Are you looking for a new career?
Executive Protection Training Chicago Academy offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date training available in the industry.
We offer three-day courses that are focused on techniques, tips, and methods for the solo executive protection agent (SOLO EPA).
Our instructors have over 60 years of experience in this field and have trained at some of the top schools in our industry.
Below are just a few topics covered in the Executive Protection Training Chicago course.
- Identifying the need for high-profile personal protection.
- Duties of protection personnel.
- Assessing threats and vulnerabilities.
- Executive protection formations.
- Proven protection strategies and techniques.
- Vehicle arrival & departure details.
- Protection planning for special events.
- Advance preparations for the venue.
- First aid for emergencies.
- Vehicle protection & driving training.
Executive protection can be a difficult skill to master. That’s why we’ve put together this program with only the most effective training methods and strategies that are guaranteed to give you the skills needed for success.
So if you’re looking for a career change or want to make more money as a solo agent, then this is the perfect opportunity for you!
Our courses are designed with both beginners and experienced professionals in mind so that everyone can walk away feeling confident about their new skillset.
This course is also great if you’re already working as an agent but want to improve your skillset and be better prepared when it comes time to handle difficult situations on your own.
Don’t wait any longer – take control of your future today by enrolling in Executive Protection Training Chicago Academy SOLO Executive Protection Course!
A certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of the course. The course is also eligible for 18 ASIS credit.
Tuition: $500.00 with financing available
Dates: August 11-13th 2021
The course format requires the total number of students be limited to 15 students. Reserve your space now!
What is executive protection?
So what is executive protection?
Executive Protection is a vital service to some of the most important people in society.
These professionals work tirelessly and strategically to ensure that their clients are safe from harm, regardless of where they may be located or what time of day it may be.
Essentially, it is a specialized form of security that is managed by highly trained professionals that the individual’s private firm typically employs.
Many industries such as entertainment, oil and gas, and many fortune 500 companies employ these professional agents who offer round-the-clock protection for their clients.
In addition to a variety of other services such as high net worth asset protection.
These agents are also highly skilled in close protection tactics.
How do you get into executive protection?
Executive protection requires a high aptitude of professionalism and training and the ability to make life or death decisions quickly.
It can be complex and challenging for someone to get into executive protection. Students graduating from executive protection schools believe that they can become successful in the field with just an executive protection diploma.
In the executive protection business, securing contracts and getting work is a skill.
Halls and walls agents are among the most common entry points into the executive protection industry.
Take your responsibilities as a halls and walls agent seriously and act accordingly, you could find yourself on a close protection team protecting the principal sooner than you expected.
However, close protection positions are attainable typically based on executive protection experience, training, and qualifications.
It is for this reason that you must continuously improve your executive protection skills.
Training is your fast track up the executive protection ladder and will propel you to where you want to be.
You need to take a long-term interest in your executive protection career development.
What are the attributes of executive protection professionals?
In order to be successful in this field, a person must possess many skills and attributes. Some of the most important skills include:
The most crucial ability for executive protection agents is the ability to listen and communicate effectively with people in various settings.
Body language is a skill that needs to be developed to understand how words are interpreted, so you can speak and express thoughts or convey information.
You will frequently need to make decisions as an executive protection specialist. Sometimes these decisions will be small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Occasionally though, the decision will need to be made quickly – with lives at stake. To pull all that off, you need to do your best and stay ready!
It is nearly impossible to excel in the executive protection industry without commitment.
A lack of dedication could affect your work, privacy, productivity, and safety.
A Resourceful Attitude:
One of the essential attributes of an executive protection agent is resourcefulness.
This skill is needed when working with unfamiliar places or people, which often happens in this career. Expanding your skillset and maintaining versatile qualities are essential to success in executive protection.
As an executive protection agent, resourcefulness and initiative are required skills that must be constantly honed; creativity is also crucial for developing safety plans.
An Understanding of Social Skills:
Executive protection agents who succeed are detail-oriented, patient, and trustworthy.
Another considerable part of your job is creating relationships with the people you’ve been hired to protect. While maintaining a delicate balance between helping your clients and building trust, social skills are crucial.
Why consider this career?
It’s an important question to ask. After all, it is a job that tends to be high-stress.
It requires you to put yourself in harm’s way to ensure that others are protected.
