Security Leadership and Management / Security Talk Column

What is a Leader?

June 6, 2011
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One of my favorite quotes, hung prominently in my office, reads: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
—Peter F. Drucker

But what are those “right things?” What makes a good leader?  In this month’s cover story, Bob Hayes and Kathleen Kotwica of the Security Executive Council share insight on aspects of security leadership, including skill sets that the next-generation leader should possess, such as conversing in business risk terminology instead of “security speak” and understanding the corporate culture and adapting to it, among others.

However, at the end of the day, many factors affect leadership. Ultimately, they suggest that no single skill set or attribute guarantees security leadership success, or even continued employment. Instead, they say, “Our market has become more competitive, and leaders must stay motivated, think strategically, continue learning and focus on the needs and readiness of business if they hope to continue in security leadership,” they say.   

What do other security leaders say makes them good leaders? 

For Jeff Miller, the NFL’s new chief security officer, it’s leading by example and motivating others to understand his overarching goals. You can read my interview with Miller on Page 46.

For Oksana Farber, the common dominator to security leadership is always accepting that change is constant. Farber is corporate director of security and HR Director at Goldman Associates of New York, Inc., a distributor of luxury kitchen appliances. “I swirl in a world of change; it excites me,” she says. “But some people don’t embrace change the way that I do. So I try to treat people with respect and dignity and understand that nothing truly outstanding is accomplished alone. And I never lose sight of the business goal that must be attained.”

You can listen to my interview with Farber on our podcast page on our Web site at

Enjoy our June issue, and as always, please contact me with comments and questions at

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