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Today's thought is not about governance in the Cloud.  Instead it is about Jake Desantis, formerly of AIG as of last night.  Take a look at his resignation letter in the New York Times.  I read it over Corn Flakes & read it again here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/opinion/25desantis.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=opinion

Here's a guy who took a $1.00 pay check to keep the company going & then was villified as one of "those people".  I must confess that I was as outraged as anyone that any of my taxes went to anyone's bonus while my daughter's public school loses every enrichment program like music, art, phys ed.  I was mad.  Really mad.  I don't do mad gracefully.

Mr. Desantis is mad too & I don't blame him either.

I guess what strikes me most and my take away here is that identity management is as hard on the macro business scale as it is in the technical implementation scale.  Some guys need to go to jail.  Some guys are just jerks who took 56 million when they, unlike Mr. Desantis if his claims are true, fundementally sucked because they failed to lead.

We need our leaders to be smart.  Duh.  That's a prerequisite.  We need them to be breathing too but we don't make a point of telling everyone how much oxygen they  consume. 

We also need Leaders to be prepared to lead by example even when keeping a bonus would be "fair".  (The guy made only one dollar last year in a job category that pays a great deal more than mere mortals can comprehend.  I do think that's fair but that's my opinion with no facts to back it up.)  We need to know that when the chips are down, whether you take the money or not, our leaders stand with us and fight for us when our voices are not present in that room.  When we're asked to give our best and we do there may not always be cash compensation in this market, but there is acknowledgment and solidarity. 

So bravo to this fellow.  You reminded me that there is one unwavering truth-- there is only truth from a myriad of perspectives and each only gets his or her slice of that truth.  Better still, your team needed you & by going public with your own anger, frustration & a bit of pride, you gave them a voice too.  THAT's leadership.

Anyway, I was moved by this guy & wanted to share.  There are no winners in this story, but it blasted me in the side of the head to learn some lessons & to drop my absolute outrage.  Godspeed Jake Desantis & team and all the silent others grinding away to bring your best to the show today.  We can do this. 

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Thank you Michelle, I too was "enlightened by that article when I saw it. I was also impressed by his actions. That is leadership. Not what you say but what you do. His announcement that he will see to it that 100% of what he recieves will go to AIG victims was a crafty thing to do in a lot of ways. And the right thing to do as hard as that might be to do. Like you I am going only on the voracity of his letter and also like you I hope his story is accurate.

In my blog post yesterday I wrote about the phemenon I encounter constantly from business owners who in the face of irrefutable facts will deny that they are subject to identity theft compliance legislation like Red Flags Rules or GLB. Of course that means that with data breaches skyrocketing people are being victimized at an increasing rate. Where is the leadership there?

On the very day that Mark Groman from the FTC spoke with the Boston BAR privacy section and announcing in no uncertain terms that law firms are regulated by the FTC regarding their business practices, and therefore needed to comply with FACTA Red Flags, I had an attorney tell me that his research showed that law firms did not need to be concerned about that. Where is the leadership?

The right thing to do is simply the right thing to do. When we protect the information we hold on others we are protecting them. When someone else does it they are protecting us.

Bravo Jake Desantis!

Posted by John Taylor on March 26, 2009 at 01:33 AM PDT #

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