It requires a lot of training and specialized skills. It can be a thankless job when things go well and a firestorm when there is a breach in the protection.
And if nothing dangerous is afoot, it can get somewhat dull.
It’s physically taxing and mentally grueling. So why do it?
Once you get past your misconceptions about the industry and learn what you are getting into, you will find that it is a great career full of incentives.
There are several reasons why someone should consider executive protection as a career:
People who are wired to protect others are a special breed.
They are obviously quite brave. But there is so much more to their character.
They are attentive, alert, smart, and adventurous.
They abhor the idea of the good guy getting hurt and the bad guy getting away.
Therefore, they are willing to take significant risks to ensure justice is served.
Executive protection specialists do get the opportunity to meet exciting, interesting, and famous people. They are often in close proximity to celebrities from around the world.
IT’S A WAY TO TRAVEL
If your lifestyle permits it, you may consider securing a passport because your client may need to travel outside of the United States and need their protection detail to come along.
VIPs get to visit some of the most exotic places the world has to offer.
Keep in mind, though, while it may be a vacation for them, it will be work for you. So, you will get to see it, but you might not have time off to explore it.
And it will take some time before you are a trusted enough member of the VIPs team to be invited.
You will have to pay your dues by working long and hard with a successful track record before perks like these open up to you.
More and more people are employing protection specialists.
It’s not just a luxury for the super-rich, celebrities, or military figures.
Bankers, CEOs, high-profile speakers, religious leaders, and many others have discovered the need for personal protection.
Partially because they fear for their safety and partly because they need to move from place to place without being stopped by people who want to do them harm.
For this reason, executive protection agents are finding that their employment opportunities are expanding.
The average income for a bodyguard today is $55,000, while some earn multiple six-figure incomes.
Polls of executive protection specialists return interesting results in the United States. Most display a wide range of earning potential among agents:
• Payscale puts E. P. S. pay between $40,000 per year and $150,000 per year.
• Ziprecruiter lists the earning potential at $68.25/hour ($142,000).
• Salary.com states the range is more likely $51,000 per year to $79,000 per year.
• JobMonkey puts the average bodyguard salary at $55,000 per year but notes that many people make upwards of $180,000 per year.
As you can see, the earnings are all over the map.
There is no question that a seasoned, experienced close protection specialist can easily demand multiple six-figure salaries.
Much of the variation depends on the definition of the team “executive protection specialist.” If the survey includes security guards in the determination, the numbers will be skewed lower.
THE TRAINING IS USEFUL IN MANY OTHER AREAS
Of course, as an executive protection specialist, you will learn the ins and outs of caring for your client moving them from place to place safely, or protecting their surroundings to ensure their safety.
But you will learn many other useful skills like great communication, first aid, emergency management, and fire safety.
IT MAKES YOU A SHARP OBSERVER
One of the primary responsibilities of an executive protection specialist is to stay alert and aware. Protection agents must prepare for and identify threats when they are at the earliest stages.
The best protection specialists can scan the crowd and detect who might be a potential threat. That level of threat assessment heightens your observation skills.
THE INDUSTRY IS GROWING
More and more people are hiring protection specialists. That means that the industry is expanding.
With the advent of crimes in areas where crimes never happened before, like churches and department stores, protection specialists are becoming more and more valuable.
Celebrities and political leaders aren’t the only ones looking for security. Clients include diplomats, business leaders, and other high-net-worth individuals.
Who needs Executive Protection?
Any person or individual that requires a high level of personal safety while in public view may be considered to need the services of executive protection.
This is typically applied to celebrities, but it can also be used for senior executives at large corporations and important government officials such as diplomats and military personnel.
Political and business leaders are not the only ones on the list. Other people are just as vulnerable, regardless of where they are in the protective chain.
- Executives and CEOs
- Professional athletes
- Musicians and Performers
- Wealthy individuals
Who is Qualified?
Let’s start by busting some of the myths that are commonly associated with executive protection:
Current or former law enforcement officers are naturally good at executive protection. FALSE!
Current or former military personal are always good at executive protection. FALSE!
People who have earned a Black Belt or Ninja designation will automatically excel. FALSE!
Sharpshooters and Sniper are already great at executive protection. FALSE!
None of these myths are true. It doesn’t matter if you have killed enemies in a foreign war theater, served in local community protection, or stormed the beaches of Normandy.
