Protecting clients of Wealth, visibility & Status | Simon Morgan

“It’s going to be more stressful. The expectations are going to be higher and everything you do is going to be scrutinized.”

Today we’re talking about the different challenges and dynamics that you’ll face when protecting VVIP’s.

Do you have the right skill set to protect a VVIP? do you even know what a VVIP is and what makes their profile different to other client types?

In this episode, our guest is Simon Morgan, former royalty protection and founder of Trojan consultancy. Simon has established himself as the go-to authority on all issues concerning royalty protection and has made regular TV appearances to provide his perspective to various news channels on the topic.

In this insightful interview we discuss:

High profile security fails – Working with VVIP’s means you’re always in the public eye, you’re constantly scrutinized and you’ll be critiqued by your peers.

The Royal Household – Who are the main stakeholders and where should you focus your relationship-building efforts?

Empathy – Why it can be a double-edged sword for a protector and how to guard against red carpet fever.

Avoiding catastrophe syndrome – the attributes that are required to succeed when protecting clients of wealth, visibility & status.

More about Simon:

Simon is the Founder of Trojan Consultancy. Having served as a Metropolitan Police Officer for nearly 20 years, serving in SO14(2) Royalty Personal Protection, SO19 Force Firearms Command and The Territorial Support Group. His experience and knowledge gained in the Police Service is now being used in the private sector, to support Clients. Since 2013, he has been involved in the many different facets of the private security industry from Consultancy, to training, all the way through to delivery and policymaking.

He is a member of The Association of Security Consultants, The Security Institute, ASIS International and The Institute of Directors. He is fully licensed and insured to undertake strategic, operational and training roles.

Simon Morgan

Trojan Consultancy

More about the Circuit 

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The Circuit team is:

  • Elijah Shaw
  • Jon Moss
  • Shaun West
  • Phelim Rowe

 

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Transcript
Simon Morgan:

When you're working with the Royal family, that pressure that you get as the protection officer, you're wearing so many different hats, you're representing so many different organizations. So when you talk about things going wrong, that actually has global connotations attached to them.

Intro:

welcome to the Circuit magazine. The number one source for information on protection matters. The industry leading magazine for all security professionals who want to stay ahead of the game.

Phelim:

Do you have the right skill set to protect V V I P do you even know what a VB IP is? And the context in which wealthy high, visible, and high status principals needs to be protected this week? We're going to be talking with Simon Morgan, former royalty protection and founder of Trojan consultant. He is a great friend of the industry. And, you know, he's one of the first people that I actually got introduced to. So I'm here with Jon Moss and together we're going to sort of explore this, Jon, can you explain why he's such a great friend of the year?

Jon:

You know, more than just a great friend of the industry. You know, we, we do have a genuine, real good friend of the circuit magazine join us today. Uh, you know, Simon's worked closely with us for a number of years and anybody who is a regular reader of the magazine will see, uh, Simon's art in now for Trojan. Going out every issue, he's been a long term supporter of what we do, you know, um, more than just, uh, financially with advice and just being a good friend and a very.

Phelim:

He is isn't he and an excellent speaker. And obviously we see him on television some times, but the subjects of VBI piece, why is that even a subject? Is it, is it a subject because some people claim to be working with them and they're not, is it a subject because a lot of people aspire to work for them. Um, what is the problem that we're going to try to look.

Jon:

It's more to try to open people's eyes up to the challenges of working with this type of client, this profile and why we even bother to categorize it slightly different. A lot of people, I think this might be what you were alluding to, uh, get caught up in the status of it. And some people might want to measure that. And value by that of that principle status, but that's not what we're interested in today. It's more about the challenges, the different types of dynamic that you're going to face. And that you're going to have to adapt to, if you find yourself or aspire to work on a team with this type of client,

Phelim:

it is, isn't it. And of course this, this whole series of podcasts, you know, w w we're striving for thematic, uh, based, uh, Content and, and, and, and, uh, how to, you know, rather than just a, this is your life type of episode calls, but, but more of a guide, some advice, um, for the uninitiated and obviously those, you know, long in their career.

Jon:

Well, you know, the, the real danger of doing an interview like this on a podcast like ours is not just to crack open a couple of wet ones and want to sit around. And chart and catch up, you know, and pick the brains and experience of somebody like Simon, uh, and is to try to stay on topic. And as, as our good friend, Elijah would say in mine for jewels, right? We want to come out with some really good takeaways for the.

