Certification Profile: McLean Essiene, CPP, PCI, PSP
When McLean Essiene began his career in law enforcement with the Nigeria Immigration Service, he identified a need for private security professionals to help law enforcement fill the gaps in addressing national security issues.
He decided to be the one to fill those gaps.
“I thrive within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous setting like the one the security management industry provides,” he explains. “Here is an industry wherein one must constantly push oneself to the limit. You need to constantly be abreast with the latest threats and industry trends—and then a few steps ahead of the adversaries. Security management constantly makes me the best version of myself, as I constantly raise my own bar. This is a noble cause.”
Essiene began his private security company ESSIMACS INTERNATIONAL SECURITY in 2014, a time at which he considered himself the youngest private security business owner in Nigeria—and maybe globally.
With a team of 12 permanent staff, Essiene spends a typical day wearing multiple hats: providing leadership to his team, attending to clients, responding to emergencies, and giving his time to volunteer roles, such as his positions as vice chair with the ASIS Port Harcourt Chapter and the ASIS Young Professionals Council’s global outreach subcommittee.
“As a new, young, and inexperienced security CEO, I understood that to make quick and rapid impacts, I needed to leverage the skill pool of global professionals,” he reflects. “I joined ASIS International to leverage relevant security initiatives, including board certification trainings.”
He considered ASIS’s Protection of Assets books to be the compendium of all that is required to excel in the security business and professional growth. So, he set his sights on earning an ASIS certification, starting with the Certified Protection Professional (CPP®).
“ASIS board certification is a mark of professional excellence, symbolic of knowledge, sustained resilience, and discipline,” he shares. “It is synonymous to being inducted into a professional hall of fame, standing out from non-board-certified peers.”
He earned the CPP in November 2015, before adding the Professional Certified Investigator (PCI®) designation in 2016 and the Physical Security Professional (PSP®) designation in 2017. Seeing the value of certification, he aligns managerial roles in his organization to ASIS credentials.
“Certification, though rigorous, was the shortest route to success for me,” he adds. “It has enhanced my corporate strategy and effectiveness and generally broadened my understanding of security leadership.”
In recommending certification over other forms of career development, he reminds his staff and colleagues of the ongoing benefits of maintaining a certification.
“Recall that academic certificates are different from professional certification in that, while the former can lie on the shelves undusted for years, the latter is a living, evergreen, dynamic, and revocable document, requiring structured upkeep through continuing professional education (CPE) credit,” Essiene says. “Certifications affirm in perpetuity that you hold the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the security business.”
Profile by Steven Barnett, ASIS Communications Specialist