:02] Chris: Awesome. So from that kind of, you know, interesting, illegal, possibly humble beginning, you know, maybe you can walk us through, you know, describe your career in 60 seconds or less. How, how, how do you z go, How do you go from, you know, that initial kind of almost intern type position in IT to CISO at Cisco?

[00:03:18] Wolf: Yeah. Decided to start a, a startup did consulting because no one was there to tell me, you don't want to do consulting as a startup. And we sold servers and desktops and everything. So did that for a while. Got burned out on that. Wanted to do more management. Got into a consulting company. Oh Zoe, you'll love this.

[00:03:36] Wolf: Back to imposter syndrome. I landed a like multimillion dollar conversion to get all these automotive sites off MPLS onto vpn. So we had like the Cisco concentrators and the routers and the switches and all this hardware's coming in and I'm coordinating it and I'm configuring IP addresses and the whole nine yards.

[00:03:54] Wolf: We're like two thirds of the way through this project. And the, uh, VP of the company just happened to walk back into our tech area and one of my senior guys was explaining to one of my junior guys how Subnetting worked. And so he is running out and I'm listening, and finally the light bulb went out and I went, Oh, that's how networking routing works.

[00:04:13] Wolf: And the VP stops and he is like, You are in charge of a million dollar project. And he did not know how I said it couldn't be important or would've stopped this by now. , you know, 

[00:04:22] Zoe: that's amazing. 

[00:04:22] Wolf: So there's this continual thread of, I, I'm always a little bit ahead of my skis. So coming out of that, I was VP for a high speed, uh, networking and high security company called Quantum Enterprises.

[00:04:34] Wolf: Built a pmo, built a training org. That was, that was fun. But like so many early startups that didn't stay around very long, I left there when they went outta business and went to work for our largest customer, which was a money management firm. And uh, ended up doing just about everything but their help desk.

[00:04:53] Wolf: Cause I refused to manage their help desk, but their networking team. Their IT team. We built an early DevOps function. We were first on Azure Cloud. We did a number of different case studies, built data centers, moved things around, built teams. It was a lot of fun. And then they got acquired and I thought, you know, I don't really have it in me to, to pull the plug on this.

[00:05:13] Wolf: So went back into consulting, um, built another team, uh, had burned out bad. So we wanna talk about burnout, we can talk about that. But burned out real bad. Cashed out on a quarter, took a quarter off, and went to another firm where they were like, Hey, we wanna build an academy. We know you did a pmo. We know you've done training.

[00:05:31] Wolf: Um, we wanna build a, an apprenticeship. So I'm like sure I would love to do that. So, built an apprenticeship. Uh, we put 67 people through it, two year apprenticeship program. And started an IAM practice, a GRC practice, a data protection practice, a strategic advisory practice. Never slepped and had a lot of fun doing that, but there was some, some changes.

[00:05:55] Wolf: I felt like I was getting to the end of that road. I felt like I had didn't have much more to learn. And uh, and I really got into this design kick, like this importance of having good security, good design, good programs, good technology, and uh, ran into the folks at Duo Security. They explain to me the importance of design and their culture.

[00:06:13] Wolf: I'm like, I love it. I've known you guys forever. I watch, I mean, they're in my backyard. So I watched them as a startup grow into this awesome company. And of course, the team over there is great. Uh, Wendy Nather and folks. I'm like, I'm, I'm in, I'm in. They're like, Well, you're, you're not in, You have to actually interview.

[00:06:27] Wolf: I'm like, Oh, right, Yes, Let's do that first. So they maybe interview like 12 people and a whole, whole rigamorole. But that's how I ended up being an advisory CSO over there. Also faculty at IANS. So I get to have lots of conversations with lots of customers and lots of product owners. 

[00:06:42] Zoe: I love that I, I suppose I would call it:

[00:06:45] Zoe: "on the job extreme training" where it's, uh, learning what you're doing essentially whilst you're doing it. I, I very much relate to that cuz that is exactly how I got into it as well. But, um, the point you made about, well, specifically going back to that IP address, um, Subnetting. I like the comment you made about if it was something that would, if my not knowing that was going to hold us back, it would've held us back already.

[00:07:10] Zoe: And that's, I feel like that's, I've never had the confidence to admit that to myself, , because it's, it's always like, Oh, I don't know it, and that's a bad thing. And so I need to prepare and admitting, I don't know, something is bloody terrifying. 

