KEEPING YOUR EDGE: A VIP Protection Essential

By James A. DeVino
One of the pitfalls of doing any type of work over an extended period of time is the tendency to become complacent. The consequences for complacency vary widely depending on the field, but if you work as an Executive Protection Specialist, losing your edge and simply going through the motions can be the difference between life and death.

What exactly do I mean when I say “losing your edge?” It is when an EPS starts to lose interest or passion for the profession. It means taking things for granted, taking shortcuts or even being lazy. It can range from “zoning out” on a tedious detail assignment to failing to conduct a thorough advance. It could be failing to develop a secondary evacuation plan; or lacking the foresight to ask questions and plan for the worst-case-scenario because it is the “same-old, same-old” routine. The results for complacency as an EPS can lead to the embarrassment, injury, or even death to the principal in your charge.

We have seen deadly results when US government personal protection agents have failed to prepare.  According to the Warren Report investigation focusing upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the White House Presidential Protection Detail went out on the town in Dallas on November 21 – 22, 1963, violating Secret Service policy regarding alcohol consumption prior to performing a protection detail.

In fact, video reveals that a few of the agents in the follow car appear “disinterested” at best, with the exception of Jackie Kennedy’s Special Agent in charge. Mrs. Kennedy’s agent, Clinton Hill, exited the follow car each time the Kennedy’s limousine fell below a certain speed (Secret Service policy). When tragedy struck, it was Hill alone who leaped on to the back of the limousine in an effort to shield President and Mrs. Kennedy from additional gunfire. He was the only agent in that entourage who didn’t become complacent in his duties. He kept his edge.

An even more blatant and perhaps criminal example of complacency occurred approximately 100 years before Kennedy’s assassination, when the Washington D.C. police detective assigned to secure President Abraham Lincoln’s box at Ford’s Theater demonstrated a terrible lapse in judgment when he thought there’d be no harm if he dropped into the tavern across from the play house.

The adage that “executive protection involves hours upon hours of boredom disrupted by a few moments of excitement” is based on truth.  Much of what we do is standing or sitting around, often simply waiting-for a principal in a hotel room, in a conference room, in a meeting, at a restaurant, in the recording booth and so on. As a former special agent for the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service I confess that while working a rope line my mind drifted briefly to whether or not I would be able to attend my son’s T-ball game. I know I am not alone in this.

We all pray that if we happen to fall into a laissez-faire state of mind that we will snap out of it should a James Earl Ray or Mark David Chapman-type enter the scene. We hope that our training and experience will instantaneously kick in and allow us to evacuate our principal from potential danger.  Prayers and hope are not enough.

The reality is that if we come to treat our chosen profession as “just a job,” we start down a road that will inevitably lead to complacency and losing our edge.  What does a security agent who is on his/her game look like?

A successful security agent keeps a close watch on his or her area of responsibility. They are alert, with no signs of fatigue. If they are to be standing, they are standing. If seated, they are upright. They are not bored. They take nothing for granted. Protective measures aren’t overlooked, even if it is the same detail today as yesterday and the day before. Equipment is at the ready, including phones, headsets, laptops, weapons. Reports on the smallest events are thorough and detailed because they provide information essential for the next shift or the next day.

How do you keep your edge? Back in the day, when Harlan “Hucky” Austin was protecting celebrities, he would stay sharp on those “waiting” details by imagining every possible scenario; and how he would manage them, avert danger and save the client. He would play over the scenarios in his mind, readying himself mentally, physically and determining when/if force or weapons would be necessary. He imagined conversations he’d need to have to avert problems-whether from fans, jealous spouses, criminals or paparazzi.

If you were one of the millions who watched the inauguration of President  Obama on January 20, 2009, you noticed the U.S. Secret Service special agents at his side all day. It was a long day full of events; from dawn until the wee hours of the next day. Obama and his family were protected by an elite group of personal protection specialists; each assigned agent was at his or her best, prepared to provide the highest degree of protective security.

