Usually I write articles based on my experience as a security professional but this one will be addressed from another perspective. That of the person who has a degree in Psychology and has also spent many hours studying behaviours. I would like to combine my two educational backgrounds and discuss how specific behaviours can negatively affect the security industry.
If you are a service provider, you must always have in mind that people you employ and place with clients are the people who represent your brand. Their mistakes will harm you more that it will harm them. Most companies are losing contracts due to toxic or unprofessional behaviour of their operatives. No matter how good a CV looks on paper, attitude and behaviour at work are crucial when you place someone to protect another human being who has his/her own personality traits. Placing the right candidate with any specific client goes much beyond hiring a good HR manager, especially when your company is handling contracts of thousands of dollars and clientele of specific social, financial and celebrity status.
We all are aware of the ongoing news reports and social media posts regarding the complaints of some colleagues about their former clients, claiming how their clients were ‘’rude’’, ‘’cold’’ and ‘’non friendly’’. Now, these people worked for well known companies, so someone obviously thought they would be ok to be hired and placed with specific clients. The fact that they can so easily speak on public forums makes you wonder if NDAs were signed at all before hiring. Again, just one interview and a CV are not enough when you hire someone, especially in this line of work.
While the majority of the industry will say that speaking publicly about your client is unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour and that it also breaks the code of the confidentiality, there seems to be an alarming trend regarding security providers reporting their former clients or talking about them in public.
Now there are many reasons why someone may choose to do so. One, it can be to sell his/her story. Many news media outlets and reporting outlets are paying a lot of money for stories like this. Two, that person found his/her inner writer and are writing a book about that client, again bedtime gossip sells. Three, by going public, they believe they can gain publicity and attention for future employment. Although many serious and high class companies will never hire someone like this, there will always be that one company who will see nothing wrong with it and place this person with another client. Unfortunately, ethics and professionalism in the security industry don’t mean the same for all of us. While at least some positions have the minimum requirements, apparently for others, there don’t seem to be any ethical requirement standards at all…
While specific company or personal ethics seem to vary quite a bit, and discussing the three mentioned reasons above appears to have no worth, there is another valuable and important trait that we can identify with and improve significantly. This is the inability, of some people, to control their emotions in the workplace. These people have a very specific view of how people should treat them, and anything different makes them unable to process their feelings and they cannot control them. They feel hurt, insulted, or perhaps someone was unfair to them and they want to talk about it publicly to gain attention and receive a pat on the back.
As we mentioned earlier, since all of us have different definitions when it comes to ethics and professionalism in security industry, many will see no problem. No issues in posting pictures with their clients (jeopardizing their safety), talking about their private moments, what they saw or heard while working for them or basically breaking every rule of the client’s confidentiality. If the client doesn’t trust you, you will be gone and with you a contract for the company you were working for.
Now let’s focus on our topic: Emotional Control in the Workplace. According to Gross’ definition, (1999), ‘’Emotional control can be thought of as a facet of emotion regulation, but refers primarily to attempts by an individual to manage the generation, experience, or expression of emotion, and/or one’s emotional responses’’. In other words, emotional control is each individual’s ability to manage emotions that may be disturbing, disagreeable, hurtful, insulting, and being able to remain calm and effective at his/her performance. As human beings, we are emotional and we cannot suppress our emotions, but we can learn how and when to manage them. It is ok to be hurt or bothered by specific words or behaviours at work, but how you control your emotional response to a specific trigger is very important for your efficiency and professionalism at work. How many of us, in the course of our day, have been told or asked to do something and we thought…
‘How can he/she talk to me like that?’
‘Who he/she thinks he/she is?’
‘That is not why I was hired!’
And I am sure many of us have been angry, sad, insulted etc.
Someone may ask why it is important to manage our emotions at work. Before answering that, we first must explain how emotions work. Humans are emotional creatures, and our brain was designed for survival and perpetuation of our species. The Amygdala is the portion of the brain that is responsible for our emotions and basically works as our brain’s radar for threat. Now threat can have different meanings, not only physical threat but it can also be when we hear something we don’t like or we don’t agree with, or something that may challenge what we knew and believed up until that moment. When the amygdala detects a ‘’threat’’ we have the so called ‘amygdala hijack’ or ‘emotional hijack’. During this state, we cannot innovate, we cannot learn anything new or process new information, and we rely on old behaviours or patterns. During this hijack, we cannot focus on our professional tasks or duties because our brain will primarily think about what is bothering us at that moment. Also our memory is highly affected, and we will recall only that which is most related to the incident/threat and not other things that may be important for our work. Now, as security professionals, being tasked with someone else’s security, can you see how being able to manage your emotions at work can affect your performance and why it is important? I’m sure you can see it. And keep in mind that many studies performed around the world have proven that being able to manage your emotions competently brings substantially better business outcomes.
