During my corporate days and now owning my private company, I’ve had the opportunity to recruit and operate in both of these settings ranging from small boutique details to top-tier corporations. After hundreds of phone conversations and conferences with executive protection professionals, I tend to get a lot of the same questions and statements from guys and gals seeking career advice.
A couple of statements or questions I hear more and more are...
It always makes me think of the old adage “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. But is it or is it all the same grass?
Most people reach a place in their career where they are interested (or forced into) doing something different, and this is an important topic for those of us in the EP/Close Protection world. So let's break it...
For many of us in the Corporate world, travel is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. In the security world, particularly in Executive/Close Protection, the ability to safely and smoothly navigate locations both exotic and domestic is a baseline expectation.
However, even the most seasoned world traveler can tell you horror stories of what can and sometimes does go wrong when you are traveling for work or for play. Some of my most valuable lessons in preparation and planning have come to me, not through my security, law enforcement or military training, but rather through the real-world situations I’ve found myself in as I’ve traveled the globe in support of my clients. You can’t replace local knowledge, and you certainly can’t buy experience!
That being said, as I’ve consulted with business looking to expand their footprint into new countries, individuals planning trips either for work-related events, or even for their own families, there remains a...
The world revolves around money. No doubt. It's logical then to assume that managing money is a critical skill. One that can make or break any career.
And yet, basic money management is a glaring gap in the skill-sets of most EP operators and managers. Whether we are talking about the decision-making around daily expenditures, the tracking and reporting of receipts, or the higher level program budgeting, the need for good judgement and practice around money is critical.
For better or worse, it is a basic assumption that an EP operator understands money. When you are hired for a job, you may have an orientation to your company's culture and policies where you'll likely receive a pdf copy of the 10 page expense SOP's that govern the 'do's and don'ts, which you will sign your acknowledgement of and never look at again. Beyond that (unless you've been blessed w/ a thoughtful manager or leader), you likely won't hear a whole lot of in terms of guidance about your reporting and...
With it being the first month of 2018 and most of us are just getting settled-in, and back to the daily grind, I thought it would be fitting to address a topic that affects 'most of us, some of the time', and for sure 'some of us, ALL of the time'.
That topic is NEGATIVITY.
I can attest, I've certainly struggled with it. I'd like to say that negativity only affects me 'some of the time', but I've learned that I have to make a very conscious effort to stay focused on the positive. In fact this is something that I have prioritized in recent years, as I see how important it is, both for myself as an individual, but also in terms of how my mindset and attitude impact my work and my business.
Now, I'm not a self-help guy, or a guru of any sort. However, maintaining a positive attitude is something I try to stress in managing my teams, in engaging with business partners, and in working to develop new talent in the industry.
For those of you who have been in this field for a while, the title of this blog may make you cringe. If you aren't familiar with the term, it just means handling an entire client and job support all by yourself or with one person. And yes, it happens more than you think. Individuals and companies choose to hire a single EP operative (vs. a full team) for any number of reasons, including budget, last minute change of plans, new staff, etc.
The dreaded 'single operator' gig can bring fear into the eyes of lots of EP professionals. I've worked with people who flat out refuse to do jobs like this stating things like, "you are set up for failure", or "you are just screwed before you even start."
As the Manager of a fast-paced, global EP team, I found myself needing to send members of my team out on single operator trips, just to keep up with our globe-hopping principal. There were times we literally couldn't have staff on the ground for every location on our list, and we had to...
My biggest takeaway from my latest industry conference?
Wow, how the Executive Protection/Close Protection (EP/CP) field and industry has grown and evolved! It is amazing!
After returning from Las Vegas having attended the 2nd annual IPSB/EP Conference, my overall impression is just being very impressed with the comradery, the genuine interest in growth and networking, and the excitement about the potential in the industry.
I can't help thinking back 20 years ago when I was getting started in the field. The thought of having a venue of over 300 industry people in one room, willingly sharing experience and ideas would have been "far-fetched". I would have loved an opportunity like that, and it just wasn't available.
I know to the new guys/gals in the industry they can't relate that far back, but to me and many others it seems like yesterday. At the networking sessions during the conference (most valuable parts) I spoke to both senior people and newer people trying to break into...
Many of the 'life lessons' that I've learned, I learned in Marine Corp Boot Camp. One of the most valuable lessons that always stuck in my mind came from the beloved (ha, ha) Drill Instructors. They would yell at us, " you guys are dumb as a sack of rocks, so you need to be that much more fit and strong to make up for it".
In hindsight, I believe the message behind that statement really boils down to, 'We can't control how smart you are, but we can insure you'll be physically and mentally ready to fight, body mind and soul'. (At least, I tell myself that's what they meant!)
Which brings me to my topic. Fitness! This is a broad term and can mean many things to many people. As in mentally, psychologically or physically. It's the physical aspect I want to focus on, but that arguably contributes and frames our mental and psychological fitness as well.
Clearly there are certain professions where being physically in-shape is...
After recruiting and managing a large, high-profile executive protection team, I cringe when I hear the complaint, “I should be paid more for my skills”. And I hear that quite often.
We all want to make more money, that’s for sure. Most often the only skills that are only being referenced are (hard skills) like professional driving, EP schooling, advance work and over-all security. Those are (of course), essential skills, and constitute the bread and butter of protection work.
However, the 'bread and butter' skills are a given in our field. They are merely a starting point, and having them does not guarantee you anything more than a possible foot in the door. There are many more factors involved in being a top echelon EP guy or gal, and I can tell you from experience, that the truly top tier EP specialists have the basics down pat, and then go above and beyond these fundamentals.
For example, those on top of their game understand the 'value-add' of meshing and...
Have you ever wondered how Corporate Recruiting works? You've wondered why you have submitted resumes to hundreds of companies, and have gotten absolutely NO responses.
Applying for jobs becomes a mind-game on your self-esteem and confidence. You begin to think it's about you, that the world is conspiring against you!
Well (in fairness), it could be some things you are doing or failed to do, but most likely you are just a victim of the Recruiting Woes.....
Trust me, I have worked with fabulous, energetic Recruiters and they want you. But the complex systems they must navigate to do their work tend to bog them down in a barrage of resumes, phone calls and meetings. Think about it, these recruiters staff multi-Billion/Million dollar companies that everyone wants to work for. The typical Corporate Recruiter is doing the best she/he can, is likely filling multiple positions for multiple different departments at any given time, and only has so much time in...
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