Jeffrey J. Engle is Chairman & President at Conquest Cyber where he brings a broad spectrum of experience in Risk Management, National Security, and Business Process Optimization. He is responsible for the development and implementation of all strategic initiatives including cyber risk management and secure digital transformation programs. He has served as a consultant for the Department of Defense’s premier adversary emulation team and has conducted vulnerability assessments and trainings all over the world.
Prior to joining Conquest, Jeff served as Vice President & General Manager of Federal at United Data Technologies, Inc. where he spearheaded the growth and development of the federal business unit, led contracts, and legal department. He is a veteran of the United States Army Special Operations Command, a former senior vice commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and current Advisory Council member for Mission United. Jeff has received two awards of the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and more. He holds a master’s degree and a graduate certificate in Policy Analysis from Virginia Tech, as well as a Certificate from Harvard in cyber risk management, a Certificate in Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), is Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Jeffrey J. Engle: I am the Chairman & President of Conquest Cyber. Our company builds adaptive cyber risk management products for critical infrastructure sectors and government to enable cyber resiliency for our way of life. Our focus is on giving the executive decision-makers the contextualized information they need to make good decisions and to connect the dots between what is important, the threats or hazards those things face and the mechanisms for the negative consequences to be realized.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Jeffrey J. Engle: I wanted to be a Special Operator in the US Army. I joined the military in 2001 before the September 11th attacks and that event set my career on a trajectory I did not expect. In early 2005, I was in Baghdad on my 3rd deployment and was recruited into special operations. After 5 years and some additional injuries, I was moved to a Defense agency while my medical retirement was processed. I was subsequently discharged but found that mission focus still inspired me. After working for other people I realized that in order to regain the sense of purpose I had before I needed to steer the ship to ensure seamless alignment between mission and business objectives.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Jeffrey J. Engle: I have a lot of random skills like juggling, ping pong, hacky sack, and nunchucks.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Jeffrey J. Engle: I would define an entrepreneur as someone who is willing to cut their own path instead of following the established one.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Jeffrey J. Engle: The team is everything. Belief, confidence, and excitement require trust and are critical to business success. In a world where fear, uncertainty, and doubt are the norm generating trust is the most important investment you can make.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Jeffrey J. Engle: Know the rules. Know the why behind the rules. Decide which ones need to be broken or bent and which ones really need to be followed. I view everything as an ecosystem and introduction of the wrong elements or anything out of balance hurts or destroys it. The pre-covid world lacked resiliency and created a lot of arbitrary rules about how people should work. Now is the time to capitalize on the disruption it created and make something better.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Jeffrey J. Engle: I help people learn new things and grow so you have the opportunities that I had growing up.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Jeffrey J. Engle: Making the transition from a mixed–project and recurring revenue model to a pure subscription model by pushing the services to our partner ecosystem. I think this is a struggle for many companies in terms of cash flow management, internal and external perception, and top-line growth but it is critical to enterprise value creation.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Jeffrey J. Engle: I am exceptionally good at driving backward. It is a skill I developed as a teenager in Portland where I parked cars at a lot in the center of the city.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Jeffrey J. Engle: ‘ALL THE WAR THEY WANT: How to Break the Rules and Stack the Deck’
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jeffrey J. Engle for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jeffrey J. Engle or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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