Leadership Solutions


The Roadmap for Security Leadership Success Interviews, Practice #5 - Focus on Leadership Issues

Kathleen "K2" Kotwica, EVP and Chief Knowledge Strategist for the Security Executive Council (SEC), interviews Francis D'Addario, SEC Emeritus Faculty and former CSO of Starbucks Coffee. The discussion delves into one of the 10 Roadmap for Success practices - the importance of focusing on leadership issues.

Why is this important?
No matter where you are in your career or what sector or industry you practice in, this is a key consideration. It crosses over all of the services and programs you provide your organization. At the end of the day it's not about a particular technology, process, standard or solution. It's about thinking how to move your department and your company ahead. The most successful security leaders the Council has worked with make use of the following 9 leadership practices:

  • Creates a robust internal awareness program for the security department, including formal marketing and communication initiatives
  • Ensures that senior management is made aware of what security is and does
  • Walk-and-talk methodology—regularly talking to senior business leaders about their issues and how security can help
  • Converses in business risk terminology, not “security”
  • Understands the corporate culture and adapts to it
  • Wins respect by refusing to exploit fear, uncertainty and doubt
  • Bases the Security program goals on the company’s business goals
  • Has top-level support from day one
  • Portrays Security as a bridging facilitator or coordinator across all functions
(Read more on the 9 Practices here: "The 9 Practices of the Successful Security Leader")

Click the links below to hear Mr. D'Addario's response:

Q1. What are some ways you see the focus on leadership issues demonstrated by leading security practitioners?

Q2. Do you have advice or examples on how practitioners can achieve this level interaction with the business?

For ten years the Security Executive Council has proven itself to be the undisputed leader in research and advisory services for security and risk management practitioners. Over the years we have had the honor of working with and for numerous successful leaders of security programs, large and small. We have analyzed many organizations that have effectively managed the changes in the industry; most of the security practitioners of these organizations are horizon leaders. We have learned a lot in the last decade and our research has identified best practices that are becoming the success markers in security leadership. You can read some results of our research in "The Roadmap for Security Leadership Success - Ten trends based on research of successful leaders"