Phelim:

Indeed. And, and, and of course, a very informal chat about everything would be absolutely possible with Simon. Uh, you know, but we need to focus on this topic of the VIP and we're going to relate it back to you, the circuit magazine audience. So let's hear from Simon Morgan found that Trojan consultancy, former role to protection on the topic of protecting V V I P.

Intro:

and now let's meet one of the contributors to the circuit magazine.

Phelim:

Protecting wealthy, visible high status individuals. We're here with Simon Morgan, founder of children, consultancy former royalty protection and actually the best person, probably in the business right now to ask these questions. Um, so it's a pleasure to have you on Simon. Uh, I'm here with John Moss. How are you doing

Simon Morgan:

I'm very well

Phelim:

enjoying it, really having a good time with regards to. High visibility, high status individuals. A lot of people probably think, yeah, I've obviously served on a detail protecting them, but it's clearly not. Industry-wide where we want it to be. So I guess we'll do our three quick fire questions. Simon. Why is the industry not where it should be? With regards to protecting these individuals.

Simon Morgan:

I mean, you know, that's probably the million dollar question really, you know, where, where kind of are we, and what exposure to people have with regards to, you know, people of wealth, visibility, and status, which is what we kind of have is that catchall phrase, charge consultancy, you know, how do people get that exposure? Um, how do people kind of learn from it? But yeah, I think it's, it's kind of catch all phrase, isn't it? You know, everybody talks about the ultra high net worth what I was kind of royalty. And obviously since I've been out, you know, I see the terminology protecting the queen kind of constantly and, you know, and it stems from kind of people like us, you know, all the way. People who stood at a, at a barrier at the diamond Jubilee. So, you know, it's identifying actually what that means, because, you know, from a client's perspective, the reality is that they don't know. Well,

Phelim:

we're get into that because of course. You know, decides all or not, right? Because they might not actually look into what they're buying. And what about you? Where is your passion for this particular area of AP, you know, sort of come from

Simon Morgan:

time of the Royal family. Ultimately, we take what we did, um, as police protection officers. And now we deliver that, um, back to the private sector. So that's where we want to continue that thread. We want to work with kind of clients who require our services. That's ultimately a big portion for us. You know, we, we don't really do vanity projects, you know, for us, it has to have the threat and risk and whether that's gonna have actual or perceived, but, you know, nonetheless, we don't do vanity projects. So it's, it's working for clients. Kind of need your services, but I think more importantly, value your services because if the client doesn't value what you do, then it's very much like pushing water uphill. You're just not getting.

Phelim:

No, no very good point. And often people seem to get this impression that you need a very visible and, uh, you know, braggable clients where, whereas was that's actually probably not the most fulfilling work. So for the uninitiated, those may be brand new in their career or, or maybe they've been doing it for some time, but they haven't really ever looked after someone of high wealth, visibility and status. What should they think

Simon Morgan:

about. It's very much a kind of multifaceted role. You know, when you're talking about people who, you know, possibly kind of encapsulate all those three particular sectors, then you know, the, the big thing is what footprint do these people actually have because, you know, the way you operate can actually kind of, um, adjust that footprint quite concerned. Um, you know, my big thing is always unsettling. The environment, you know, if you go into someone who has a very low footprint and you're providing that security kind of blanket by dealing with the planning phase and then taking it to kind of execution, rather than just stumbling kind of out of an evening and kind of hoping for the best, then you're going to unsettle the environment quite significantly, that then draws attention to your principal. And ultimate indirective intelligence then leaks out into people who will start to create direct intelligence against your principle. So it's how you operate is actually kind of key to the security that you deliver to your.

Jon:

So Simon, I'm looking at in particular, VIP to retalk in, uh, you know, people of status, the type of people who would perhaps have protection assigned to them. If they didn't seek it out themselves. You know, one of the things that is immediately apparent to me is the high profile nature of that work, obviously, The clients themselves, a high profile, and therefore, you know, you come in and under, within that. And therefore, when you work on a team like that, it's obviously it's going to be more stressful. The expectations are going to be higher and everything you do is going to be scrutinized. And there's so many examples out there. You don't need to go far a search into YouTube to see many examples of what have been deemed or labeled. Security fails, you know, like, prince Charles, um, Macron very recently, Bush and Reagan, you know having worked on both sides of the fence, do you think that criticism is always fair?

