Global Security Director - Matt Weilhamer
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
The Cummins Veterans Affinity Group helps connect veterans to career opportunities within Cummins by working with veterans to align military experiences to roles where veterans can quickly assimilate into the Company. Leveraging military experiences such as leadership, respect, honour, integrity, diversity and inclusion align perfectly with the Cummins Core values. Army Major Matt Weilhamer (Retired) joined Cummins in 2011 as a Crisis Management Leader and now serves as the Global Security Director for the US and Canada.
Matt is responsible for collaborating with leaders to develop security strategies and improve global security processes. He manages cross-functional teams and projects that identify security risks in an effort to minimize risk exposure to Cummins employees and assets. After his 22-year military career, he applied for many jobs and looks back on his Cummins mentor who helped guide his success.
“I applied for many jobs when I was leaving the military. Having my mentor point out the value of my experience and helping me to communicate that via my resume was essential. He understood the value I could bring to Cummins and helped me speak their language. Now, I help other veterans with planning their resumes and communicating why they can make a difference here.”
And now for your All Access Pass:
Matt kicks off his day with an early morning meeting with team members to get status updates from everyone involved. He’s fostering an environment of trust that starts with sharing and a focus on building success in others.
“I have an amazing team and managing them is a privilege. We’re a diverse and cohesive group here and our diversity is the key to our success. Although many members of my team are not ‘security experts’ by trade, everyone has a broad range of talents and personalities. This diversity brings out the best in our work. ”
After his meeting, Matt returns to his desk for quiet time to plan a brainstorming session for the first Six Sigma project he’s leading. His team includes Senior Leaders from different areas and the project is geared towards protecting Cummins people and assets. Matt knows his veteran background as an officer prepared him well for the process improvement aspects of our culture at Cummins.
“I, along with a core team of risk assurance professionals, developed the “Cummins Response” process that allows us to quickly assemble stakeholders in an effort to minimize the company’s exposure to risks. The architecture of this work is the foundation for numerous tools and programs across Cummins. It allows for a sustainable and repeatable process that aligns to our core ideology. Similar to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) I leveraged in the military for deliberate planning, Six Sigma tools help me to streamline processes, eliminate waste and align with Cummins business needs.
Later in the morning, Matt attends a Local Diversity Council (LDC) meeting that was formed to foster the ‘right environment’ for all employees within a business location or region. As a council member, Matt is preparing for one of the LDC’s largest events, the Diversity Olympiad. The goal of the Olympiad is to increase awareness of the power of diversity and to promote networking between groups and employees. This year’s theme is, ‘The Power of Inclusion’, the team that Matt leads is discussing catering options for the event. For lunch, Matt leaves the office for a quick bite to eat with his wife. Even though he has a busy schedule, he likes to leave the office for lunch to get a short break from the day to see loved ones.
He has a quick conversation with a team colleague he supervises once he’s back in the office after lunch. The conversation was an update on her involvement with the Big Brother Big Sister program that she is involved with.
“It’s nice to get together to discuss work, but we’re also interested in learning more about what our employees are interested in and how they are developing both personally and professionally. That’s the human side of our jobs, and we embrace one another’s interests, both in and outside of work. It’s a tight knit group here.”
After his one-on-one, Matt attends a conceptual whiteboard session for a confidential project he originally developed. The session is led by a Project Manager, who functions from a more operational view rather than Matt’s original strategic development role. It’s a hearty discussion that ends in laughter.
“We can have fluid and broad ranging sessions. They can often be passionate but, in the end, we always come to a resolution. I’m an advocate that people need to be fired up about what they’re responsible or accountable for. We gain everyone’s perspective because we’re a team, and we lean on one another’s experience and skill sets."
Later in the day, Matt spends time working on a web-based learning course for a Cummins growth accelerator project called “Building Success in Others
.” His involvement is an investment in developing employee growth, which is important to Matt to ensure everyone has the tools needed to become a good leader.
“In order for any organization to be successful, you have to invest in your internal capabilities. You have to put in time and energy to set employees up for success. That’s why I liked the military and I enjoy it here at Cummins. If our team is confident that the Company invests in leadership, they understand everyone will be successful once they are promoted to a higher responsibility.”
Finally, Matt rounds out the day by checking in on projects where he collaborates with team members in other departments. This joint effort allows functional leaders to learn from the experience of others, especially when many projects are sensitive in nature and collaboration is critical to success.
“I like working here. I’m fortunate to have leaders that create the right environment to be successful and have proven they can lead. I’m also surrounded by a team of proven colleagues and we’re working to get better each and every day. I came from an organization like that in the military and Cummins fosters a similar environment and shares the same value in investing in leadership.”