As a security professional, you will spend most of your time being the shadow of a person who is paying you. That person has his/her own life beliefs, ethics, attitude, emotions, life worries, etc. How that person addresses you is his/her choice, right or wrong. However, how you react to it and manage the feelings associated with their behaviour is your responsibility. Have in mind that while your job is to protect them, they are not your ‘buddy’. They have their own job/responsibilities of keeping sales and numbers up, creating new products, making sure pay checks to employees are paid at the end of the month, and other important obligations. They have so many issues to deal with and you are not one…You are to be a help, not a hindrance. Professional protection, not a ‘Buddyguard’!
Once, one of our clients used obscenities while speaking to one of our colleagues. While the colleague was literally in tears (Imagine a security professional being in tears in front of the person he is protecting) and decided to quit that day, he failed on several fronts. One, to think that the client may have had a bad day, (Which later on, we found out he had just received the news his ex wife had filed for a divorce) and Two, the client is NOT our friend, and his/her reaction to anything may be, and most likely is, the result of something unrelated to us and not to be misconstrued as such. In this case, the client later apologized, which is rare, but some will not.
No matter what type of client you happen to be providing services for, always keep in mind, the client doesn’t have to be friendly to you, or care how your morning or night has been, doesn’t have to say hello or good morning or even converse with you at all! At the end of the day, it is not personal and it cannot be taken as such. This may very well be how they see social interaction. While it may seem rude for someone not to say hello, for them it may be natural. For them, you are just another employee. Also, have in mind that you will be in contact with many people in their lives of varying backgrounds and levels of power. The client’s wife, PA, butler, nanny or general public all may say something, at some point in time that will upset you. Also, never forget that emotions are highly transferable and someone may have had a fight at home with his/her children or significant other and carried all those emotions to work.
An emotional outburst at work can take your focus from performing your duties best and show you are incapable of controlling your own feelings. Being insulted or feeling you are not treated fairly will probably make you feel angry and anger will increase your heart rate. According to a study done by Prof Cynthia Fisher from Bond University, School of Business in 1997, the most common negative emotions experienced at work are frustration, worry, anger, dislike and unhappiness.
Should we repress or suppress our emotions? No. Can you manage them? Yes, we all are able to minimize those emotional hijacks. Most of us are highly aware of what can trigger our emotions. We know what topics, or events can affect us emotionally. So paying attention and being able to recognize when those signs of destructive emotions are starting to build, we have more chances to stop an emotional hijack. Here are some techniques:
- Know your triggers. This can help you to recognize what upsets you.
- Be respectful. If a person is rude, there is no need to react to it with rudeness and feed it. You can remain firm and professional without being aggressive. Most of the time, those people will calm down once they realize that they are the only one in the room shouting or being rude.
- Use exercise to blast your anger. Hit that treadmill, set some PR’s, roll on the mats… exercise will help to release any physical tension in your body.
- Never bring your negative emotions from home to work and vice versa. What happens at home stays at home and what happens at work stays at work.
- Clarify the situation. Many times it was just a miscommunication or misunderstanding.
- Use the 10-seconds rule. If you feel your temper rising, count to 10 to recompose yourself. If needed and if possible, get some distance and excuse yourself from the situation, reassuring them you will get to this matter as soon as possible.
- If for some reason you had an emotional outburst, apologize to anyone involved with it and take responsibility by recognizing you reacted badly.
- Speak about the incident to your supervisor. If there are behaviours, language or incidents that are irritating you and you are not able to see past them, then you should seek another position with another client. Either way, inform your company regarding any incident. Most of the times companies are not aware of a situation until it becomes unfixable.
- If you are a service provider, make sure you do an internal audit regularly regarding operational effectiveness of your operatives. Ask them, listen to them and also be ready to place them somewhere else if they seem burned out by a specific client/detail.
At the end of the day, keep these in mind, 1) the client is not your buddy, 2) it is not personal, 3) clients need to see that the person assigned to their protection not only is physically trained for the hard task but also he/she is emotionally stable, calm when all else is chaotic and can show restriction and strength when necessary.
If you are interested to learn more about Emotional Control in the Workplace contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denida Zinxhiria Grow
Founder & CEO
At Athena Worldwide we are industry leaders for promoting, training and staffing female bodyguards internationally. With our affiliate offices, we can provide world-wide close protection and executive protection services for entertainment professionals, politicians, CEOs, Royal Families, journalists, clergy and corporate personnel.