Executive protection is a different arena from all of these scenarios and requires a specialized skill set to succeed and keep your clients alive and well.
Even if you are the resident “tough guy” who is skilled at protecting themselves, it does not mean that executive protection is proper for you or that you will succeed in the industry without intense training.
And yes, even if you have discharged your weapon in protecting yourself or others, that alone does not automatically qualify you for this significantly challenged and nuanced work.
However, all of these scenarios may indicate that the field is looking for you just as it came looking for me.
The Key Requirement to Working in the Executive Protection Field is TRAINING.
The only thing that makes someone qualified to do this job is Protective Services-specific training and practical work experience in the field.
There are many excellent operators in this field that have experience from jobs that demand bravery, brains, and physical strength.
But that is not what causes them to excel in this field. The most important favor you can do for yourself and your clients is to ensure you get the best training available in Protective Services.
In 2009, a couple crashed an exclusive White House party.
Somehow, they managed to get in and get dangerously close to then-president Barack Obama.
The Secret Service fell under intense scrutiny.
Several officers were placed on leave, and protocols were re-evaluated and enhanced to ensure such an event didn’t happen again.
History buffs will, of course, remember that President Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard, Officer John Parker, was curiously absent when John Wilkes Booth made his way into the President’s theater box and delivered a fatal shot to the head.
Executive Protection is serious business. When things go well, no one notices. But when things go wrong, they go very wrong!
That is why training from experienced leaders in the field is needed to prepare you for success.
However, before researching training options, people interested in the business, but have no training or experience, should first read a quality book on the subject.
If you don’t enjoy reading, there are several great audiobooks on Audible.
This way, you won’t spend $3,000 or more just to discover that the protection business is far more than “Kicking butt and taking names” or find that it isn’t the career for you.
Please understand, reading a book will not replace training, but it can provide you with important insights into this line of work before deciding to invest a lot of time and money.
As you begin your quest to find competent, high-quality training programs, several considerations must be paramount in your selection process.
Just keep in mind, the better your training, the greater your chances that nothing will go awry because of your incompetence when it counts.
And the better your training, the more opportunities you will have to gain employment.
Your background is not a sufficient criterion to determine suitability or success in this field.
It seems customary for law enforcement officers and former military personnel to pursue this field because of the obvious overlaps.
The desire to serve and protect these individuals is admirable.
But it is not a substitute for detailed, specialized training.
Law enforcement officers are often called in after a dangerous or threatening situation has occurred or is in progress.
They are skilled at handling a crisis from that point in time.
But executive protection requires 360 degrees of awareness in situations that appear ordinary and benign to the untrained eye.
They must manage other people’s behavior in the environment and position their clients in the best possible way to avoid them coming anywhere near danger.
These are just some of the skills you will learn as you get trained for executive protection.
The best programs will offer in-person training that includes opportunities to apply your book knowledge.
Finding the right training programs will, unfortunately, be your responsibility.
It is rare to find a company that will pay for your training.
The field of new agents is crowded and competitive, so companies are not anxious to invest in candidates when they have dozens of applicants who already possess the experience and training to do the job.
When you invest in stellar training, you level the playing field, making you a viable contender for the positions you seek.
You can also advance through several promotions by taking advantage of ongoing training classes and refresher courses.
As you investigate training programs and schools that specialize in the executive protection field, you will find that some schools are well-known, some are obscure, and some are disreputable.
THE WELL KNOWN SCHOOLS
The well-known schools got that way because they have earned their place in the industry.
They have turned out quality graduates who go on to successful careers.
Some even sport super-achieving graduates with celebrity and high-profile clients.
They have the respect of those in the industry because they have produced positive results.
Some examples of these well-known schools are Executive Security International, Executive Protection Institute, Icon, and R.L. Oatman & Associates.
There are several others. If you have no work experience or training specifically in the area of Executive/Close/Personal Protection.
Then enrolling in any of these credible training facilities will ensure that you receive high-quality training that employers can respect and trust.
See the Appendix at the back of the book for an exhaustive list of available schools.
THE OBSCURE SCHOOLS
The obscure schools don’t have the brand recognition of the more well-known schools.
They tend to be smaller and newer organizations that haven’t had an opportunity to grow to a size where they can play in the big leagues with well-known programs.
Still, these schools should be considered among your choices for an excellent education.
