Most amazing achievements, like the Roman Empire, stem from a team effort. The Roman Empire lasted over 1400 years. A large part of its success was its military might; its army was famous for its discipline and organization, moving as one unit to conquer obstacles.
What can we learn from the success—and failure—of the Roman Empire? Team unity is one of our core values—possibly the most important. In this blog, the second in our Core Values series (the first was cutting-edge expertise), we’ll look at why unity is so important to us, how we look for this quality when interviewing job applicants, and how we strive to maintain it in our team every day.
Why Unity Is the Trump Card
As cybersecurity partners, much of our work is consulting—advising our clients how best to strengthen their organization’s defenses. To do that, though, we need to have a thorough knowledge of our clients’ environments: how many endpoints does their network include? What kind of data do they need to protect (healthcare PHI, financial or legal PII, etc.)? What tools and services do they use? What are their key business processes?
The variety of knowledge and experience of our analyst team is a tremendous asset, but what happens when that variety leads them to disagree on the right solution for a client? We conduct regular Security Business Planning (SBP) for our clients, presenting a plan for security improvements over the next 3 to 24 months. If the team meets with the client to review the SBP document, and each one recommends a different tool or approach, they could weaken the client’s trust in our ability to protect their organization.
We have big goals at SOCBOX, but much like the Romans, we can’t get there without a unified team. To make sure we are presenting a united front to our clients and partners, we have regular team meetings to discuss options and questions before we decide on our plan of attack. Even if the final decision was not their favored option, each team member does everything they can to make it successful. To illustrate, on a football team, the quarterback may have preferred a different play, but by giving the directed play his wholehearted support, he gives his team the best chance of winning.
Where the Romans Went Wrong
When the Roman army could no longer sustain its numbers through internal sources, it began to recruit foreign mercenaries. However, these hired fighters had no loyalty to the empire, and lacked the unity and discipline of the Roman soldiers. This ultimately contributed to the fall of the empire, as many of the mercenaries eventually turned against Rome. Like they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day—but it burned in one.
This may seem a little extreme as an example, but the principle behind it is key. We’ve worked hard to build a united and disciplined team, and we want to make sure that as we expand it, we find people that will elevate instead of devastate.
We love that many of our new hires are referred to us by employees. Hiring people that we know gives us the best chance of finding those that are aligned with our culture and values. What about when we need to cast a wider net, interviewing someone we don’t know? During the interview process, we discuss the applicant’s personal, professional and financial goals, and have them explain how they emulate our core values in their life. We also may do a role play exercise that helps them see what they can expect from us.
Keeping the Team United
Team unity isn’t just about our analysts that work together on a daily basis; it also includes unity between employees and leadership. To help us all stay on the same page, we have daily huddles to report departmental wins, welcome new team members, share positive client feedback, and announce work anniversaries. We also have a Raving Fans channel on Microsoft teams, where we can express appreciation for a teammate that has done outstanding work.
Most companies would say that they value unity, and it’s a great value to have in theory—but what about when things get difficult? What happens when that unity is threatened? Maybe team members have strong opposing viewpoints, or we have personality conflicts—that’s when application of this value gets tested. If we see a slip or a crack in our unity, we immediately meet as a team to discuss what happened and how we can improve.
The IT and security fields are notorious for having few mentoring resources or opportunities. Since analysts work as a team, they find mentors in each other, sharpening each other’s skills and driving each other to learn and achieve more. Regular team meetings help analysts work on attaining new certifications or keeping their knowledge fresh. This focus on growing together supports our team unity.
The Roman Soldiers of Cybersecurity
A team that runs like clockwork is both beautiful to watch and capable of amazing things. We love working closely with our clients and partners to defend their environments against cyberattacks. If you’re ready to work with a united team, give us a call today at 877-284-7789 or contact us here.