Secret CSO: Steve Tcherchian, XYPRO Technology

What advice would you give to aspiring security leaders? “My best advice for career trajectory is no amount of formal education can substitute for hands on hard work and real-life experience.”

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What has been your greatest career achievement? I really can’t put my finger on a single achievement. It’s been a collective set of wins and setbacks. Seeing smiles and high fives on other people’s faces, knowing that we can accomplish something big collectively gave me a level of fulfilment that I never realised could be attained. To thrive, you’ll very rarely be able to do it alone. Best advice I could give is to slow down, use the team around you, allow them to own a piece of the journey and you’ll see results that will otherwise be unattainable alone.

Looking back with 20:20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? Late last year, I wrote a piece predicting six different threats in 2020 we need to prepare for. I missed a global pandemic in my list. But otherwise, I don’t think I would change anything. I embrace failure and mistakes. It’s the greatest teacher. I would have not been able to get to where I am without mistakes.

What is your favourite quote?If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. Unfortunately, I cannot find a definitive answer of who originally said this. It’s attributed to everyone from Confucius to Lorne Michaels to Marissa Meyer. This helps you realise you’ve reached a pinnacle and your ego is likely to take over. Step out of the room and walk into another one. Push yourself and start over. There is always someone smart to learn from.

What are you reading now? I never got into reading fiction. I’m always looking at self-reflection and growth. I’m currently alternating between two books – Radical Candor by Kim Scott and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Don’t let the title turn you off. Its fantastic book that cuts through the noise and helps you identify what is really important.

In my spare time, I like to… I enjoy traveling, fishing, my family and completely disconnecting from technology. No phones, no internet, no social media! This is what my retirement will look like.

Most people don't know that I… I have never seen a single second of any Star Wars movie ever…and I’m OK with that.

Ask me to do anything but… eat an Avocado.

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