Tags

, , , , , ,

CEOe has created a list of partners and colleagues whom we have interviewed and continue to interview. The purpose is to provide you with additional resources, guidance, and expertise that can impact all facets of your business, organization, and you, personally, as a leader. We are a community of leaders, experts, and professionals, and we are passionate about helping make you and all of us better.

Here is one such interview with Lisa Shasteen, Attorney and Partner at Shasteen and Percy. This conversation is particularly relevant for the times we are living in and we think you’ll find it influencial on many levels.

Gino:
Gino with CEO Effectiveness. And man, do we have such a treat and a privilege for you all this morning. We are joined by none other than Ms. Lisa Shasteen. Ms. Shasteen, good morning.

Lisa Shasteen:
Morning, Gino.

Gino:
How are you?

Lisa Shasteen:
Good, and how are you?

Gino:
I’m well, I’m well, I’m well. Super excited about our time today and some of the incredible insight and wisdom that I know that you have that you’re willing to impart on our viewers and the rest of the folks here at CEOE. So we humbly thank you.

Lisa Shasteen:
Well, thank you for allowing me to be here.

Gino:
Absolutely, absolutely. So Lisa, folks who are tuning in, they’ve seen your bio, right? They understand that you’re a very successful attorney, you own a business, you have your own law firm, you’re very involved in the community. Could you speak about what it is exactly that you do as far as your practice, as well as things that you may be involved in with the community?

Lisa Shasteen:
There you go. Okay. Sorry. Well, in our practice at Shasteen & Percy, we are all technology all the time. We are technology lawyers and so we counsel technology companies a lot, as well as companies that use technology, who doesn’t, to facilitate their operations. We have a great focus on cybersecurity and data privacy. Generally, people fail to listen to us until they have a problem and then, of course, they’re all ears and we are emergency room doctors and we love them and care for them and patch them up and get them down the street. So that’s kind of where we focus.

Gino:
Right. Right. What an incredible practice of law to be in, especially in this day and age. I mean, I can’t even imagine, especially since COVID-19 has all kicked off, the amount of privacy issues that have come up because of the increased demand and dependence on technology, right, for folks in businesses to be able to do what they’re going to do in order to be able to survive and thrive. So that’s an incredible thing. So I know you mentioned also in your bio InfraGard. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Lisa Shasteen:
Oh sure. Yeah. I failed to mention that. It’s a very important part of my life. So InfraGard, it’s I-N-F-R-A-G-A-R-D, and you can go to the .org site and join for free. It is a national organization. It’s the public outreach arm for the FBI, and so we partner with the FBI. I’m president and chairman of the board of the local chapter. What we do is we sort of try to get the FBI message out to the 16 sectors of critical infrastructure in the United States to try to keep us safe. So that’s what we do.

Gino:
That’s a big deal. That’s a really, really big deal. So it’s amazing, Lisa, with everything that has been going on right now in the country, how are you holding up with COVID-19 and all the civil unrest? How do things look like in your world right now?

Lisa Shasteen:
Well, things in our world are excellent. Well, they’re excellent for us. They’re not excellent for everybody. One of the things that’s happened is that COVID-19 and the civil unrest have spurred a plethora of phishing messages and schemes to get people to focus on these very timely and important trends. So basically, there are a lot of people getting hacked due to clicking because these seemingly important messages are coming to their inbox seemingly from people they know, and it’s a major problem. So coupled with the fact that it is very difficult to maintain cybersecurity, especially for enterprises, when everybody’s working at home.

Gino:
Of course.

Lisa Shasteen:
Security kind of takes a little bit of a back seat to productivity because how can you secure the home environment? I mean, look at my dog. He’s a terrible assistant. He’s disruptive. He can look at my computer and tell me what I’m doing. So that’s a challenge.

Gino:
Absolutely.

Lisa Shasteen:
And also I will say this, too. The one thing… This has brought a lot of opportunities. I mean, first of all for people to really understand the security space. I think before people didn’t really take it very seriously, and now it seems sort of a light is being shined upon it. And also with the civil unrest. I mean, one of our main tenants of our firm, my partner is black. We are very much into diversity and inclusion of all different kinds of people, and so we also have jumped into the social justice message with both feet in that we wish to be part of the support for a civil conversation. We don’t support rioting and things like that. That’s horrific. And as a matter of fact we want to prevent that, but we’ve just teamed up with the NFL Alumni Association, which is going to be taking a lead. More on that later. It’s really exciting what they’re doing. It’s not our conversation, it’s theirs, but we’re supportive of it. So I mean, yeah, we have opportunities and we have opportunities to make our society better and we want to do it with or without technology.

Gino:
That’s wonderful. Wow. What a great piece of information for people to know things that you’re involved in, and it’s very timely and it’s very much needed, very much needed. So that’s fantastic.

Gino:
So let’s dive in to some of the meat and potatoes of our time today. I know you’ve got some incredible insights based off of your experience and your knowledge and wisdom. So I think across the board, several different industries have been experiencing an unprecedented level of division, kind of talking about what you were just speaking to. In your opinion, what has led to the level of disjuncture we are currently experiencing and what can the business community do to help encourage cohesion?

