Security Leadership and Management / Security Talk Column

Weather Talk

May 1, 2011
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Ray O’Hara, president of ASIS International for 2011, once explained the importance of CSOs understanding the entire business, beyond their security roles. He asked, “If you get on the elevator and the CEO is on it, what are you going to discuss? The weather?” Actually, that’s exactly what I did.

I’ll never forget my initial encounter with the CEO at my first publishing job. Shortly after I began an editorial position with a trade association in Alexandria, Va., I had a short introductory meeting with the CEO. Dressed in my very best suit, with all intentions of showing my knowledge and acumen of the business, I asked him about the “crazy weather we were having.” The look on his face said it all. In my first professional job, I was nervous, and I flunked the test. I missed an opportunity to make a first impression – you do only get one – and discuss anything but the weather. The weather? It was fine. Me? I learned a valuable lesson.

I should have “caught the vision” with my CEO, as we discuss in our annual cover story on “What CEOs Think.”  Today, more than ever, enterprise security leaders are expected to focus beyond protection so that CEOs and others in the C-suite understand and appreciate that the enterprise gets more from the security operation than just security.

First, as Bill reports, realize that significant change happens as a result of the courage and commitment of individuals. Then, believe that you have a unique purpose and potential. Security can make a difference for the entire business, he says. From the big to the little things, from handling an incident to picking an IP video system, everything matters.

By the way, change can be good. As such, I’m excited to welcome Keven Marier, industry consultant to Securitymagazine, who will write our Surveillance Strategies column, a monthly column focused on key security executive topics and insight.  Check out his first article on the current ONVIF and PSIA specifications. Keven can be reached at

Enjoy our May issue. And as always, please feel free to contact me at

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