Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Derric is an artist

Derric is an artist. As far as I know, he doesn't paint, or sculpt, or draw with charcoal, but he is an artist as Seth Godin defines the term:

"Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done." - From Linchpin

Derric is a security guard in a building where I work. He has a genius for making connections with the people that work in the building. Some security guards do the absolute minimum, "ID please?" They wear the required uniform and show up on time, but they leave their best selves at home.

Not Derric. He learns your name, and greets you by name. He doesn't get paid extra for this. He gives you a big smile when you arrive. And he takes action to fix things, even when that isn't his job.

I was having trouble getting entered into the security system at this particular building, so every day I had to take a minute and show my ID and get a temporary pass. Derric took action to fix this. He went to the president of the real estate company that rents me an office, proposed a solution, got approval, and fixed the issue. So now I save a couple minutes a day. This isn't Derric's job, but he does it because he likes to see things run smoothly.

Derric and I had coffee the other day, and he shared some fascinating insight into the work of security guards. Such as, with a bit of overtime, one can earn over $100,000 per year. And there are a dozen or more different certifications that you can study for and get paid extra for having. Certifications related to fire safety, crowd control, maintenance, evacuations, and so on.

Derric is a wealth of information on how much different building management companies pay, what the different courses are, how much extra you can get paid with each different certification, the best strategy on when to jump from one company to another, and so forth. I suggested that he establish himself as an authority on the topic by starting a blog and interviewing building managers. How many good blogs are out there on the intricacies of building security in New York City? Derric could position himself as the expert. Give seminars on how to navigate this world. Teach graduates how to position themselves for a career in security. Do audits of building security. I'm looking forward to following how Derric manages his career.

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