03 Jun 2019

The Undervalued Security Manager

Having met many security managers has made me wonder if it is the mentality or the work ethic which limits the security manager

There are security managers that report to the HR, Chief Engineer and only a few report directly to the Manager-in-Chief of an organization. Wondering if this is because their peers do not hold them of value or is it because the security manager has no idea of their true value or does not know how to demonstrate their abilities.

There are security managers that are responsible for budgets that are of value in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. They negotiate effectively because their skill-sets are primed to read the situation and people. It is said that ”the negotiator that can read the other better derives more out of the negotiation”

Re-inventing the wheel

There is an instance that I do recall when a security manager asked if I was trying to reinvent the wheel. My reply was simple, ” Sir, perhaps when you became a security manager was at the same time when the wheel was invented. Since then, we have planes that fly at the speed of sound, motorcycles that can travel on water and even hoover-craft that travel on the water and land.

The true security manager is just as proficient as a surgeon. A surgeon may hold one life at a time in their hands, while the security manager may be responsible for hundreds or thousands of people at any time. Having said this, I have asked hotel security managers ” How many people are you responsible for?” and I have heard replies – ”mmm.. 3 supervisors and x number of guards”. Only a few have said – ”700 people at any one time, depending on the occupancy of the hotel”

These true security managers are as professional as surgeons. The surgeon would not walk into theater before they have all the x-rays, blood work, scans or any facts required. The SM must do the same, because they know quite well that they have to be kept in the loop all-of-the-time, must uncover new crime, discover damming issues and therefore are reliant on reliable and all-the-information.

There are many security managers that are former policeman or policewoman. Crime investigators are called in after the fact, while security managers must identify and uncover new crime or evolving copycat crime besides being summoned after the fact. They comprehend the fact that security success depends on the level of situational awareness of the decision-makers on the ground and their reaction speed.

The Security and Criminology Investigation Manager must earn the trust and respect from their colleagues. The only way this is possible is to demonstrate that their skills are far more advanced than others believe. There is more HR in Security than in HR itself. In each and every department there investigations for various reason for oversight and governance management besides specific job functions, for example; accountants need to uncover fraud through investigation. There may be issues that require investigation and could impact reputational damage relating to sexual harassment and many other examples can be added to the list.

Security managers that have advanced skills such as hostage negotiation, investigation or are skilled with the knowledge of using cultural diversity in reading people can enable the sales or negotiating team in mergers and acquisitions.

The skill-sets of the security manager determine and dictate their standing with general management and their peers. They master the skill-craft of being able to read the situation and the people involved. They make decisions based on reliable and all-the-information. They know how to read a person-of-interest keeping in mind that people do lie, hide or volunteer information for their own agenda. Simply put – because it is not the weapon that causes havoc but people – they specialize in behavioral sciences taking into account the knowledge of criminology, security criteria and procedures because they have to out-think and outsmart the criminal or terrorist.

The ISIO member is acknowledged as a professional that investigates new ideas, is kept in the loop all the time, and interacts with other like-minded professionals that are committed to professional development.