We’ve all heard the injunction to “commit random acts of kindness.” In a Tuesday morning breakfast address to the ASIS International Women in Security (WIS) group, Susan Mazza urged attendees to commit “random acts of leadership.” Her point was that leadership need not be demonstrated by reaching for lofty goals, but that it can be exhibited by simple acts that are easily accomplished.
Mazza, a business consultant, coach, and trainer from the Women’s Business Center, Florida Institute of Technology, keynoted the breakfast, one of several educational and networking events that the WIS group is offering in Orlando. The organization, now in its third year, serves as a designated forum where women can network, form mentoring relationships, and learn how to develop their careers in all phases of security.
At the interactive breakfast—where attendees were challenged to articulate major life or career goals to their neighbors—Mazza shared her understanding of human systems and passion for instigating leadership. “Susan’s passion shone through in her presentation,” said Linda Harmon, cochair of the CSO Roundtable’s Committee on Women in Security. “As much as her message of leadership, her energy and focus truly inspired me.”
Mazza was welcomed by 2011 ASIS President Ray O’Hara, CPP. In his opening remarks, O’Hara cited the WIS group as an excellent example of how ASIS can assist and cultivate different member communities.
Other sessions geared towards women in the security field took place on Tuesday afternoon. Moderator Lorrie Navarro, CPP, of the SAS Institute, the other cochair of the Women in Security Committee, opened one session by announcing new initiatives by the WIS group, including local networking sessions and the next round of the WIS mentoring program. To make the event more hands-on, session attendees divided into four breakout sessions: “Achieving Your Potential with Certification,” “Projecting Confidence in the Workplace,” “Mastering Situational Leadership,” and “Becoming a CSO.”
Following a full day of discussion, the group met informally for a cocktail reception on Tuesday evening.
Today’s WIS fare includes an educational session on mentoring from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in Room W308CD of the convention center. A key part a manager’s professional development, a strong mentoring relationship can be critical for women seeking to excel in security. Speaker Myrah Kirkwood, who consults for FEI’s Crisis Management Services, will provide specific steps on how to gain valuable professional experience through mentoring relationships.