Want to find out more about female bodyguards? visit www.athenaworldwide.com
You paid thousands of dollars for training and thousands more on equipment, firearms and clothing. Add in the cost of travel, hotels, meals, time off of work and other expenses and you are finally qualified for work, according to you. But what does the Client value in a protector? It may be no surprise that interpersonal skills top the list. Good manners, eye contact, a firm handshake, a timely smile, and an expansive vocabulary are just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing how to negotiate, and more, knowing when to remain silent are also key to a Client choosing you over an ex-WPPS Private Military Contractor.
After decades in the protection industry, it is continually apparent that while “fieldcraft“ is absolutely valuable and indeed essential to a Client’s required prerequisites, it is the “intellectual” skillset with which the Client has the greatest exposure, (and hardest time finding).
Many laugh when first hearing about interpersonal skills in the personal protection industry. They believe that as long the client is safe, nothing else matters. We all know that we are getting paid for that 0,1% chance that may require us to respond to a threat and “save the client”, but the rest of our time will be spent interacting with the client, their family members, employees, domestic staff, and our own colleagues. And just as important are the paparazzi and the public, both of whom have cameras in hand. One wrong comment or gesture and the Client’s embarrassment results in your termination, and possibly a civil action.
Social interaction requires specific interpersonal skills. Your ability to react or reply appropriately is crucial. Using the wrong words with the wrong person and your years in the sand box or skill with firearms won’t save you. You will be fired within seconds. It happens every day and some of you won’t even know why.
Below we will try to give you some tips from ours as well as our colleagues experience and mistakes and even included some comments from past clients.
Your relationship with the client:
If you have any understanding of the industry at all, you know that you are with a client because someone within the client’s entourage has a fear that you have convinced them you can quash. In a combat zone, there is real fear of capture or death. In a large city in America, spy photos of the client out in public, drinking with friends, and in Mexico, Kidnapping. In many instances, you may be with the client 10 to 16 hours a day. So how do you spend that much time with them or their family, under that kind of stress without getting emotionally connected to them? Stick to the old adage: “Be seen and not heard”.
First of all keep in mind that the client is the one paying you, no matter how unrealistic his requests may be, you must adapt to his ‘’wants’’ and ‘’security needs’’. You may not be allowed to do what the job requires or have the manpower or equipment needed but you will have to adapt and do your job with what you have. You may be asked to be in position X and not Y because the client doesn’t feel comfortable otherwise. Consider too that it is also difficult for someone to get used to the idea of having strangers around them with every step they take and with every person they meet. Consider what you are doing that might be adding to or reducing their tension. Talking, staring, where you are standing, your cologne, or your actions can all add to a client’s frustrations.
The professional is one who can work with the difficult client, not the other way around. If you are lucky enough to work for that easy going client good for you, but most of the time you will have to deal with people that will test your limits. Have you ever had a client ask you to protect him but not to be within sight of him?
New professionals usually ask how they would deal with different challenges, like “what if the client asks me to have a drink with him”? What if the client asks you to do things that are out of your area of responsibility?
If you are a Close Protection Operative of the opposite sex of your client, then be prepared to deal with even more difficult situations. Traditionally mixing stress and fear with the comfort a protector can bring and the power and wealth of a client, (or his wife), and an opportunity……
Every one of us, client or Close Protection Operative (CPO), have different, social backgrounds and if you add to that different cultures then be ready to deal with more difficulties.
For many of us who have spent years in this business, (If we are successful enough to still be in this business), we have learned where our boundaries lie. If you are new in the business consider that boundaries exist for all of us. The client has them and so do you. When we are hired to protect a person, we are actually being allowed to step far inside their boundaries but they should not be allowed to step too far into ours. We will see a client in their most private and vulnerable moments, but what happens to our persona as “protector” if they see our weaknesses and vulnerabilities? And what happens if someone outside the client’s circle identifies our weaknesses or vulnerabilities?
How do we identify a client’s boundaries, and how do we educate them on ours? It’s really very simple; we ask. We should consider their social and moral code, their habits, vices and health issues and their fears. Sitting down with the client and discussing their needs and simply asking them where their boundaries are and letting them know ours is crucial to the success of a long term assignment. It may be no big deal for a client to ask you to enter a room where they are using drugs in a party setting or where he and his wife are in bed, but this may be beyond your comfort zone, (your boundary).
What is the difference between professionalism and friendship? Here is a simple rule: “You can’t buy friendship”. If you are being paid, you can’t be friends. If you want to be friends, stop taking the client’s money. Crossing the boundary between Professional and Friend is never successful.
