Country Level Security Manager – A role far too beyond just Security Management

The canvas of company’s Security Manager of medium to large-sized company can be at geographical region, zones or country level. This asks for an updated knowledge and grasp of the overall country/ region or zone security dynamics, with fair degree of grip over the other tiers’ perspective in the realm of geo-political and geo-strategic dimensions. This can only become possible when the Security manager and his Security team have thorough understanding of the company operations. There are examples where sometimes the security leaders are so well blended and equipped that visitors may take them as managers heading any other team but security.

Top management of the companies and others would always bank heavily on the advice rendered by the security manager and other members of his/her team placed at different locations within the company. This would ask the security head and the site leaders to generate accurate inputs for managing Security for the ongoing operations and also carrying out Security risk assessments for the impending company operations.

Some Security managers go wrong by restricting their scope to Security alone. It doesn’t mean that their hardcore work is not important. Diversity of their role demands them to remain aware of the ongoing operations to the minutest details, operational barriers/ deadlines, potential impediments from the local communities & contractors’ side, sensitivities related to the targets of the company, the HSE compliance needs/ issues, administrative bounds, corporate affairs related complexities, stoppages (both prevailing & foreseen) and their dollar impact, overall & the current financial health of the company, prevailing litigations and the company legal cases, etc. All these should become the filters that must influence the preparation of the security solutions.

All the above looks daunting and undoable, given the fluid nature of Security operations of any company, but remember! A Security manager worth his/ her name, will always gel so well into the companies’ teams that such inclusion and awareness will become a second nature.

If this guideline is followed, the information will spontaneously flow to the Security manager. This is when he/ she wins the confidence of the contemporary heads and the top management. I have often seen the Security Manager to be part of important meetings of the company, part of all operational interactions and be on the distribution list of all very important communications. This arrangement can either be there as a default practice or a realisation based on displayed significance of a particular Security manager.

I would recommend to my Security friends to ensure that they should conduct themselves in a manner that they are included in both the above situations. This would demand them to be atop their professional prowess and be an active part of the organisation. Contribution to the correct decision-making process for the good of the company and becoming a mandatory input needed for it, is what is desired from all managers including a good Security professional. Anything otherwise, would rather leave a lot to be desired!