Be a security manager with the qualities of an Olympic athlete

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

During lectures I pass on to security managers, conclusions and insights emerged that led me to pursue a more focused way of being able to define what features and capabilities a security manager need in order to succeed. What is needed to cause the security system under his or her responsibility to deal with the adversaries in the optimal manner in order to avoid security failures?

When I was exposed last year to an article that included this picture of Israeli Olympic athlete Linoy Ashram, I attached it to presentations instead of the list of insights and conclusions I presented to managers and commanders in order to better illustrate what features and capabilities a security manager should have in order to make security a success.

As mentioned, the lectures have made me more confident that there will be a clear match between the challenges of an Olympic athlete’s qualities and abilities and the capabilities that a security director should have (the description of Linoy Ashram on what it takes to be an Olympic athlete is in red):

Dealing with the adversary: “In sports, the distance between glory and failure is very thin and fragile.”

Be constantly thinking about which adversary you are dealing with, realizing that the adversary will not let you know about what surprises he or she has in store for you when you meet next time. Therefore, you should try and evaluate what actions you need to take that will make you win and make your adversary lose. The manager must teach his or her security guards that every day, that every shift is another competition against the adversary that must be won. In the security profession, dealing with an adversary is harder because you know he or she has come to the competition and is there but you don’t really see him or her.

You must win: “I’ve been training for eleven years from morning until at night”

A manager must do everything in order for him or her and his or her security system to win all the time. This is a difficult and unlimited task. In the face of the adversary, the security system must be in first place in every competition and cannot afford to be in second or third place because in these places there will be a price that is manifest in lives being lost. To be constantly in the first place requires daily effort and must be at maximum ability. Therefore, a manager who fails to plan in his or her daily activities effective actions to bring the security guards to maximum ability takes the risk of the adversary winning and the manager losing. In addition, there is a duty to train the security guards every day to create the feeling that dealing with the adversary is at every shift. A security director should not be content with just the training provided by the guiding authority and therefore he or she must perform additional and different training sessions and many, many exercises.

Awareness of strengths and weaknesses “: I don’t look like most of my rivals in gymnastics worldwide and so to succeed I realized that I must not only look different but also be different”

A security manager should be aware of his or her own weaknesses and those of the security system under his or her responsibility and from that point, he or she must act to be strong against the adversary. This can be any security action you see as an adversary and surprisingly, one that will give you and your security system a high score and leave you in the first place. Again, in order to succeed and produce exceptional strengths and to make them the source of power in the face of the adversary, hard work and time are required. You must not be a manager who takes the weaknesses and strengths for granted, you have to be a manager who deals with them all the time.

Being a high-speed competing machine: having an indomitable spirit, being focused, living the tournament lifestyle, the team around me describes me

It is possible and necessary to turn the security guards into high-speed fighting machines, goal-oriented and competitive against the adversary. It requires the manager to believe in him/herself and to believe in his or her security team. It requires the manager’s iron determination and strength to pass on to the security guards as those who are actually dealing with the adversary. It is said that a manager is alone with the demands that are asked of him/her and his/her responsibilities, so it requires him/her to be goal-oriented while ignoring background interruptions, constantly moving forward and learning from failures.

The element of surprise: “Since I surprise the judges with my appearance, I decided to leverage the matter and surprise them on the mat. Most of the gymnasts show the exact same exercise during the competition; I do not. My finishing exercise always looks different from the ones I presented earlier; this does not allow judges to predetermine my score beforehand.

Insecurity, the element of surprise is expressed in breaking routines and deception. A manager who wants to defeat the adversary must have his or her own security system break routines and carry out deception actions that only then can the adversary be forced to be alert and make it difficult for him or her to make a move, leading to a state he or she will have to give up.

Homework and learning from mistakes: “Part of what allows me to change the exercises is the time I spend watching my exercises and my rivals. I see all the opponents before the competition”

A manager must spend a lot of time looking at his or her security guards during when security operations are carried out, this is in order to be able to identify gaps that need improvement. In addition, the manager must devote time to watching attacks that occurred in Israel and around the world and learn from them the characteristics of the adversary’s behavior and ways of acting. This is done while thinking how such adversaries could attack the object of security under the manager’s responsibility. Of course, learning should also include the actions of the various security arrays that have found themselves face to face with the adversary in order to try to upgrade the security actions in your array as a manager.

Support: “I, the girl who worked alone to get better is already doing it today with the support of professionals”

A manager should make sure there is support for his or her security array in order to give security guards the feeling that they are not alone in the campaign, that there are those who care about them professionally and personally. A manager has to convey to his security guards the feeling that he is with them and not against them that one meter has height requirements from them and on the other hand, give them what they need so that they can meet them.

Features and successes: “My picture have all the qualities and ability I need on my way to victory”

To understand what Linoy means, I put the picture again next to the features and capabilities:

Belief in one’s path, professional pride, presentability, always looking perfect, every day is planned again, coordination, accuracy, concentration, focus on purpose, aspiration only for victory, upgrading and surprise in what one does, improving operations. Although this is a very difficult task, every single security manager needs to embrace the qualities and capabilities that exist in Linoy Ashram as an Olympic athlete.


Remember, security needs to be maintained primarily through the role of the security manager!

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