From my personal experience I have found that when I was acting strictly professional the client was uncomfortable. Our task is to make them feel safe but when we appear ‘’untouchable’’ they believe we don’t understand their fears or what they’re going through. It is very important for them to feel we understand them. It is not easy to be the client….Sometimes they will open up and talk to us and we must show them we are listening. This is not friendship. This is part of our job.
If you get too friendly, then automatically your professionalism will suffer in your client’s eyes. Not because he doesn’t trust you anymore but because your laps in professionalism suggests to him that you won’t be taking your job as serious as is needed.
Consider how Psychologists work. They cannot offer professional counseling to people who are in their family or with whom they are friends. They certainly cannot start dating a client.
It is understood that you may share many hours with the client. Talk to him only when he talks to you or when you have to say something that affects his safety. Avoid starting a conversation but always be friendly if the client decides to speak to you. If you are asked a question, try to answer it with a single sentence.
Your relationship with the client’s family members will have to be the same. Don’t be too friendly with them or other staff or guests. Remember who hired you and why. Remember who cuts your check and who ultimately you serve. You should answer to only one person. If you assist or serve anyone else, it must be with the approval of the client and then only at no cost to them.
If you appear too unapproachable or “hard”, you will intimidate those you are serving. Too approachable and the family and everyone else will feel comfortable approaching you. And it will always happen when you need to be focused. Take a middle position with your client which is addressed with professionalism. Again, prior to accepting your contract you must clarify from whom you will be given orders and directions regarding your work.
As a CPO your job is to protect you client’s life and image. You are not there to carry their briefcase or shopping bags, etc. You also should not be carrying the client’s child on your hip, or holding doors open or performing domestic chores. Remember to keep your hands free.
Don’t be afraid to say “no” when you are asked to perform duties which are outside of your role. The client is hiring a CPO not a maître ’de or a butler. It is professional to politely refuse to perform a task outside of your agreed responsibilities instead of accepting it and putting in danger a client or your life. He has hired you to provide security services and nothing else.
The client must see you as an educated, well trained, experienced and professional person, and it is up to you alone to earn his respect. If your client respects you then any of your suggestions concerning his safety will be accepted by him positively.
Alcohol? NO, NEVER, EVER…..while working. But……
What if your client calls you for a drink or coffee while you’re not on duty? In this case you have to ask why he is calling you. Does he see you as a friend or do you think he wants something unrelated to work or to talk about your work? First, remain professional. If your client calls, you respond. Then avoid alcohol at all cost. Consider that in many countries and especially in the United States, if you are in possession of a firearm and you are questioned by police with alcohol in your system, you will be arrested.
Sometimes the most dangerous trap a CPO may fall into is to have a physical relationship with his client or the client’s spouse. Remember that movie where the bodyguard was sleeping with his client? Art sometimes copies life. Being emotionally involved with your client, (or anyone in their circle), no matter how unprofessional we see it, has happened with some colleagues. Understand that if this occurs, the CPO is always at fault. Because the client is dependent on you, they may be more likely to share raw emotion with you or let you all the way in to that last boundary, the personal physical boundary. Take advantage of this vulnerability and you are solely to blame. And if you think you found the love of your life, you will be replaced by the next person the client sees power or an emotional investment in. And who is going to write you that professional referral letter then?
Sexual Harassment is rampant in our profession. Male CPOs are approached by everyone who is attracted to the perceived power of the protector or by anyone trying to get to the client or get into the client’s circle. But if you are a female CPO it is much worse. You will get barraged from both males and females, clients, their family members, friends and then your colleagues. Additionally, sometimes due to culture, there are those who believe that because they hired you to protect them you are there also for ‘’extra services’’. There have been cases like these which have been unreported to authorities but are a common problem within the female CPO industry. Again, that sit down meeting with the client prior to taking the job is strongly suggested.
Your relationship with colleagues:
During our career we will have to work along with people who don’t share the same work ethic, qualifications, training and experience, background, morals or values with us. So whether we like or dislike someone, we shouldn’t allow it to affect our professionalism. Our first loyalty is the client’s safety and the study and mastering of the art and skill toward this goal. Our second loyalty is to the industry to which we have dedicated our lives. Loyalty to our colleagues falls within this, not the other way around.
As we all know, Close Protection is a profession that is unfortunately void of professional standards and requirements. Each country, and even each State has its own licensing or training requirements and in many cases no training is required at all. In light of this, you realize that you have to work to solidify a team with people who bring with them different experience, skills, training disciplines, standards, professionalism, culture, and ethics in the same way a sports team or elite military unit has to work through individual differences to become a uniquely cohesive team.
It is very important that each one on the team promote and maintain a strong working relationship with the others as well as the client, and of course other people who we may be in contact with (house personnel, office staff etc).
