Don't Delay Development

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Created by Dean Correia, Security Executive Council Emeritus Faculty.

Each year, we traditionally look ahead and set goals for ourselves, personally and professionally.

Certifications? Conferences? Internal development plans? Industry associations? Trade magazines? Networking groups? Pick a mentor? Like most things, if development is going to occur for you and your team, it needs to be embedded in the living strategic plan of your organization, rather than a one-time event.

How can I afford to do some or all of these, you ask? I empathize. I've found myself in the same boat many times. I'd argue that you can't afford not to. Invest in yourself and reap the personal and professional benefits. Leverage your strengths and choose a tactic to enhance that which you enjoy, and it will have an impact your business. Your development means the growth of your team. They will become more engaged and aspire for your role as you develop its scope and prominence inside and outside of your organization. Their development will allow them to strategically work "on the business" and less "in the business."

If you want to advance, you have to develop a successor. How attractive is your role right now to a successor? Just like any other business objective, your development must be planned. Schedule it on your calendar. Share your plans with mentors, colleagues, and your direct reports.

Realizing the need to develop the next generation of security leaders, the Security Executive Council and its partners lead one-day development programs for the next generation of security leaders. The attendees comprise security practitioners and solution providers, as well as leaders in academia and the security industry as a whole. In previous events, attendees have learned new ways to measure the performance of people, process and technology as well as how to articulate that value to an executive audience.
"How attractive right now is your role to a successor? Like any other business objective, you need to plan your development."

I've had the privilege of working for companies with world class development programs my entire career. I had the great fortune of having a mentor at all of these organizations who willingly accepted and encouraged my passion for learning and enabled my drive to succeed.

If development is important to you, it will be important to your team. Think of the top security leaders in this country. The common denominator? They all went outside of their comfort zone and drove their own development. Every successful athlete and business professional has a mentor or coach. Don't wait. As security practitioners, we all want to leave a legacy of program stability at our companies. Depending on our compensation structure, we will most likely have a vested financial interest in ensuring the health of our organizations for years to come once we decide to permanently hit the fairway or the fishing pond. In our business, there is no off-season.

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