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ESA Leadership Summit addresses key executive-level issues

ESA Leadership Summit addresses key executive-level issues

ESA Leadership Summit addresses key executive-level issues

DALLAS—The in-person 2021 Electronic Security Association (ESA) Leadership Summit was a breath of fresh air for those who have attended pandemic-forced virtual events for nearly two years.

Held at the Omni Frisco at the Dallas Cowboys Worldwide Headquarters from Oct. 4-7, this year’s Summit addressed the hardships that leaders have faced during the pandemic and included networking opportunities, educational sessions, and quality one-on-one meetings with the security industry’s leading manufacturers and service providers.


The Summit began with a brief speech from ESA Chairman Jamie Vos, who thanked all who attended and mentioned the golden opportunity of finally attending an in-person event. After his concise, yet inclusive words, best-selling author and coach Chad Porter took the stage.

In a humble, yet skillful tone, Porter explained one of the most difficult trials of his life — losing his leg. Though he faced many trials and almost died from the experience, Porter healed and even went on to compete in sports events. To summarize this main stage event in a simple sentence, “trials may come, but you can endure and experience joy by serving others.”

Jeff Butler’s keynote, “Winning the Talent War,” offered advice for finding great talent:

  1. Create a strong ‘why’ – people do not just want a job nowadays; they want fulfillment and drive.
  2. Optimize interviews – have structured interviews with regularly updated questions.
  3. Leverage video – there is an 800 percent increase in engagement with job posts that have video.
  4. Turn employees into recruiters – potential employees that are referred stay at companies longer.
  5. Optimize online presence – everything is online, make sure your job post is too!
  6. Create offers they can’t refuse – pay for their remote office and internet bill, etc.
  7. Create an unforgettable onboarding experience – make sure your new employee feels welcome and ready to succeed.

Remote Work

Naturally, the Summit addressed the issue of remote work. This is an aspect of work that was not very common until the pandemic happened — and many leaders in the electronic security industry are exploring its future.

Is remote work going to stay? Will the work force be shifting to a more hybrid style of remote work? Is there a chance people could return to the office full-time? In a breakout session titled “Remote Work: Consumer and SMB Expectations for the New World,” Elizabeth Parks, President of Parks Associates, said remote work is here to stay, but in a hybrid form.

People realize some jobs do not require you to go to the office every day, and employees are being just as productive as before (sometimes, being more productive). It was stated that, “half a million SMBs report that at least some employees work remotely.” These are very strong statistics that point to the acceptance of remote work. Many businesses may go back to the office full-time, but remote work has been recognized and is here to stay.

Parks hosted another breakout session titled “Dealer Perspective: The Evolving Home Security Market” that brought up the issue of large technology companies selling electronic security products and services. This is a great fear to many, but it was said during the meeting, “a rising tide raises all ships.”

Technology companies may now be a mighty player in the electronic security industry, but even more opportunities will rise from the emergence of these do-it-yourself) DIY products. “DIY is a ‘foot in the door’ for professional services,” as was stated in the meeting.

Other Sessions

Other Leadership Summit sessions included “Redefining Leadership in a New Decade,” “Leading from the Inside Out,” and much more. Summit attendees received greatly needed education regarding leadership in the electronic security industry that will help them navigate the churned waters of the pandemic.

Leadership Summit attendees participated in multiple networking sessions, including the one-on-one meetings and networking receptions that allowed them to speak with other like-minded security integrators and event sponsors. All functions, that permitted, were redesigned to incorporate networking and collaboration.

For example, breakfast, lunch, and dinner were arranged to encourage attendees to network with one another. Even time in between speaking sessions was spent networking.

Virtual events cannot compare to in-person events. When you attend an in-person event, your mind is ready to learn, it is engaged — and honestly, the lessons learned are stickier.

This year’s ESA Leadership Summit reiterated we are physically present creatures who thrive in social environments. New and renewed industry friendships were launched and reinvigorated.

Keep learning from Leadership Summit

Leadership Summit attendees gained new knowledge that will help them navigate the specific challenges they are facing in their companies. Leading people, especially during tough times, is a tough job. Your team looks to you for strategy and guidance, so you need to be prepared to do so — and the Summit delivered advice and education to advise.

“Whether you’re new to the industry, or a veteran, we come from coast to coast to the ESA Leadership Summit to hone our craft,” said Kirk MacDowell, President of MacGuard Security Advisors. “I think we have a misconception of what a leader is and how we should run our companies…. having these experts come in and give us data to be better leaders and how to find better employees – that’s valuable. The event gets better every year. Great sessions!”

“We gather to meet folks, generate new relationships, form important bonds and talk about what’s trending in the industry,” added Bob Grove, Senior Director of Commercial Operations of Brinks Home. “There’s so much value in every encounter here.”

Leadership Summit was a great success. Timeless lessons were taught, connections were made, and leaders who attended were ready to go home and start implementing lessons learned.

For session recordings and more, purchase a ESA Leadership Summit Virtual Pass here. Access launched Oct. 11 and will be open through month of October for $199.



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