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  • October 10, 2017 10:54 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Business Wire

    Kaplan University and the International Foundation of Protection Officers (IFPO) announced a partnership that is designed to expand access to professional training and higher education for professional private security officers. The announcement was made at the ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits Conference in Dallas, Texas.

    “While there are more than 2.2 million people employed in the security field, there are still not enough professionals to fill the increased demand for services,” said Sandi J. Davies, IFPO Executive Director. IFPO has trained more than 80,000 individuals who have graduated with IFPO certifications.

    Through the partnership agreement, the Certified Protection Officer program (CPO) and Certified in Security Supervision and Management (CSSM) certifications offered through IFPO will translate into direct course credit that can be applied toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Kaplan University. IFPO members will also be eligible for reduced tuition rates on courses at Kaplan University. Furthermore, Kaplan University students will be able to take the certification courses at a discounted rate.

    “A partnership between IFPO and Kaplan University is an industry game-changer for the entire security industry. Education is now a critical element to the success of security officers at every level. IFPO certifications, combined with a higher education degree, work well together and provide an exponential return on investment for both the client and the community,” added Tom M. Conley, President and CEO of The Conley Group, Inc., a Des Moines, Iowa professional security services provider, and Immediate Past International Board Chair of IFPO.

    Kaplan University courses are all available online providing the convenience and flexibility security officers, who typically work non-traditional hours, need in order to continue working while earning their degree.

    Bryon Mills, Director of Public Sector Solutions at Kaplan who was present for the announcement, said, “A win-win partnership like this one with IFPO is what Kaplan University is best at. Providing a high-quality, affordable education for busy working professionals who need or want to earn their college credential and advance in their careers is core to our mission.”

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  • October 04, 2017 4:11 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    by Stevan P. Layne, President & Founding Director of IFCPP

    In the horrible aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, a number of preventive possibilities have come to the surface. Better gun controls would help, but are not necessarily the answer. And while firearms may be the most common means of attack, we still need to consider the use of explosives, incendiary devices/fire, vehicles, or a number of other possible weapons.

    Entry screening does make a difference, but is difficult to put in place in some venues.  Difficult is not impossible, just usually more costly or logistically challenging. If sports stadiums, amusement parks, and other entertainment venues can screen visitors quickly and efficiently, the initiation of reasonable screening methods is possible in most all types of businesses and institutions, regardless of the types of facilities, number of visitors, or other factors. 

    The task of management is to think about where potential attackers might secrete themselves, and determine a failsafe method of screening them before they reach their desired point of attack. Unfortunately, there are those who will say "how many times have attackers hidden in hotel rooms?" We often use the lack of numerous incidents in our own businesses or institutions to justify minimal action, or no action. Think about the number of terror-based attacks in the U.S. before September 11 finally awakened us to the reality of the threat. The extensive media coverage from Las Vegas does more than horrify potential concert attendees - it provides great stimulus for potential attackers as well.   

    Improving our protection, in fact initiating better protection, will continue to be a major feat.  It will require considerable funding, greater staffing, all new training, and close coordination with numerous agencies. The Las Vegas law enforcement personnel and other first responders are to be congratulated on their excellent response and quick location of the perpetrator. Even then, it really wasn't quick enough. We need to identify potential attackers and suppress them, before the first shot is fired.  t can be done. 

    Stay tuned for further discussion on this and other topics that are in the forefront of our minds.

  • October 03, 2017 3:42 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from AlliedUniversal

    Always be vigilant and aware of your environment. Identify any suspicious-looking individuals or situations that are out of the norm, and alert authorities, local law enforcement or a nearby security professional.

    Here are some standard tips to handle an armed assailant in your vicinity:

    • Protect yourself first by quickly determining the best action to take.
    • Evacuate. Escape via the quickest exit.
    • Hide. If evacuation is not possible, look for a secure door, office or barrier out of the shooter’s view. Call 911 to report the incident when safe to do so.
    • Take action against the shooter as a last option.
    • When law enforcement arrives, try to remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.

