Know yourself

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Question

So the last few weeks have been interesting, to say the least. All around the world people have come together to make great change and unite for a single cause, and although it means keeping your distance from family, friends, and co-workers, most spouses found themselves face to face for a few weeks (depending on which country your in any way), and this has made them either re-spark their interested in each other or a lot of cases spur a bit of anger and frustration amongst each other. Hubby can no longer claim he has no time to tick of the evergrowing list wifey has made up and wifey had to implement a few changes too. So this has led me to think, how well do you know yourself? And, do you know how to control, disarm, and de-stress yourself?

Easy right?

To some, it might sound like an easy question right? Whether they are just ignorant or cocky, or maybe they do invest a lot of time into their own mental and emotional well-being, and they probably do find it to be an easy question. Even if you do, have you ever come to face the type and the scale of the current challenge we find ourselves in?.  Especially as protectors in an active field, we tend to witness and endure some things we do not wish to talk about and humanity, in general, is not supposed to be imposing on each other. Early on you get taught to not attach yourself emotionally to any client, victim, or perpetrator. But, as protectors, that is just not always possible, as we feel duty-bound to care, and for that reason sometimes unintentionally find ourselves attached to some situation. And until that situation has been resolved, we rarely find true peace.

More questions

So again, I want to bring another question to you. Have you ever taken the time to sit with yourself and run over a little assessment on yourself for a change? How great is the risk on yourself, both mentally, physically, and emotionally? And what if one of these underlying stressors jump out one day at the wrong time, under the correct circumstance? Say for instance in a supermarket, an argument with a family member or as mentioned above, in the instance of a lock-down where you can not run and hide from facing your spouse or children?

Many a man/woman have ruined their lives because they have lost control, even for just a second or two. Learning to control our own emotions is something that we seem to have lost during the recent generations. And in the times we find ourselves in nowadays, we must regain control.

It's the challenge we all face

What makes this challenging is that even when you can control your emotions during a challenging situation and act rationally, others will not see it the same way, and ultimately might blame you for any negative outcome. Think of a policeman for a second. At some point in his/her career, he/she will be faced with a decision, such as having to take a young man's life, perhaps even the same age as his child. If he does take the shot, he will save the lives of many, and if he does not take the shot, well who knows how many innocent lives could be lost, especially if it involves explosives or other lethal weapons. Sounds simple in words, doesn't it? Well place yourself in his shoes for a second and imagine that young man is your son? Would you be able to pull the trigger?

Will it impact you?

For some people, it seems obvious, but being behind the trigger in that scenario can and will have a lasting psychological effect. Sometimes, as protectors, we have to do things or see things that are not supposed to be happening in the first place. This can be dreadful for some. As we are sworn to protect, we do not wish to harm anyone for no meaningful reason, unless we truly have to.

Your challenge:

So I want to challenge you today to take some time during this chaotic and emotional shift that is happening in the world and asses your strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to make sure you do not crack under the pressure. You will find a great deal changes once you gain control of your emotional state and start to perform at your maximum. And yes, it will possibly push you to make challenging decisions, but in the long run, it would most definitely be of great value to you. Reach out to that position you always wanted, talk to more people, and put yourself out there and expand your capabilities. And, if you need to, reach out to others and take your problems by the horn and pin that pain in the arse to the ground! Set yourself up to attack life head-on as soon as this pandemic eases down.

If you'd like, find some questions here and see how you can make a change in yourself today.

I salute you all, and I commend you for the great change you bring every day. Even if you do not see it, you are making things better, and what an honor it is to serve those who need protection!

CPO, EP or Bodyguard?

CPO

CPO, EP, or Bodyguard?

So, You want to join the ranks of the professionals in the private industry, but like most newcomers or clients, you don't know the difference between a CPO (Close Protection Officer), a Bodyguard, or Executive Protection itself. Or maybe you are someone in need of one of these officers to protect you but have no idea what to consider. Never fear, I'll jump into it and save us all some time by trying to explain how I see it.

First off, I really have a hard time trying to explain this to each and every person who inevitably finds out about my line of work. Nothing irritates me more than having to spend the next 10 minutes explaining what a CPO is and why most of us don't like being called a bodyguard. So my natural response by now is just to say "I'm a security guard", trust me, they lose interest really quickly. Also, we do not intend to use our skills to find the friends that owe you money or keep an eye on your grandaughter's boyfriend, unless he is a threat of course. Okay, now that we got that cleared up, this is is the main difference between a bodyguard, a CPO, and EP.

Bodyguard:

I'll start off with the easiest, and perhaps the most famous one. Made famous by movies all over Hollywood, the notorious black suit that jumps into action within seconds and always on high alert. These gun taunting, bodybuilding, high paid (Myth by the way) bodyguards always shine in stressful situations. But here's the catch, professional bodyguards are actually qualified CPO's acting in the role of a Bodyguard. More on CPO's later.

Staying on topic, a bodyguard can be a really well trained professional, with real background experience. Unfortunately, it can also be some untrained dude with no experience at all advertising himself on Craigslist. Naturally, these guys are respected because of their looks and of course the famous name tag that goes with the job. But truth is, you can possibly drag your big brother for a night out and have him be your personal "bodyguard" and have the same effect in that scenario. While professional bodyguards are actually trained professionals, that try to avoid conflict as much as possible and advise their clients on best practices for their own safety. If your big brother can do that and keep a cool mind, then you might just get lucky a few times. But if you really want the full bang for your buck experience, hire a professional. A one-on-one (one protector on one client) protection detail is more often than not called a bodyguard, but he most definitely takes the responsibility of a whole protection team. From risk-analysis, threat assessments, route planning, venue planning, driving and TL, and on and on. Whilst in a team environment, the CPO assigned to the bodyguard role, focuses primarily on shadowing the client, keeping the team informed, removing the client from danger, and avoiding conflict!

Executive protection:

Okay, this one is really simple, its the complete detail of external, in-house and professional service providers in accordance with the CPO's to provide sufficient and relevant protection to a principal (The client). A number of services can form part of the complete package here, ranging from guarding services, IT professionals, hardware installers, off-site monitoring, and a list of other essential services. These external service providers work with the CPO's to ensure a safe and secure environment for the principal.

CPO:

Now, these are the cream of the crop type of guys. As I'm sure you know by now, a CPO officer is someone who is properly trained in all aspects of executive protection, from assessing, planning, execution and debriefing the whole protection detail. There are various roles a CPO has to be capable of acting in, and often a professional team would change roles on a constant basis to keep everyone on their feet and in good practice. It would be daunting to try and cram all of the skills, both hard and soft skills, into one post, so I will elaborate on each of them in the future. For now, you need to know that a full-scale protection detail can and most probably will entail all of the following roles to complete:

  • Team leader - A good team needs a skilled leader, the only member besides the bodyguard that makes contact with the client, under normal circumstances.
  • Professional / Tactical driver - Not always one of the team members, if a more professional driver is needed, he can be pulled in for the task.
  • Bodyguard - to move with and communicate with the client
  • Detail members - These guys blend in and form a barrier of brains and muscle to keep possible threats from being able to approach the client
  • Advanced party - These guys will be ahead of the team's movements, making sure everything is safe and in order for the team's arrival.
  • Tactical response team - For when a detail gets attacked or needs other assistance, like, you know, bigger guns and stuff.

So there you have it, short and simple, a bodyguard is a position filled by a CPO in an executive protection detail. A real bodyguard is not an untrained gym buddy, and a real CPO can be the best bodyguard you hire. Next time you need to explain it to someone, just share them this post.