Insider Intelligence: Your 2014 Resolution - Keep Learning

Dec. 2, 2013
Developing new skills and constantly reinventing yourself are vital to continued success

As we approach the end of 2013, it is time to stop and give thanks to our profession and to the security industry.

Wow! What a great industry. Are you kidding me? It is just breathtaking! Every day of every month you can open a security periodical or an e-newsletter or an email from a colleague/manufacturer/service-provider/etc. and learn something completely new that you never heard of before, or learn about yet another advancement, another educational offering, another new product or service, another company purchasing someone else — all in the hope of gaining market share and to improve the level of security that we can provide to our customers.

Where else can you see this kind of dynamic change, product expansion and knowledge growth? Where else can you be continually challenged to reinvent yourself and your company just to stay relevant?

And, to that point, is all of this necessary? Do we really need to jump on this carousel of constant movement and change? Isn’t this all just a ruse to get us to purchase some new presto-magic gizmo or to buy some new educational offering that’s guaranteed to make us the brightest bulb under the lampshade? What’s wrong with what I learned 5, 10, 20 or 30 years ago?

According to an expert Marc Cenedella, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Ladders, an online job-matching service for career-driven professionals — the only effective answer to a changing world which continually commoditizes the value of today’s skills is to keep learning new ones. “If you know that your talents today will be taken for granted tomorrow, it just seems you have to — ought to — get new and better skills,” says Cenedella, who has more than 6 million members and followers. “Becoming a better version of you is the only way to make sure you don’t become an obsolete version of you. ”

If that is truly today’s mantra — to educate learn, reinvent and grow in knowledge...I say again, thank you to the security industry. Just look at the first week of November.

During the first week of November, our Industry was treated to the SIA-sponsored event “Securing New Ground. ” During the same week, a major manufacturer in video security held their Innovation Exchange to discuss current trends and future product roadmaps and to gather Voice of Customer data. Also, a leader in secure identity solutions held its annual symposium to discuss what’s current, what’s new and what’s being developed in the world of secure identity.

These were three major events — all attended by industry leaders and newbies alike — and all in the name of learning and gaining knowledge. To me, there just isn’t another industry that is so constantly reinventing, constantly evolving and continually changing to better itself. The quest to learn, to gain new knowledge and to provide better products and services to our customers indeed lives on every day in our industry.

Can it get any better than this? That’s hard to say; but, if you are interested in learning and growing, if you are genuinely committed to gaining new skills — this is the industry to be in.

During the month of Aug. 2013, Newsweek, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post were each sold for what financial experts said was 5 percent of what they were worth a decade ago. It's alesson for all of us: Staying on top of industry trends, attending educational offerings, learning new skills and constantly reinventing are important — sometimes millions-of-dollars-important.

I want to wish all of the security industry good luck in 2014 and beyond!

Ric McCullough is vice president of sales and customer service for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at