Monday, September 5, 2011
The role of a modern professional protector is expanding with technology. While the basic principles still apply, the methods are ever evolving. This change demands that protectors keep their skills updated. Today that means being familiar with technological risks such as smart-phones, social media (Facebook) and other security information factors.
Being familiar with actuary tables is a key for keeping clients safe as a Bodyguard. It helps to have connections in the insurance industry or to be contracted by a reputable insurance firm. With a simple online Google search you can have valuable information at your fingertips.
Some clients are far more at risk from a heart attack than a physical assault. Others put themselves at greater risk by drug use (legal and/or illegal). These are the realities of being intimately intertwined with a clients lifestyle as a close protection professional. It is also the reason to have a confidentiality and non-disclosure contract with your client from the start. The bodyguards role is to protect the principal and his or her interests.
This takes a unique relationship with clearly defined parameters and a unique set of ethics. The client must know that they can trust the security professional without the risk of one of the bodyguards going to the tabloids or writing a tell-all book with all their gory personal details on display.
Another example might be a bodyguard or member of the security team who parties with the client, perhaps ingesting alcohol. These activities are completely unacceptable with any professional agency because those substances interfere with judgment. That judgment is critical for safety as well as discretion. Bodyguards are people and subject to the influences of alcohol like anyone else. A moment of indiscretion saying something inappropriate to a client, texting or facebooking a comment can have some far reaching unintended consequences. In our firm, we have a strict no drinking, no tobacco policy which is enforced without exception.
Some of you may be familiar with a popular recent tell-all expose book by a former bodyguard. This is what celebrities can bring on themselves by hiring untrained goons or the lowest priced bidder. The long term costs of such an error in judgment can be career ending.
Personal security is no place to be greedy or overly cheap. That is why it shouldn't be left to assistants, talent agents or managers alone. The collective team should interview the protective agency, do their due diligence and seek references and recommendations. Then they should hire on a trial basis (just as a reputable protection team will do).
Good security will often prove itself to be an investment rather than an expense. For example, some clients pick up hours in the day of new-found time due to the efficiency of a good security team. They may also find they have the peace of mind to be better at their professions, gain more quality time with family or even become more efficient due to less anxiety and stress.
What our clients fear and what they are more likely at risk for may be two different things. Our job is more than just to placate worry. It is to prepare for the likely outcomes and risks associated with the clients lifestyle, including work and social habits. This is also why candor and honesty is so critical for a protector and his or her client. This trust often takes time. The security specialist providing protection has to earn this trust with professionalism and discretion.
For Nottingham Sword and Shield Security Bodyguards teams, we make sure the fire safety system is in working order and carry our own AED machine. Before our client ever arrives, our team has run scenarios, evacuation drills and physical intervention training to be prepared.
Our security teams are required to be first aid certified and we assign a Bodyguard EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Why? Because our clients are often more at risk for a heart attack than of physical attack. We see to both. From body armor, advanced threat assessments, counter-intelligence operations, research and contingency planning it is our job as security professionals to be prepared.
As protectors, our commitment is to anticipate these potential outcomes and have plans in place to thwart and or manage them. It saves lives and ads to peace of mind. That peace of mind can translate into higher performance for an executive, an artist or even a child who deserves to enjoy life without adult worries. This is why some of our clients engage our services to protect their families - one of our specialties.
These are just some of the costs that need to be considered in hiring a security team or bodyguard. The costs are often not the ones people first think of. With a bit of research and investigation, the results can make all the difference.