Executive protection for principals, from businesspeople or foreign diplomats through to celebrities, is nothing like the explosive experience Hollywood promises. It is becoming an increasingly documented fact that executive security services are meant to be more focused on preventing any danger, as opposed to reactingto said danger. To achieve this, there are three key rules for all personal security guards to follow.
1. Do Not Draw Attention to Your Principal
Executive protection is meant to be just that, protection, and anonymity is vital to this. VIPs, especially the rich and famous who are known well beyond their own circles, are most at threat when attention is drawn to them. For instance, if you walked into a restaurant with an actor and pretended to be ordinary people, strangers are unlikely to approach. If you make a show of your arrival by being flashy and obvious, dressed up in Hollywood fashion, you draw attention to your principal and with it the chance for the autograph-seekers and stalkers to approach.
2. Protect Your Principal’s Livelihood
As much as executive protection services are focused on ‘body’ guarding, your principal’s body is often not the target of an attack. Think about how many business executives, politicians and celebrities have come under fire and had their reputations irreparably damaged because of some or other scandal. This is why, as a personal security guard, you need to make sure you protect your principal’s honour and dignity by keeping their personal business personal, while advising against any actions that could put their reputation at risk.
3. Strongly Advise the Best Course, Despite Resistance
Leading on from point 2 above, advising the principal is another important aspect of your role as a personal security guard. Many clients will not appreciate you looking into their lives during the risk assessment, and most certainly won’t enjoy being advised against whatever actions they wish to enjoy, but you are there to protect them. This means making as strong a case as you can for the safest course of action, at all times.
Pro Tip: If all else fails, let the principal watch as you perform a Google search of the threats you are advising against, the areas they want to visit, and even for information on the principal themselves. That will give them a clear view of what they are facing, as well as what information and opinions people are sharing on the internet. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.