There’s something to be said about the art of reading people, especially in the protection industry. The ability to pick up on nonverbal communication is an area where most, if not all, protection practitioners are skilled.
If you are a security professional with significant high-threat worldwide protective services experience, you know that depending on the client, it may not be a matter of if your client or a family member is kidnapped, but when. You also understand that it is likely that you may not even be directly providing protection for the client at the time it happens and unable to prevent it, especially when they are alone and most vulnerable.
Surprisingly, many people who took part in the thread commented, saying that they don’t find anything wrong with it. Some of them even named their own old clients. Others tried to justify the practice of name-dropping by saying it was a former client, or that they didn’t reveal anything personal about the client, or that they had the client’s approval to post that picture or to name the client. And finally, some said their client is already pretty well-known and paparazzi are always getting pictures of them together so why hide it? Essentially, they are good guys, and how dare we criticize people we don’t know. These were a number of the comments from individuals who either work in the security industry as operatives or own companies and hire agents to represent them.
The terms float off our tongue just as easily as “hello” or “goodbye.” They are vernacular words used to describe, discuss, or formulate plans for our primary concern: our client.
Having said that, what happens when there is more than one primary client? What happens when the “primary” becomes two, three, four, or more? What happens when your client instructs you that their two-year-old, is the primary “client” on a particular day or outing?
Throughout my nine years of experience in the Executive Protection (EP) industry, I’d like to think that I’ve achieved many significant accomplishments.
Having traveled to over 30 countries, building executive protection and estate teams, embarking on 10 major worldwide tours and transitioning from field agent to Director of Security. Despite my successes, I’ve still felt like a student at best, but now finally considering myself a Specialist. Naively, many young protectors are eager to consider themselves “specialists” without undergoing the proper mentorship and gaining the practical experience needed to hold this title.
In the past, I viewed Executive Protection (EP) as persons who provided corporate level protection. This was the guy who only walked with the CEO, politician, or other important corporate executives and dignitaries. With my limited understanding, I didn’t think of those who drive these same individuals as being considered Executive Protection agents as well. As an EP specialist, I now understand and have experienced some of the vast role’s EP work will encompass.
It’s not unusual for practitioners of our craft to find themselves operating as a “solo specialists” alongside their respective clients. The question is, are these days slowly coming to an end? If they are, how will we be able to convey this to our clients?
My transition was a tricky one. Coming from a field where we are trained to address crime once it happens, mentally it leaves you in response mode. EP is very proactive, as such, we must anticipate what could happen and work to mitigate that. Also, as an Law Enforcement Officer, you have control over almost every situation that you’re in. The law gives you that authority and that luxury. In Executive Protection, not so much. So there’s another shift in mindset that one must have. As an EP professional you don’t have the same authority that LEO’s have, so you can’t bark out commands, stop traffic, block public access, etc., as such, the transition was tricky. The best way I can describe it is, not difficult but also, not “easy,” so to speak.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry. Here’s what’s appeared on the radar since the last issue.
What are some traits and soft skills that you have acquired from working in inner city Philadelphia that has helped you In your line of work today?
I think the number one skill I’ve learned was the ability to talk to people to get the desired outcome. In the streets, you have to have the skillset to deescalate a deadly confrontation or you have to be able to get information from an individual who never intends to speak to you. That skill does not come overnight, and there’s a lot of trial and error, but the truth of the matter is, it’s all predicated on respect for the other individual. Also, being intentional and understanding what’s at stake are major factors for success.
An excerpt from the best-selling book, An Introduction to Celebrity Protection & Touring by Elijah Shaw & Dale June. To get the full book, order at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles or Ebooks.com. Limited Signed Editions available at www.ArmsLengthAway.com
Almost without question, if you are a musician, the recording process is the part you love. This is where they get to be creative; it’s where they take an abstract concept and make it a sonic work of art, one that hopefully will generate revenue. While it can be hard work for the artists, for most it’s a labor of love. They have the ability to get paid and earn a living for doing what they enjoy most.
Many newcomers in the protection business have a completely different idea of what the profession is, based on what they have heard or what Hollywood tells them it is. This lack of “truth” either leaves them disappointed or leaves them vulnerable to making mistakes while on duty.
It is common in our industry to see many of our colleagues posting pictures on the internet social media sites of “selfies” taken in first-class airline seats or the client’s private jet. More selfies show them with their feet up on a suitcase claiming ‘’another flight”, or posting from 5 and 6-star hotel rooms, or fine-dining restaurants, or next to a limousine parked in front of a private jet.
Having informed insight in today’s increasingly complex international environment is more important than ever. That’s why we’ve partnered with Stratfor, the worlds leading geopolitical intelligence platform, to bring readers regular analysis and accurate forecasting of global trends from someone you can trust.
In the previous instalments of this ongoing series, we discussed the challenges faced by Protectors who work with entertainers that spend at least some portions of their career involved in stage performances.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a fellow member of the clergy about his goal of becoming a Navy chaplain. To my shock and amazement, he told me that the Navy turned him down. When I asked ‘why,’ my friend admitted that it was because he had failed to meet the Navy’s physical fitness […]
The tabloid said it had evidence that Bezos has been “whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet.
“Jeff Bezos is the founder of the online retailer Amazon and one of the richest people in the world. He has just made public that he will be getting divorced from his wife of 25 years after an extra marital affair was made public, that’s his personal business… The divorce could cost him 50% of his wealth including his stocks in Amazon, which could lead to control issues for the company and shareholders, this is company business… Again, someone’s personal life has gotten them and their company into big trouble!
As such, I always tell them that starting out in a career in EP can be challenging, more than likely it’s going to be slow going at first. The reasons for this are plentiful, some within your control and some that are not. The good news is that as I look around the industry, a greater number of specialists are entering our craft and being hired with greater frequency. Having said that, critical mistakes are also being made with nearly as much frequency.
It’s as if some have thought that because you have gone through your initial training and exceled, that you are immediately qualified to be the body man next right next to the Principal. Not true. There are many variables as to an agent’s success or defeat in EP. The keys discussed in this article are what work for me, and I hope by the end of the article you can put them to use as a tool for you as well.
Have you ever noticed how we throw around words nonchalantly, without a giving a second thought as to their perceived meaning?
How many of us use the word “fan” on a daily basis, possibly without realizing that the word is derived from the word “fanatic”. Webster’s Dictionary defines a fanatic as a person who is extremely enthusiastic about, and devoted to, some interest or activity. In the entertainment world, fans are a necessity, because if there are no fans, there is no one to buy the tickets, the music, the books, movies, or the merchandise. In essence, without fans, there is no celebrity. Fans are however, not limited to the typical entertainment realm of musicians and actors, politicians, company executives, news personalities, and even private citizens can also attract their own set of fans in today’s society.
In the early days of ‘private contractor’ work in Iraq following the end of the war in 2003, medics were generally unregulated and unregistered, most being ex RMAs (now CMT1s) who had left the military and qualified as HSE Offshore Medics. Some had not done any ‘civilian’ courses but were hired on the strength of their military qualifications and experience; the guys would generally operate as firstly a PSD team member/operator, and secondly as a team medic. In those days the drugs and equipment carried by the medics was very limited; generally, FFDs, quick clot, blast bandages and if you were lucky some morphine auto injectors, Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.
The term ‘Image Projection’ refers to the tactic of presenting yourself as an Alpha personality in order to discourage a confrontation.
In short, dressing like an Alpha personality prompts respect from people (men and women) and makes you look like a hard target (psychologically).