However, as the afternoon moved to evening and the Presidential couple visited venues with less public access, fatigue probably set in and the agents may have become less alert. Undoubtedly, the Secret Service closely monitored the detail and replaced fatigued agents as needed.  I have performed “portal to portal” protection for visiting foreign dignitaries, and US officials. I know I was sharper at 11:00 a.m. than I was at 11:00 p.m.

Surprisingly, at the 1997 and 2001 inaugurations of President’s Clinton and Bush respectively, an individual with identification that authorized access to the outermost security perimeter was able to penetrate additional Secret Service checkpoints and actually got close enough to shake the hand of the newly sworn-in Presidents. It would seem that the agents in charge of securing access to their particular area of responsibility lost their edge.

Perhaps they were diverted by another situation and failed to multi-task; maybe they were preoccupied by someone or something more interesting than their security zone, or worse; perhaps they simply were on “auto-pilot” and didn’t fulfill their duties with attention to detail and focus.

More recently, former President George Bush was embarrassed because members of his protection detail failed to act during his final visit to Iraq to meet with Iraqi President Maliki.  When an irate Iraqi newsman threw his shoes at Bush (an exceptional insult measured by Islamic precepts), the Presidential Detail agents were clearly complacent and not on their “A” Game.

By all reports, the journalist was yelling at Bush, so their surely should have been some escalation in terms of protection, but (I’m guessing) that because Iraq is a war zone, agents may have suspected the rude journalist was a distraction to launch an attack on Bush. They did not think the journalist was a threat; merely a ruse for a more lethal threat.

The fact that the journalist threw not just one, but both shoes speaks to the fact that the agents simply weren’t quite on point.  In fact, it was Iraqi President Maliki who diligently knocked down the second thrown shoe thus sparing the former President from embarrassment and possible injury.
Another important topic to address is the issue of “burn-out” on the job.  In this business, the long hours and tedium cannot help but create an environment of complacency.

An agent who has been on a long-term detail will want to consider taking a break before the next detail, in order to recharge. The simple fact is that much of what we do is time spent doing nothing but waiting for a worse-case scenario…and then we are expected to be prepared to perform at maximum potential.
Complacency can happen to anyone.

It’s important to be aware of it and to develop strategies to remain sharp. I recall a detail very early on in my career that served as my “wake-up call” to the perils of not keeping my edge.  I was working as a USAF Security Policeman charged with protecting a missile gantry. It was my task to check photo I.D. badges against the bearer passing through my checkpoint.

My shift began at 10:30 that evening, and I am embarrassed to report that due to boredom and fatigue, I allowed both Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (at least according to their badges) to enter into a highly restricted area at 3:00 a.m. As it turned out, “Mickey” and “Donald” were two Air Force Officers assigned to test my competency.

They had presented the cartoon pictures on their badges, and I wasn’t paying attention more than likely due to fatigue. It goes without saying that I lost my edge that evening, and as a result, received a “counseling letter” warning me that a repeat performance could result in Non-Judicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Lastly, I don’t want to make excuses for my lapse in focus, but certainly, it would have been to that Air Force facility’s benefit to give the security personnel more frequent breaks. One of the downsides to the EPS and security/protection business is the expectation that in carrying out this vitally important work we are expected to be super-human.  But that’s a topic for another story.

  • Hector Falu Muhammad

    This is right on time Mr. DeVino. Complancency is the number one complaint of all of my potential and existing clientele.

  • Howard Ash

    James, Are you talking about losing your edge, or being lazy. It is the responsibility of the team leader/ops manager (dependent on size of detail) to ensure that these tasks are carried out. If a member of a detail is becoming this bad, then it is time to be thinking of a detail change….

