5 Considerations of a Good Bodyguard

The most important aspect of being a good bodyguard is to keep your VIP safe and secure at all times. However, your value to the principal will be measured on much more than whether they still have a pulse at the end of each day. Mastery of the basic, yet fundamental skills is what will differentiate a good bodyguard from an average one. 

The Contract

An essential factor in an executive protection assignment is the legal contract between the protection company and the executive or his corporation. This aspect is often missed. No matter if an assignment is for one-day or six months, the contract is an essential aspect of an operation. Subjects, issues, and protocols have to be clearly stated in the agreement between you and your client; they are put in place to protect you if anything goes wrong. Remember, in years to come, no one will remember the thousands of things you have done right; the only thing people will remember is your one and only screw-up.

Secondary Functions

Another critical and often overlooked aspect of a protection assignment is that if you need to use aeroplanes, limousines, or any other method of transportation, you need to assign a liaison officer between contractors, the client, and yourself. If possible, the protection company should organise this, but try not to let the client arrange it as you personally want to make sure there are no last-minute delays or issues; you have very little control over things if they are managed by the client.

Working close to your client, you may not always be recognised as a close protection specialist. You might be introduced as a business associate, business partner or colleague, personal or public relations assistant, which then enables you to conduct covert protection as you will be able to stay close to the VIP, without too much attention. A covert/undercover approach to personal protection can be a beneficial form of security provision.

Pattern Setting

Some protection assignments are a lot less interesting than others, especially low profile or long-term tasks that require a particular daily routine in functions and duties. However, avoid creating patterns in your assignment, modify your patrol times, change directions of departure, switch vehicles, and how the VIP travels. Change your pattern randomly and advise the client and their family members to do the same, where their schedule and arrangements permit.

Relationship Building

For long-term assignments, it is imperative to build up a rapport with your client and anyone else associated with the operation. Effective and good communications will not only assist you with having a more manageable and less stressful assignment but will also keep you up-to-date on the client’s day to day activities, especially private and social engagements. Etiquette in social situations with your client is a vital tool in the industry; no one will ever be retained if they embarrass the client in any way or at any time. A good protection agent should feel comfortable on the streets of Iraq or at an exclusive event at a foreign Embassy.

The Bottom Line

The most crucial aspect of any protection assignment is keeping your VIP safe and secure at all times. Remember, the VIP’s reputation is also his life, and you are hired to protect his life. Don’t ever forget; dead VIP’s will never pay their bills. Each day you and your client returns home without incident or injury is a great day, and it means you have conducted yourself in a professional manner. Maintain a professional image at all times and try to be extremely diplomatic and tactful in situations involving the VIP, as well diplomatic towards your team-mates, no matter if they work for the same company or are contracted out. There are too many cowboys out there already, and you don’t ever want to be known as one. Keep in mind that a good reputation is hard to build, whereas a bad reputation is easy to achieve. Close protection is a great industry, enjoy it!

Extracted from: ‘Key Points to Being a Good Bodyguard By: Marc Sand

Full article: Circuit Magazine – Issue 3

Marc is currently Managing Director of VIP Protection based in Canada and has offices in Mexico, China and France. He studied personal protection, weapons, explosives, law and security and the handling and defusing of high sensitive explosives at the Military Army Academy.

You can contact Marc at: marc@vip-protection.ca

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