‘Leadership is 24/7. It’s not a job, it’s a position’

Ret. Maj. Gen. James Champion delivers ESX Keynote
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BALTIMORE—Leadership is of top importance in both military service and the business world, said retired U.S. Army Special Forces Officer Maj. Gen. James Champion during his opening keynote address at ESX, held here.

“Leadership is 24/7. It’s not a job, it’s a position,” Champion said.

His remarks were preceded by those from George De Marco, ESX chairman, who quoted President John F. Kennedy: "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." De Marco continued, saying, “Leadership is not only vital to our individual growth but to our employees’ growth and our companies' growth.” Security Systems News’ publisher Tim Purpura also stepped on stage to officially announce the publication’s newest conference, Cloud+.

Champion started off by sharing some of his military experiences, including organizing military forces prior to 9/11. While he has a military perspective, the necessity to lead and influence people is the same in the business world, he said.

Champion gave four pieces of advice applicable to both realms.

“You've got to have a vision, if you don't have a vision of where you want to take your organizations ... you can't be successful," he said.

Next, he stressed the importance of a moral and ethical "compass". Third, was pushing the attendees to learn, think and adapt in order to better lead their businesses. Finally, he said, balance risk and opportunity.

Champion then spoke about his cause, The Green Beret Foundation, and specifically, the “Next Ridgeline” program. Next Ridgeline looks to help Green Berets that are leaving the service transition into civilian life.

Following the address, ESX’s president Michal Marinace and CSAA’s president Pam Petrow gave a $5,000 check to Champion for the Green Beret Foundation.

The event’s sponsor was Security America Risk Retention Group. Security Systems News was the media sponsor.

About Cloud+, SSN’s Purpura said, "I'm in awe all the time of new products that are launched,” Purpura said. “[Now,] we have a new product that we're launching."

In the way that, years ago, early adopters looked to IP, now companies on the technical edge are looking at cloud. The new conference will focus on the cloud, its applications in physical security and how security can monetize the cloud, among other topics.