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By Doc Rogers
EP is a vastly rewarding industry; however you must develop some unique abilities in order to reach the pinnacle of success. “But I’m a top graduate of the best EP academy in the country; I don’t need to develop anymore abilities.” Yes, that’s what they all say, upon graduation all is right in the world and the world appears to be your oyster. Until the first international EP detail comes in.
On your first international EP assignment you will be most likely assigned to conduct advance work and receive the client and join the EP team upon arrival at the airport. With a freshly issued passport in hand you leave the nest and head off to some over crowed, grim, dirty and dangerous country.
It’s your job to formulate the advance package (work product) to facilitate secure and smooth movement of the client upon arrival from Point A to Point B and you have only two days to complete your work. Whoever said the job of a bodyguard was easy? Certainly not I.
The following is an eleven-point checklist which the new EP graduates would do well to keep in mind when conducting international advances:
1. Keep the words secure, comfortable and trouble free in your mind.
2. Every city, route and venue has hidden risks. Find them and avoid them.
3. Keep a sense of mission and a total commitment to the job. This attitude will keep you in a strong and focused mental state.
4. It’s easy to waste time and cut corners; doing so is the easiest way to get your client killed. Approach the job with concise engagement and execution.
5. Maintain teamwork and communication.
6. Should conduct your advance in relative secrecy for added security.
7. Ensure your work product provides the client both physical and emotional care. You need to read the mood of the client, ensure the client can rest easy with no feelings of being unnerved, insecure, or fearful.
8. Upon arrival of the client and upon joining the EP team at the airport project a climate of professionalism.
9. Look the client in the eye, smile and provide a warm greeting.
10. When showing the client and the EP team to their respective vehicles demonstrate decisiveness.
11. You are the Advance Man; be in command of the situation, yet keep humble and sincere at all times.
The EP profession is not glamorous; there is lots of work to be done and meticulous planning to be conducted.
Your success depends on expanding your EP learning curve above and beyond academy, constantly assess the situation, and conduct continuous planning. The above eleven-point checklist should be you basis for a successful and informed EP advance fulfillment. Use it wisely for a strong and powerful career ahead. All the best and God speed.
Hi Alonzo: Hope you are doing well and keeping busy.
Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. Keep safe!
All true and useful points, as usual Doc. Thanks for the reminders.
In particular, I think that everything we do (if successful) derives from the attitude described in #3. As for #9, it’s hard to convince some guys in our business of the power of a smile: whether the client knows us or not, they’ll be reading our body language. A pleasant and relaxed disposition in a protector (if otherwise professional and alert, of course) is the first sign that everything is safe and under control. And we don’t just get paid to keep them safe, but also comfortable (high-risk PSDs are another story).