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The ultimate “Protectee”

No matter if you’re protecting a celebrity, a fortune 1 CEO, or some HR director who just terminated an employee, there is a protectee that is always in the car, in the hotel, at the restaurant or a board meeting.

This protectee is always lurking on the scene standing ready to do good or bad on your behalf. It is the ultimate referral to getting other business. It is said that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your client base. This protectee is part of the 80 and the 20. One bad word from from this protectee will ruin years of hard work. It will stop the phones from ringing from even clients that you’ve forged GREAT relationships with.

This protectee doesn’t have a face but it sure has a name. This protectee’s name is- INTEGRITY.

Your integrity is the key to all of your success. Lose this Protectee in your missions and lose your business. Lose it and lose your assets and network. No first aid or combat trauma med can revive this client after an attack.  It takes years to build and just as many to keep. Lose it, and you’re done. Keep this Protectee off the “X”.

Integrity comes in many forms. Too many to list but a couple that come to mind is:

  • Being fiscally responsible to your client base. Not charging more than the industry rate and being willing to give price break when you know that a detail may go for an extended period of time.
  • Use the right people. Being selective only helps YOU in the long run. Clients will always remember a bad situation and associate your company with one incident. Too often I see companies get a call for a protective mission and send out an email blast for CV’s, bios or resumes. Anyone can dress up a piece of paper but when the runner meets the road the real truth comes out.

If I don’t know the person, they have to have come highly recommended by someone I respect. That’s what me and Mark call the “first cousin” rule. If that person screws the pooch they are done and so is the person that recommended them. Thats how I operate. No exceptions.

So remember, no matter if you’re the lone wolf specialist out there or the company maintaining a business, remember there is a protectee that you’re covering 24/7- 365 and its name is INTEGRITY.

1 comment

  1. Minister

    Eric, thank you for your posts. If I may I would like to touch on your most recent with some consideration to all your previous. In my recent years in this industry I have had the benefit of seeing the business end of what we do as part of the leadership team for a global provider of high-end risk management services. While my initial promotion, many years ago, to the “corporate office” to support training was an eye opener, my opportunity a few years ago to head a business unit, manage a P&L and be part of the company’s leadership team was a slap to the face.

    Finding that balance between what we do as part of an elite and dedicated craft, at least for those that do it correctly, and business on a global scale is a science in itself. The suite of service has evolved as well as devolved into high threat missions abroad to sitting in a driveway for 12 hours fighting neck bone rot. Yet right smack dab in the middle of that spectrum is where we define our relationship, which is one of intimate confidence either with the principal or the security director that put us there.

    This service of ours is just that; intimate. The moment we forget that, no matter how basic or mundane the tasking is, we have killed the “Protectee” you so masterfully discuss. We represent a craft that operates in the abstract somewhat, we need to show value when some may never see the benefit, we must look to the future with absolute detail while maintaining a vigilant view of the present and we must be constantly ON and looking for something that may never come. All of that requires a professional’s innards to be custom built, special if you will. While some may consider this view snobbish or ridiculous I suspect the profession of ditch digger doesn’t have as much silliness to worry about while dispatching dirt over ones shoulder.

    I will be the first one to admit to making mistakes not knowing something or missing a way-point but one thing I am confident in is my endeavor to be integral in my operational and business delivery as well as attitude in our craft. Back in the days of Chuck Vance, who may not have been the godfather of EP but the Henry Ford, he focused on a standard in the field as well as decisions related to gaining business on a large scale. We had our missteps, and those of you with gray hair in your Van Dyke probably know the stories, but I can attest to one story when Chuck shut the company down except for active assignments until the house was put back in order.

    We have to wrestle with the realities of our business everyday, client relationships, profit and loss and the development of future business. We then must also respect the “Four Corners of Protection”, tenacity, integrity, zeal and the willingness to sacrifice.

    In saying all of that, it starts with the individual specialist and how he or she views the code they choose to operate or do business by. While integrity can be infectious there are still some chronic carriers of disease in our industry and those of us with immunizations need to drag those patients to the clinic and get them cleaned up. So thank you and lets spread the vaccine.

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