[00:07:23] Wolf: Yeah. I, I hear you on that. I think I got used to it. Because I oftentimes don't know what I'm doing, and this sounds terrible.

[00:07:31] Wolf: So for anyone who comes from me, advice that like, don't talk to Wolf, he doesn't understand . But I mean, in terms of my career, when I joined the, the financial services firm, Oh, I'm sorry. Before I joined, when I was doing consulting for them, they asked me to do this big website, uh, initiative. It was basically like SharePoint before SharePoint.

[00:07:47] Wolf: And, and I sat down with the, the, uh, CIO over there and I'm like, You realize I have no idea what I'm doing. . Like, I, I don't know, like I've got like the textbook up over here and I've got the editor up over there and I'm debugging on that screen. Right. We're we're, we're good on this. And he is like, Yeah, Wolf, but you, you know the culture, you know the team and, and we know you.

[00:08:08] Wolf: I'd rather bring in someone who knows those components and trust that you'll learn things than uh, bring in someone who knows the things but can't interact with the team interface. I'm like, Oh, alright, good. As long as we all know that I don't know what I'm doing. 

[00:08:24] Zoe: But having, being able to have that relationship is so important.

[00:08:27] Zoe: Like, yes. I, I talk about my career a lot and I, I've got an intern right now, so it's, uh, it's gone back to me trying to explain my job whilst I'm doing it and also kind of explaining it to myself whilst I'm explaining it to someone else. Mm-hmm. . So I can relate heavily to the no idea what I'm doing. It just happens to work sometimes, but it kind of goes to the, like, I prioritize people and I prioritize that personal relationship.

[00:08:52] Zoe: When it comes to doing things, because I can ask people to do stuff, but if they don't trust me, it doesn't matter if I'm right. 

[00:08:59] Wolf: Yeah. And you know, one of the things my team works on is a security outcome study. And so we talked to like 5,000 people around the world and, and the first time we did the study, I used to do business continuity and disaster recovery.

[00:09:10] Wolf: Did I do it right? I don't know. No one else knew more than me. So I guess this is, this is gonna be the recurring component of my career, but I, I did that. So when I heard that if you do BCDR, you've got great relationships with your executives, your peers. Your staff. I'm like, Oh, of course, you know, if you're good at BCDR, it's, it's a good, good program.

[00:09:27] Wolf: And then we asked the question again for instant response and saw the same thing. And then we asked the question again for zero trust and for SASE and for XDR and we saw the same thing. And those about that time, that light bulb went over in my head, which is exactly what you're saying, Zoe, which is if they trust you, if they like you, if you got that relationship, you can have a degree of freedom to, to interact, to explore, to, to get it right.

[00:09:49] Wolf: And if they don't, that doesn't matter how good you are. They're gonna doubt you. 

[00:09:53] Chris: Now, I like that you've driven forward in this kind of, I don't know, called the fog of, of fog of career, right? Just kind of almost stumbling forward, learning what you needed to learn along the way, kind of pushing forward, seeing where the opportunity was and where you could provide value, but then having to learn it as as you went, I think as Zoe said, right?

[00:10:10] Chris: I think that's familiar probably to a lot of folks, especially of our generation. I think newer folks may have more resources available to learn. I mean, I didn't have YouTube videos. I could look up on all the topics that we talk about. So I feel like they have a little bit of an advantage, but I think you still need that, that kind of passion to move forward.

[00:10:26] Chris: Even if you're not quite sure. I mean, I think that's almost a prerequisite for a career in technology, but that also can come with some downsides. So I wonder, you know, along that way, along this journey, Wolf, you know, I assume you've made some mistakes. Maybe, if you wouldn't mind, can you tell us what the most embarrassing mistake you've made is? Or was, 

[00:10:44] Wolf: Oh, there's so many. First, I wanna tease out something there, cuz there's, there's different types of imposter syndrome in my mind. There's like three different types and we, we, we'll get there when we get there. But one of the types I think really is good imposter syndrome. It's something we don't think about when I, when I'm sitting there, and this recently happened, I gave a talk on security awareness training.

[00:11:04] Wolf: I make a wolf. You, you've run these programs forever. You know? I mean, it should be just fine, right? I was like, Yeah, but what if I'm missing something? So I went back and I took the SANS course on security awareness training to make sure that, you know, what am I missing? What do I dunno? I think if you're, if you feel like you don't know it and it drives you to learn it, and you've got the passion to double down that, that is a good thing.

