Ten Ways to for Security Management Professionals to Get Ahead

Upward career movement in the security industry requires diligence. Nobody is given an upper level security management role without working their way up the ladder within our industry. Now, let’s say that you have worked your way up the ladder to a CSO, CISM, CISO or similar executive level security management role and you’re leading a mission-critical department in your organization. How do you take the next step and rise from the ranks of being viewed as the “security guy” to a position of broader influence, respected by colleagues and departments throughout your organization?

Check out and apply the following ten tips to take your game to the next level. These tips can help you break out of the security silo that you may find yourself in and develop broader business skills.  Much of the advice I offer here reflects the important need in today’s world to walk that fine line between spearheading solid security policy and initiatives and letting your team grow and develop on their own. You have to accept blame when failures occur, but you also should generously bestow praise and give credit to your team when they are successful. Does this sound tricky? It is and it should be. Only a few select leaders in any corporation can command these qualities – and earn the well-deserved respect that comes with it.

1. Talk the Talk

Talk the talk of an executive security professional. Be a security industry leader who has ideas about what will help your organization grow, instead of following the pack.

2. Walk the Walk

Understand big-picture company vision, strategies and goals. Ensure that security is aligned with these.

3. Leave Your Ego at home

Your team’s success and failures are yours, so help security succeed instead of indulging in self-promotion.

4. Don’t Micromanage. Instead – Empower

Give your security team the tools and resources they need to succeed, and then leave the room.

5. Take the Blinders Off

Seek out and actively engage other department leaders to network and identify overall business concerns.

6. Be Accountable

Nothing builds credibility more than having a reputation for doing what you say you’re going to do, when it’s supposed to be done (or before), and keeping within your budget.

7. Find a Way to make it Work

The most successful security executives that I know encourage boldness, see the glass half-full and are passionate.

8. Sell It Internally

Don’t simply present your idea or proposal and expect others to give way, get buy-in from all company influencers by being a convincing security evangelist.

9. Take Ownership

Own your failures as well as your successes. Excuse-makers never survive long in the C-suite.

10. Embrace the Technology around You

Don’t become branded as someone who is not open to the wonder of technology or the innovation and progress that come with it, will most likely derail your career.

 

Get out there and make it happen!

David Lammert

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