    We know that every institution likely has an emergency response plan, but this is a good opportunity to revisit it to make updates and familiarize your staff with emergency procedures.

    Consider these additional precautions: Conduct training on threat assessments; test your emergency notification systems and decision making process; review any memorandums of understanding with non-campus first responders; lead ongoing drills and assess your facility’s layout and design for security tightening. Also, consider installing metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, closed-circuit cameras or entrance controls in certain parts of a building. Remember to include post-incident planning.

    Customers and guests will generally follow the lead of employees and managers, who are more familiar with the layout of a building. Therefore, it is critical that these individuals work together to prepare for any violence that can occur on and around your property.

    Read AlliedUniveral's blog for more info about active shooter situations and workplace violence. 

    Additional resources:
    FEMA Active Shooter course

  • September 26, 2017 3:08 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The Art Newspaper

    The region’s arts institutions survived the storm largely intact, with some planning to reopen this week

    Hurricane Irma, now downgraded to a tropical depression, wrecked havoc across the Caribbean this weekend and killed at least 42 people, but museums in Florida were mostly spared from any large-scale destruction, according to early reports. Following evacuations ordered last week, residents are slowly returning to their homes and some institutions plan to reopen this week.

    The Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which sits on Biscayne Bay, “sustained no damage to the building, and suffered no flooding,” a spokeswoman said. “The roof held well, and there was no problem with the hurricane-resistant windows. Surge from Biscayne Bay did not reach the building, even at high tide.” And all the works in the collection, including sculptures installed in the garden, are in fine condition. “PAMM expects to have the building fully ready for opening and welcoming the public on Thursday, 14 September, at 10 am… and is planning family-oriented programming,” the spokeswoman added.

    Due to a curfew, that was not lifted until Tuesday afternoon, some other museums were still waiting to assess any damage, including the Bass Museum and ICA Miami, both of which are under construction ahead of reopenings planned for the coming months. However, a public lecture with the artist Mark Handforth at the ICA’s temporary space in the Design District, schedule for Friday 15 September, has been postponed. “We are thankful that our staff is safe and accounted for and our thoughts are with those who are still battling the aftermath of the storm,” said the Bass’s executive director Silvia Karman Cubiñá.

    According to a news update issued by FIU, which turned over its recreation centre as a shelter for locals and opened its Green Library to students and faculty on Tuesday, surveys still need to be done of the The Wolfsonian and the The Jewish Museum of Florida, which it operates.

    One historic site, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove, did sustain some serious flooding to its basement, café and stores, although the main building and its collections remained safe. A truck arrived on Tuesday to begin pumping out the water from the lower levels. “The good news is there are no art collections stored [there],” a spokesman told the Miami Herald.

    The Florida Keys suffered the brunt of the storm, with an estimated 25% of homes destroyed and 65% hit with major damage, according to FEMA. But a small ray of sunshine came out of Key West on Monday, with the news that the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum’s colony of six-toed cats had weathered Irma unharmed. “The cats seemed to be more aware sooner of the storm coming in,” curator Dave Gonzales told MSNBC’s Nightly News, “and in fact when we started to round up the cats to take them inside, some of them actually ran inside, knowing it was time to take shelter.”

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  • September 26, 2017 3:07 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Visalia Times-Delta

    In a matter of 15 minutes, a group of vandals created a path of destruction through Tulare County's museum at Mooney Grove Park. 

    Police are searching for the suspects who caused more than $5,000 in damage and days of clean up. The museums inside the park shuttered over the weekend to allow crews to secure doors, sweep glass and help police find the vandals. 

    "We're greatly disappointed in this," said Mike Chrisman, president of Tulare County Historical Society. "We want folks to know we appreciate their support of the historical society, but activities like this are totally unacceptable in today's society." 