Often, they bring a fresh perspective to the industry, have access to the latest technology, and have instructors that are more aware of the current generation’s threats.
Occasionally, students find that these Obscure schools offer a better training experience for less money than the giant’s can!
These schools don’t have the benefit of the time-earned reputation.
So, they put their energy into quality training, networking opportunities, and affordability. If your budget is limited, this might be a great alternative.
THE DISREPUTABLE SCHOOLS
Lastly, we will explore the Disreputables. Sadly, such schools are abundant in the marketplace.
It will take a keen eye to distinguish them from the great schools that are merely Obscure.
These schools have inexperienced instructors and poor training methods.
They don’t have the financial capital to expose their students to the latest in protection technology.
How can you tell the difference? Just follow these simple steps:
Ask for references
This extends far beyond reading the testimonials in the brochure they handed you.
Ask for the names of a dozen students who have graduated from the program and see if those people are still in the protection business.
Take the time to call or email them to find out what they would say about their experience at the school and what work prospects have been available to them since graduation.
Check out the school’s ratings online to see if they have Google or Yelp reviews.
While reviews should not have the final say, you should take them seriously.
If a school has received a bad review, check to see if the school has responded to the review.
If the school has ignored their negative reviews by not offering an online response to them, you might consider striking that school from the list of potential schools.
Check the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau offers free information about companies operating in the United States.
If a complaint has been launched against a certain company, the Better Business Bureau can tell you if that complaint was resolved, unresolved, or ignored by the company.
Best of all, the Better Business Bureau offers a letter grade rating of all companies on their service.
It is not difficult to maintain an “A-” rating. Great companies may even earn the ranking of “A” or “A+.”
So, if the school doesn’t rank at least an “A-,” take caution before enrolling in its program.
Check out the instructors
The strength of any training program is its instructors.
No matter how modern the building, snazzy the website, or advanced the classroom technology, without experienced instructors, the program is essentially worthless.
Instructors should be current or former Executive Protection Specialists with years of actual field experience.
Check the instructors out thoroughly.
Perhaps even call and ask to speak to one or two of them.
The school should tell you where each instructor received their training and exactly what experience they have in protection and teaching.
Even small schools can be pricey. Do not commit your hard-earned dollars without doing your diligence.
Do your homework, or you will get burned
If it is all possible, I would recommend choosing the largest, most reputable school you can afford to assure your education is sound and to give you the most significant competitive edge in your job hunt.
You can always supplement your primary training with Obscure schools, using them to continue your education and keep your skills sharp.
When you complete executive protection training, you may be given a diploma with one of five designations:
- CPS Certified Protection Specialist
- CPO Certified Protection Office
- PPO Personal Protection Officer
Several other acronyms may appear on your certificate. Unfortunately, these designations are not recognized by any governing authority and are, therefore, essentially meaningless.
Certain states do, however, regulate the protection industry rather loosely.
Most of these states at least have minimum standard protection personnel must meet to work within their jurisdiction.
Though many thousands of candidates attend schools and other training programs worldwide every year, only a tiny percentage will complete these programs and successfully transition into this field.
Why? There are far too many students for the number of available jobs.
Some unscrupulous training programs (the Disreputables) paint a misleading picture of an overwhelming need for protection agents.
They deceive potential students by hinting (or stating outright) that it is easy to become a bodyguard.
That is not true. But they don’t want you to know that because they are hungry for your tuition dollars to beef up their bottom line.
GIVE YOURSELF AN EDGE
One excellent resource for law enforcement officers is continuing working while they look ahead to a career in executive protection.
If you are currently working in law enforcement, but are serious about transitioning into the private sector, use this time to focus on your protection income to acquire as much Executive Protection training and practical work experience as you can.
SECRET SERVICE TRAINING
The United States Secret Service offers certain Law enforcement Officers and people in other kinds of civil service departments.
Log onto www.secretservice.org to explore your options.
Some states offer training programs as a way of soliciting potential candidates for the governor’s security detail.
Contact your state’s governor’s office or visit them online to determine if that training is available where you live.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sponsors courses often referred to as “dignitary protection courses.”
The scope and availability of the classes vary by state. So, check online to see if your state participates in the program.
The good news is that even if your state does not participate, you can check a neighboring state and travel there for training.
Imagine how much a Department of Justice training class will beef up your resume!