[00:11:24] Wolf: That's a good outcome of feeling uncertain. In terms of mistakes, Oh, there's, there's been many. Oh, the, the startup I mentioned in the nineties. We, we were doing, you know, build your own computers and then Dell came out and squashed us in that website app I mentioned. We, we tried to patent it and we, we should have really doubled down because it would've been, I mean, it was like confluence and all these things.

[00:11:48] Wolf: That we do today. Uh, I, we were creating at that time and wiring in and doing, back then it was called application service providers, but really SaaS and we dropped it. We didn't go anywhere with that. Cause I couldn't explain it. . Yeah. We were talking about like any person to any device, uh, any application.

[00:12:03] Wolf: People were like, I don't know what you're talking about. This was like 2000. Right. So missed opportunity there. Um, I've definitely crashed a few data centers, uh, in my day, both intentionally and accidentally. We'll go with that. I think this was the most embarrassing. We had reconfigured our entire storage system.

[00:12:20] Wolf: We moved all the cables around. We were documented, had a whole project plan, had a a 12, uh, hour outage, and I had it like time down to the minute to get everything in. So we got everything all moved over. Everything was great. But I was tired. And the one thing I forgot to do was to make sure the config was available to everyone to look at, right?

[00:12:39] Wolf: So that there was a refresh config, and this is the day and age where the config on the system was different than the config in the, The configuration manager was different than what you had like locally. So I'd made all these changes, but I didn't. Update everyone else's console's. So the next day there was one thing that was wrong and they went in and went, Oh, I think I, I see what it is.

[00:12:59] Wolf: And they changed one configuration, but it was to the old config and they pushed it out. So like our entire storage network lost all connections and all like hours of work. Ah, . So things like that. Right. Thing. Thing, you know, things, 

[00:13:16] Zoe: It's so funny because I, that exact situation has happened so many times.

[00:13:21] Zoe: um, it's always, we do this config but we don't tell anyone. Or we do this, but we don't document it. Yeah. I mean, I, from my security. Perspective. I think the sexiest part of security is documentation. It's the knowledge share, it's the education, you know, and it's the one thing that is so boring to so many people, but has such an impact. 

[00:13:42] Wolf: Right. We, we think if we do the thing, we're done. But if we don't do the thing and document the thing and teach the thing and share the thing and socialize the thing, none of it matters. But I did the thing you can hear the person yelling. Yeah, but did you tell anyone did you write it down? Um, well, 

[00:13:57] Zoe: well just don't talk about that part.

[00:13:59] Zoe: Yeah, no. Yeah, no, a hundred percent. Well, I think I'd like to kinda go back to your comment about the different types of imposter syndrome. Obviously you do public speaking or I do public speaking. I think Chris does as well. And one thing is I'm always terrified. I'm always scared about speaking. I'm always scared that it's not good enough.

[00:14:17] Zoe: I'm always scared that, you know, what if I'm saying is silly? Or what if I'm saying this? But that fear does actually drive me to care about the audience, care about the talk, care about how I'm presenting it. And I, I like that point you, you made about sometimes imposter syndrome can actually motivate you, motivate you to learn more and go further.

[00:14:36] Zoe: I know that you. I thought you did mentoring, but um, I see we call it coaching, so we have just a , but you talk about your imposter syndrome framework that you're, that you've built. I'd love to hear about that actually. 

[00:14:50] Wolf: Yeah, And, and there is a difference between mentoring and coaching, and I'll probably mix the words left and right, but I I, I've done a little bit of both over the years.

[00:14:57] Wolf: So when I, when I think about imposter syndrome, I think about good imposter syndrome, bad imposter syndrome, and systemic imposter syndrome. So, uh, the good imposter syndrome is exactly what you covered. If it makes you feel a little bit anxious and brings an edge to your work and makes you feel motivated as a, a person who loves weights and you were mentioning running, uh, earlier, Chris, you'll probably feel the same way.

[00:15:23] Wolf: You know, if you feel sore the next day, you know you had a good workout. I think if you feel a little bit of imposter syndrome. Either going into something or the next, next day afterwards, you know that you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone and you had a good mental workout. Right? You're, you're, you've brought yourself to another level.

