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Interviews

Leadership webinar: part one of two

This afternoon saw the 30th webinar by Prof Martin Gill under the banner of thought leadership and the OSPAs (Outstanding Security Performance Awards) – and they are going as strong as ever, writes Mark Rowe.

The latest topic was security leadership and as ever the panel was distinguished and came from across continents – from the Netherlands, Godfried Hendriks, this year’s President of the US-based, 34,000-member security manager association ASIS International; from Chicago, Donna Kobzaruk; from Spain, Juan Munoz; and the UK, former Bank of England security man now an adviser, Don Randall.

A striking feature of the talk was the agreement between all four, from start to finish. The webinars begin and close with a statement by each panellist. Godfried ended by urging everyone to coach and mentor young professionals: “For us, it’s relatively easy; we have the connections, we have the knowledge, we know how to get them [young professionals] on the right track, and if we do that we have a funnel of fabulous future security professionals.”

Donna seconded that; “I have had some phenomenal security staff that just had some core skillsets, whether it was project management or strong communication skills; there are a lot of people out there that don’t have a security background but want to get into security – give them a chance.”

For Don Randall, his closing points were: “Add value at every opportunity, business and security; be multi-functional; share and aprtner; and get a position at board level, or board voice.”

Earlier, Martin Gill passed on a question from the international audience; that if a security manager reduces loss, they’re not necessarily told that they have done well, but are told that they are not wanted any more!? He put that tricky but profound point about doing security to Godfried, who agreed it’s always been a challenge. How do you prove something didn’t happen, because you took the right measures? “What helps us nowadays is benchmarking, where you can compare your own results with results of competitors, or colleagues, and see that if the industry average is a certain robbery rate, or internal theft rate, if you can succeed in lowering that compared to the industry, then you somehow have proven you have done the right things; but not everything can be measured so easily,” he admitted.

Opening the webinar, Godfried warned of a few of the industry’s ‘lowest performers’ being active on social media, and being a negative influence on others’ perception of the security industry. But, he went on, the ‘vast majority’ of the industry was willing to assist each other: “The good thing about our profession is our willingness to support each other, share good practice and offer help to our colleagues who need help the most.”

Another theme of the webinar was what he mentioned next; for cyber and physical security people to join forces more. Security leaders should first be business leaders, before they can be good security leaders, he said. If Covid-19 has taught anything, it is to be agile.

Juan Munoz, CEO at Associated Projects International, pointed out the difference between leading and managing. If we want to go into the C-suite, to develop our security strategy, we need security education, he said. We know about security operations and systems, but lack executive education, he suggested.

Continued; on this link.

The next webinar, on Thursday, about ‘skillsets in the security sector’, is sponsored by the UK skills body Skills for Security.


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