Lisa Shasteen:
Well, I think it all comes down to people again, and I think that technology has enabled people to sit behind a computer screen and not truly confront the person that they are criticizing or vilifying or whatever they’re doing. So technology has enabled a lot of people to be negative and to spew out the frustrations that they have, which can be hurtful. So I believe that within a company it’s really important to have a forum where you can talk about the frustrations and where it’s not wrong to be frustrated to feel a certain way, because feelings are reality for that person. And it’s like, well, what would success look like to you? And I think facilitating that conversation, not controlling it, but facilitating that conversation and listening, and then more importantly implementing some change to be able to sort of quell some of these frustrations. Because we’re all people, it’s a very difficult time, people are frustrated for so many reasons. A lot of people are feeling very confined in their homes or frustrated that they can’t see one another, they can’t get out, so that frustration can kind of feed the other frustrations that they have. And it’s really important to listen right now and be that cohesion point, that collaboration point.

Gino:
That’s incredible. One of the things that really just stuck out to me is the difference between facilitating a conversation and controlling a conversation. I think in times of panic and chaos and stress, people are desperately looking for control or they want to be able to figure out what’s the outcome, how do we do this, as opposed to something like what we’ve been dealing with, it’s a simple matter of let’s get it all out there, let’s get it all on the table, right, and then collectively let’s try to make sense of everything that’s happening and what the most productive and conducive outcome will be. So that is really incredible insight. I think right now, in addition to the very serious matters that we’re dealing with, I also think that there’s something to be said about a lot of the trivial matters that our culture assigns a lot of meaning and value to. In your life, how do you define what actually matters and how can organizations identify the same?

Lisa Shasteen:
Well, again I go back to people and I will actually mention a situation that happened to me a while back. It was a couple of decades ago, but I was having some relationship issues and I noticed that the constant in all of these situations was me. And I was like, well, maybe I need to talk to somebody about this. I met a very remarkable counselor who said to me, “If you broke my coffee cup here, you would feel bad and you would try to replace it, right?”, and I said, “Oh, yeah, I would.” She said, “Well, you can’t because that coffee cup was given to me by my father the day before he died.” And I was like oh, my goodness. So she says, “But the coffee cup is a thing, and we attribute that meaning to them.” She goes, “Look, that table doesn’t mean anything. The ring on your finger doesn’t mean anything.” She said, “Oh, that’s harder, isn’t it?” And I said, “Yeah, it is.” So she says, “Yes, but the same thing is true of words that people say.” So we attribute meaning to other people’s words, and we do need to give them the leeway to let them explain to us what it is that those words mean to them.

Lisa Shasteen:
Because I have been in situations when I was general counsel for an international investment bank where I was speaking to some people in Holland who were fabulous at English. I mean, my Dutch would be ridiculous. So they were speaking English just perfectly and we had a conversation that resulted in our company not investing in their company because we thought they said they didn’t need us. They didn’t want us. Whereas what they were saying was they did need us, and it was an odd conversation. But our interpretations were completely different and they remain my friends today, but we talk about it and we laugh. They’ve done well, but it was just kind of eye opening that we could both even be speaking English and have different meanings.

Gino:
That’s an incredible thing, and I think of how many times this happens on a daily basis, right, across the world. It doesn’t matter the relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, the idea of the meaning making process, right, and what…

Lisa Shasteen:
I think it’s also a point where everybody is so easily offended today.

Gino:
Yes.

Lisa Shasteen:
I keep trying to encourage people to say wait a second. Before you just immediately reach flashpoint 5,000, why don’t you think about how that person means that.

Lisa Shasteen:
Gestures. People think certain things mean something. I mean, I’ll tell you my nephew, who is half black, he went to a Burger King or something with me, and I was paying. I grew up with the thought process that money is dirty and your hands are dirty, so don’t touch other people. That’s rude. Right? So I laid the change down on the table for the woman to pick up, and she looked at me really funny.

Lisa Shasteen:
My nephew took me aside later. He’s 24, so he’s all into this world around, and he says, “Aunt Lisa”, he said, “that woman thought that you were rude because you didn’t want to touch her and she happened to be black.” And I said, “Well, that’s ridiculous. I was trying to protect her from my germs.” And he says, “No, but today that’s not good. You have to put the change in her hands”, and I said, “Okay.” And I had a conversation with him over lunch the other day, and he said “The thing is the problem comes in when people understand that there’s been a change in meaning and people don’t change themselves. They hold on to their old way of thinking, and they refuse to understand that there’s been a change.” And he said, “That’s what I have a problem with.” And I was like, “Okay, I’m learning.”

Gino:
Well, and it’s not easy, right, by the way, because you’re talking adaptability, right? To continuously adapt to the times changing and meaning and all those sorts of things. Because like you, I used to carry the same sentiment. I was raised that money is dirty, right, so don’t go hand to hand, and you just taught me something. Your nephew just taught me something because I didn’t realize that, right? So that’s a really great thing to know, but it is. It’s a very hard thing, and I know it’s one thing we hear at,we push a lot about how important adaptability is and being able to adapt to the changing times. I mean, I think what we’re all going through right now is going to have some very real consequences good and bad, right, but at the end of the day you have to be able to change. You have to be able to embrace others’ perspectives. That is such an important thing.

Stay tuned for Part Two