The security industry is full of ideas but a very varied and very diverse leadership. It has no real direction on what is acceptable or what is right. Truth of the matter is that there is no real right or wrong in leadership unless it is mixed up with management. If it is mixed up with management then you have got it wrong to a point.
In a post on LinkedIn I wrote called "What is LeaderSHIP" I stated that leadership is:
"its the ongoing voyage of discovery with no end point. "
I still stand by this view point as leadership is a very fluid thing and you are constantly learning about different ways to motivate and get results. Leadership by its very being is a skill that very few people have in abundance but you can work on it and apply it. So, what is leadership in the security industry and particularly the manned guarding industry.
In the manned guarding industry it relies on leadership and relationships and is and will remain a people industry with many personalities involved. With multiple stakeholding personalities in play, your leadership skills need to be vast because one shoe does not fit all. People fail to recognise that there is a distinct difference between management and leadership. Management is a process driven attribute where leadership is an emotional state of management and there are cross over points between them.
To be considered a leader in the industry you need to be able to walk the walk and not be just about talk and sqwark. Walking the walk will get you more knowledge with what is expected, and nothing spreads the word quicker and grows a leadership reputation than a manager who is willing to get stuck in. Once you have done the "miles in teams shoes" then you can develop your leadership style to success.
Site Security Operations
Site security operations is basically a list of policies and procedures that ensure the safety of what you are trying to protect. How leadership comes into play is the ability to motivate your team to carry out the policies.
For site operations there are a few people who know, people who have been told, people who think they know, and people who stick to what has worked in the past. This isn't what leadership is about in the manned guarding, you have to lead people through long hours and boredom. The worst thing with leadership is the monotony of the tasks they have to perform and trying to motivate the teams through leadership.
You have to show them the reason why they are doing the work and not just how to do it. This is where leadership comes in and the respect you get from the teams by showing that you understand the jobs they do.
If you are in a position of management and want to motivate the teams through leadership then SHOW UP. A phone call is ok but an in person visit for a while does wonders for morale and lets the team know you are there. Many complaints I see from officers when we take over contracts is that the management appear not to care or they never see them. I get that some companies will load an ops manager up to their eyeballs in sites and you do not have time to visit them all, but once in a quarter you should be able to plan ahead. The single manned sites appreciate the visits more than the multiple manned sites.
If you show interest in visiting them and their well being then they will show interest in helping you out and being flexible when required. Also taking a packet of biscuits with you doesn't hurt either.