Simon Morgan:

It depends who the criticized. So, you know, that you've got to kind of put that kind of into context, you know, and certainly kind of in the current climate is very easy to stand, stand back and kind of criticize, uh, when you don't actually know what the bits were and obviously the media as well, um, adjust a lot of things, you know, so that you show the footage that actually suits the. So, you know, as, as professionals, you have to look at things like that. That's where we ultimately get our learning from, because, you know, we see things and think all of that of wasn't kind of quite right, that could have gone better. That individual has done the best they can. So, you know, when you're looking at things like that, I think you have to put it very much in college. Um, rather than ultimately just pointing the finger and saying that is a fail, you've got to look at it as a professional thing. Right. Is it a fail? And if it is, what are the learning points that we can kind of take back from it? Um, because that's ultimately how we develop, if we didn't learn from history, um, then obviously we would be kind of stepping out and failing every time in any case.

Jon:

And, uh, you know, looking at your own experience, particularly your time on the royalty protection team. And, and I certainly don't. Imply that you made any mistakes Simon, but, uh, I'm sure along the way within the team, you'd have had those moments where, in the debriefs afterwards, you, there's been things that you wanted to change or improve for next time. How, how would you approach that? Or how would the team go about, um, making those improvements

Simon Morgan:

when you always have that kind of hot debrief, you know, very much. Um, after an event or, you know, an after a movement, you know? Yes. You know, what went well and why, and kind of what didn't go so well, especially when, if you're in a context of a, of a multiple days visit for argument's sake, you know, whereby you've got to kind of tidy things up a little bit, but, you know, yes, there is a formalized way of doing it and that comes down to. Kind of training sometimes whereby you address an incident and kind of go back and say, well, okay, if you stood there, then you know, that kind of wouldn't have happened. If the barrier line hadn't finished there, then that wouldn't have happened. If the cars have been kind of pulled forward. So you look at it and that's what you create your frame of reference from, you know, going can afford. But, you know, nobody, um, kind of sits there and. Well, you know, nothing kind of went wrong. There is, there is always something that you can kind of look at and say, well, we need to do that kind of a little bit better. You know, hopefully, you know, nine times out of 10 it's on a minor stage. But when you're, you know, going back to working with the Royal family, That pressure that you get as the protection officer, you know, you're, you're wearing so many different hats, you know, you're, you're representing so many different organizations. So when you talk about things going wrong, that actually has global connotations attached to it. You know, you're, you're representing royalty protection, Metricon police surface, uh, you're representing the home office. You all representing, imagine these government imagine. And every, every business that trades under a British flag that stands there and says, we're as good as we are because we're British. Um, you know, because of the nature of 24 hour kind of global media, you know, as soon as something kind of happens, it is out there and it is also out there not to be dragged back. Um, so, you know, you are very aware. Of all these things that are going on. Um, and you know, you are looking to get it right every time. Yeah,

Jon:

absolutely. And, uh, but I mean that in itself brings a lot of pressure and stress doesn't it. And we know that, you know, when you run pup, the stress levels in those kinds of environments and you know, the public eye is on you, you've really gotta be on your game

Simon Morgan:

or. Yeah. And you know, you know, what kind of, you know, burnouts, like, you know, with regards to attention span and things like this, you know, you, you do a roll walk about, that's probably maybe 10, 15 minutes, a couple of hundred yards, but you know, that is your putting your principal, um, right in the public domain. They're out there pressing the flesh and you know, and you're working hard for that 10, 15 minutes. Okay. That may have been six months in the planning for that. 10 15 minutes to kind of our operational footwork. But you know, that is, that is pressure cooker stuff because that's what kind of everybody sees that is somebody's moment of opportunity. If you haven't, um, put everything in place that you can to prevent that.

Jon:

And I guess what I want to talk about is the difference between, being reaction. And being able to preempt incidents and then, do as much as we can in the planning stage to offset that. But one of the difficulties with royalty protection in particular, and I'd like to hear your point of view on this, but as I see it is it's very difficult to affect. The plans of these people, uh, often perhaps to the degree that we would like to, to ensure their safety because they are public figures at the end of the day

