John Zangardi, CIO Department of Homeland Security, discussed his 30-plus year career – from his home town of Scranton, PA to the halls of DHS – on Leaders and Legends in Government with Aileen Black.
“Education expands your horizons and prepares you for what ever you want to do,” Zangardi said. He called his thirst for learning a core value said education is the “toolbox” that allows you to look at your decision process differently.
“Failure can sometimes be the most important step to success … You can’t be afraid to look bad because if you don’t listen to your people, you are bound to go off in the wrong direction,” Zangardi said.
According to Zangardi, the biggest challenge facing IT leadership in government today: boiling down any challenge to “simple outcomes and common terms.
Other topics covered:
How DHS works to attract top talent to meet today’s cyber challenges
Opportunities for IT professionals at DHS
Advice to contractors
“Sales pitches tend to fail, use less sales and more technical win. Show the operational value from a technical perspective,” Zangardi said.
Zangardi traced his career success back to the best decision he made – marrying his wife Wendy who he called “a real partner in life.”