  • JAMES DEVINO

    Mr. Falu Muhammed:

    I assume you are an Owner/Manager of Executive Protection personnel and you are fielding complaints regarding your customers (principal’s) perception that your agents appear to be laxed and complacent while on post. In an attempt to continue a dialogue, how do you, as the individual primarily responsible for the performance of your personnel, intend to deal with this critical problem? I observe and perfectly understand your concern. Obviously, this could affect your bottom line or profit margin, your company’s reputation, and ultimately, the future of your organization.

  • JAMES DEVINO

    Mr. Ash,

    I am referring to an emotional and physiological response to performing repetive actions. Are you aware that one of the primary reason our children are not properly educated is because well-educated teachers who were especially enthusiastic when they first began their tutorial careers, are burned out within the first seven years of providing instruction. In other words, they LOST THEIR EDGE.

    What I am referring to in my article is not laziness. We would hope that by virtue of our individual company’s screening processes, we would detect and exclude from executive protection employment those prone to inadequate performance, laziness, and other critical flaws. Laziness is an attitudinal problem; losing one’s edge is both an emotional and physical response to performing repetitious activities.

    For example, you are posted to secure the kitchen area of a restaurant while your principal entertains clients at dinner. You have performed this assignment at least 10 to 15 times; you know how long it will be before you get the radio call that the detail is about to move. You, as the professional executive protection specialist you are know that none of the kitchen staff have criminal records (during the advance their names and other identifiable data were secured and they were each cleared). However, one thing you are not aware of is that John, who happens to be the primary waiter assigned to your princpal’s table, was terminated from your client’s company three years ago for downloading child porn on his office computer. John, who still harbors a grudge for being fired, decides that if he can get past the advance screening process and gets a chance to volunteer to wait the table of those “important guys,” will attempt to harm your principal. Having secured kitchens numerous times in the past, you never had an untoward action occur in regard to the kitchen staff attacking your client. Perhaps your main concern is the door leading to the alley where the motorcade is awaiting to be summoned; you wonder if the detail will simply depart via the kitchen; and you ensure you know the large sharp carving are located. Primarily, you feel confident that nothing dangerous to your principal will originate from the kitchen tonight. Here is when you lost your edge! You secured kitchens before and no problems arose, so IT WON’T HAPPEN TONIGHT! This is not laziness, this is complacency, assuming you have covered all the bases. So, when waiter John slips drano into your man’s iced tea; or carry’s a steak knife into the main seating area when you know from reviewing the order ticket that no one ordered food that requires cutting, you miss it – it being the act that if you had not LOST YOUR EDGE you would have questioned. But you failed to question or think, “what other dangers are there in this kitchen. Could one of the people I have been seeing coming and going know my client, have stalked my client, may want to kill my client? You don’t ask these questions of yourself because all you know is that you have secured restaurant kitchens at least a dozen times in your career.

    As for supervisory observation as a corrective measure, often a detail leader is concerned primarily with the big picture: is each agent reporting; has the motorcade been staged; and of course, his main concern, the principal who he is watching on and off throughout the dinner. He may or may not make it back to the kitchen and if he does it probably won’t be when John slips the drano into the client’s iced tea or slips out of the kitchen with a steak knife.

    Maitaining your professional edge, not allowing yourself to take anything for granted no matter how many times you have performed the task or how trivial the action may be is the agent’s responsibility. Just like the teacher who should be just as enthusiastic about providing our children with a quality education at year 20 as he or she was during years one through seven, the executive protection specialist must engage each task as if it is being accomplished for the first time. Of course bring all your experience and knowledge to the game, but leave the “take it for granted” and other complacent assumptions at home where they belong.

  • Rick Colliver

    James–
    Excellent article describing behaviors that are virtually unavoidable in all professions (doctors, lawyers, reporters). One of the toughest challenges we face in security management is keeping people on their toes, between crises. When there’s action, we’re on top of it. However, my boss reminds me that we’re there to ensure that there is no action. The rule in this business is “The best thing that can happen is that nothing will happen”. And, you’re absolutely right that complacency is extremely detrimental to the mission.

