By Doc Rogers
As more people enter the bodyguard industry from all walks of life, there tends to be a section of individuals who are only book smart or academy smart and are not aware or have an understanding of the world. Street smart bodyguards on the other hand maintain good common sense and know how to avoid bad situations before they happen. They possess the skills necessary to operate in most environments and do so with confidence.
This does not mean street smart bodyguards are not well-educated. They are mostly academically smart individuals. But ones that have an advantage of an additional street education; they may have received their street education growing up in bad neighborhoods or by former occupations where they dealt with unpleasant people on an everyday basis.
How You Can Help How can street smart bodyguards teach teammates who are only book smart or academy smart to deal with the real world on assignment? Although street smarts are a set of characteristics that take years to fully develop, you can start teaching your fresh out-of-the academy or relatively naïve teammates the following recommendations. It will take time and dedicated effort, but will be well worth it. Risk and Consequences When on assignment in unfamiliar operational areas teach them not only which areas to keep away from, but also why. Let them know what may be waiting around the corner so they can effectively avoid potential trouble.
Intel Keep them informed of what’s going on in the operational area and how it may affect the security level. Teach them to observe, listen and understand the environment they are working in. Remind them that being street smart is knowledge of the operational area and all information should be taken seriously.
Neighborhoods Brief them on the people in the operational area and what to expect when dealing with them. This includes the risks they present and how to avoid them. Inform them to become acquainted with the common problems in the neighborhood, the ins and outs of the locale and to understand the people in general. This will assist your teammates with making the right decisions and how to deal with different situations that may arise.
Support Support the new BGs on your team who have lived sheltered lives and know little about the real world. Share your intelligence, common sense and wisdom with them. Give them the skills necessary to handle circumstances and avoid bad situations. Have the ability to subtly mentor and teach them to function professionally within a team environment. Show them how to improve their mental toughness, obtain a winner’s mindset and up their street IQ. Keep safe and God speed.
This is a very good statement about streetsmart i know very well i came from L.A. SOUTH CENTRAL to be exact As a police officer for 20plus years i can confirm the streetsmart edge Thanks
Six, thanks for the kind words. You and I are the same; always giving back to the industry we love! Keep Safe.
Doc, thanks for all your unselfishness and willing to give so much to the industry. You are never to busy to help share knowledge and mentor others. Another no nonsense straight forward approach.
Thank you very much for the kind words Benjamin. West-Africa is a tough neighborhood, and it goes without saying you need to be street smart to survive there! I know ICON’s reputation for real world training and producing highly capable, intelligent and street smart agents. Keep up the great work! God speed.
Doc, thanks for sharing this very important piece of information about being street smart.
As an EP specialist that was trained partly from one of the harshest non-permissive environment and streets in West-Africa, I understand the street language and as such i completely appreciate the wisdom in this article and its importance to all new and even experienced EP professionals.
What you articulated here in this article can only best appreciated and understood by those who have LIVED IT or by those who have been directly tutored/mentored by someone that has LIVED IT and is STREET SMART or STREET WISE as I call it.
I have worked with academically smart and experienced EP professionals without Street Smartness who cracked while on a detail in some not too nice environment and this is why at ICON Academy a lot of emphasis is placed on Real World Knowledge as opposed to textbook knowledge.
I encourage all to read this article and heed take and apply all the wise recommendations you have given.
Once again thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
Global Director of International Operations
Icon Services Corporation