By Doc Rogers
Author’s note: Written with a slightly pained smile; don’t take the article too seriously – enjoy.
If you are a CEO being assigned a bodyguard (executive protection specialist; the preferred, politically correct name) for this first time, than pay particular attention to this guide. Follow its simple advice and you’ll be pleasantly surprised on how having a bodyguard can be the best corporate perk ever by making you more productive and secure wherever you go. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before you even meet your new bodyguard; keep the following in mind.
CEO’S PLANS vs. BODYGUARD’S PLANS
As a CEO your job is to implement marvelous ideas to move your company forward; developing plans and getting employees to execute them soundly. Your bodyguard has plans as well and it’s along the same lines as yours. Your bodyguard will customarily be utilizing SOPs. These have been taught by older, wiser and more experience men of long ago in the trade and handed down. Your bodyguard’s main objectives are in the following order; your safety, security and comfort. You have probably brought into the conventional perception that all bodyguards are gorillas in ill-fitting suits. The bodyguards of yesteryear were a little more forceful and impolite. Today’s bodyguards are keen on executing their jobs flawlessly by using their training, intelligence and ability.
DEVELOPING A SOLID FOUNDATION
Chief executives being assigned a bodyguard should focus on developing a solid foundation. Here are some useful tips:
- A bodyguard needs an itinerary to function properly; it is the very lifeblood of his job. Whenever possible get your secretary to send your bodyguard an itinerary for the upcoming week. Do not hesitate to send multiple amendments.
- When going to business functions where you will be a participant have your secretary describe your tasks at each step of the process (e.g., go up on stage, give a 20 minute speech, grip-grin and photo ops with Third World upper echelons of senior management, etc.). It is the bodyguard’s job to lead the way, let him accomplish this by providing reams of information and keeping him in-the-loop.
Although this subject can occupy full book shelves, here it is explained in a concise fashion. The term bodyguard was developed hundreds of years ago, way before the present-day “executive protection specialist” was ever imaged. The man (or woman) that has been assigned to you is there to keep your body safe, secure and comfortable. His objective to ensure your body remains a living, breathing, comfy being and does not get damaged or heaven forbid deceased. There are of course a thousand other related duties, expending on those tasks would take a full book. Just try to ensure that during your day-to-day activities you do not water down the bodyguard’s all-important tasks as explained in this section. This will create win-win situations and pave the way for a great working relationship and longevity.
AN UNTRAINED EYE
To the untrained eye your bodyguard may be drinking coffee in the lobby of the five-star hotel you are occupying. However, unbeknownst to no one, he has been up for 3.5 hours, had a workout, briefed the security drivers, spoken with the security manager of the hotel and has already put in some real honest sweat. Even as he sits enjoying his first cup of coffee his mind is working and the wheels of his subconscious are spinning to ensure all goes smoothly.
Modern bodyguards want to execute their jobs flawlessly. To do this you must allow them to assume responsibility for your protection. You can accomplish this easily by following these few tips:
- Allowing your bodyguard to ride in the same vehicle as you oppose to a chase vehicle. He should be positioned in the front passenger seat to ensure that if the driver becomes incapacitated, he can take over control of the vehicle. It is called the “dead man takeover” technique.
- Upon reaching your destination do not get out of the vehicle until your bodyguard opens your door. This has nothing to do with courtesy, although bodyguards have highly good manners. It has to do with ensuring when you step from the vehicle your environment is a safe one.
As a CEO you are superbly skilled and are laser focused on directing people with day-to-day decisions based on what your company is trying to achieve. However, in a worst case scenario, you will have no say in the matter regarding the operational technique or tactic your bodyguard will utilize to keep you safe from harm. There will be no discussions in the matter. There will be people oblivious within the confusion and chaos that swarms. The only one who will be on guard, with clearheaded thinking and taking professional action will be your bodyguard. These are the tangible attributes the bodyguard/executive protection specialist brings to the table. Use them to your advantage. Keep safe and God speed.
Doc Rogers is the author of Corporate Executive Protection – A Manual for Inspiring Corporate Bodyguards and president and CEO of International Corporate Executive Protection Ltd. Doc has earned a Ph.D. in Security Administration from Southwest University and he is SE Asia’s leading expert on executive protection and corporate security.