    In response to your USAF story, I have to confess that my wake-up call was advancing a route to bring employees and VIP’s into a large conference from staged pick-up areas around town…using tour busses. When I advanced it, I was in a 4-door sedan. My route made some minor detours around the site so that we could do a strong-side drop for the guests. On game day, I was sitting up next to the driver of the first coach, relaying the route information, when all of a sudden, he locked up hs breaks. Seemed I’d neglected to note a low-clearance railway overpass… necessitating that we back three custom tour busses back down a narrow street…while listening to the passengers talk amongst themselves “Who’s the moron that picked this route?”
    Live and learn!

    Again, great article!

  • GhostWriterGirl

    That’s a great story, Mr. Colliver! Helps to illuminate the point DeVino is trying to make. Thanks for sharing. One of the things that I think is so wonderful about this website is that people can share and learn from the missteps of others. Everybody is a “rookie” at some point and at the opposite end, anybody can suffer from “burnout” for doing something for too long. This site helps to prompt discussions and keeps everyone on their toes!

  • Ben Lichtenberg

    Mr. Ash,

    You bring up a valid point, it is the responsibility of the Team Leader to make sure things get done but as Mr. DeVino pointed out with several examples, complacency effects everyone no matter how professional you think you are.

    Excellent post Jim.

  • Hucky

    Jim and Rick solid comments on both parts. Its a pleasure to have professions like yourselves associated with Bodyguard Careers

  • Donny W. Borah

    To All: Just wanted to thank all participants and the authors of the articles on “Keeping Your Edge”! They were awesome and very eye-opening for a soon-to-be EP candidate through Sexton Executive Security’s EP course in March. Thanks again!

  • hek

    As the client of Executive Protection – I to have noticed the “lost the edge” you described in your article and follow up. In trying to describe it to the head of the company I use the only term I as a non professional could come up with is – fatigue.

    My situation is fairly unique – I am a lone female traveling on average 2-3 week trips. There has never been any inappropriate behavior and I have made the owner and the company on of my trusted advisors.

    Losing your edge towards the end of a trip or at an event where it would seem to be the last place anyone would attempt anything can have consequences. At an event with my agent – many secruity guards and counter (retail store) a “respectable crowd”. Some one did come up behind me and well…let’s just say a bump and grind. I was startled (to put it lightly). After talking with the agent and the owner about what happened they assured me it will never happen again.

    To which I replied – you can not promise me that. All we can do is work together as a team and do the best we can to keep it from happening again. Again, I may not be “high profile” – intend to keep it that way – but anything can happen at any time, at any place.

    As a client – I now hire in country support for my agent. It is difficult at best being the only agent for a client on an extended trip…and it does not help that I am a female. This is my way of supporting and working as a team. By doing this I IN NO WAY think the agents that work for me are lazy or sloppy. In fact they have proven time and time again they are not.

    Besides – watching agents in other countries working executive protection for a lone female (stubborn at that) for the first time is quite an eye opener.

    What I also want to say – is that I would not be able to do what I do with out you all. Even if it does not seem so at times – You reall do make a difference – and I thank you.

  • Mr. Philbrick

    Great article.

    Working 14 hour days, 7 days a week, for months on end will always take it’s toll.

    I find that a healthy diet is the most important thing when it comes to maintaining one’s energy. I find if you can maintain your energy, than you can maintain your edge.

    Green vegatables are one of my favorites for keeping me alert. Greens are low in calories, and high in megajoules of energy. Green drinks and green supplaments are also widely avaible, which is great for those of us that don’t have time to sit down to a proper meal.

    Avoid junk food or fast food at all costs, this stuff is high in calories and low in magajoules of energy.

    Avoid as much sugar as possible, sugar is one of the worst things you can put into your body. Soda pop is the anti-christ. Also, even the sugar in fruit and fruit jucies is still sugar. So instead of juice, drink water.