Some of the people you are working with may have more or less skill and may be younger or older. So in each situation you must address your issues with them with respect. Never offend anyone no matter the reason, never correct someone while anyone else in present. If you believe they made a mistake you can ask if he would mind a tip or advice. Not many people are open to advice from coworkers. If they refuse your help, respect it and leave it alone. If a colleague makes a sexual advance or even a comment that you are not comfortable with, address it quickly.
In our work it is very important when an issue occurs, to take immediate action to address it. Later you can do your research and as a team and correct it. As in any team, constructive criticism is meant to eliminate future problems.
Try to avoid conversations with your colleagues that include topics which trigger emotional responses like sports, religion, sex or politics. No conversation on these topics can contribute to your client’s safety.
Avoid discussion about family and do not share details about your family, spouse, kids or home life. You don’t know how the information may be used against you or your client later. Can you be blackmailed? Could this affect your client or team?
The only conversation you should entertain is the one that adds to your client’s safety.
Your relationship with fellow citizens and Law Enforcement:
In most countries your authority or legal ability to act is no more than any other citizen. Trying to get a free pass at the club or disturbing the peace will give you and your client a bad image. No you can’t stop the traffic, park whenever you want, stop people from entering in public places or ask to search them.
Many of our colleagues come from a Law Enforcement or Military background, they use to have their own language with their former colleagues and may work along with them or ask for their help. Remember that active Law Enforcement personnel have their own agendas. They are not part of our industry any more than we are part of theirs. Do not ask them to help you do your job. Some may abuse their authority and use it to get close to your client, and may even try to replace you. Be respectful and keep your distance.
Your networking activities
It is common and we see it almost every day in online networks or forums, people who hide behind a “screen” or “nickname” and make negative comments about other colleagues. It is seen by most as cowardly at best to make public comments about someone while hiding behind a false identity and further, without allowing the victim or viewing audience to verify the experience or credentials of the accuser.
Industry forums serve a couple of purposes. The first is to inform and the second is to allow comments and feedback for the purpose of informing. Unfortunately, they have become a place for the unimpressive to gain their 15 minutes of fame. These chronic complainers, seemingly have plenty of free time, (possibly due to their unemployment), and repair their egos by blaming or criticizing others. Yes, there are non-professionals and there are professionals, but a forum is not the right place to show who is who.
For those who like to comment on different articles or posts online (…that includes many of us…) before you hit “send” be sure you:
1) Read the article/post carefully. It is very disappointing to see colleagues who post a negative comment on an article when it is clear that they neither completely read nor completely understood it.
2) Offer a solid answer/opinion based on logical thoughts or facts (or evidence/search results). Recently, someone tried to show their disagreement with an author. Their only approach to a counter-point was insulting the author which actually proved the author’s point. Someone else tried to answer him by copying and pasting parts from the article and offering negative comments on the excerpts, which further proved the subject of the article; that some people in our industry can’t adapt their soldier mentality and behavior to the more polished corporate environment.
3) Answer in a manner that does not insult the writer or others.
4) Re-read and understand the article. Stating a disagreement is fine but following up with information that goes off topic and writing anything other than what is pertinent to the subject will only make you look stupid.
5) Read the article again,
6) Read your answer again from the perspective of your colleagues,
7) Read it once again from the perspective of someone who knows you,
8) If it doesn’t look professional/logical/in good taste or relative to the article provided, DO NOT hit that “send” button or “publish now” ….otherwise again, you will only end up looking stupid.
If you think companies and recruiting agents don’t look at a candidate’s networking profiles? Think again!
The bottom line is this:
If you lack professionalism on any level or lack interpersonal skills in dealing with people you work for, with or around, you will not be able to hide behind your experience, education or other skillsets.
Founder & Worldwide Director
Mr Bob Duggan, founder of Executive Security International (ESI) thoughts over Colorado theater shooting
As many of us, no matter how often we have seen it happening is always shocking us. Reading news and comments over the last attack in Colorado i came through this comment made by one of the top experts in security industry, Mr Bob Duggan who is the founder of ESI, a training institute that offer services and train security personnel for more than 32 years now.
With his permission i am posting and sharing with you his words:
”What happened in the theater here in Colorado is not about guns. You will hear the clarion calls to control assault weapons and high capacity magazines. But take away the carbines, and they will bring shotguns; take away the shotguns, and they will use handguns; take away the handguns, and they will make explosives and knives. Remember Columbine! Those kids intended to do their greatest harm with home made bombs; they planned a spectacular massacre.
The core issue is the culture of violence, starting with a multi billion dollar entertainment industry that thrives on violence. Not so long ago, the center of our culture was literature….poetry, novels, fiction, non-fiction, music and dance. Now it is the silver screen and the transformative personalities that inhabit this ephemeral world of ours.
