Never panic – Pt. 2

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that there are times when you and your team are assigned to perform protective services for persons who are not happy about you being there.  In many cases this unlikely relationship occurs when a 3rd party client is compelled to provide protection on someone that they have a valued interest in their safety.

A couple of examples are as follows:  An insurance company dictates that there are “Key personnel” within the insured client company that MUST have security.  Many of these policies will articulate specifics as to when the security must be provided.  For instance, if the client travels abroad often and the insurance company knows that there is a high risk of kidnapping or the type of business that they conduct is a potential risk.  The second example [one that we have experienced] is a law firm that has a client that for some reason needs protection.  These are not the only examples but are the most common.

In both examples above the end result is that the protectee is having protection forced upon them.  We have experienced CEO’s under the first example who made it clear he was not happy with having a protection team on him.  He had traveled alone on multiple trips without a team and having these extras around him was unnecessary.  To many CEO’s it’s an invasion of privacy.  To others it feels like they are being baby sat.  Either way they don’t want you there and it will become apparent quickly.

Many of these unwilling protectees will not engage with you so that you can educate them as to what you will be doing or what you won’t be doing.  You will be lucky if they remember your name.  You won’t get 2 minutes to even inform them that you will not hinder their trip but you are there to make the process easier and safe for them.  It becomes a very uncomfortable situation.  Beware of the tasks unrelated to your primary responsibility.  Beware of the “Wave Off” whereby they tell you that you are not needed for the day.  One of the other slick options that can happen is that they will task one of their own people to perform extraneous duties and assign you and the team to protect them.

Regardless of the trick or technique they use you will have your hands full trying to justify your existence.  The important thing to remember is not to panic, work around the tension and sell yourself as professional and not a hinderance to him/her.  In the end you have a job to do and being their close friend is not in the contract.

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