Women Influence

A Woman Influence
Presented with a choice between having influence without power and power without influence, more people would likely choose power over influence—brute strength over persuasiveness. Others would reasonably argue for a third choice—both—but the best choice isn't always available. And security professionals, who are often saddled with more accountability than authority, are among the class of businesspeople for whom the best choice may be least available.
Thus, developing the ability to exert influence—through negotiation, persuasion, advocacy and communication (including listening)—is indispensable in achieving the goals of security, many of which revolve around changing the assumptions, behavior, culture, and processes of organizations and people. In that light, when you consider all that the adroit exercise of influence can accomplish, it may just be more powerful than mere power.
Finally, to put it delicately, although women face the exact same challenges as men in terms of selling the value of security programs, they also must deal with the added complication of gender in environments that are frequently overwhelmingly male. So while the need to develop the skills of influence is shared broadly across the profession, women may feel the need more sharply, and pursue those skills more avidly, precisely because they are women.
CSO is therefore proud to sponsor the Women of Influence awards, given annually at the Executive Women's Forum (EWF), an event founded by Joyce Brocaglia, the president and CEO of executive search firm Alta Associates. Four Women of Influence were honored last fall at the EWF event held in Phoenix. The awards were given in four categories: Corporate Practitioner, One To Watch, Private Solutions Provider and Public Sector. CSO Editor in Chief Lew McCreary joined Brocaglia in bestowing the awards. After the event, McCreary spoke with each of the women about their work and the importance of well-exerted influence to their...