Are you prepared to Whip the shift?

How many specialists do you know that are just comfortable with existing as a gumby, or grunt and never want to expose themselves to the positions within the shift that call for more responsibility, which in the case of BPI means a higher hourly and daily rate?  In many cases that may be why your phone is not ringing.

Company owners want to surround their principals with specialists that can do every task on the detail.  That being said, it is important that company owners continue to nurture their men/women so that they can excel.  After I have had a chance to watch a specialist what I will do often is assign a specialist to Whip the shift on an unannounced day.  There are a lot of times where I will staff a detail with certain specialists and advise a junior specialist that he/she is the detail lead for that gig.  What does it mean to Whip a shift.  This is a term that the USSS uses for agents that are assigned as a temporary shift leader for a day or so, but they do not have the official title as Shift Lead.  This is a great opportunity for any specialist to show his/her wares.  I remember working at S-98 and the detail leader at the time, Bill Tinsley would do the schedule a week in advance.  Not too long after I had cut my teeth at the detail I saw that I was assigned as the shift lead for the following week.

Nerves followed by the reality that he saw something in me to entrust the night shift in my hands.  The downside of the duty was that I was now going to whip a shift that had specialists that were senior to me.  I didn’t care because it was not my fault that he didn’t believe in their ability to do the same.  If I am making any sense here, the point is that you should always be striving to elevate your position.  On the job mentoring is done by asking questions and watching how things are done.  I have never  been offended when someone genuinely asks why we do something a certain way.  Asking why we do something is different than saying, “Why don’t we do this?”  One is asking about the mindset of the process and the other is questioning the decision making mindset.  Different questions will give you totally different responses.

Another thing I have done [should do it more] is tell a specialist that is trying to get on the BPI team to do an protective advance on any venue of their choice in their home city.  I’ve given some as much as a week to do so and another potential specialist a day.  This is a guage to see where you are in your EP expertise and to see what your advance packet looks like. So be prepared, you’ve been warned.  For any of you that want to take a stab at doing a protective advance, try it and send it to me.  This is a free mentorship opportunity on a vital aspect of the protective responsibility.  Just remember a protective advance is not a site assessment and vice versa.  You set the parameters and send it and I will evaluate it and send it back.

Are you really prepared to rise to the occasion?  “Limo’s UP”- “Let’s roll!”


  1. Mark

    Nice job Eric. There is only one way to lead and that is from the front!

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thanks “Six”

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