This past November 14, I had the pleasure of attending our brand’s very own 14th annual SECURITY 500 Conference, which takes place in D.C. each year.

As Conference Chair, I had the opportunity to ideate with all of the presenters, panelists and speakers on the agenda for the year, the entire schedule of which was designed to provide an interactive dialogue among security leaders and their direct reports on career and program lessons learned, leadership, diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) initiatives, adding value to the security function, trends in cybersecurity and risk mitigation, and much more.

The full-day event closed with a panel from prolific security leaders: Kirsten Provence of Kaiser Permanente, Stephen Baker of State Street Corp., Jim Sawyer of Seattle Children’s Hospital, Daniella Bove-LaMonica of MetLife, and Mike Wanik of United Therapeutics Corp. on reflections and lessons they’ve learned during their tenures within the security industry thus far.

One of the themes surrounding this particular panel was the idea that things will go wrong. It’s not what goes wrong that you should focus on, however, but rather how you fix it in order to move forward. This is an incredible lesson that stretches far beyond the security industry and can speak to any professional, no matter the industry.

By focusing on the response as a way to move forward, you can continue to protect the organization’s reputation and people, as well as potentially keep a similar event from happening again in the future.

To me, this idea of moving forward is so much more than those words alone. The idea of moving forward necessitates a growth mindset, calmness, agility, focus, empowerment and trust, honesty, candidness and self-reflection — and these are attributes that almost all of the speakers and panelists at the SECURITY 500 Conference circled back to throughout the day, regardless of the topic of conversation.

It’s clear to me that these characteristics not only make a true thought leader, but will continue to propel the industry and the security function forward.

The beautiful thing about the security industry, in my experience, is the willingness of some of the most seasoned executives around to share their successes and failures. The security industry is an industry of networking, sharing, engaging and collaborating — and it makes us all the better because of it.

With that said, I must tell you that I am moving on to a new venture away from Security magazine. It has been my pleasure to be Editor in Chief of this amazing brand and to work with the best of the best in the publishing industry who truly care about elevating the security function and bringing our readers content that educates, elevates and, ultimately, matters to other professionals.

No matter what career path life takes us on, there are lessons to be learned from all of those before us and with us — and I leave having learned so much from those willing to share, confident that many of those impressions will stay with me.

Thank you for allowing me to be along for the ride for the past several years, talking with you, ideating with you, and learning from you, and I look forward to continuing to do so on my journey as a long-term reader of Security.