The overwhelming number of us think of these images that flash before our minds as just entertainment; then we go about our lives as if nothing happened. But those few in our society that suffer from a psychotic disorder, thrive on these action thrillers not as entertainment, but as a form of Personality Channeling. They become the JOKER, who lives for CHAOS and exposure in the 6:00 O’Clock news.
There is no cure for this disorder. It is a permanent aspect of our lives so we now MUST carry a concealed weapon everywhere we go: to church, to school and to the theater. Get ready boys and girls, they are coming at you, at all of us, and your only defense is self-defense.
A departing thought. I found it mildly amusing that when I went to see Batman Rises yesterday in my little town of Rifle, they posted a police officer in the lobby. As I walked out of the theater, I thought, this is how institutions think. After it happens, they will come running, but it will be too late.”
We all in security industry have seen the high demand for female close protection operatives in any aspect of security operations the last 10 years, grow in popularity and their pay increase to in some cases surpass their male counterparts. Many celebrities, royal families or even politicians are now interested in hiring female bodyguards for their safety and thousands of dollars are paid in contracts.
However even the high demand for female close protection professionals we experience that there is a very small number and availability of those who are truly qualified and trained to work. So if there is a high demand and well paid contracts why is so hard to find female professionals?
As an only female close protection training provider internationally by experience far now we found out that although many women may see close protection industry as their dream profession they are not determined enough to invest in both time and money to train and qualify themselves and open the doors to a new challenging and well-paying career.
Those who are ready to deal with challenges and make their presence in this industry are very rare, and that’s why makes them in higher demand, often greater than for men. The majority of those women have a previous military or LE experience, which make them familiar on working in male dominated professions and ready to fight any difficulties to achieve their goal. Women who entered close protection profession without having a previous military or LE experience are even less.
There is a false belief that in order to become a bodyguard you must have a previous training, qualifications and experience from federal agencies, army, law enforcement or even martial arts.
Having those skills is something that may help you to adapt the new skills and knowledge easier, but by their own doesn’t make you a good close protection agent. What will make you a good one is the proper training, your ‘’heart’’, your ability to apply your knowledge in an appropriate time and place and your willingness to fight and give your best effort for what you believe in.
No matter your previous qualifications, by joining in a training course you will learn from zero the skills required to work as a close protection agent. So previous experience or qualifications has nothing to do with your success rate.
There were always women through history who broke into male dominated professions before many years, what we see now as natural like having female fighter jets pilots, it was once a day when one woman made the big step and open the door for the rest.
The first ones are the ones who will have to fight more and inspire other women to follow their dream. They are the ones who can show to public and most important to other women that if you work hard and fight harder you can offer the same professional services as your male colleagues.
If you are a woman interested to become a bodyguard and you are sure that is the profession you want to follow, do not hesitate and start looking from now for the training provider that suit your needs.
Athena Academy Founder
SECURITY RESPONSE TO GLOBAL CRISIS, a Conference Sponsored by Executive Security International and Executive Protection Institute
For all professionals working in Security Industry you don’t want to miss this opportunity: Two of the most well known internationally Security Training Providers, Executive Security International and Executive Protection Institute are joining their efforts to offer an epic Conference that will take place in Las Vegas, from November 30 to December 2, 2012.
The 2012 Conference is a historic alliance of the two largest executive protection membership alumni associations in the country: Executive Security International’s ESI Alumni Association and Executive Protection Institute’s Nine Lives Association. The top two Executive Protection schools in America have joined together to co-sponsor this annual conference. ESI is the host of the conference in 2012 and EPI will host the conference in 2013, alternating hosts thereafter.
A TIMELY THEME
The Associations of Nine Lives and ESI Alumni have selected a conference theme that focus on contemporary critical issues:
Security Response to a Global Crisis
Corporate Response to Internet Vulnerabilities
Keynote Speaker: Cynthia Hetherington, Founder of Hetherington Group,
Cynthia Hetherington, has been working with private investigators, security specialists and law enforcement professionals since 1993. A widely published author, Cynthia authored Business Background Investigations and co-authored The Manual to Online Public Records. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Internet & Online Intelligence Newsletter, and she is recognized for providing corporate security officials, military intelligence units, and federal, state and local agencies with training on online intelligence practices.
Data about your client, members of their family, business partners reside on the Internet. Everything about their world is readily available, including street level and satellite images of their residences, credit records, physical and intellectual assets. Some of the information is loosely posted on social media – Facebook, Small World, My Space, Linked-in and others that can be mined for images, schools attended and work places can be located and placed under surveillance.
