The analysis of an elite specialist

There are certain traits that exemplify the prospect of an elite specialist than that of an average one that just plugs away from detail to detail or in many cases from phone call to phone call.  I have been around hundreds of specialists of all races, gender, and creed and there are a couple factors that separate the best from the average.

Mental acuity:  The best of these specialists have an innate ability to analyze situations with ease.  The mental acuity that I am referring to is substantively different than the “Mindset” that I speak of all the time.  The ability to observe and decipher situations regardless of whether you’ve trained for that moment is rare amongst people in general, but the elite specialists can almost see things before they happen.  They are able to observe situations and foresee what an intended outcome will take place well before it does.  You can not teach that.  It’s the same phenomenon that the best street cops have.  The ability to sense a crime is about to happen before it does by the sum total of all the factors present.  The elite specialist have this mental acuity.  In street terms you have to be smart to make it in this craft.

As Rudyard Kipling wrote in the Poem, “If”-If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you but make allowances for their doubting too.

Self motivating:  This characteristic is instilled in us as children.  Our parents plant this seed and unless you have it at an early age it is really hard to become a self motivator.  People who lack self motivation often surround themselves with “Kick starters” who are friends, associates or colleagues that they admire.  You know them, “Man, I need to get in the gym like you do.” Or, “Can you help me get started on________[fill the blank with any regimine that you do].  Self motivators train their minds constantly with life and work equations to stay sharp.  They hit the gym, or run to stay in shape and the thought of missing a workout ruins their day. They are out of sync.  He/she will not be in a slump that day, but there is always an internal drive that thinks about how to get even a short workout in, even if it is at 0100 after they get to the RON.

Respects leadership:  Way too many specialists in this craft start feeling themselves before they hit protection puberty.  They have been on, what they believe, as big details and/or they are working a lot.  Somehow and someway they feel that they have arrived.  The elite specialist understands his/her role irrespective of his/her experience in the field.  For instance, last year I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for the GI Film festival in Washington, DC.  The event was being covered by Black Ice Security Services owned and operated by Retired Navy SEAL Steve Collins.  Steve and I have been in business about the same amount if time and have our offices within a 20 mile proximity.  We have never competed for the same clientele but I have known of Steve since the onset of BPI Security.  I was accepted to participate in the event and immediately took off the President of BPI hat off and arrived at the gumby specialist.  I worked the 2 days of the event and had a great opportunity to meet very well rounded specialists from all over the country and an opportunity to give back to our Armed Services.  A day or so after the event I received a very humbling voice message from Collins whereby he admitted that there was some reluctance to have another business owner present and working the event, but he was “Pleasantly” surprised that if I had any ego, that I checked it at the door.  The point here is, that the mission/detail was bigger than Eric Konohia or BPI.  I was representing Black Ice and representing Eric Konohia as a team player regardless of my status, position or duty of the day.

The best specialists understand this.  When we are working a large shareholders meeting where the security manager brings in several comapnies across the nation to fill the security responsibilities, BPI normally travels there with 5 specialists.  Regardless of our status within the industry we are part of the overall team and agenda.  This not the time to shine.  You can pick an elite specialist out because he/she never looks to shine, it happens without effort.

Mindset: Another characteristic that can’t be taught.  You either have it or you don’t.  Some of the best and dependable workers in this industry have not cracked the code on Mindset.  One of the best features of mindset is being able to see a solution to a problem and quickly know that there is even a better solution, all awhile knowing the several outcomes of both options.  This is the hardest of all characteristics to have.  After 14+ hours mental acuity starts to fade , you have to dig deeper to keep motivating yourself, but Mindset can never waiver.  Mindset lets you know when you need to change positions on post to get a better vantage point or change to alleviate being seen and understand why you are doing so.  Mental acuity sees the possible issue foresees the possible outcome, and mindset solves the problem with the best response and the rationale behind the decision.

Of course there are many other characteristics that you can bring up and add to your list, but these are the prevailing ones that matter to me with a specialist.  If you look at them in totality, you will see the traits of any warrior, operator and leader.  Think about it.


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