Simon Morgan:

to kind of, you know, going back to royalty, you know, you're part of a big, um, mechanism kind of around the family. So, you know, but as a protection officer, you do have lots of the lots of the final sayings. You know, they, they fully understand why you're there and you're there ultimately to preserve life no matter what everything else goes on around. So they fully understand that and they get kind of cradle to grave. You know, when you're working with the Royal household, they can fully understand kind of why you're there. So. You actually do have a tremendous degree of latitude, you know, when you are putting kind of plans together, you know, to consider the other stakeholders to consider crowd dynamics, you know, and how are you going to get things kind of to work? But this is something that you have principals who are inadvertently signed up to it, you know, when you kind of move across to the private sector, that is where I would say sometimes you can't. Um, adjust the principal's mindset because you know, to, to achieve some things, you've got to have a principal who is going to accept that you are gonna want a planning things. You are going to want a recky phase. And you know, it's not a case of, I need a CPO for kind of, you know, four o'clock this afternoon to kind of go. You know, for us, that's not the kind of work that we get involved in, in any case, but we would have principals that are coming to visit to the UK. We have an itinerary to kind of work to where we will. Recky everything that we can in relation to that itinerary. And they fully expect that we have already been everywhere that they are now going through. But that is, that is a big deal of acceptance on the principal's side to get that level of security that you have to sign up to the planning phase. It's not just an operational perspective. Yeah.

Jon:

And you mentioned the Royal household Baron. That's something that we love talking about on this podcast as well. the whole, kind of home office, and tie in everybody together and build in relationships. So for you on royalty protection in the Royal household, who were the main stakeholders that you would, want to prioritize relationship building with in order to get, you know, these important messages across

Simon Morgan:

again, it's that kind of different levels. So, you know, yes. You have people that you'll be working with. Um, private secretaries, they must probably other portfolio holders of, of where you are going and kind of a certain time. Um, then you'll be working with other members of the Roadhouse household such as, um, uh, they show first. So, you know, that's kind of quite a pivotal part kind of us. Then you'll be working with the event, organizers themselves, you know, who, who are we going to see? What are we going to do? What are they looking to achieve? What are we opening something closing? Uh, are we going to visit it in a general area as part of wills week that the principals used to do or kind of Hollywood week that the queen would do? Um, then you kind of got to go into kind of law enforcement in your various particular areas and assets saying what, what assets they can give to you to support that operation as well, especially, you know, when police in budgets are so, so tight these days, you know, so you're asking for, for something that ultimately. That operational commander may not be able to give you that, that time, you know, you just, you may need more people. You may need people to search. You may need firearms officers, um, to provide a kind of an outer cordon and so on and so forth. So you do get into that, um, process of negotiation. You do get into that process of, of compromise. Um, but then you also bring it back to kind of. You know, who's going to take ownership, kind of all of this, you know, and we, and we were fortunate as police officers to be able to stay at people a lot of the time in the right direction because of our, our experience of doing it, you know, and having certainly when I joined, there was lots of experienced officers. Who'd been doing it for 10 kind of 15 years already. So, you know, you kind of look to them as to how they, how they work with the other stakeholders and got everybody. Kind of aligned, you know, even the people that, um, you know, wanted something kind of totally different to you, but you know, for me, it was always, it's always negotiation. You've always got to accept the degree of compromise. Um, and then you've always got to give people. You know, give people ownership of their event and kind of get them to be kind of part of it, because certainly, you know, as, as we know at our level, you know, we, we should be in the background. You know, people come and see our kind of well family from those days or they come and see our principals, um, kind of now, you know, they don't come and see Simon Morgan and John monster. They nobody's really interested in us. So, you know, for us, we've got to make sure that everything kind of is in place that those principals can feel comfortable. Um, to go and do what they want to do.

Phelim:

Simon. It occurred to me cause, cause I like, I like to relate things back to all, uh, flavors of, uh, listening to the podcast. And of course there are people who have never worked with such principles and they say, well, I, I really wish I could. Cause it'd be a great feather in my cap and so on. And, and, and, and then you mentioned giving people ownership of, uh, tasks, making them feel like they're, they're part of a bigger, a bigger picture. I want to better understand that. I can imagine if you have a very unimportant comparatively principle, then one of your main challenges, people taking you, seriously, people taking the visits seriously and listening. But if you have someone of great wealth, great status and great visibility, is it not possible that they will get so starstruck that they may actually not do their job as well as you would have hoped? Um, does it go the other

Simon Morgan:

way? Oh, very much so, you know, very, you know, people get kind of red carpet, they favor, you know, and think kind of, it's all about it's all about them and, you know, and they do, uh, you know, shake hands with your principal and, you know, and clearly are completely overruled by the occasion, you know, and again, you know, you've got to look to look to identify this. This is why you engage with people. You know, certainly if we're talking about, you know, walking the line at a, at a film premier or something like that, you know, you'll identify. Kind of people that I'm not necessarily going to kind of cause you problems, but could become problematic. Um, you know, and it's that kind of conversation piece, you know, the ability to communicate as we all know, you know, is, is ultimately majority 95% of your work. Um, you know, it's not the kind of the hard skills that kind of, we use on a day-to-day basis. It's the ability to communicate with people. And, um, and that's what you've got to do, you know, as an advanced officer, you got. Got to get in the crowd and get, get the mood for it. And, um, you know, again, it is all about kind of taking ownership. Um, and, and you do that by communicating with people.