This workshop will teach attendees how to find this information and steps to removing it as an essential to protecting your clients from unwanted exposure and inappropriate contact.
*Early registrants to the conference will receive a free copy of Hetherington’s book, “Business Background Investigations”
Corporate Crisis Management
Multi-national corporations confront the whole range of challenges from natural disasters to active shooters on property, stalkers of employees and executives, and kidnap & ransom policies in foreign environments. The conference will have representatives from major corporations to discuss these pressing issues.
Speaker: Peter Dordal J, Senior Vice President, Garda World
Emcee for Corporate Crisis Management Forum and Panel
Pete DordalPete Dordal began his career with 8 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Beirut, Lebanon with the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and then at Quantico as a combat skills instructor. He has a degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of over 25 formal military, law enforcement and security training courses. Pete graduated from ESI in 1984 while still in the Force Recon Unit, and Pete is the principal advisor and consultant on ESI’s PSD Protective Operations training program.
Mr. Dordal began his private security career with Vance International, which Garda acquired in 2006, where he served as executive protection team leader for a Middle Eastern ambassador to the U.S. and trained the Saudi Arabian Secret Service in advanced protection techniques. During the first Gulf War he went to Saudi Arabia to train that country’s Secret Service in advanced protection techniques.
Pete is Senior Vice President of Garda World, the Consulting and Investigation / Global Risks Group of Garda World Security Corporation. In his position, he is responsible for the delivery of security services to a variety of government and commercial clients in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Speaker: Filippo Marino, Director, Executive Protection & Intelligence | McDonald’s Corporation
Crisis Management in the Age of Global, Real-Time Communication:
We will first revisit the core principles of successful crisis management practices and the organizational features that contribute to resilient, global enterprises. The second portion will focus on how these practices have had to – or should – evolve to address dramatic changes in the media and Information & Communication Technology (ICT), and specifically why Executive Protection holds increasing relevance and influence in this arena.
Filippo Marino is responsible for the design and execution of McDonald’s Executive Protection efforts impacting senior corporate leaders and other at-risk personnel, and for shaping global best practices. Additionally, Filippo leads corporate initiatives in the areas of Global Risk and Early Warning intelligence, Crisis Management, Workplace Violence Prevention, and Major Events’ security. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Filippo’s career in the Risk Mitigation industry started as an officer of the Italian Army and spanned across almost 20 years, many of which as a successful adviser to Fortune 500 companies and High Net-Worth individuals. During his tenure as founder and CEO of Securitydirector, LLC, he lead operations ranging from Open Source Intelligence and Threat Assessments, to Crisis Management and Executive Protection across multiple geographical and cultural boundaries, for some of the largest and most complex organizations in the world. As an author, adviser, and entrepreneur, Filippo has contributed to several process innovations and best practice models for small and large organizations, and security professionals alike. He holds a Magna Cum Laude B. A. degree in Behavioral Sciences, and has obtained multiple certifications in security and protection services. He is a California certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and an accomplished firearms instructor, scuba diver, skydiver, mountaineer, and survivalist. He speaks fluent English, Italian, German and some Spanish.
Speaker: Beth Brown, Manager, Corporate Command Center, Target
Beth Brown is currently the Manager, Corporate Command Center (C3) for Target and has more than ten years of experience as a business and crisis management professional. She has held roles in operations, workforce management, and Target Financial & Retail Services.
Her areas of responsibility include Target’s Corporate Command Center, a 24×7 facility in Minneapolis that monitors Target’s business operations, travelers, and potential disruptions around the world, and leading Target’s cross-organizational response to business disruptions and security incidents.
Speaker: Charles Randolph, Director – Executive Protection & Intelligence, Microsoft Corporation
Charles Randolph has seventeen years of experience in the protective security industry and over 20 years as a military officer has uniquely qualified Chuck to take on a typical day’s work of planning, strategic development, tactical deployment, and management of both a global sized executive protection and an intelligence unit. Having previously been the Director of a protective security company with Fortune 500 clients, Chuck has the experience and insight needed to provide Microsoft with top-level protective and intelligence leadership, and the business acumen for corporate budgets and fiscal matters. He is responsible for both the Executive Protection Team and the Microsoft Intelligence Unit – globally placed teams that produce critical data on which the enterprise relies for making decisions.
Since joining Microsoft in 2000, Chuck has taken on ever-increasing responsibilities and expanded the scope of the services and assets his teams provides the company. Under his leadership he has transformed the executive protective services and intelligence unit to function beyond their traditional roles of body guarding and information provider, tothat of a strategic enabler.
