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Lessons learned from the Corporate Beard

thinkI don’t have the raw numbers but I can speculate that the total protection industry population rose again in 2012.  If history repeats itself it will do the same in 2013.  Various factors instigate the rise in numbers from, money, men and women transitioning out of the military that find the CRAFT is a good place to land, to those that see what we do as “COOL”, what Mark Fair calls the CDI factor [Chics dig it].  Regardless of how complex this industry is, the ambiguity of those coming in still accounts for the rise in population.  It is NOT until they breach the door of the industry and invest a couple dollars that they realize it is more than the suit and pigtail.

Second lesson: The belief that weapons are protection and protection surrounds the weapon has not lost its fictional story line. Regardless of how much you hear from experts and leaders who have done it at the highest levels, the weapons advocates in security bond together on their private and open boards, groups and forums to further frenzy in the industry.  What I see as a fraudulent link is this.  Most of us buy weapons for personal protection – OUR Personal protection from those that wake up to do harm to us and our families.  I totally get that, but that mindset has been transformed to believe that executive protection cannot, and in some cases, should not be done without weapons.  The unfortunate backlash of this is that when we have tragic incidents like Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary the industry becomes a megaphone for gun rights.  What’s the issue?  The issue is that we come across as an industry of doomsday preppers who advocate weapons for our trade.  Very few of us are working on solutions to the core issues that are at the nexus of these incidents.  Weapons are NOT the only commonalities.  Are these same people writing letters to their Congressional representatives for safer cars?  We use vehicles way more than we use guns and yet both are implements of the Craft.  Do they participate or ask to assist in the National Certification?  No, most sit back and complain about why it won’t work based on EMOTION and not from any factual basis.

Third lesson: The industry still lacks “THINKERS”.  The majority of the population in this industry uses emotion over any simple thought process in just about every conversation, dialogue or argument.  How you FEEL will never get your point across when you are talking to someone who has FACTS as the basis of their retort.  They read editorials or watch a very intriguing interview or YouTube video and then spew the information verbatum because it affected them emotionally.  When the unfortunate Benghazi incident occurred and well before the first American was buried, our industry unleashed emotional hell based on twisted diatribes they heard from the network news pundits.

Last lesson: The most powerful of all lessons I learned last year is that if you believe in something hard enough, articulate it clearly and succinctly, people will listen.  I got so much push-back on my push for Mentorship in the beginning of 2012.  To date, I have spoken to specialists that are telling me that they are actively being mentored by so-and-so.  Whether it’s true or not is one thing but they fact that they feel that mentorship is important means that the seed is and has been planted.  People who questioned me on it are now posting and commenting proactively about it.  That is a GREAT thing.  I don’t and won’t ever take credit for the idea of mentorship BUT the response was like I was being accused of selling some magic potion from the back of my horse drawn carriage as I traveled from town to town.  I want to personally thank Tony Scotti and Frank Gallagher for riding the wagon with me.  Just remember, mentoring is not a paid relationship, that’s consultation.  Next, mentorship is a living and breathing ACTIVE interactive relationship.  There needs to be a systematic plan, tasks and expectations.  Calling someone for advice on how to talk to a hotel security manager is NOT mentorship….that’s advice.

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