Jon:

And I think. I'm right in saying that I've heard you say in the past that you don't consider yourself to be, um, a person who's naturally inclined towards empathy. Is that right? As I say, I mean, I I've known you for a while and I would describe you as perhaps stoic. Uh, but is that, is that.

Simon Morgan:

Yeah. I mean, again, it's, you know, I joined the police service, um, back in 95. I was probation of the same as everybody else. And then I went straight on the public order unit, the territory support group, you know, very much frontline in your face policing. Um, you know, most, probably not too much, not much empathy, kind of within that role. Um, then I went over to 19 and again, you know, most, probably even less again, because of the nature that the criminality that you're dealing with. And then, and then you go to royalty and. You know, they almost kind of start again. To a certain extent, you know, yes, you've got the core skills that they want. Um, but you know, I'll always kind of say, you know, one minute I was dealing with, um, you know, working in the, kind of the gutters of the Capitol for want of a better word. And then, you know, you're at a, at a dinner kind of mansion house with a member of the Royal family, you know, kind of how much kind of difference can you possibly look to get, but you know, the training process kind of strips that back, um, and gets you to be more of a. Um, more of a communicator and again, you know, bringing out that empathetic side, you know, rather than just saying, well, this is going to happen because I wanted to happen because that's maybe what I'd become trained to do kind of over the years. This is where, this is what I would like to happen. What are your thoughts on how it would happen? Okay. Yeah. I accept your thoughts, but then have this back, get back to how we can achieve this kind of together. And yeah, it was a complete different. Uh, RO complete different mindset, but nonetheless, underneath it is that ability to do the job when is required. So it is a tremendous training process and yeah, lots of people would say I'm probably not the most empathetic of people.

Jon:

I was thinking about that. And I actually think. Uh, if that is your natural style, then it can suit you quite well. And trying to be empathetic when you're not, could be really messy as well. You know, it could really backfire.

Simon Morgan:

Yeah, but again, you know, you, this is why the course, you know, going back to the kind of the course as it is, you know, this is what they're, they're looking to achieve, you know, when I was being trained to be a protection off. So then they know what they want. Um, you know, they, they kind of understand that and they will keep on. Put it on the pressure. They'll keep on layering that training until they get you to where they, they want to be. You know, especially if you've got the, uh, the basic requirements that they need, then, you know, they will keep on layering that training until they get the end product that they want.

Jon:

I think there's a danger of, you know, I seen operators who I would class as potentially being too empathetic, you know, where by they're so invested. In the principle, you know, and it comes out of really good nature that, you know, they, they do their homework. They're deeply researched. They follow everything, know that, that social media, footprints and everything. But if they are, you know, inclined towards being a very empathetic person, then you can find yourself getting really caught up in. Or an intaken on all of that pressure and strain of what is a very public life playing out in front of you.

Simon Morgan:

And, you know, you've got to be, you know, as we both know, you know, very kind of turn on and off a book, um, you know, you've got to accept, you know, certainly if you're on a bigger team, but, um, you know, when you. It's not your week on, not your day or not your event, whatever the case may be. Now that principal will still go out and kind of work with you or sorry, work with another member of the team, you know, that you can't be, the individual says, well, you know, if I'm not around the principal kind of doesn't go up. Therefore I must be. Kind of every day and doing this and doing that, you'll burn yourself out. You'll kind of crossed the line as to whether, you know, it's, you're actually become more, uh, which I've put it, you actually become, you know, you'll think you're actually part of their life more than the. That you're actually play that, you know, that's not to say you can't have those kinds of conversation pieces, and that's not to say you can't be professional. And then the job that you do, but you have to know where the line in the sand is, you know? And I think, you know, we've, we've both, you know, for many years kind of been in the private sector, you know, and I'd always say to people, you know, it's kind of great, you know, you will go out to a Michelin star restaurant tonight, then you'll go to the opera. You'll get dropped off in a Bentley, you know, your hand over to somebody else. The following morning, you'll pick up the children from school. Um, I'm going to chat with that's at the school gate and the next mailer is a Nando's. So, you know, you've got to be able to separate this. If you're the individual who's sitting there dwelling as to whether your principal has gone out, because it's not your kind of weak on then, you know, ultimately you're, you're on a, you know, you're on a bit of a Rocky path for.