Conclusion: A Career as a Protection Specialist Can Be an Exciting and Satisfying Profession
Many occupations have challenges, but few can be as demanding and exciting as working as a bodyguard or executive protection agent.
The diploma you receive at the end of your Executive Protection Training Program will be more than a ticket into this exciting field.
It will be a passport to an incredible array of travel opportunities, new sights, and experiences, stimulating assignments, and much more.
- 13 Things Needed to Help You Become a Personal Bodyguard
- What is the Meaning of Executive Protection
- Winning Tactics About Executive Protection From Jerry Heying
- Why Executive Protection Training is Necessary
About Harlan Austin
Harlan Austin is the founder and editor of Bodyguard Careers. If you need help getting started in Executive Protection, Click on this link.
I look forward to sharing in your success–I know you will find, as I have, that you are on a career path that is both interesting and profitable.
Sincerely Harlan Austin
Definition of Executive Protection
So what is the meaning of Executive Protection? One instructor describes this way. Executive Protection is, 99% boredom 1% unmitigated sheer terror. We are constantly preparing for that 1%.
There are a number of activities and occupations that are sometimes confused with executive protection, but before we get too far it seems appropriate to clearly define what is and is not executive protection.
Executive protection encompasses and refers to the various measures and counter-measures that are taken to ensure the physical safety and well-being of a VIP. Some of these Protection measures include strategy development and advance work, research on clients and the specific threats, both known and perceived, as well as providing security, close protection, surveillance, counter surveillance, mail screening, background checks on employees and persons coming into contact with the VIP.
The above definition is lengthly and comprehensive; it is packed with complex meaning and a description of activities associated with this profession that we will explore in this article. Because there is so much packed into this definition we will take some time now to unpack its meaning so there is little or no doubt as to how we distinguish between executive protection and other occupations.
Executive Protection Measures and Counter Measures
Measures and counter measures are respectively offensive and defensive interventions implemented for the purpose of achieving an objective. Measures are offensive or proactive interventions initiated by the executive protection professional.
These interventions are designed to make it more difficult for someone to harm your client as they go about their business. Measures such as establishing a strong forward presence, safe entrance and exit strategies, and coordination with uniform security and law enforcement, varied travel routing, advance recon, are but a few examples of measures taken to protect the physical safety of your client. Each of these measures is proactive in that they are initiated by the executive protection professional, inspired by their experience and training in anticipation of potential threats.
Counter measures are defensive or reactive interventions taken to avoid real and perceived threats to a client. Counter measures are responses to actions, perceived actions, or circumstance that have the potential to harm your client. Counter measures can include increased security details, alternate travel routes, alternate hotel accommodations, quick evacuation and extractions, and other initiatives which result from information that a credible threat exists.
Ensuring physical safety and well being are the end goal of any executive protection professional. The important thing to note in this section of our definition is that for the executive protection professional the goal is not so much to save someone who is already in danger, it is to keep a person from a dangerous situation. The client pays an executive protection professional to keep them out of harm’s way. Therefore, ensuring physical safety is more a matter of steering a client clear of harm than it is a matter of removing a client from a dangerous situation.
An important detail of our definition is, all executive protection professionals protect VIP’s. The reason this distinction is important is because there are special needs associated with protecting VIP’s which can only be met by an executive protection professional. VIP’s live a life that is unfortunately conducive to attracting particular dangers.
Protection professionals train hard to learn the business of protecting VIP’s. Learning the often exotic and off beat habits of the world’s elite will equip you to make wise decisions that will keep your client alive and well, but because VIP’s do not operate on the same level as the rest of the world, the dangers they and their families face are unusual at best. The job of the executive protection professional is to know more about their client’s routines and the potential consequences of those routines than the client themselves know. Putting this information into actionable plans is the life work of an executive protection professional.
Having unpacked our definition gives us the constituent elements of what executive protection professionals are responsible for doing. The composite picture is however greater than the sum of the parts. Executive protection specialist give everything they have and everything they are to bringing order, safety, and security to individuals whose public personas have placed them in harm’s way. Carrying out the duties of an executive professional can be exhausting both physically and mentally.
As executive protection professional you will spend days planning a detail and hours executing the detail. There will be times when your life will be in great danger and other times when you will feel as though you will die of boredom. There are times when you will be exposed to extreme temperatures and long hours on your feet.