    A burglar alarm sounded just after 8:30 p.m. on Friday and sent Visalia officers from across the city to the park on the southern tip of Visalia.  

    Officers arrived and found someone had smashed windows and kicked in doors to the main museum. Police said the person entered the museum and continued to smash several glass display cases. 

    The vandals then turned their attention to the village.

    They damaged the Surprise School, Emken House, Record Building and Main Street Gallery. A reunion was held earlier this month to celebrate students who attended Surprise School.

    The school was used through 1962.

    The Tulare County Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum was untouched. While it's believed no items were taken, it could be a while before that's set in stone Clean up could take weeks or even months.

    In the last several years, the museum had gotten a technological boost, though. A new security system armed with more than a dozen cameras could help police identify the people responsible.

    Museum Curator Amy King said the museums have been vandalized in the past but no one has ever been arrested. Vandals have never gone to this extent, either.

    Mooney Grove Park is among Tulare County’s most visited parks, according to Tulare County Treasure officials. The park not only preserves a slice of Tulare County’s past, it's home to one of the last Valley oak forests.

    The museum houses one of the largest Native American basket collections in California as well as artifacts of the pioneer era, agriculture equipment, and restored homes, schools and buildings.

    Those who wish to donate to the historical society's Museum Restoration Fund, which will be used to cover the cost of damages, can click here

    Property Crimes Unit detectives are using clues gathered Friday night, but anyone with information is urged to call the Anonymous Tip-Line at 713-4738.

    See Original Post

  • September 26, 2017 3:05 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Australian Associated Press

    A rail museum in the NSW Hunter region has sustained an estimated million dollars worth of bushfire damage.

    A woman has escaped with her life, trapped inside a building as a bushfire ripped through an historic rail museum in the NSW Hunter Valley.

    Volunteers at the Richmond Vale Train Museum near Cessnock are counting their blessings after Wednesday's blaze reduced several irreplaceable exhibits to ashes but spared the life of their colleague.

    "Our secretary was here on site, she was actually in the museum building as the fire came through. Basically it passed both sides of her but she is alright, she survived," museum chairman Peter Meddows told AAP on Thursday.

    "She said she didn't think about it at the time, that it bothers her now more than it did then."

    Caught in the path of the ferocious bushfire, the museum lost two kilometres of railway line as well as a number of restored historical trains and a coal hopper from 1880.

    The final damage bill is expected to hit the $1 million mark.

    The Richmond Vale bushfire that took off on Wednesday during an unseasonably hot day burnt more than 870 hectares, the Rural Fire Service said on Thursday.

    "It's heartbreaking, you've got a program and you're working through it and you're achieving your goals, it's 38 years of work and we are slowly getting there and then you get this setback," Mr Meddows told AAP.

    "We are all pretty dejected but we're determined to keep going."

    Mr Meddows said the team was already working out how to recover from the loss.

    "In a couple of weeks time we've got our family fun festival which is one of our major fundraising events so we've got to have something on for that," he said.

    See Original Post

  • September 26, 2017 3:03 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    by Jerry Brennan of SMR Security Management Resources

    For many years SMR has been tracking the trend of security management jobs either eliminated or outsourced. Without question, those who constructed preparedness plans for their career fared the best when they found themselves without a job. Here is what you should consider in advance that will help you build an effective job search strategy should the need arise.

     Be Clear About Your Desired Profession
    Many people find themselves in jobs and careers by default or happenstance. The clearer you are on the profession that you want to be in, the more effective your job search strategy will be.

    * Analyze the security management profession, the types of positions and the direction that security programs are heading within different industry segments. Talk to your peers and reach out to others whom you view as leaders in your field.

    * Gather information by networking with and gleaning information from non-security managers from both in and outside of your organization. They are your customers and the success of a security professional within any organization is directly related their perception of your value.

     * Assess whether you are in the right profession for your interests and if there is an alignment with the current job market.

    Determine Your Career Goals
    What is your ideal job? Developing a clear and concise objective will help you develop a focused search plan.

