“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” — Peter Drucker.
Are you looking to be a top one-percenter in the field of Executive Protection? Learn about these top-ten essential skills you must possess.
We live in the 21st Century where the importance of self-protection is well pronounced. Dignified persons from all walks of life see the need to preserve their lives, families, assets, businesses, and even trade secrets more than ever before, particularly given the internet’s global takeover. This understanding is the primary reason the demand for Executive Protection increases daily.
Now, choosing a career path in Executive Protection is very rewarding; but the risks are just as heightened as the rewards. There are bulls and bears you’ll have to contend with.
For instance, a high-profile client may — as is usually the case — fail to realize that an agent is a separate entity from themself and, because of that, fuse their time with the agent’s subconsciously. However, a pro tip that can fix that quickly is having your client understand the distinction between your role as an Executive Protection agent and their ‘buddyguard’ from the get-go.
Now let’s get down to business. Here are ten salient skills you’ll need on your way to the top in the Executive Protection Industry:
As an Executive Protection agent, adaptability is a non-negotiable skill. You need to be able to understand your immediate environment and adapt to it as fast as possible. This is important because in protecting high-value clients, you’ll have to move from one place to the next frequently in protecting high-value clients.
So to stay sharp and react accordingly when the need arises, you should have the skill of adaptability down to a tee; that way, you’re a true asset to your client and not a liability. Plus, your client will be more than satisfied with your understanding of your job, become more trusting of you, and can bring more business to your table.
Adaptability is also important because, most times, when a client needs to travel, it happens on short notice. How would you be able to offer your services both adequately and swiftly if you’re not adaptable to different environments?
This is one of the essential skills an Executive Protection agent needs to possess to succeed in the industry.
As an Executive Protection agent, you’ll be expected to think on your feet constantly – making swift decisions and suggesting quick solutions regarding rising dangers every day. Without a proactive mindset, an agent will find it challenging to effectively furnish this requirement for a client, which is bad for business.
Resourcefulness lends credence to Adaptability. You must be able to source information quickly and think outside the box to generate a creative, lasting solution to on-the-spot challenges.
Also, being resourceful includes developing safety strategies at the end of threat and risk assessments that can guarantee your client’s safety. You should also be prolific at conducting preliminary investigations into locations unknown to you but your client needs to get to.
Discretion is a required skill for an Executive Protection Agent for many reasons.
Protecting a high-profile individual may mean your exposure to their trade and business secrets which you can’t afford to reveal as such details are usually confidential. Also, revealing such information would not only ruin your credibility and chances at success in the industry but also fetch you and your company unwanted lawsuits.
You may also come across sensitive information that could damage your client’s reputation, passed through the telephone or through media communications. In such situations, the skill of discretion comes to play, helping you realize what information you should keep on a hush in your best interest and that of the client’s.
With discretion, you’ll also be able to adequately decipher what information should be revealed in the client’s interest and to whom it should be revealed.
Just as important as communication is in any type of business or industry, communication is just as crucial in the Executive Protection industry. Good communication skills help protect you and your client from imminent danger, increase your trustworthiness, and get you more referrals.
No one wants to be protected by a person that finds it difficult to call things as they are or a person that keeps vital information from their client.
So, as an Executive Protection agent, it’s your responsibility to communicate with your client and your team effectively and efficiently — such communication could be on security strategies, received and assessed threats, the client’s bad habits or security errors, etc.
Also, oral and bodily communication skills are essential for Executive Protection agents who operate in teams. Hand signals and general body language may be the only available communication options in discrete settings or during emergencies. It will be necessary to know these means of communication; you never know when you’ll need to use them to help yourself and your client.
An Executive Protection agent is the ideal servant-leader. You’re offering protective services to a client while also leading them through their day, so they stay safe.
But the role of an Executive Protection agent comes with its cons, as earlier mentioned. You’re not offering these services to yourself, but to the client, so the client’s life takes preeminence over yours in the grand scheme of things.
That’s the harsh reality an Executive Protection agent has to deal with. But the best agents strike a balance — they ensure their safety as much as they ensure the client’s, and they don’t place their interests over and above the client’s.
Essentially, a prim and proper Executive Protection Agent serves and protects, no matter what.
Personal organization is significant to success in the Executive Protection industry.
A good Executive Protection Agent is skilled in organization and maintaining a specific structure of their operations. For instance, before an agent embarks on a journey with their client, they must have done some threat and risk assessment and planned appropriate responses to potential dangers.
That’s an organized agent, not one that responds to a danger they could have predicted long before its occurrence.
Success is opportunity meeting preparation; therefore, with each passing day and opportunity, you, as an Executive Protection Agent, should always be prepared for any security challenges, work with integrity, stay composed, and give your best.
Time and time again, we have witnessed several cybersecurity breaches targeted at dignified personalities. These attacks range from cyberstalking to cloud compromises and have recently taken a unique turn since the mobility of ultra-high net-worth persons now gets continuously tracked and published in the public domain.
This makes high-value clients vulnerable to potential digital attacks, which is why an Executive Protection Agent needs to be computer literate. Cybersecurity may not be your forte, but at least you should be able to work your way around fundamental loopholes your client may have in their digital footprint for their assured safety.
Yes, conveying clients safely from one location to another is a primary duty for any Executive Protection agent. But there’s a lot more to consider, especially when emergencies arise.
An Executive Protection agent must be skilled in emergency purposed transportation. We’re talking about transporting your client to the hospital for a health emergency or protecting your client from imminent danger by undertaking evasive driving.
If your job is to protect your client’s well-being as much as possible, you must be skilled in transporting your client immediately the need arises. It sounds basic, but it could also be the fine line between life and death for you or your client.
Recurrent advice given to aspiring executive protection agents is that they shouldn’t join the business without some form of military or combat experience. Factually, most executive protection agents are ex-US army personnel.
Protection through potential physical defense is the primary function of an Executive Protection agent, and this is not solely restricted to weapon artillery know-how. It also transcends to hand-to-hand combat; martial arts knowledge may suffice for this purpose. Knowing physical self-defense mechanisms sets an Executive Protection agent apart from the rest, especially if they find themselves in territories that proscribe civilian use of firearms.
No, you aren’t expected to be as skilled as a paramedic but having a basic knowledge of emergency medical response is a skill that will place you above the competition.
To be an excellent Executive Protection Agent, you should understand how to best respond when your client gets hurt in certain parts of the body that are or aren’t fatal.
We’re talking CPR, using an automated external defibrillator (AED) device, giving bruise treatment, first aid administration, etc. As underestimated as this skill is, it’s highly recommended that you possess it since clients pay a premium for Executive Protection agents with the skill.
These skills on deck place you in the top one percent of Executive Protection Agents. Now, if you’re an Executive Protection Agent looking for new customers to whom you’d like to offer these skills, why not join our SecurityPro Network as soon as possible?
At Security Pro, we’re in the business of connecting customers looking for Executive Protection with the very best in the field, guys and gals like you who’re ready to showcase their skills, get more business, and protect people physically and digitally.