Phelim:

So Simon, a bit of a tabloid ask question, right? You see online a lot of people that seem to think, yes, I am as important as my principal, um, or at least that's the type of evidence that they're putting out there. And we see it on Instagram quite a lot. But what about a useful question related to. Are there things that you think you've learned from these people of great wealth and great status and great visibility, not things that you want to share on Instagram, but perhaps something from your time working with them that you think, you know what there's, there's, there's a thread here to being successful or to being, uh, you know, something special. Uh, maybe we could put a positive spin.

Simon Morgan:

I mean, but very much. So you do watch how business people work. Um, because ultimately, you know, I'm a business owner now and kind of running my own team and responsibilities and you listen to how, um, people kind of got their wealth or they generate their wealth or they support their wealth. Um, because you know, you're fortunate enough at times to be within their circles when they're talking about things, you know, so. Understanding of how a business runs is now kind of far greater because of the people that you kind of, um, associate with because the people that you work with, um, you know, and so you do take things kind of a way kind of from that, you know, as well as kind of how people conduct themselves, you know, and what makes them a success. So, you know, you do look at various different things that, you know, different principles, um, bring, um, to, uh, that you can kind of draw out with them.

Jon:

Yeah, Simon. Now, just going back to a skillset, um, particularly want to try to extract something here for our listeners, especially people who are new to the industry, looking to, potentially get with a client of this kind of status. And I'm thinking about your time again, back on the protection team, when you will be recruiting new members, I don't know how heavily you were involved in that, but I'm sure as a team trying to incorporate new bodies, there will be particular skills. Attributes that you will be looking out for. Is there anything that we can take from that that would be useful to our listeners to know so that they can look at themselves in their own skill set and developing in this sort of way.

Simon Morgan:

Okay. I mean, I always say protection a, a thinking person. You know, if you can't kind of walk and talk at the same time, then it's not really kind of for you. So, you know, we talk about the hard skillsets, you know, and, and nine times out of 10, those can be taught. Um, you can be taught to shoot, you can be taught to drive. You can be taught to fight. Okay. There's, you know, there's some element there's that kind of 1% element, um, that, you know, some people kind of come, but the majority of people can be taught those physical skills and create those kinds of mindsets, you know, certainly running around a kind of conflict scenario. But if you kind of. Walk and talk at the same time, if you can think, can not think rather with the strategy of what if, what if, what if, if I do this now, what's going to be the result. If I do this now, what's going to be the result. If I don't do this, now what's going to be, to be solved, you know, and those take place kind of within kind of microseconds. And those are built up from your, from your training and, you know, from your experience as well. But you know what we were looking. Select protection opposites. We used to kind of talk about the juggler scenario whereby you've got two individuals who kind of, you know, can quite comfortably juggle five balls and, you know, you throw them a six. And initially one kind of drops it and then the other one drops it. But you know, the one that kind of dropped it first actually now of starts to fall apart, you know, and the fifth ball gets dropped and the fourth ball gets dropped and they eventually go to pieces as opposed to the individual who dropped that six ball, uh, managed to steady himself, has now had that six ball put back in and is now carrying on, you know, that is what. Looking for, you know, we're looking for people who can see it for what it is, can deal with. It can prioritize, can stabilize their minds, um, and get back to where they, where they need to be so

Jon:

on as it starts falling apart, don't fall apart with it, you know, stay strong.

Simon Morgan:

Absolutely. Don't get that catastrophe syndrome whereby you keep on going down and down and down. You know, there's a lot of, um, psychology around it. And certainly a lot of sports psychology, which I did for my sports science degree, uh, many, many years ago. Um, you know, and a lot of high end performance. Do not get, do not suffer from, um, the catastrophe syndrome whereby they just keep on going down and down and down. You know, a lot of them have the kind of the use scenario whereby they'll go down so far, but actually then they'll kind of bring themselves kind of back up, you know, and you can see that in a lot of kind of high level athletes, certainly those that take part in kind of a, a kind of a team environment, you know, goalkeepers are one that I remember doing a lot of work on when I was in university, you know, and the ones that perform at the higher level. Um, yes, they may let it go. But then they kind of pull it back. And after that, you know, they have a, have a tremendous game. The ones that aren't as successful or not as good are the ones that, you know, do like go 3, 4, 5, and six, you know, just completely kind of fall apart. So, um, yeah, it's that, it's that kind of. But you kind of have to have, and, you know, and not be able to kind of, you know, if things are going badly around you, um, you don't really need to kind of contribute to the problem. You need to be kind of part of that solution. I