    Garbage in = Garbage out.

    Stay Sharp!

  • http://cigarest.org Cigarrest

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  • http://www.538.com.au Karl Thornton

    Written By: Karl Thornton

    It is a natural human behavior, and that is why no matter how experienced you are, you sometimes need to go back to the basics.

    Back to Basics.
    The Arc of Influence.

    Sometimes even the most experienced bodyguard needs to re-cap on old information, techniques and strategies. It may be to understand previous information that was not fully understood at the time, but with experience under the belt, now allows a better understanding.

    Or we may have just simply forgotten. We may have had a leave of absence from the industry, or have undertaken another roll within security such as a stint in crowd control and need to freshen up our knowledge base for an up coming CPP assignment.

    The following is a quick look at “Advanced Protective Formations”. Now the information will provide a spark to those old memory cells, or will enforce the need to undertake a refresher course in group formation.

    Close Personal Protection is a complex profession. There are many facets to a Close Protection Operative’s success.
    In this issue I will talk about the “Arc of Influence” also known as the Arc of Responsibility. No matter what assignment you are on, from a small security detail like a basic SET (Security Escort Team) or a full PSD (Protective Security Detail) assignment, you should know and adhere to your Arc.
    Depending on the size of the team, and your appointed position will determine your Arc. A professional well trained CPO will not deviate from his Arc unless requested by his Operational and or Team Leader, or unless faced with an AOP (Attack on Principal). Your Arc is your responsibility. Sorry for all the “in brackets” information, but as stated this is a re-cap and you may have forgotten the acronyms.

    Arc of Influence – (The CPO’s arc of responsibility)
    Any CPP detail that requires Single CPO Formation, Open V Formations, Box Formations, Diamond Formations, and or Wedge Formations. The CPO must know their responsibilities within this environment.
    AN ATTACK: when it strikes, an Operative with well trained skills in their arc of responsibilities within the given environment will deliver professional personal protection.

    Unlike crowd control or basic security services, the CPO must be able to work within a team yet at the same time know their arc of responsibility, not falter in the event of an AOP (Attack On Principal). He/She must know their limitations, expectations, and variations.

    In team formations there will be movement and changing of formation positions regularly throughout the escorting of a VIP from point A to point B. Variations on your arc of responsibility will change, you must adapt fast. Like with anything in life, training and reinforcement will create the natural and physical skills required to automatically react as required.

    Never assume that basic theory will provide you with what you need to succeed.

    There are many variations and approaches to implementing your arc. So it is important that you can adapt to change at a very rapid rate. As your arc is not defined by rules and guidelines when an attack is underway, your arc can change in an instant when faced with the rules of engagement. This is where, like any area of physical training, you need to practice variations.

    For example: Your arc will be defined by your roll in the SET (Security Escort Team) if you are front right of a box formation, your arc will be defined by that delegated position. If a directional change is called from North to South, your arc will once again change to the new delegated position. This can be an ongoing process throughout the escort detail. You need to adapt to the change.

    So what happens when you are under attack?
    When under attack, this is where training and repetition of drills come into play. If you haven’t trained, failure is just around the corner. Training will develop intuition and reactions based on muscle memory and rehearsed scenarios.

    As I have stated, your arc is not defined by set rules and guidelines (yes there are methods, techniques, procedures, and responsibilities) when an attack is underway. It will require instant response. If your team is down an operative or more due to dealing with an attacker, your arc may shift from a designated area of responsibility to a single protection responsibility, especially if the Primary Escort is taken out, and you have assumed that roll due to proximity. In other words you were the closest to the client (Principal) and need to extract ASAP.
    However, it may not even be that dramatic. It may simply be that during a VIP event, an unexpected crowd has gathered, and part of the SET team is required to advance to secure the area, and your responsibility once again has been changed and you may be part of a two man formation. Where the Primary Escort will still remain in his/her delegated position, and you will take up the responsibility as the point man. Your arc is now expanded to not only a wider arc, but a deeper arc. Your field of view is not only dedicated to what can come from left, right and center, but your distance has also now increased.
    Overreact and your credibility can be bruised not your body. By this I mean that if the possibility of attack is minimal, and that the gathering of a boisterous crowd may be due to celebrity related issues, you don’t want to take down an individual simply wanting an autograph. However, if you are not well trained in SET formations and your arc of responsibility, overreacting is sometimes a habit not an option.

