Friday, June 15, 2007

Don't softsell your accomplishments

This week, I have met with two new clients. Both have impressive military careers with one of them serving as the "founder" of the AFCERT. This agency went from my client to a worldwide agency within five years and today it protects the Air Force's computers from unwanted intrusions. In a sense, this client is the "godfather" of the computer security program, and he helped a lot of military and civilian employees become the leaders in protecting the Air Force's computers.

My client left SecureInfo and has his own consulting firm. It's my job to rewrite his bio and then make him appealing to his customers -- government security firms. Now that I have a budget, I'll begin work on getting him a timeline to help him get customers and continued recongition for his leadership in this area.

Just after that meeting, I met with another new client. I noted the "chief" statue in his office, so I knew right away that he was a retired Air Force chief master sergeant. As a retired Air Force noncom, I saw this, and we began quickly to click together. Again, here was a guy who also served as an Air Force IG team member as well as someone who spent five years as an instructor in his career field. Right now, that information is not on his web site's bio, but that will change soon.

It's amazing how people soft sell their accomplishments. Perhaps, it's that Air Force perspective. The military demanded excellence, and many supervisors didn't show much in the way of appreciation. I have to thank Colonel (Retired) George Titus for his appreciation of what I did for him. In a five-year period, he put me in for two Air Force Achievement Medals, and he nominated me several times for military awards. While working with him, I also had Denver Mayor Wellington Webb give me "Technical Sergeant David M. Scherer in the City and County of Denver Day" upon my departure from Colorado to Italy. I rarely tell people about it, even though I am very proud of the work I did in Denver for over six years.

I guess it's like my one new client put it: "People want to know what you can do for them today; they don't care what you did previously." While I agree with that somewhat, you still have to put out those accomplishments because it shows new clients the roads you have traveled before.

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