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Maybe you can’t be trusted alone

Are you the specialist that only gets the call to work with others and have never been called to work alone?  Are you the specialist that when you work with another specialist, you are always the 2IC [second in charge]?  There is a very good reason why this is happening to you.  You are not at the level where your company can trust you alone with a client nor in charge of a 2 man detail.  You are better suited as an embedded specialist among other specialists that can watch you.

The solo specialist is a leader.  He/she can manage the nuances and psychologies of the client, the POC and protectee.  The solo specialist has interpersonal skills that can manage the dialogue and interaction with the varying personalities that are associated with working a detail.  You very well may not be that person if you only get the call when someone else is managing you and the detail.  It goes without saying that specialists in their infant stages have to work to this point, but I am referring to the specialists that have been in the game for over 5 years.  I am talking about the those of you that have never been in a detail leader or shift leader position.  There is nothing wrong with being a grunt on the detail but if you have been in the industry for 5+ years and you are never called to work alone or lead a 2 man gig, you are lacking in some aspect that your go-to company can not trust you in a one-on-one direct interaction with the client, the POC or the protectee.

Some of you have even experienced the phenomenon where someone junior to you and that has worked less details for your company than you has elevated to the solo or leader position.  Don’t get mad at them, look deep inside yourself and see where you are falling short.  There is nothing wrong with asking if there is anything that has prohibited you from being in that position.

From a company standpoint, we pick those specialists that do not have to be micro-managed from the POCC [protective operations command center].  I always know how and what every detail entails.  When my solo specialist is on station I look for 3 text messages:

  1. On-site
  2. Met POC or client, or as Mark does”going hot”
  3. All clear [detail is done]

I rarely, if ever, reach out to the detail during an Op unless I know there is a justified need.  One of these needs may be if the client contacts me from another location and asks for a Sitrep.  Then I will contact the Shift leader and ask or text, “Sitrep”.  They automatically know that I am asking for a good reason and not to micro-manage the detail.  If Mark is working I will contact him directly [even as the DL] because he knows that I am asking for a good reason.  Mark knows how to manage the duties of the shift, and being the body-man and still respond to me without any change in coverage.  If he is not the DL I will contact the SL because I don’t want the DL to freak out.

The inability to multi-task and adjust to changes in a detail is another reason you may not be getting the call solo specialist call.  Ask yourself this, “Have I exhibited behavior that precludes me from being entrusted with the responsibility?”  Do I volunteer to do or assist in advance detail operations in order to learn and assist in the overall success of the detail.  Do you volunteer to have to be constantly be volun-told.  Specialists who do not take and aggressive step towards their growth are just showing up to make a check.  That is a lackluster approach to an industry that depends on leaders, leaders in the making and forward thinkers.

I’ll leave  you with this.  If you feel uncomfortable about asking your primary protection company leadership where you are lacking, ask your colleagues.  Otherwise you will always get passed over and start making excuses like, Ed chose the other guy over me because he can pay the other specialist less than I am worth and make more money for the company.  Your business 101 logic is sound, but we aren’t selling widgets, we are saving lives.  I don’t look at gross/net profit on specialists as I stress who is going to do the job the RIGHT way.

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