Marcus Hutchins is an average name but this 22-year-old from security researcher from England is not average person.  On Saturday, May 12th, a ransomware attack affected more than 230,000 computers before Hutchins stopped the virus.

As I read the May 24th USA Today profile of this IT expert who goes by Twitter handle MalwareTech, I gleaned 7 Leadership Lessons From The Man Who Saved The Internet:

  1. The Ability To Do Great Things Is Not Age Discriminate – You are never too young (or old) to do something significant with your life.  Hutchins is only 22 years old.
  2. The Ability To Do Great Things Is Based Upon Your Skill, Not Age Or Position – Age and position in the organization were non-factors in Hutchins’s ability to stop the spread of the virus.  What enabled him to gain global attention was his skill.
  3. Greatness Is Found Not In The Extraordinary But In Doing Your Job Consistently Well Everyday – Hutchins solved the problem by “simply doing his job, which is to look for ways to track and potentially stop malware.”
  4. You Can Only Accomplish Great Things Through A Team – Hutchins gave credit to others in the security community who shared with him samples of the ransomware.
  5. Passivity Is The Enemy Of Accomplishment – After receiving the samples, Hutchins promptly began searching for a resolution by studying the code, installing it, registering a new domain and stopped the spreading of the virus.
  6. The Price Of Fame Is A Loss Of Privacy – Media outlets immediately began tracking Hutchins forcing him to leaping over back-garden walls because they were staked out in front of his house.  The news media also began posting his personal information such as name and address.
  7. Success Brings Opportunity – Hutchins, who previously kept a low profile as most in the cybersecurity community co, is now speaking out and giving the keynote address to the Copenhagen CyberCrime Conference in Denmark.

What is one thing you learned from Hutchins’s story which will make you a better leader?


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