There will also be times when you will have to perform strange duties you would never have expected. It is impossible to say what will happen on any given day or any given assignment because each day and each assignment are different. One thing that will not change is your responsibility to create an environment that provides the optimal opportunity for your client to live their lives free of interruption to their daily activities.
There are many and varied opportunities in the protection industry, and it would be my pleasure to assit you in finding the best possible fit as you make your way into the world of executive protection service. So let’s connect soon!
Founder of Bodyguard Careers
Harlan (Hucky) Austin
Requirements for Becoming an Executive Protection Agent
Executive protection is a career path that requires a specialized skill set. But before you jump into this niche, ask yourself if you really have what it takes to become an Executive Protection Agent (EPA).
Here are eleven skills you must have to be a successful Executive Protection Agent.
1. Communication: The most important ability for executive protection agents is the ability to listen and communicate effectively with people in a variety of settings.
You need to be able to read body language, understand how words are interpreted, and speak clearly so you can express thoughts or convey information.
2. Tact: Tact is a huge part of the job. An Executive Protection Agent’s primary goal is to keep their client safe.
This means that certain situations require diplomacy. Keep your cool, and think about what your first move will be if you encounter an assailant or dangerous situation.
3. Decisiveness: This skill can go hand-in-hand with tact and communication skills, but an EPA must know when and how to make a decision under pressure.
Not all situations are going to be appropriate for negotiation; an EPA has to know how to react in these situations as well, especially when their client’s safety is at stake.
4. Confidence: A client is relying on you to get the job done, and you must be confident in order to succeed.
In a life and death situation, confidence can be a key to success as an Executive Protection Agent.
5. Resourcefulness: An EPA’s job is highly specialized; they must know how to find information quickly.
As EPA you can’t depend on other individuals to have the answers that you need, so it is vital to develop an ability to think outside the box and connect the dots in order to find solutions.
What it takes to be a Close Protection Specialist
6. Intelligence: This sounds like a no-brainer, but An EPA needs to know how to think critically, problem-solve, and use their knowledge base effectively.
They cannot become complacent, as one wrong move could lead to the death of their client. Since a lot of information is available online, and EPA may not always need a book in hand. Thinking quickly can save lives in this job.
7. Ability to Handle High-Pressure Situations: In any situation where there is a threat, it is considered high-pressure for an EPA.
They are responsible for the safety of their client, and the security of a client can be compromised very quickly.
An EPA needs to be able to handle high-pressure situations so they will be more likely to succeed at their job.
8. Preparation: The likelihood of an Executive Protection Agent encountering a situation is not always high, but because of the nature of this job, and EPA should be prepared when it occurs.
In addition to being mentally prepared, and EPA needs to know how to react in certain situations and have a plan ready to follow if they encounter something unexpected during their day.
9. Intuition: When a situation is going down and an EPA is faced with making a decision, they should “feel” it.
This intuition will help them decide how to proceed. An Executive Protection Agent’s intuition can help them make the right decisions and keep their client safe.
10. Commitment: Commitment is vital to the job of an executive protection agent. It is nearly impossible to excel in the executive protection industry unless you are totally committed.
A lack of commitment could affect the privacy, productivity, and protection aspects of your work.
11. An Understanding of Social Skills: Successful executive protection agents are detail-oriented, patient, and trustworthy.
Another huge part of your job is creating relationships with the people you’ve been hired to protect.
You need to have strong social skills in order to build trust while navigating through this tricky balancing act – fostering a relationship with your clients is essential.
Final Word: While it is important to remember that there are many other skills besides these eleven essential ones, all of them must be combined in order to have the highest chance of success.
Author’s Note: There are many areas of executive protection that aren’t addressed here, such as training, the ability to think under duress, making a high-speed car-to-car connection in a tight space.
However, this article covers the basics or those required for entry-level education and screening purposes.
This is an extremely vital position; one which I am very fortunate to have had the honor of serving. I hope it can help someone aspiring to pursue this career path.
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In the movie, The Bodyguard, Frank Farmer is assigned to protect Whitney Houston’s character, Rachel Marron.
In the film, after a rocky start eventually, the two fall in love.
Many lessons can be learned from this film. Many will say that this is just Hollywood; however, I have seen this played out in real life. In one instance, the bodyguard and the principal had a great relationship that lasted for many years.
