The mother of leadership

Mar 1, 2013

From the President’s Desk

The mother of leadership—do you have what it takes?

There are no Band-Aid solutions to difficult situations, no glib answers to complex industry issues. But there can be no acknowledgement of defeat for those that are passionate about this industry. SASA stand proudly behind the industry it serves, but we are aware of rough edges that need to be played out moving forward.
Taking action, there are strategies to help us find a way towards a workable solution—and success.  For South African private security stakeholders to bind together, the internecine battle and fractious issues of the past few years, need to be resolved. But for that to happen, we at SASA feel, there has to be strong leadership within our industry ranks. Dissension and resistance will get us nowhere.
‘The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality,’ Max du Preez once wrote.  So true. The reality is that the private security industry is facing the challenges of constant change, constant criticism. Over the last five years, the landscape has changed, the equilibrium has shifted. We’ve seen radical changes. We face a higher crime rate and overwhelming violence; the image of the SAPS deteriorates with every assailing newspaper headline.
Globally, austerity has become the order of the day, and along with it, anger. As we at home feel the strain of tough economic conditions, we feel its sting too: Compliant security companies are angry that unregulated fly-by-nights undercut their business and ruin the image of the entire industry. We have all felt the ripple effect of non-compliance.
Equally, stakeholders across the board are frustrated by disruptive strike action, the lack of clear training regulation, plus government obstruction in the investment of foreign companies in South Africa. All these factors have destabilised our world.
Now SASA feel it is time that we help each other move forward. We need to look at ourselves, we need to find shared opportunities for growth and stability rather than those things that drive us apart.
‘Never tell people how to do things,’ General George Patton wrote. ‘Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.’  That is exactly what we need today—innovation, ownership of our own challenges, and a lot more accountability when mistakes are made.
One thing we can do is spread the word on the need for greater compliance. PSIRA’s Compliance Forums are a step in the right direction, but we need to educate clients and people inside the industry on why we need a consistent, stable and reliable security industry in South Africa—it stands to benefit us all if there is greater unity.
Recently, the PSIRA roadshows showed how this collaborative educational effort worked rather well: these national roadshows were interactive and positive engagements with South African security stakeholders.  It was a positive example of how we can work together to find a more cogent solution to a fractured industry.
John Maxwell wrote, ‘People buy into leadership before they buy into vision.’  We have a vision of a successful private security industry, one with greater compliance, integrity and unity. For that to happen, we all need to spearhead the revolution.
Be Safe
Jenny Reid


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