When the front right seat is too much

As I blogged yesterday about the difficulties and dexterity needed between the transition of someone that is designated as a detail leader for a static post or event compared to that of a detail leader in the front right seat.  I can not over emphasize the significant difference in responsibilities and mental acuity. So today I am going to give a prime example of a call-sign that was more that capable of handling the detail leader position of a long term residential detail as well as a special event, but could not effectively transition into the front right seat.  For the sake of this blog I will not use his call-sign to protect his identity within the BPI Security cadre.  He was and still is a very “Personable” specialist and other specialists enjoy working with him.  He goes beyond what is expected of everyone- to a fault.  The protectee had a legitimate threat on them based on international events that occurred in which he/she was directly and indirectly involved.  A threat and vulnerability assessment was conducted that revealed the protectee was vulnerable on all facets of potential attack; virtual and physical.

Specialists that worked with him knew that on the details he “Bossed” attention to detail was always the watchword of the day, yet when put in the front right seat his personable character diminished his attention to detail causing me to a potential issue on the horizon.  When you are doing a full-time residential detail, the relationship of the specialists and the family zig zags across the lines of provider and family member often.  A strong detail has to manage the comfort of the family having strangers in their private space with that of “make yourself at home” creep that can easily happen.  This particular call-sign understood that and managed his shifts well.  His biggest asset was his ADL [assistant detail leader].

When the protectee began moving across the country and abroad, the call-sign’s personable side could not be toned down causing the shift to be responsible for other duties outside parameters.  Things like allowing guests to occupy seats in the vehicle of the shift, asking for unnecessary assistance from non-essential parties at hotels caused the security team to take a second look at the call-sign causing them to clean up loose protocols.  What I did in order to shift the responsibility and yet not kill his morale was this.  I told him this was the perfect detail to let the ADL operate as the DL.  He agreed.  I think he honestly realized that he was over his head, yet the strength of the specialists around him fixed any possible issues before they manifested.

We all have, at least should have a personable, side that can make the protectee feel comfortable around them. But personable can not cross the line of professional and the protection persona.  No client wants a stone faced robot in the front right seat and a glimpse of some personality can go a long way.  That doesn’t mean that you periodically do a “Knock – Knock” joke. It means that every now and again there has to be a sign that you are ALIVE and not a battery operated machine.  Pick those times wisely.  I have a client and his management staff that have told me and Mark that they have instructed their employees to not bother us when we are working.  They have a very jovial personality and crack jokes all the time.  As hard as it is not to laugh I know that as soon as I even smile they will recognize that I have broken down.

The front right seat detail leader is in essence a business leader or sorts.  He/she manages personnel, manages their meals, lodging, vehicles and travel.  Everyone is not fully equipped to do it no matter how good you are otherwise.  This is that back of the brain matter that has nothing to do with how well you shoot, how fast you run a mile etc.  It is that special-specialist that are a dime a dozen.  You can train up someone to be DL material but a multi-faceted detail is really the test of sink or swim.



  1. Dr. Andre Glenn

    This is so true, keep up the level headed thinking. Everyone wants to be the boss but few can sit in that seat!!

    Peace and always watch your six.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thank you sir. Be well.

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