    * Today's security job market is highly competitive. Organizations are looking for technically qualified candidates whom will fit with their culture. They are also looking for professionals who have a clear vision of where they are going.

    * A job search is time consuming. A clear objective lets you direct your energies at the opportunities that best fit your aspirations.

     Perform a Self-Assessment
    A self-assessment gets you back in touch with the product you are selling: you! The self-assessment process provides the groundwork for a solid resume or CV.

    * Create a list of all that you offer an organization. Identify your skills, capabilities, knowledge and areas of expertise. List of every major accomplishment and resulting impact. Once you have finished this, set it aside, wait a day or two, and then go back over everything.

    * Ask colleagues and professional acquaintances for an honest assessment of your strengths. They may mention some valuable qualities that you have overlooked.

    * Organize your professional qualities into general categories, such as leadership, management, organizational development and technical. These categories can be subdivided into areas that best reflect what you see in a job description or position specification for your target position.

    Be Ready to Pitch
    Your previous job title might get you a phone call from a recruiter, but if you can't articulate your capabilities, your background and what you've accomplished, you're not likely to get invited for an interview.

    * Develop a clear, concise statement that you can use to summarize who you are and what you do. This can also be used as a summary at the top of your resume or CV. Keep your target audience in mind and speak to their needs and interests.

    * Second, develop an exit statement. You're going to be asked why you left your last position. Be prepared to explain with no hesitation.

    * Next, write a one-page professional background summary. This summary can help you to develop cover letters as well as present key points in initial screening calls. Your story should be compelling and reflect continued growth in your career.

    * Earlier this year SMR outlined 7 key points to consider when creating your CV. Your final step is to create your go-to resume and have it immediately available when opportunities arise.

    Take these steps and you will be in a good position to react to any changes, initiated by you or otherwise, in your security management career.

    Got to SMR website

  • September 26, 2017 3:01 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from ArtGuard

    A Willem DeKooning painting was recently discovered among items in a small and insignificant estate sale in Arizona.  (NY Times: de Kooning Found) The piece went missing from a museum at the University of Arizona in 1985 and very quickly left a cold trail. It now seems likely it was stolen by a couple named Jerome and Rita Alter, both deceased, but the evidence is still circumstantial.

    The interesting thing about the case is that from what is known it appears that at no time was there ever an attempt to sell the painting. No ransom was ever sought. No one claims to have had information stemming from any indiscreet conversations by the couple. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the Alters, both of whom had strong interests in the arts, likely took it for their own personal and very private enjoyment. It was purported to have been seen behind a door in the corner of their bedroom by someone who had no idea who the painter was.

    This certainly places a dubious status on the whereabouts of potentially thousands of pieces of stolen art and artifacts. We know perpetrators wait for an opportunity to sell stolen works or the right occasion to leverage them for some legal gain or reveal themselves in some careless way. But how many of the stolen works are just objects of affection, either in the possession of the thief or someone who commissioned the theft, and carefully concealed.

    I return to a refrain and a reminder that contrary to the remarks – and maybe even deep rooted belief – by some that stealing high value art is a fool’s game because it can’t be sold without someone in the art world being alert to the transaction. It completely discounts the idea of emotional and aesthetic appreciation of art, the very thing we go to museums and galleries to satisfy. This may surprise anyone caught up in the wildly inflationary art market where high-end pieces are bought one day and sold a short time later simply for financial gain.

     Yes, there are people who would go to great lengths to own a piece of art that they would be quite satisfied to enjoy themselves, alone, resisting any urge to satisfy their ego by letting the world know they won this prize. This may be one of the best arguments for securing art against disappearance.

  • September 26, 2017 2:56 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    September 5, 2017 - Trent, Staffordshire 

    SecurTest, Inc. has been named the number one international background screening company due to its triple patented iReviewNow System.