    Always remember training is not just about what goes on in the classroom. Training is about taking mental notes and challenges in everyday life. When out shopping utilize mirrors, reflections from shop front windows, reflections from shinny tiled areas, assess what is going on around you. Use your environment.
    You should train for single protection details, as well as group formations. Even if you are working with your regular formed team, or are allocated to a different team for an assignment, if you are well trained in SET formations you can adapt and fit in. If you are not well trained, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but your other team members, and more importantly the PRINCIPAL.

    Remember the old saying “there is no I in team”, but there are 2 in training.

    Written By: Karl Thornton
    Executive Protection Specialist
    538 Pty Ltd

  • Guy Marzola

    EP is all about job specific education. In reality (as we know) all the action look good on the TV movies. If the intel and the team is up with the “Real” team concept, the detail should be just easy and collect the pay in a safe manner. It was times that the Bodtguard had to be big, tall, large, Desert Eagle 50mm in the shoulder hoster and have that intimidating look. Today we look at reality so… lets look normal, professional and make easy money!

  • Doug Williams

    Another excellent column with responses. A few thoughts. First, we never stop learning if we want to learn, so thanks to everyone! Each response brings a new perspective, and I make it a point to profit from each person’s perspective and experiences. No one person can do it all. That’s one of the best things about these columns – a master writes a column, the pros respond and other pros (the readers) learn.

    Second, about complacency, boredom and tedium, my son’s experience also shows this. He was a USAF check point guard for a more or less out of the way base in a certain country in the Middle East (unnamed). The highlight of every day seemed to be a camel herder about a mile away, same time, same direction, same guy, similar camels.

    I encouraged my son to dig into this — count the camels, scope the edges of the scene, scrutinize camel herder, count the lines on the guy’s face and watch what he watches. Note time to the minute, document, chop up the horizon by 10 degree segments, front, sides of field of view, sky. Nothing ever came of all that, just routine, nothing else happened. Utter boredom. The problem was the assets behind him — he was not at that check point for no reason. 120 degree heat notwithstanding, he endured 6 months and brutal hours at that checkpoint. Just a reference point related to the above article.

    Another thought — helping endurance and attention. As indicated by another responder, green drinks do indeed add physiological endurance, and lung efficiency if you need to call on it, due to the 02 enhancement to the body from the ingredients. Grind up in a blender fresh spinach greens, 5 leaves of dark green romaine lettuce, a half cup of “Old Orchard” cranberry pomegranite juice, and a half cup of pure apple juice for taste. This is used in combination with off-duty workouts, regular sleep, balanced diet, AND absolutely no caffeine/sugar sodas, which “tend” to increase restroom needs and undermine other physiological factors. Hydrate with water, not sodas.

    Plus, regarding the green drinks and workouts, the more strenuous the workouts the better. The body responds to its habits. The body remembers nutrition habits and workout habits similar to remembering the habit of pulling back your front right hand jacket pocket (the pocket with the keys in it adding a little weight) to accomplish a fast draw from your de Santis Gunhide with the 9mm in it!

    Thx again.

  • Boo Yah

    These posts have provided some good information as well as comments.

    Another issue that was not covered is what I call the “Client Dynamic”. There are countless reasons why an EPS may begin to fall into the trap of complacency…several of which have been touched upon in this forum. Even the most experienced and seasoned agent can fall prey to fatigue, false confidence and frustration.

