The GIAC Security Leadership Certification was the first GIAC certification I pursued. The class itself was not what I expected, as I was hoping for a class teaching security-minded people about becoming leaders, when in fact, it is about teaching leaders and managers to better understand security. That aside, it was a great experience. I got to interact with other security professionals was started to learn better how to interact with management.
Looking back on it, I could have used my time better, but that’s what experiences like this are for. Once the class was over, I studied for the certification and passed with an 89%… just one percentage point lower than is necessary to join the mailing list (I corrected this later). However, it was enough to get me into the SANS Mentor program and, by extension, interfacing with the SANS community as a whole.
Later, to renew this certification, I did some Psychology research and wrote a paper, taking my certification up to Gold status. This again tied me more closely into the SANS community and really helped to solidify some of the concepts I had been working with for the previous year.