Expectations & Responsibilities: The fine line

If you have ever had a job where you had to sit before your supervisor and go over your performance evaluation you’ll know what I am talking about. The performance evaluation is broken down in categories sometimes specific and general to your duties. Topics like, “works well with others”, “turn assignments in on time”  are general evaluation measurements and are subjective responses.  ‘Reports to work on time” would be an objective response.  Exceeding expectations is a subjective question and the answer would be based on what the expectations are.

Although I do not use a formal format per specialist or subcontractor. I do keep an F&I file in their folder. The F&I (facts and information) is an old MSP tool that supervisors used to maintain an ongoing record of a subordinate’s progress or failures.  It actually benefits the subordinate more so than how it appears.  The F&I book or file contains information that the employee has done well, as well as questionable and unacceptable performance.  A year’s worth of information is difficult f0r anyone to remember especially when it comes to positive information.  Negative behavior is normally already in the personnel file under counseled paperwork.

For me there is a fine line with exceeding expectations when it comes to what we do. Sometimes exceeding expectations crosses the line of exceeding responsibility. Exceeding responsibility can kill a details morale. When you have a specialist(s) that has a blue chip, over the top customer service mentality that puts protection second, it hijacks the detail. I am in no way saying that there is not an underlying customer service element to what we do.  However exceeding responsibility places an unrealistic expectation from the client and the principal.  There is a balance between running a protection business and having your business run by the client expectation.

Here is an example of exceeding expectations:  When I was an intel analyst I was tasked to plot on the I-2 analyst program the homicides in  Baltimore City for COMSTAT.  When I plotted the homicides, I also plotted all Part 1 crimes as well to show that the homicides were not isolated from all of the other crimes occurring in those specific area.  It allowed the Mayor and the Chief of Police to question the district commanders what they were doing in those specific areas because they were highly saturated in Part- 1 crimes and not just in homicides.  Aggressive policing could lower the intensity.  Plotting all Part-1 crimes was exceeding expectation.  If under those same circumstances I had took it upon myself to personally call the District Commanders and advised them of my findings so that they could patrol earlier, I would have exceeded responsibility.  That was not my task nor my responsibility.

When a specialist(s) has an underlying motive to ingratiate himself with a protectee or client it can place undo responsponsibilities on the protection company.  The unrealistic expectations can become overwhelming to the business and overall success.  Bottom line, there should always be a clear definition of what the specialists on the detail are expected to do.  No one is going to put “will carry luggage to the vehicle” under expectations but we all know that there are times that we help.  That does not give the specialist the green light to pack the bags as well. You laugh, but someone out there has done it.

Stay in your lane before you crash….That’s is the expectation.

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