Phelim:

wanted to briefly bring up a tough subject that we have spoken about on this podcast recently. Um, but with a different flair. So w we we've thought recently about standard. And we've thought recently about whether or not we have to make compulsory highest standards, because there are some people that will simply, uh, buy whatever's in the market without considering what they're buying. So buyer beware. And so we must raise the bottom. Uh, and so on is VIP or we VIP protection excluded from that scenario because it seems to me that you're going to try and hire someone from royalty protection, or you're going to try and hire someone. If you value it SF background, um, or whatever you deem as very valuable, you're not going to be, um, as a VIP hiring from the bottom. So, so, so I, I I'd be interested in your thoughts on, are we on a big, big mission to raise the standard, but not here because it's already very hard.

Simon Morgan:

I think clients of those of that nature. No, normally what they want, they've educated themselves. You know, a lot of them may have been in and around security for many, many years, you know, whether they kind of, um, you know, cradle to grave such as they're all family or they've just. Been in and around it and now kind of adopted that themselves. So they will already know what they like and what they don't like. I think, you know, the difficulty comes in where security becomes a requirement such as for insurance for argument's sake, whereby the only requirement is, is to be a holder of an SIA license. Um, you know, that's where that kind of education piece is needed because you know, the client may very well be. Thinking they getting James Bond, but the reality is they're getting Johnny English because they don't know any better because the standard that they've taken is that of the SIA license.

Phelim:

I love it. I love the, the Johnny English reference. Um, I'd be perfectly happy with Johnny English. He he'd be really funny.

Simon Morgan:

Um, No, certainly. I mean, as you over the course of the course of the day, I'm sure you

Phelim:

definitely have an in and no, no, but, but, but I like this and that, and I like how, you know, okay. Our listeners are not majorly from royalty protection. Right. So they're looking up, they're saying, you know, what can, what can we do? And I think you've, you've given. Great. Uh, great examples of whether or not a VIP will hire someone who hasn't got that background. That's another story.

Simon Morgan:

It is, it comes down to choice, doesn't it? You know, it comes down to choice and ultimately sometimes it comes down to cost, um, you know, and then you come back away. So, okay. Well, what price? Peace of mind, you know, for our principals, they sign up to yes, the delivery standard, but they also sign up to the preparation. Um, you know, lots of principals will say, well, no, I just want you kind of outside my house. Kind of, you know, at four o'clock in the afternoon, kind of in a suit and we're off, you know, off where they don't. So, you know, from that perspective, those aren't the kind of principles that we, um, that we seek. Um, and again, Yeah, I suppose, as we look at, um, kind of our principles, like I said earlier on we, we have a criteria, you know, and the first one is that there has to be threatened risks if there's no threatened risks, you know, why do it, because we don't do vanity projects, but that certain risks could be kind of actual kind of opposite. Um, will the client value. Because again, if the client doesn't value what you do, then, you know, you're going to be on a, a pretty difficult day because they might want to always do the opposite. They could be exposing themselves kind of. And you, because as an employer, I have a duty of care to my officers that I put out with principals. And then finally is the client prepared to pay for it? You know, I put the financial things kind of last because if the first two criteria mixed, I'm not really fussed and whether a client can afford it or not, because they must still be not the right client.

Phelim:

A very, very, uh, good note, uh, for everybody. I think, I think that's good. And you know, if you, if you can't, if you can't negotiate, if you can't determine your own terms, then it's not a business, it's, it's something else. Um, so yeah, I like it. Alright, well, Simon, this is very good. I realized that there is an entire segment to be done on your entire career. You know, I'm sure it meant many, many, many to be written.

Simon Morgan:

Well, we've kept on talking about it, John and I talked about it for years, but we've never heard of. Got round to it. We, for a variety of different reasons. So with, yeah, like,

Phelim:

well now obviously there are things that will come out in the fullness of time in a, in some sort of novel that you probably write or, or book or anything like that.

Simon Morgan:

Got an NDA about that kind of fake that. You signed the day you join, you kind of, you know, you sign it every year and then you kind of, they give you another copy of it the day you leave. So, you know, from that perspective, you know, but that's more about, um, the kind of the kiss and tell side of things, you know, the operational side of things. Um, you know, a lot of it is in the public domain kind of already. So, you know, really. You know, you're not giving away any secrets. You're most probably just talking about kind of standards and how those standards kind of are achieved, to be honest with you. So, you know, I'm kind of quite comfortable with,

Jon:

is there anything that Netflix left on the table after they made the crown?