    As the Number 1 Rated Background Screening Provider, Steven C. Millwee, CPP, CEO and President said, “Our exclusive iReviewNow patents, dedicated staff, commitment to accuracy, outstanding customer service, compliance, and loyal customers have made us the de facto standard.”

    "As the only patented solution, no other background screening provider can create an automated, online, or email consumer reporting and dispute resolution system. Consumers or subjects of their background report receive an automated text and email alert when the report lands at Subjects securely login, authenticate their identity, and then review the entire report to ensure it is accurate", according to Millwee.

    Millwee is the inventor of the patented iReviewNow system. iReviewNow allows consumers unprecedented real-time access to their reports and the ability to dispute inaccuracies before adverse action can be taken. This revolutionary compliance system is setting the new standard in the background screening industry. To learn more about SecurTest or to sign your organization up for iReviewNow, please visit Transparent The patented iReviewNow system is fully FCRA compliant: and the only system that sends the consumer a copy of his or her background report — pass or fail — simultaneous to when the employer is notified of its completion. Accurate When consumers fail their background check, they are able to see exactly what has been found on their record. They can then dispute any inaccuracies or misidentification of criminal records securely online. Reliable When employers have the 360-degree view of the candidate, they can make a fully informed hiring decision. To learn more about iReviewNow go to or

  • September 05, 2017 4:53 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from

    ​On July 12, 2006, fighting between the Israeli army and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah suddenly erupted and started to spread. Hezbollah fired rockets and anti-tank missiles; Israel responded with airstrikes and artillery fire, and later launched a ground invasion of southern Lebanon. The 2006 Lebanon War raged on for 34 days before the United Nations brokered a ceasefire.

    I received word of the fighting shortly before the news reports hit. I was GE’s divisional global security director at the time, based at the corporate headquarters building of General Electric (GE) Healthcare in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I was responsible for the security and wellbeing of employees at more than 600 properties around the world, including three sites in Israel and one in Lebanon. Calls were coming in from both sides of the battle; many employees were at risk of losing their lives. 

    However, as the war entered its tenth day, we had relocated more than 1,000 employees and family members out of harm’s way, with the help of our corporate executive team and several strategic partners. This wasn’t an easy task. We were able to continue basic operations with minimal losses in Israel, but all activity in Lebanon came to an abrupt stop. What further complicated matters was the U.S. government’s refusal, or inability, to assist with any form of safe passage from Lebanon. Still, we were able to complete relocations by using several dangerously remote and unpopulated routes to reach Jordan through Syria.  

    An event of this magnitude—an actual war—is difficult to navigate, and can be wholly draining. While the war crisis proceeded, the company continued to operate, so long hours were a requirement. For three days after that first call, I didn’t get many chances to sleep.

    Managing a serious crisis as a group leader can be stressful, both physically and emotionally. It is crucial to recognize that your effectiveness in successfully leading others will diminish if you openly demonstrate indecisiveness, emotional frailty, and operational ignorance during the event.

    But it is also important to realize that crisis leadership begins long before the actual crisis occurs. The right preparation is essential for being an effective crisis leader, and for a security executive this groundwork can start from day one on the job. By focusing on preparation, and by consistently practicing certain management best practices, managers can greatly improve their chances of being an effective crisis leader. This article explores these practices and preparation, including building technical expertise, assessing situations, developing relationships with key stakeholders, and training for emergencies. 


    Knowing the business you support is the most critical factor to your success as a crisis management leader. Thus, if you’re new to an organization, you should dedicate as much time as possible in your first three months to learning all you can about every facet of the business—from sales to production to market share—and meeting the people who are the driving forces in those areas. 

    In my career, I have had the opportunity to manage security programs for several companies in completely different vertical markets. Each market change required extended study time. There’s a huge variance in the operational methodologies of security programs at a hospital and a nuclear power plant, for example. Although the core principles of security can be applied to any industry, each line of business retains its own unique characteristics and regulatory framework.  