    The fatigue is caused by the obvious hours put in before during and after a detail. A responsible, healthy diet, coupled with ongoing physical training will absolutely help in keeping your edge. An agent who exercises regularly and eats helthfully will also reap more restful, rejuvinating sleep…when sleep is an activity that finally fits into the day. Detail asset levels are very important to the effective functioning of a team and could actually be the subject of an entirely separate article.

    False Confidence IS complacency…and has no place anywhere near a protective detail. Each Detail will follow a basic process, which is, itself, repetative: Client interview, Threat Assessment, Contract Review, Asset determination, Advance, Detail Ops and final Detail Debrief. Every aspect of this process needs to be consciously treated as if it is the first time you have done it. You may have built a list of contacts, resources and routes that you draw from…but the moment you assume that your contact at Restaurant-X will be available to follow “the usual” procedure, you will find that that contact is no longer the manager or his cell number has been changed. You may know the primary and secondary routes to the restaurant like the back of your hand but as soon as you blow off a quick-confirm on the route you will find yourself in a construction zone, which is bad on several levels. Many years ago, I sat down in the classroom on my first day of EP School. There were two things written on the large white-board that I still refer to on a daily basis. The first was “DEAD CLIENTS DON’T PAY”. The second was “Chance Favors the Prepared Mind”. We get up and go to work because we have to earn money to live. It’s that simple. We have chosen a field in which we trade our time and skills in the protection of specific life and property…for a pre determined amount of monetary compensation. “Dead clients don’t pay”, says it all. “Chance favors the prepared mind”. If we as protective agents always have a truly prepared mind, the ability for complacency to factor into the outcome of an unadvancable situation, is greatly reduced. We can train, plan, prepare and advance for nearly any situation. The one thing we cannot accurately advance, is Joe Public. The drunk on the street or the unexpected and random situation that is caused by a member of the public which causes the need to go from proactive to reactive in an instant. An agent who is functioning on his edge, will make an instant and correct decision that will not only secure the physicl safety of the principle but will also best protect his or her reputation.

    The third area I mentioned early in this post, is frustration. Agent frustration is a dangerous issue that can easily stem from what I call the “Client Dynamic”.

    The majority of clients we serve are not only untrained but also do not have a true understanding of their needs. In my experience, clients have been very wealthy, high-profile people with varied threat levels who want to live and function like “normal people”. They do not understand the fact that they are NOT normal people. This fact, mixed with a common attitude of entitlement can lead to a client that is quite difficult to serve on a daily basis. You will put a lot of time and effort into an advance or a protocol that provides a safe movement or environment for your client…and they will change everything or make decisions that will put themselves and you in a dangerous situation. It is important to understand that the client is the boss and it is our job to provide them with whatever it is that they want within the law. This can be quite difficult to do without falling prey to frustration. Frustration-complacency is worse than a complacent false-confidence because it comes from a “screw-it” attitude. Directors and Team-Leaders need to be aware of this dynamic and keep team-communication as open and free-flowing as possible. A team that trusts it’s leaders and understands that the leaders are aware of the client-dynamic, will tend to stay tighter and function closer to their edges despite the difficulties posed by the client. Communication is the most powerful weapon we have available as Executive Security Providers.

  • Bill Clason

    This Information is great. I read everything and learned so much from you Professionals in the Field.

    Thank You,
    Sgt. Bill Clason/ Colorado

  • http://www.icepltd.com Doc Rogers

    James: Very professional advice to keep everyone on their toes – no matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned pro in this business. Thank you and keep safe, Doc

  • Larry

    Articles are great and a great contribution to those who are smart enough to take take the time to increase their knowledge or refresh their their TOMA (top of mind awareness). Always room for improvement.

    I look so forward to getting these articles.

    thanks guys.

    Rangers Lead the Way