Top 10 Traits To Succeed As An Executive Protection Specialist

This list appeared at, and I thought it might be worthy of further examination. If you are considering this career, ask yourself if you possess these qualities, because you’ll put every one of these into use on the job!!

Top 10 Traits To Succeed As An Executive Protection Specialist:

  1. Integrity

   2. Candor

   3. Confidence

   4. Discretion

   5. Bearing

   6. Attention to Detail

   7. Responsiveness

   8. Flexibility

   9. Patience

  10. Commitment

I hope that when Bruce Alexander (a top-notch pro in this business) posted this on his web site that newcomers took the time to print it out and to study it–because even with all the training in the world, all the skills with weapons, all the passion–if these traits aren’t aspects of your character, you’re going to have a tough time in this business. Your disposition and attitude are equally as important as your job skills.


  • 1. INTEGRITY: Stand for something. Don’t compromise on your own personal code of ethics, no matter how tempting it may be financially. No matter how famous or how powerful your employer may be. Stand tall in your core beliefs of right and wrong.


  • 2. CANDOR: Be truthful, but kind. Speak up. Be honest in your communication and expectations.


  • 3. CONFIDENCE: If you believe in your abilities, so will your client and everyone else in his world. It’s not a “show” it comes from knowing yourself deeply and trusting yourself.


  • 4. DISCRETION: Keep the personal details of those around you close to the vest. No matter how tempting it may be to share the client’s quirks and peculiarities, or to tell your friends where your client will be dining this evening–don’t. It’s tactless and undermines trust.


  • 5. BEARING: Do you look like someone not to be trifled with? Do you dress appropriately, according to your client’s wishes? Do you have about you a manner that tells people you expect to be treated with respect–and that respect extends to your client? It’s not just about size, it’s how you carry yourself.


  • 6. ATTENTION TO DETAIL: You need to be able to make quick assessments at every turn and notice the smallest things. This includes noticing your executive forgot his briefcase in the office, to spotting the crazed-looking fan in the corner. Can you follow directions and read a map?


  • 7. RESPONSIVENESS: At a moment’s notice you need to make decisions and act on them. This trait goes hand-in-hand with “Attention to Detail.” You need to be quick and deliberate in your actions. You don’t wait to be told to get the car, you anticipate and have it waiting at the curb. You think 3 steps ahead at all times, about everything.


  • 8. FLEXIBILITY: The ability to change and “go with the flow” according to your client’s needs and often whims (see #9 PATIENCE). To handle last-minute schedule changes in his schedule or yours. It sometimes means foregoing personal plans in order to be available for your client. It’s the willingness to get lunch when the Executive’s secretary is out sick, or carrying the luggage–without complaining.


  • 9. PATIENCE: This one is KEY in my opinion. There’s a lot of “down” time. Do you handle a lot of waiting around? You need to be kind and even-tempered because your client is a ridiculously busy/important/overwhelmed/spoiled person who is also human and will have moments when they are not behaving well. You will need to be able to shake off bad behavior and never, ever lose your cool.


  • 10. COMMITMENT: The ability to see a task through to completion. Some tasks aren’t interesting. Some tasks will seem beneath you. Sometimes you will want to just walk away from your job. You simply cannot do this, because an individual who needs an EPS is someone who needs to be protected. Lack of commitment and focus on your part could put your client’s safety in jeopardy.

As you all know, this can be an extremely rewarding and lucrative career, in addition to being challenging. The good news is that if you feel you are lacking in any of these areas, it’s never to late to acquire them. If you need to work on being more PATIENT, consider doing volunteer work with children. Do you lack CONFIDENCE or BEARING? Take an acting class, or a public speaking course!  DISCRETION an issue? Make a conscious decision to keep a friend’s secret to yourself!

Another point I’d like to make is that any potential employer worth his salt is going to want to see some of these qualities in you. So ask yourself if you are seeking employment: Does my cover letter reflect my personal qualities, or just my employment past as a “hired gun?” If you’re not sure, consider contacting us for assistance. POWER RESUMES & COVER LETTERS is a new service we are offering to assess your employment materials. The fees are reasonable, and you will be working with friendly, informative professionals with years of expertise in the field.

Lastly, I think if any of you got a little chuckle out of reading this, then you possess what I consider to be another important trait: # 11 — A SENSE OF HUMOUR.

All the Best in Your Employment Search!