Running Protective Operations in Mexico
Keynote Speaker: Rick Sweeney, President of Secfor International,
Rick oversees all of Secfor International’s (www.secforintrnational.com) training, protective details and recovery investigations. He has been in the security field for 25 years and specializes in high-threat protective operations, spending much of his career leading security teams in places like Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Lebanon, Iraq, and for the last 5 years, Mexico. When not on detail, Rick teaches security subjects to civilians and Military personnel and has Program-Managed U.S. Government Anti-Terrorist security training programs for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. Secfor has been featured on Discovery Channel’s ‘Kidnap and Rescue’ series, as well as in the Washington Post and other journals and publications in the U.S. and Internationally.
Mexico Security Operations
Mexico is a unique and challenging environment to provide protective services. Many believe that their experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Military, or corporate security positions, may have prepared them for a Mexico posting but, we have found that Mexico is unlike any other environment our experienced staff has worked in. Other high threat working environments may develop certain skill sets that are pertinent to Mexico operations, though the specific threat in this part of Latin America is very unique and may be different than anywhere you may have worked in the past.
Below are topics that will be covered in the seminar. We will cover the types of details you can expect, specific threat to your client and your teams, kidnap mitigation strategies, tricks of the trade directly from our agents in the field, additional training that must be considered when working in this region and practical advance packages that every agent must have before heading south.
Some specific points that Rick Sweeney will cover on operating in Mexico:
- Why Mexico is a unique operating environment for Executive Protection Specialists?
- What are the legalities of working security in Mexico – Licensing – Visas
- What companies are working in Mexico and what they look for in new agents? (What not to put in your resume or CV)
- Different types of details you are likely to encounter in Mexico
- Realities of the violence in Mexico – Difference in Northern & Southern Mexico
- The kidnap threat and current methods
- Life saving driving tactics operationally proven on the streets of Mexico
- The firearms question: Who can be armed? Can Contractors work in Mexico?
- Working with local security forces – The pros and cons
- Local law enforcement – A double edged sword
- Communications: Local Mobile phones – US & foreign carriers | Nextels | Black boxes
- GPS Tracking | Vehicle | Personal tracking devices | The Chip
- Medical issues: Local capabilities. What medical training, and gear, you should have before working in Mexico?
- Intelligence: What is reliable and what isn’t? What you’re not being told, CAN hurt you
- Mission Package preparation: What is it and why you must have it.
- Surveillance Detection Techniques specific to Mexico. How they will watch you & what you can do about it. Recovery Investigations (Kidnap & Ransom support)
Who Attends the Conference?
The unification of the two largest training academies and their respective associations as the sponsors of the 2012 Conference will provide new opportunities of networking and professional connections. The EPIC-Lifeforce Conference is organized to meet other working professionals face to face.
Talk with your professional contacts from other training schools. We are truly moving this conference into a “come one come all” professional event. We all know highly qualified, professional members of our industry that have not come through the ESI and EPI pipeline and we want them to come and share with us the great training, the networking opportunities, and to meet other alumni – to break bread with our brothers and sisters from around the world.
If you are a newcomer to the field – or an experienced professional looking for new opportunities – or simply interested in the networking opportunities provided by the conference, this is a must event. Many regard the NETWORK event held on Saturday afternoon the most important part of the conference, providing a chance to learn about jobs and the industry companies who employ the professionals.
We are offering an incentive to Alumni Members who bring two non-members to the conference by reducing Registration fee by $50 for first time attendees. It is a unique and inexpensive opportunity to find out more about the protection field and to talk with professionals who are working in the field or operating their own business.
The EPIC-Lifeforce Conference actively solicits Corporate Sponsors to offset the cost of Guest Speakers and running the conference. For those sponsors who contribute will receive special recognition before and during the conference and a Free Table at NETWORK. Sponsors can set up a table at the conference and receive honorable mention in all promotional material. We are looking for more. Corporate Sponsorship schedule is the following:
SILVER $500 – GOLD $1,000 – PLATINUM $1,500.
EPI AND ESI PLANNING COMMITTEE
|Bob Duggan, President ESI||Jerry Heying, Executive Director EPI|
|Fonda Delcamp, Vice-President ESI||Gene Ferrera, EPI Director of Training|
|Cory Smith, Executive Services, Target||Rick Colliver, Eaton Corporation|
|Barry Wilson, President, Anlance Protection||JJ Sutton, President, Foremost Security|
ESI or EPI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBER……………….$295.00
FIRST TIME ATTENDEES DISCOUNT………………………….$50.00
PRE-REGISTRANTS PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 2012: Free Copy of Cynthia Hetherington’s book, “Business Background Investigations”.
To register online please visit: http://www.esi-lifeforce.com/alumni-association/alumni-association/conference-registration.html