[00:15:39] Wolf: I think that can be good. The, the bad imposter syndrome is of course where it gets in the way where you. Are too anxious to perform where it prevents you from raising your hands to volunteer for opportunities where it prevents you from asking for a raise or pursuing a new job because you don't think you're ready for it.

[00:15:59] Wolf: And, and that bad side is what we almost always focus on. So much of the conversation I hear about is, let's help someone, uh, overcome their imposter decision. Let's help them feel more at home. And, and I think that's good. We wanted, we want people to be able to perform well. However, I think it ignores the good and it also ignores the systemic.

[00:16:17] Wolf: So systemic imposter syndrome is when the system itself around you is making you feel like an imposter to go back to exercising. If there's something wrong with your, your shoes and your injured, you really shouldn't be running, right? If you are, you're lifting and you're doing the lift wrong, it doesn't matter.

[00:16:36] Wolf: You know how many times you do it, you're putting yourself at at risk. There's something wrong within the system itself. I had a, a good friend of mine, very well meaning, um, say to me many years ago. He's like, you know, if I had like a grant or a whole bunch of money, I would go all around the world and I would help women feel like less imposters in InfoSec.

[00:16:57] Wolf: And he really, he, he meant the best. And I thought about it for a second. I'm like, or we could work on. What's making them feel like impostors in InfoSec? Maybe we could, we could resolve the fact that there are people who are not listening, who are, you know, challenging or are not giving 'em respect. We also see that minority groups, you know, anyone who doesn't look like you think a professional should look like has to work so much harder.

[00:17:21] Wolf: And so one of the things I think is important about the imposter syndrome, conversation. Is that, that last one, especially for, for people who look like me, I mean, I can get it by by saying I don't know what I'm doing. And they'll probably be like, Yeah, but you're okay. But there's gonna be other people don't look like me who are gonna say that.

[00:17:37] Wolf: And they're gonna go, Ah, why do we hire this person? 

[00:17:40] Zoe: Oh, goodness, yes. If I did that , 

[00:17:41] Wolf: you, You see my point? So I, I think it's intrinsic as leaders. To help people move towards good imposter syndrome and recognize and address systemic. If everyone on your team is being a jerk to a few coworkers, doesn't matter how much you can tell 'em, Hey, be confident.

[00:17:58] Wolf: You're okay. You belong here. They're not gonna feel it. And it's really on you as the manager to address that. 

[00:18:03] Zoe: No, that's a really good point. I, I, I think, I suppose I, I miss beg there in early in my career, if I did that, it would've really messed with me. Now I think I've got a little bit more freedom to admit my gaps.

[00:18:16] Zoe: It does stem from having a good team around me though. Like if I admit to my boss, I don't know that, uh, he'll say, Okay, go learn it. Or, um, or he'll be like, Okay, well these people you, you can connect with. Whereas earlier in my career, if I did that, I would've maybe been let go. 

[00:18:33] Wolf: Yeah. Yeah. And so I, I think it's really imperative to root out some of these causes.

[00:18:41] Wolf: Of imposter syndrome. It's not always the person, it's oftentimes the team and the leadership. 

[00:18:46] Zoe: Yeah, like I, I agree with you. It's the, you want to have a diverse team, but you have to support that diverse team. And for them to succeed, you have to create a situation where they can succeed. It's not just them all on them to resolve diversity.

[00:19:01] Zoe: I'm not gonna be hired into a place to create a diverse culture. I need to be hired and replace that can support my very strange way of working. Cuz I know that I am slightly eccentric. We, 

[00:19:14] Wolf: you and me both. 

[00:19:15] Chris: And it doesn't even have to be a strange way of working or, or even, I mean I think, you know, that piece you just said Zoe about, you know, not being able to admit that you don't know something.

[00:19:25] Chris: You know, whether that's just because the culture is that bad and no one can admit it, or it's because, You know, you're a woman and you're looked at differently or, or maybe you are, you know, some other potentially marginalized community that's there being represented by yourself and don't feel that ability, but I mean, That's how big mistakes happen, right?

[00:19:42] Chris: Is when someone's afraid to say that they can't do something or don't know how to do something. And so instead they just go off and either don't do anything or try and figure it out in a, in an environment where they feel like they can't ask for help, so they can't figure it out. That's how, you know, big, big outages happen and, and, and things get taken down in careers can get really messed up in places like that.

