SSN readers discuss leadership styles

Vast majority prefer an open and collaborative approach
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News features leaders, in articles, through the annual “20 under 40” awards, and in the Leadership Talks series. In the latest SSN News Poll, respondents talked about leadership approaches and how to encourage the next wave of influential professionals in the security industry.

“For us, creating a strong vision first is key, and then make sure it is communicated to and followed by all. … Managers need to set the example, and then encourage all levels of employees to follow suit,” Chris Currie, Damar Security Systems’ vice president, wrote in.

The most important aspect of leadership is to encourage all levels of employees, 50 percent said in the poll. Twenty-nine percent said it’s about creating a solid managerial framework at the business. Twenty-one percent agree with Currie, that a strong vision for the future is crucial.

When it comes to encouraging promising professionals, half of respondents said their company coaches employees on their career path. Another 17 percent said they have a mentor program at their company. Thirty-three percent said they often promote in-house.

“We promote from within quite often, and then we coach those employees on their career path. We've recognized a long time ago, that some staff wish to advance, and others are happy to stay where they are. It doesn't mean we don't coach the ones that have no desire to advance, the coaching is just adjusted to address the current position they are in,” Currie said.

“We build and teach people so that our bench is full so that when the opportunity or need arises we are not scrambling to fill a hole. By working together to understand what is happening helps in the making of educated decisions be they yes or no,” another reader shared.

Eighty-three percent of respondents said that an open and collaborative leadership style works best. Leaders that follow well-define expectations based on set rules are best, according to 12 percent. Four percent said other approaches are more valuable.

Kevin Spagone is the director of Reitman Security Search, a recruiting and consulting firm in the industry. He mentioned that his company has supported early stage as well as mid-sized and large companies. “Those I'm most impressed with have a culture that empowers their leaders to collaborate and share honest two-way feedback in a structured setting. Best-in-class organizations provide high potential employee tracks to retain their most talented future leaders. Most critically, these organizations are cognizant of how their leadership culture directly impacts their client's experience and view it as a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” he said.