In another situation, the bodyguard was fired after he and the principal broke up.
The idea of having a romantic relationship with your principal may seem like an entertaining and exciting prospect.
But in reality, it is very unwise and can lead to severe consequences.
The following are eight major reasons why you should NEVER be like Frank Farmer and have a relationship with your principal.
Romantic Relationships with the Principal Bad Idea!
1. It might ruin your career.
If you get caught having a relationship with your boss, there is a high chance that your boss will be forced to fire you. In addition to this, you may even get blacklisted from the industry and never be able to work in the business or industry again.
2. What if they don’t feel the same way about you?
Your boss has no obligation to care about your feelings in any way, shape, or form.
But if their relationship becomes serious and he/she does not see it in the same light as you do, then it could lead to serious issues down the line.
3. It’s unethical in many industries.
Many industries frown upon employees having a relationship with their bosses, no matter how long they’ve been working there.
In fact, the Canadian government has even gone as far as to deem it illegal for anyone to have a romantic relationship with their employer or supervisor.
4. It doesn’t work out very often.
Most of the time, romantic relationships between employees and bosses don’t work out because the employee becomes too dependent on the boss.
This creates a power imbalance that can also affect their careers if they decide to break up with each other.
5. It’s just not worth it.
In the end, even if you do manage to have a relationship with your boss, it probably won’t last very long and could even ruin your career in some way or another.
You would be better off finding someone else to spend your time and energy with rather than risking it on your boss.
Don’t Be Like Frank Farmer
Any relationship that takes you out of your professional zone as a protection agent can place both of you in imminent danger.
Relationships like this tend to cloud the agents’ judgment and can take him/her out of the “Now.”
As a protection agent on duty, your mind will tend to be in one of three places: The Past, the Present (Now), and the Future.
If the agents’ mind is in any other place but the “Present,” he’s in trouble if an attack jumps off.
A romantic relationship between an agent and his/her client puts them both at risk.
In the movie Enter the Dragon, at the start of the movie Bruce Lee, while schooling his young disciple in the woods, tells him, “Don’t focus on the finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory.”
The message here is that when an agent is emotionally or romantically focused on his client – he will inevitably miss something that may cost both him and his client their lives.
The medical profession has long recognized the psychological dilemmas that we have seen occur wherein the patient (client/victim in our terminology) becomes attracted to a person coming to their rescue.
Transferential dynamics are typical in clinical encounters where patients are dependent and physically and emotionally more vulnerable.
It is common for patients to be emotionally and physically attracted to professionals who care for them.
As a protection specialist, you should be aware of this phenomenon because you could easily fall into that emotional role!
8. Can be a Legal nightmare.
The idea of romantic involvement with a client or employer is complicated enough under Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964.
However, a spotted evolution has resulted in complicating how we view potential romances between employers and employees.
Keep in mind that charges of discrimination can be brought by co-workers, who weren’t even involved in the relationship, but feel that their promotions or advancement were stifled because the person who was involved with the boss was getting preferential treatment (going back to the 1990s when the EEOC declared that sexual favoritism can be sexual harassment).
It also makes it difficult for contractors supplying security services, or for the Protectee’s organization because of Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries Inc. v. Ellerth: the Supreme Court stated that the employer is responsible for the actions of their employees, even when the employer is unaware of the employee’s behavior.
Thus, it can be a very expensive kiss.
In conclusion, If you feel that it may be acceptable, as an executive protection provider, to enter into a relationship with your client or any person under your protection, then you need to find a new line of work.
The quickest way to lose your edge as a protector is to give away your objectivity and replace it with emotion.
Therefore, you need to remain, at all times, emotionally detached from the client.
Even if the relationship is a purely physical one between two consenting adults, the psychology attached to the relationship will most likely influence your daily decision-making on some level.
There is also powerful psychology that may affect the client, which will often make you attractive to the client (especially in a higher threat level detail), and you, as the professional, need to be the one to keep your interaction strictly by the book.
So the idea of having a romantic relationship with your client, like Frank Farmer is a bad idea that comes with many unforeseeable consequences.
It may seem tempting to spend time with someone you know will give you access to their wealth of knowledge and experience, but it’s not worth the risk.
About Harlan Austin
Harlan Austin is the founder and editor of Bodyguard Careers. If you need help getting started in Executive Protection, Click on this link.