The world is a funny place, primarily because it’s run by humans. People tend to protect the interests that best fit them. They do this purposely, unconsciously, or a mix of both. In the business world that is where things get a little dicey at times. There is a point in the day that you have no choice but to take someone’s word. No matter how twisted, propaganda filled, or inaccurate those words are, you have no choice to accept them. Or do you?
In the old days, the world was driven by handwritten reports, paper and pencil, type writers, file cabinets. The trail and accuracy was up to the creator and safe keepers. People were told things and it may or may not have been true. But now, in today’s business world, you can find out and verify almost everything. It’s all there, it just is up to the seeker how far they are willing to dig to get at it.
People lie and deceive, data does not.
Here is a good example of how this becomes an important tool. A person or department spreads statements about a business process or function as inefficient and or poorly managed, mainly because they don’t like it or really understand it. Most people take their word and that’s how a reputation can be built without any facts. But the 1’s and 0’s will help correct that and tell a far more accurate story without you saying a word. It is what it is, not what you were told based on magical thinking and big words. This is how you get things done. This is how to deal with chatter. This is how to progress forward.
Stick to the facts and destroy the generalizations.
I used to work with an individual, very, very smart analytical mind and he taught me something very important. As he would say it in a very condescending, yet educational tone as he was training me on an Enterprise Identity Management System –
“Don’t Guess. If you don’t know, say so, but don’t guess or assume because I will embarrass you every time.”
I have used that ever since. I have more respect for someone who accepts and is willing to properly fill their learning gaps than those who assume the answers and move forward thinking they are right rather than knowing they are right.
If you are told something and it sounds more like an editorial than a factual statement, ask them to prove it. Show me. How did you get there? Most of the times they can’t and they dig themselves deeper into an assumption hole as they explain their way out of it. Unfortunately, as a side effect when the data is delivered and does show an entirely different picture, the assumption source ends up getting extremely embarrassed.
As my old co-worker taught me, if you openly assume, then you are willing to accept the shame when you are proven wrong with the data.
End of Line.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.