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Keeping the “Executive” in Executive Protection- Final

Yesterday I posted on social media – The “Executive” in executive protection is a consciousness at the highest levels. It takes no effort at the Jedi level but constant work to gain it.  What I meant is that those specialists that live in the “executive” realm use no extra effort to stay in that space.  Each and every aspect of their EP persona never slips from his/her grasp.  Regardless of the client, protectee, their staff and the differing personalities that may invade that “executive” level of service, this specialist always finds a way to maintain the highest levels of professionalism associated with the level of service required.

We have all dealt with difficult clients and principals.  In the midst of wishing it were different, we still pull from the highest levels of our training and never lower the bar to stoop down to their level.  There is a specific group of clients that are notorious for treating specialists very badly.  Their sense of entitlement transcends down to their staff and handlers whereby the specialists knows that the handler is nothing more than a glorified “groupie”.  The best specialists are able to sift through the banter and remain in the executive service realm.  This is a very difficult ordeal but no one said that it would be easy.  Even if they are wrong, the best specialists will allow the disagreement to be handled on a supervisory level.  Arguing with a client is never a good thing, but the expectation of what we do and what we represent calls for all matters to be handled at the executive service level.

The “executive” in executive protection has to be instilled at the lowest common denominator – TRAINING.  Executive Protection Schools have to plant the seed that this is much more than a basic service.  We are at the highest levels of the security industry and the expectations are higher, as they should be.  It makes more sense to drive the executive level of service mindset at the onset than fighting to teach a grizzled vet a new idea.  The longer they are working at a lower level the harder it is to clean their internal CPU and force feed new information inside.

When you make a visit to a Doctor he/she explains what the visit will entail from start to finish.  Throughout the visit, they keep you abreast of the next phase, “My nurse will be in shortly to weigh you and take your blood pressure.”  Then the Doctor comes in after reviewing your chart and goes over it with you – keeping you informed.  Most often he will give you consultation on how to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol etc.  If you require a shot, he will tell you what the medicine is, what it is for and why you need it.  As he prepares to give you the shot he tells you that there is going to be a little sting AND advises you that your arm may feel stiff and sore for the remainder of the day.  So you’re asking yourself why did I take you on a trip to the doctor’s office?  Take that same scenario and replace it with a client meeting all the way through to meeting the principal as well as debriefing your team.  That’s the Executive in executive protection.  Your expectations as a patient are the same as the expectations of the client.  Don’t walk into their lives and just give them the shot.  Articulate, inform and consult using proper terminology and explanations when necessary.  It is NOT about the thread count of your suit, the UV rating of your Ray Ban aviators nor the double Omegas on your Ferragamos (inside joke).

The irony of these last four (4) days of blogs is that I would venture to say that more than 75% of the specialists working have not viewed the “Executive” in executive protection in this way.  More often that not they equate the term as the title of the individual we are protecting or refer the ‘Executive” as a synonym to professionalism.  Both are far from true.  We provide our services to many principals who are not executives of any company and you should be professional for all clients and principals.  A specialist that is professional yet does not deliver an executive level of service is putting his principal at risk, regardless of your professionalism.

2 comments

  1. Josh

    Like many of your blog posts, this is spot on! We provide an executive level of service…which is why this business isn’t built for everyone. If you don’t hold yourself to the highest of standards, no one will take you seriously. Then, you’ll be left sitting on the bleachers while someone else dances with the homecoming queen.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Josh,
      I totally agree and like your prom queen analogy. Thanks for following the blog.

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