The Security Professionals Road Map to Success

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The Security Executive Council has been working with the leaders in security field for the last ten years to identify certain industry trends. Over those years they have identified and compiled information that can help security leaders grow and succeed in the ever changing field of security. They have compiled a Road Map to Success for Security Professionals that identified the ten most common decisions that successful security leaders make that keep them at the front of the pack. These ten tools can help other corporate security leaders learn from the success of others and help them reach their organizations goals, as well as help them be better security leaders.

In my work as a security management recruiter, employers who engage me often list these traits and decision making abilities when they are looking for top-notch security management professionals to lead their organizations. I felt it was important to recap them for you here.

  1. They have the tools, assets, and people focused on the right things before an incident happens – the most critical point to success is understanding the resources at your disposal and directing those resources in the right direction. This isn’t based on being a large organization, having a large budget, or the best equipment. It is utilizing all your resources in the best way.
  2. They build good relationships both inside and outside the organization – having a good network and communication with those inside your organization will give you resources to those higher up, your other team members, and support staff you need to function. But building relationships with those outside your organization such as your peers, experts in the field, and other support services. Connection between the public and private sector benefits everyone. Use resources like the Security Executive Council, ASIS, ISC(2) and LinkedIn to network and develop relationships.
  3. Create an environment of sharing and documenting what they learn – the world of security in the past has leaned towards isolation and self-reliance. However, building resources in something the Council calls Collective Knowledge brings not only your own experience, but the experience of many others into a greater resource. The greater the resource, the more people benefit from it. Security can no longer operate in a silo.
  4. They are lifetime learners who push for the next level – the most successful security leaders realize that there is always more to learn and always a new level of success to achieve. By continuing to grow, evolve, learn, and identify changes, a security leader can stay ón top of the field.
  5. They focus on issues of leadership – they never forget that a large part of their job isn’t just security, but being a good leader. The same issues that leaders face in other industries are present in security as well. They never forget that focus, and strive to improve their role as a leader.
  6. They use language the Board understands – a good security leader is able to take the important informationabout risk and mitigation strategies and explain it to those higher up in terms they will understandso that they are able to comprehend the importance of what security does in the organization. Communication skills and the ability to influence decision makers are more important than ever.
  7. They run security as business – while many organizations think of security as outside the business, a good security leader keeps their security involved in the business and recognizes that their department is part of the whole business or organization.
  8. They help their staff grow and improve – a good security leader recognizes the importance of helping their staff improve, learn, and grow with the organization. Fostering a team member to be stronger improves the performance of the whole team.
  9. They recognize that each organization is different – while many security teams have similarities, and even share things in common with other departments, a good security leader recognizes that their organization faces unique and specific risks and challenges. No two security organizations are exactly the same. Identifying and addressing those unique needs allows a leader to form strategic and future plans that will work.
  10. They prepare for the future – over time, security has seen major shifts, as well as changes to the demands on a security leader. The focus has changed from a more military mindset to that of a functioning business. The best leaders has adapted to the changes and are looking for future changes as well.

Being a security leader is a demanding and challenging position. Facing those challenges requires leaders to be both security experts as well as efficient business people. The face of security has changed and those who are at the head pack are the ones who are able to meet the demands of today’s security field. Are you one of them?

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