    Besides operational knowledge, you must also develop relationships with most of the key process and resource owners who support the business’s primary missions. Once those relationships are established, you should then strive to understand the secondary and tertiary levels of operations, resources, and personnel necessary to keep the business going.

    In addition, you should also learn some basic business continuity planning skills and conduct a few business impact assessments. These will allow you a fuller understanding of the potential vulnerabilities and the gaps that may exist in business operations, the contingency plans themselves, and the resource base that will be available when a crisis occurs. 

    However, conducting a business impact assessment of your company can be a daunting task if you attempt to assess the whole business in a single review. And it can be almost impossible to complete without the full cooperation of nearly everyone in your company. Instead, consider focusing on key revenue streams, products or services that define the company, and significant vulnerabilities that could interrupt these streams and services—such as the sudden loss of a single-sourced major component, a labor disruption, or a stoppage in distribution channels. Even if the assessment seems to have little to do with traditional security activities, it is a great way to learn about the inner workings of your company.  

    For example, after the Great Tohoku Earthquake struck Japan on March 11, 2011, I was working as a security manager at Paramount Pictures. Due to the earthquake, almost all of the film industry’s specialized magnetic recording and video storage tape became unavailable. Sony, with its entire tape manufacturing business located in Japan, was the exclusive maker of such tape, and its production stopped cold. 

    This was a supply chain crisis for sure, and we at Paramount were scrambling for tapes. Fortunately, our security team had enough operational and business continuity knowledge to know where to look and who to call. By volunteering to help secure tapes for the many television productions on the lot, our team knew where to find hundreds of new and reusable tapes in dozens of secure storage locations. It was like an Easter egg hunt gone wild. Armed with this knowledge and with very little effort, the security department was able to secure dozens of the remaining tapes, which kept our production teams going until other recording methods were found.

    Sometimes, it takes great effort to avoid being constrained into a departmental silo and stuck in the dark when it comes to internal business workings. But the effort is worth it. Get out there and mingle, don’t be afraid to ask questions and build relationships and alliances. Learn the business so you can contribute to its survival.    ​


    Another important component of crisis leadership preparation is staying current on domestic and international events, especially if your company is a global one. Third-party providers of intelligence and communications services can be useful here. Many of these providers even offer crisis forecasting by region and country to keep your team abreast of problem areas.  

    This global understanding, combined with business knowledge, will allow you to see the big picture and anticipate which operations might be interrupted if a crisis starts to unfold.  

    Moreover, demonstrating this knowledge improves your chances of being part of the inner circle at your business. For example, as a matter of practice, GE security leaders routinely gathered for periodic operational continuity development sessions. In these meetings, we shared intelligence derived from in-country leaders, paid global intelligence services, and geopolitical analysts. At the first signs of trouble—what we called “a smoldering issue”—the affected business units were identified, and key revenue processes were analyzed for potential impacts and vulnerabilities. 

    Often, a smoldering issue has the potential to challenge several exposed operational and distribution channels, and the material or human resources they contain. Thus, effective coordination and communication is critical during these initial stages. 


    With sufficient business knowledge and a global understanding, you will be in a position to advise the C-suite on events once a crisis starts to unfold and help your firm be active rather than reactive.  

    However, this cannot happen if organizational leaders reject an inclusionary approach when it comes to crisis leadership. For example, early in my career, the company I worked for decided to move forward on a major acquisition—the purchase of a competitor’s remanufacturing division. In general, not all security departments are included in every C-suite function; some do not get much visibility into major corporate decisions. This held true in our particular case because the security team was not part of the company’s diligence support team. Furthermore, the security team was not included in the company’s crisis response team, which consisted mostly of legal and financial leadership, supported by communications and customer relations staff.

    As a result, the security team was unable to flag any discrepancies that might have shown up in the due diligence process. The division that was purchased turned out to be a fraudulent shell company. When news of the bad purchase reached the press a few days later, our firm suffered a severe financial loss and some reputational damage to its brand.

