Being an Executive protective agent is tough enough without making these mistakes
Working as a bodyguard or executive protective agent is a great job with good pay and for some, a desirable lifestyle there are however a few pit falls some people fall prey to, I think it could help the industry and keep the professionalism high if we get them out in the open.
#10. Not helping out teammates
For some reason in the industry there is a very dog-eat-dog competitive atmosphere because often people feel like for them to win you have to lose. When working with others it is important to set up your fellow executive protective agents for success. If there is some pet peeve of the client do not send out the new guy without giving him/her some of the information that will help it run smooth. The Client sees you guys as all on the same team whether you feel that way or not.
#9. Discussing politics and religion with the client or the client’s entourage.
Just don’t, even if they are friendly to you. The client’s friends are not your friends and they never will be. Keep your opinions to yourself even if you think you are building rapport. I have personally made this mistake when I was new in the business, just don’t.
#8. Being a suck up
Understand that the client is paying you to do a job that is very important, it is hard to do that job if they don’t respect you. Obviously you have to be friendly, but it is just bad form for you to look like you are trying too hard to be liked. Be a professional and maintain a strong demeanor. It is a small community for the high-end executive protective agent, don’t be that guy.
#7. Sleeping too much
I always tell my guys if you feel totally rested you are sleeping too much. There are exceptions, a few guys I work with need about 4 hours a night and that is a blessing for this work. You should have handled your business, gone to the gym, and briefed up the team by the time you place the wake-up call to the client. If your client is erratic and unpredictable your team must be ready in shifts at all times.
#6. Not educating the client
Often times you will be working in difficult situations and dangerous locations don’t just assume the client knows what you expect. If you become aware of a threat possibility do not assume the client knows what to do or how your team plans to respond. Often time the client is totally oblivious, they live in their own world full of gum drops and candy cane trees.
#5. Not keeping records
Every place you go, every card you get and every tip you learn keep good records. Don’t just assume you will remember the concierge’s name write it down. I use 3X5 cards like they are going out of style. Take pictures and build briefs. Make sure you get that information out to the rest of the team. A big part about getting work is the guys you know. If you do good work, you will get good work.
#4. Not being prepared.
Keep a packing list of the things you will need. Bring a digital camera, flashlight, band aids, ace bandage, tourniquets X2, Female emergency products, water, maps, GPS, compass, emergency contact info, medical info sheets, cell phone, cash and radio; ALWAYS. This isn’t an exhaustive list but these are the basics.
#3. Getting out of shape
On the road it is tough to stay in top form, but that is what you are paid to do. One minute it is getting through crowds, the next you have to put the client’s kid over your shoulder and run a half-mile. If you are out of shape you are failing yourself, letting your client down and embarrassing the rest of the profession.
#2. Cutting corners on the advance
The advance is the single most important task you have. If you don’t know how to conduct a perfect advance from the minute you land, to briefing your team and providing them with the written info they need to conduct a smooth operation, you should pay to attend any of the excellent courses that teach the advance. Always have at least 2 routes, know where the hospitals are, walk all the foot routes, get to know who the on location personnel are, talk to the local security and leverage them to make your job easier. There is too much to cover in a short time but any executive protective agent worth his/her daily rate is a master of the advance. Don’t get lazy or think it is routine.
#1. Not understanding your job
As a bodyguard or more specifically an executive protective agent you have a big job to do. You will protect your client from harm and injury. You will protect from embarrassment. It is up to you to make sure the operation runs smoothly, from getting through customs to making sure the restaurant can meet your clients dietary needs. You are not there to get in fights or escalate aggression. Sometimes you will take the blame for things completely out of your control. Often times you must protect your client from his/her self. Never do anything illegal on behalf of your client; you will always lose. You must always be improving yourself. Never get too comfortable; the client loves you until they don’t and then you move on.
#0. For Pete’s sake, own a suit.