SEMINAR ARTICLE

Guiding Young Professionals

By Laura Spadanuta
Tuesday, October 12 - 2:40pm

The Young Professionals’ Leadership Series debuted at the ASIS International 56th Annual Seminar and Exhibits on Monday afternoon with a discussion based in part on the book Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead, by Dave Ulrich. The talk, led by Philip S. Deming, CPP, of Philip S. Deming and Associates, focused on “Critical Success Strategies for Effective Leadership.”

Deming recommended 10 steps to effective leadership: know yourself, study and understand the organization’s dynamics, diagnose the business environment, build your credibility, develop working relationships, design a system for aligning resources, build your team, create supportive alliances, maintain equilibrium in life, and create value for the organization.

Knowing oneself is a key piece to good leadership, says Deming. But it’s not enough to just be aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses; it’s important to also serve as a model for the other employees. As an example of a failure to do this, Deming spotlighted the recent stories about the head of Hewlett-Packard pushing austerity in the company while bringing in questionable hires and spending lavishly on meals and trips.

Awareness of one’s weaknesses allows a manager to seek counsel in areas he or she is weaker in, rather than fall into a trap of spending excessive time micromanaging in areas of strength. It’s also important to be open to other viewpoints. “When you get in an organization, your first reaction is to say ‘I know the right answer,’” says Deming, who advises, “don’t assume you know the right answer.”

Deming emphasized the importance of seeking out a mentor. Professionals must decide whether they want a mentor within their organization who has information to draw from, or a mentor from outside who can bring different experiences.

Mentoring was the focus of the Young Professionals’ Reception following Deming’s talk. In the ASIS version of speed dating, the attendees were matched up at tables with potential mentors for a chunk of time and then moved onto other tables to learn about topics such certification, women in security, councils, and career path planning.

Ryan Walker attended because he will soon be taking on the role of security systems administrator at Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative in Marshfield, Missouri. “You’re sitting down with these people who are knowledgeable and it’s a relaxing environment where you can get beneficial information to [help you make] those smart strides in your career,” says Walker.

Angel Toledo, of PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned petroleum company, is eager to meet other young professionals in the same industry to learn from their experiences, as well as to find out more about gaining ASIS certifications. He found the mentoring program helpful because he came to the seminar and exhibits armed with many questions, and the session provided a forum for obtaining some answers.


♦ Photo by ASIS International

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