b'Story Behind the Story: Interview with Patricia Titus D How did it change? yourself to identify what you learned from it. Ive been fired a few times F:and I could have spent my time having a pity party. But instead, I turned PATRICIA: it around, so I could really try to understand what I learned from that My move to the top was pretty quick. Once I got into the executive ranks, I was a little bit full of myself, to bechallenge and how it made me a better person and leader as a result. frank. I felt I had to be a man to do a mans job. I honestly lost touch with my identity and was neither self-aware nor particularly humble. I was the person who would bring a group into the room and chew them allD F:Men see getting fired as a rite ofout. Maybe they needed it, but there are better ways to achieve success, as I learned. I thought I had to redo everybodys work because I wanted perfection and thought it wasnt good enough for me to put my name passage, women as a badge of shame. on it. I was stressed out, close to burnout, making myself ill, and making others around me unhappy. PATRICIA:The Center for Creative Leadership was yet another defining moment. I learned you cant control everyoneThe differences between men and women being fired, in my around you. The only person you can control is yourself. I had to relearn how to be self-aware, to realize I wasopinion, is women internalize it, while men just put it in a box and not treating people fairly. I had convinced myself that everyone else was the problem. I had stepped so far outmove on. My recommendation for anyone in any company is have an of myself, I had to find my way back and learn to be a good leader. exit strategy. Some organizations are more stable than others, but all CISOs are vulnerable to one degree or another. Thankfully for me, Markel is the kind of company where long careers are not uncommon. But we D You say you felt you had to be a man to do a mans job, when the more must be realistic. CISOs are the first to be fired in the event of a breach and F:accurate description should be this is a job and Im the most capableyou need to be prepared for it, especially if you are the sole breadwinner for your family. This is when the investment youve made in networking and building person to do it. Did you have a good support network of women? a support structure is going to get you back to True North. Security people have so much to give and so much to offer. You will not be unemployed for long unless you want to be.PATRICIA:There are women and men who pushed me, told me I could be more, do more, and helped me see what I couldnt see - my potential. They also helped instill a level of confidence in me that I didnt have. D F:You held many jobs and have had an exceptional career, lets talk aboutThe Executive Womens Forum (EWF) was where I began to build my womens network with women whosome lessons-learned. Youve been atMarkel for more than three yearsremain my friends today. I could and still do pick up my phone and say, What are your ideas? Having the now. Biggest take-away?ability to reach into a group of well-established women in your field - going through the same challenges and issues - is extremely helpful. But the men who have been supportive in my career have also beenPATRICIA:necessary. Its not easy to maintain your support network when youre working so hard all the time. ButWhile Im not an insurance expert, I do need to understandI must have an it is vital to your sanity to have peers to lean on for support. I also find that being a mentor is critical andwhat our business does so I can provide enough security. Iunderstanding of how we helps you not only give back but expand your network.must have an understanding of how we collaborate cross- functionally, to deploy the capabilities to protect the company.collaborate cross-functionally, to deploy the capabilities to D What is your advice to women who may feel, for whatever reason, F:You left the government in 2008 and protect the company.F:theyre not good enough to do a job. Djoined Unisys, the global tech company.PATRICIA: What were some of the lessons learned?When someone asks, Am I going to be successful, whether you have a degree in computer science, or are a mom coming into the workplace, I want to know how your skills equate to your aspirations.PATRICIA:First, ask yourself, Am I the right fit for this job? Am I going to do it well? Next talk to others in the fieldIts not easy to leave the public sector and go into the private sector. In the public sector, your value is about the skills you need to be successful and build a plan. Its important to define what your weaknessesbased on the government system, so you dont really know what you are worth in the marketplace. Unisys are, what skills you might need to develop and, ultimately, what training you may need.allowed me to work with their corporate offices and understand how the corporation worked. I think this was a huge benefit.Im a tough love kind of person and we all get to make our own choices. So, when something doesnt go according to plan based on the choice you made, dont focus on the negatives. You need to challenge Page 27 Page 28'