Effecting Change in Security
Get to know Shelley Stewart, Executive Director, Global Security for Cummins, Inc. The company is a Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines, power generation systems and related products and technologies. Headquartered in Columbus, Ind., the company has a network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 6,000 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories.
How did your career in security begin?
I have had a varied career and have held leadership roles in areas such as health care, risk insurance, safety, environment and real estate. In each case, I was involved in building the organization or acting as a change agent. I successfully built several functions within Cummins when I was asked to assume the leadership role of security and transform it to a global function capable of meeting our rapidly changing needs.
Why did you decide upon this profession?
I guess you might say I did not decide on this profession, but I did decide on this challenge. I am delighted that I did. Transforming the security division to a global service that meets the Cummins business need has been the most fascinating work that I have had to date. It has required all of the organizational development, communication, team building and business knowledge that I have learned to date. In addition, I have learned so much from others in widely disparate areas such as security systems, investigations, intelligence analyses, information technology security and more. It is by far one of the most demanding and ever-changing roles that I have had the pleasure of filling.
What do you like about your position?
I like the diversity in what we do and the way in which we can develop an integrated system that brings together varied resources to mitigate risk, respond to incidents and meet the business needs. I truly enjoy developing the strategy for the program and working with a team to execute our vision.
What will be your greatest challenge next year in your role and why?
We have made great progress in building a support division for Cummins. Our goal is functional excellence, of course. We are proud of our team and our work. Our challenge next year, to continue to move toward functional excellence, is to improve the way in which we communicate about security to each employee and to make sure security is an integral part of the way we do business. This is a challenge that requires a long-term strategy, periodic revisions, and attention to its execution.
Whom in your organization do you respect and take time to interact with and why?
Given my background, I understand the importance of each role within Cummins, and I am constantly looking for synergies to streamline or simplify our work, particularly for our business partners. So, it’s important that my team work collaboratively with all our stakeholders. We work in tandem with our regional business partners so we can understand their risks and how we can help mitigate those risks. We collaborate with safety, risk insurance, human resources and information security as we look for integrated solutions.
What qualities do you have that you believe make you a leader?
I am skilled in developing a strategic vision and then executing on that vision over time. (I have already shared that it is work that I love to do.) In addition, I like building a team, coaching and mentoring. I take great pleasure in leaving a team capable of doing an even better job when I move to the next role.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am as eclectic in my free time as I am at work. The more I have traveled the world, the more I have grown to love the woods in Indiana and our small, seemingly inconsequential, historical towns. You will often find me hiking in some obscure location and exploring the architecture and history of the nearby town. I also enjoy art in all of its manifestation: painting, literature, drama and more. It is highly likely that if I am not hiking, then I am in a museum. Finally, I enjoy learning something new, everyday. Right now, I am learning Spanish. Por La Vida.
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