    The incident illustrates the im­por­tance of maintaining a wide representation of all business functions on a crisis management team. By emphasizing teamwork and relationship building, a manager can help develop and maintain collaborative channels that will be invaluable during a crisis. Moreover, a well-structured and collaborative crisis management team can incorporate the use of predictive tools, such as event forecasting and analysis, that maximize the chances of avoiding a crisis in the first place.  

    Even so, if a crisis does occur, successful collaboration between many stakeholders is usually a prerequisite for formulating an acceptable and viable solution. An effective crisis management leader knows where to go to seek out advice from others when considering options to present to company leaders. While it is often necessary to quickly provide solution options during a crisis, it is also advisable for managers to carefully consider all security-based spending decisions, which can sometimes be driven more by fear than by reason after a major event

    Once options have been considered and a response plan is approved, a manager needs strong interactive leadership skills to ensure that others buy in and follow the course laid out. As the example of the shell company purchase shows, a collaborative effort can be quickly derailed by preventing a single department, which might hold a critical part of the solution, from participating.  


    Good leaders make intelligent decisions; great leaders do so consistently. The combination of business operations knowledge and current event understanding will help a security leader make better decisions. 

    But in the final analysis, leadership is not about making the best decision possible in every instance, or about always being the smartest person in the room. It’s ultimately about your ability to earn the trust of others to the point where they will willingly follow you. Here, effective communication is vital. 

    In July 2005, four suicide bombers armed with rucksacks full of explosives detonated bombs on the London Underground that killed 52 people and injured hundreds more. Within four hours of the bombings, our security team at GE Healthcare was able to quickly identify—from a pool of roughly 45,000 employees —that 483 were confirmed or expected to be traveling in or about London that day for work. Using our mass communication system, we located all but nine employees on business travel that were in London or had passed through London within an eight-hour window of the bombings.

      By other means, we quickly confirmed that the remaining nine travelers were safe. Additionally, some of our employees on personal leave and vacation were traveling in London that day. Because those employees had included their private cell phone numbers in the company’s emergency notification system, we were able to receive confirmations that they, too, were safe.  

    On the other hand, sometimes crisis pressure can lead to costly communication errors. Take for example, one of the most high-profile crisis situations in recent memory, the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After the planes hit the towers, one senior security manager of a major corporation in New York was overheard saying, “We’re being attacked!  I don’t think anyone’s gonna make it out of Manhattan!” The comment started a panic in the entire office building, which took hours to calm.  

    The example shows that even accomplished managers can succumb to pressure. However, specialized crisis management leadership training can be invaluable in reducing the chances of this happening. Communication is often an important component of this type of training; many programs provide guidance on how bad news can be communicated without embellishment, panic, or fear, and how correct communication can provide stability and hope by demonstrating a confident resolve—indicating that something is being done immediately, or will be in the near future.

     In addition, crisis training helps managers better understand the anatomy of a crisis, which is an essential element in remaining rational and functioning calmly. Drills can help build response memory, which in turn helps a leader avoid freezing or panicking. 

    In cases where in-house crisis training is unavailable, security managers should consider building their own training. With a little research online about crisis management planning, managers can first assemble the basics: contact sheets, resource directories, contingency plans, meeting schedules, and organizational charts. Then, with help from both the legal and human resource departments, the manager can coordinate partnerships with local emergency service and communication providers, and design some crisis training exercises. 

    Becoming skilled at anything takes practice, and crisis management leadership is no exception. If you ever find yourself in a room filled with managers trying to solve a major problem, don’t be shy; step up to the plate and share your knowledge and experience, and contribute something. This will build on your experience base, and allow you to practice being in crisis situations. 

    In the end, the best coaches are those who prepare, know the rules inside and out, and can lead their players strategically. Stopping in the middle of a crisis to learn more about the business, means you haven’t learned the business well enough and you aren’t prepared to lead. 

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