Two crucial pieces of advice for executives

by | Feb/24/2010

My wife and I were traveling a little over a week ago when we got a phone call that one of our immediate relatives dropped dead from a heart attack. He was standing in line at the pharmacy to get medicine his doctor just prescribed for “heart burn” and collapsed, unconscious, and his heart was no longer pumping blood. Simply put: he died.

We rushed home and drove all night long after being told that his chance of survival was small. Thankfully, he will make a full recovery. That’s after pharmacy personnel defibrillated him, started CPR, rushed him to the ER and then the OR where they cracked open his chest and performed a triple bypass.

You know what? He is the right weight for his 6’1” height. He quit smoking years ago, and cut back on drinking. He exercises and is strong as a horse. He eats well. And his doctor told him it was heartburn.

I bet after surviving this event he gives up red meat and drinking all together and doubles his exercise routine. I see the same things with CEO’s, Presidents, CFO’s, and other executives if their company survives an IT security breach. Sometimes it is too late, and the recovery is no fun.

Why does it take a life changing event to get us to pay attention to do the things we know we should be doing?

For me, PLEASE tell your friends—and the person you see in the mirror two pieces of advice:

  1. If you feel chest pain, demand an EKG and don’t leave the doctor until you get one (or call 911—gets you right past the waiting lines at the ER!)
  2. If your last IT security audit was more than 12 months ago—it is time for another!

Before it is too late.