[00:20:01] Chris: So, you know, it's, it's not just doing things weird, it's, it's, you know, that very base level of being able to say, Hey, I don't know. I can go figure it out or maybe I need help or, you know, whatever the, the next step is. But, but first being able to say, Hey, I don't know. Super important. 

[00:20:15] Zoe: Definitely. I think one thing I would like to touch on is the comment you made quite, quite a few times as to why.

[00:20:21] Zoe: Why did you go back to a normal job, a regular job, versus that perceived dream of working for yourself and only that ? 

[00:20:31] Wolf: So, um, Yeah, I worked for myself in the, in the nineties and, and I think I mentioned, um, that, you know, that the big boxes, Dell and Gateway came in and there was a time where you could put together a computer and make a thousand bucks, right?

[00:20:48] Wolf: Cause computers cost five grand and you could buy other parts. And, and you were perceived as being the boy genius who built this, right? There's, there was this glorious time when you could do that, and then a lot of the manufacturers came and, and squashed that market so that, that was part. And part of it was I, I just felt like working for myself, similar to, in the hospital, similar to a lot of the beats across my career.

[00:21:11] Wolf: I didn't feel like I had people who knew more than me who could challenge me or could, you know, help me understand if I was doing things right or wrong. I, I've always tried to move into groups where I, I felt that the people around me were better than me, faster. Smarter, more knowledgeable so that I could grow.

[00:21:26] Wolf: So in that regards, that's why I left that company. Now in the, uh, 2010s when I went back to consulting for a couple times, really had a great time, I, I enjoyed it tremendously. But there is a certain degree of, of hamster wheel where, um, and I'm sure you guys see this from pen tests or from assessments or whatever, you come in every year, you do the same assessment, you see the same results.

[00:21:51] Wolf: They tell you the same thing, they're gonna fix it. You go, you come back. It's the exact same problems. And maybe, maybe that problem has shifted to a different system or a different part of the org, but the problem is, is very consistent. And coming out of 2018, I was getting very jaded about security's ability to, to have an impact.

[00:22:12] Wolf: Much like the, the systemic conversation around imposter syndrome. I started wondering around the systemic problems with cybersecurity. Maybe we, we've gotta think about this in a different way. Four years later I don't have a different way . I mean, I'm working on it, I'm working on the problem, but I, there's certainly the, the technologist approach.

[00:22:33] Wolf: To install a system, make sure it's secure before it goes in. Keep it secure while its there, you know it ratched up all the controls, check all the boxes, as we all know. It just does not work for a variety of reasons. 

[00:22:44] Zoe: Yeah, no, I, I get what you mean there. The point you made about some things just being so repetitive.

[00:22:50] Zoe: I'm pretty sure there have been either both pen test and security assessments that I felt like I printed out a copy in 20 whatever, and then could have printed out the same copy and just updated the year. So I can relate to that one. 

[00:23:04] Wolf: Oh. Absolutely. Hey, we can save you time by just changing the year.

[00:23:08] Wolf: What do you say?

[00:23:09] Zoe: Yeah, yeah. Saves you money. But, uh, . So one, one question that I know that Chris always asks, and I always like it so I'm gonna steal it. Apologies, is, uh, what does a typical day look like for you? 

[00:23:22] Wolf: So that varies so much. If I'm traveling, uh, you know, a typical day is waking up in a hotel wondering what city I'm at and double checking my watch four times to make sure that I'm not late, and then calling the Lyft and then getting to the venue and, and then, you know, all those sort of things.

[00:23:39] Wolf: So I do a number of, you know, public speaking engagement. If I'm local, if I'm working from. You know, wake up in the morning, catch up on, on the news, catch up on email, uh, spend some time with, uh, with the family, get into a series of brutal meetings that I don't have enough time to complete and hope that I can get everything in before the end.

[00:24:01] Wolf: And usually that's a combination of working with internal teams. Product strategy, design, uh, marketing research, those sort of things, as well as talking to, to, you know, organizations around different aspects of their program. So a lot of those conversations. And then add to that, you know, hopefully quiet time for research, working in, in my, uh, home lab, uh, and writing.

[00:24:25] Wolf: Sort of like rounds it out. Depends on the day. My favorite days are when I've got nothing to do, but all day to do it. , I can just, I'll poke at this. Uh, I remember I needed to update that. Maybe I'll answer this email from 2016, which I actually did over the summer. Sorry. Uh, if you're listening to this, uh, I told you I get back to you and I did.

[00:24:42] Wolf: I did in fact. Anyways, so it, uh, it can vary quite a bit. It depends on what my focus is on that. 

[00:24:51] Zoe: I also responded to a Twitter DM that was two years old. 

[00:24:55] Wolf: Ah, thank you. You're making me feel much better, . 

[00:24:59] Chris: I'm still hopeful that a few of the folks we want to have on the show will respond to my old Twitter dms.

[00:25:04] Chris: So if you're listening, it's okay. We won't judge you for coming in late. 

[00:25:08] Chris: Unfortunately, I think we are about out of time for today. No. Yeah, this one went really fast. Thanks Wolf. Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing your story with the Imposter Syndrome Network. This has been really great stuff.

[00:25:21] Chris: Obviously, thank you also to everyone out there listening. Your time and attention are the most valuable things you have, and we really appreciate you spending them with us. So thank you. Uh, if you haven't already, please feel free to join us on LinkedIn. We have a group for conversations about all things related to our careers and lives and technology.

[00:25:38] Chris: But, uh, Wolf, before we go, uh, I am curious, I, I know you've got your framework, but I'm wondering, you know, for yourself personally, when, when you feel imposter syndrome kicking in particularly maybe that bad kind of imposter syndrome's gonna stop you from doing something, what do you do? How, how do you fight that?

[00:25:54] Chris: How do you combat it? You know, do you ignore it? What do you do? 

[00:25:56] Wolf: Well, the first thing I'm gonna ask myself, Is it an accurate feeling? Am I way over my skis? Cause there are in fact times where I've committed to things that, uh, are outside of my, uh, my ability. It does happen. It's the first thing, Is this a real thing?

[00:26:12] Wolf: Should I, should I call it If it's not, and it's really a matter of, of doubling down and working through it. Part of that for me is, is time pressure. Time pressure always keeps me focused. Part of that is working in Pomodoros. I'm sure you guys have covered this with a 25 minutes sprint, walking around, whatnot.

[00:26:30] Wolf: And then part of that too is doing things that address the physiological aspects of imposter syndrome. Taking a walk, getting a massage, soaking in, in a pool, right? Those sort of things that, uh, that can address sort of those physiological sides, which is a long way of saying, first I make sure it's real.

[00:26:50] Wolf: Second visit is real. I work through it and the way I work through it is by keeping myself on a, on a type schedule and addressing any fallout around me. 

[00:26:58] Chris: That's awesome. That's awesome. Thank you. It reminds me, there's a Calvin and Hobbs comic that I keep at least taped up inside my, my mental office. You know, they're chatting about this school project and you know, Hobbs is asking, Why aren't you gonna finish that?

[00:27:12] Chris: You know that that project up. And Calvin's like, Yeah, I'm not really in the right state of mind to do that project right now. And Hobb says, Well, what is the right state of mind? And Calvin says, Last minute panic . That's when I get stuff done. Uh, yeah. But just the time pressure, I mean, obviously that's not quite the right way to do it.

[00:27:29] Chris: You don't wanna induce the stress, uh, give yourself a coronary, but, uh, but you do need some deadlines, right? 

[00:27:33] Wolf: Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:27:35] Chris: Cool. Well, that's great advice. Are there any projects, you said you're kind of thinking about how to get us out of this, uh, cybersecurity dystopia. Is there any specific project or, or things you're working on these days that folks should be aware of?

[00:27:47] Wolf: Yeah, sure. So folks who find I do have been blogging on, uh, design and trying to pull out lessons from other fields there. Um, also been blogging on rethinking risk management, so those articles are, are available. Um, also been blogging on rethinking risk management, so those articles are, are available.

[00:28:09] Wolf: And then outside of the strictly technical, I'm working on a project with, uh, with my lovely wife, Stephanie Goerlich, uh, Securing Sexuality, which is a, a podcast where we explore the intersection of cybersecurity and relationships. Hmm. And is a conference which we will be holding, uh, next fall in Detroit, Michigan.

[00:28:30] Chris: Awesome. Very cool. Well, we'll definitely get those links in, in the show notes so folks can learn more and, and, and follow along. And, uh, that is it for us. So we'll be back next week.