Simon Morgan:

I've never watched it. John, I've never watched it. I did. Um, I did the premiere for it a number of years ago when the first series came out, we did the less. Premiere and I've never watched it. And I think only, I still don't think it's caught up to my time period when I was at royalty. I kind of, it, I think it's only just wandering towards that, you know, so lots of things that the crown has to dealt with was way before my time. So, you know, maybe when it gets to I was there. I'll have a look at it, you know, and say, well, yeah, okay. Well, you know, that may have happened. That may not have happened and so on and so forth. But, um, so I've never, I've never watched it. So I can't can't comment and they've certainly never asked me to kind of do any QA for it, which is a shame

Jon:

I was just about to say, hopefully they'll, we'll get to see you on the

Simon Morgan:

TV again. Maybe, maybe. So. Let's see what.

Phelim:

Perfect. All right. Well, this is making the VIP's accessible to the rest of the circuit magazine community, or at least giving us a, a very good idea how we might approach it. If we got that work and why we might want that work in the first place. As, as, as you pointed out, you know, you want the right clients, many places we could go, obviously someplace we can't. But I really valued this session. So Simon, thank you from John and myself. Thank you for being such a great guest on the circuit magazine podcast.

Simon Morgan:

Thank you for having me.

Phelim:

Protecting VIP's Simon. Morgan is the person to have on this podcast. I'm so glad we had him on obviously so many more places. We could have gone with the podcast, but I really enjoyed it. What about you,

Jon:

John? Yeah, it was fantastic. Felt under an enormous weight of pressure to try to get as much out assignment and satisfy our listeners. But it's very difficult. Like you say, there's so much. Uh, when you have, you know, 40 minutes with somebody like Simon, you know, it's never enough.

Simon Morgan:

And

Phelim:

data then, you know what I like actually the perspective that if you are not so empathetic and, and, and you do, you know, maintain a level head, then these VIP's can teach you a lot as well. Um, obviously there are some, uh, standards that need to. Yeah raised across the whole industry, but it's good to sort of hear that perhaps at that level, at least, um, smart decisions are being made about, uh, you know, selection, which, which I think is, is quite heartening. Um, what else did you take away from today's session? Well,

Jon:

you know, I mean, just going back to that empathy point, I think there was more to it than just the actual, uh, you know, whether you are an empathetic person or not is what. What really spoke to me. It was the fact that Simon identified that early and he used that impart to select his own career trajectory. And by understanding yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses, it will unlock. The answers to where you should work, where you're, well-suited, you know, where you might struggle and where you can be preemptive and Eva take courses, get advice, or just

Simon Morgan:

stay

Jon:

clear of that area, you know? And I think there's so much more than that. We can take away from that and learn and adopt that into our own principles.

Phelim:

And as you said, it's a thinking person's game. If you're not going to get the clients that you're looking for, then you should walk away. Obviously I know not everyone is in such a strong position, but I think that's at least another great sentiment. You know, you should be prepared to not, uh, take onboard a client that is not valuing what you do and not needing what you do. Um, I think, I think that's another good takeaway. Yeah. In

Jon:

general, it's not bad. Your standards need to be the same as Simon's, but what it should inform you is that knowing where your north pointer is and always staying true

Phelim:

to. Absolutely. So, so yeah, I think we're gonna definitely have, uh, Simon back on another podcast or event or another article in the magazine, things coming up, talking about events. We're going to be doing another circuit magazine event at this. Uh, mid November, just a save the date for you. Please do keep an eye out for it. And we're going to be actually looking at a topic that can span geographies. It's going to be something on the topic of workplace violence and its applicability to EAP and the evolution of corporate security. I think, I think we're going to reveal more details. I want to get that in your calendars, at least as a sort of a rough save the dates coming up. Um, we've, we've had a few, uh, guest speakers, uh, Joe Saunders, uh, you know, on our, on our podcast before. And I think the time is right to look at it. Um, w w w what do you think.

Jon:

Yeah. Well, I think we're going to do not trying to push you into committing to anything live on now, but I think we're going to do something a little bit special that we haven't done before and try to make this stretch across quite a few times zones.

Phelim:

Right? Well, no, don't, don't worry. I have no problem committing to it. I will put my pen to paper. Um, it will be a Val valid for the UK evening. The Pacific. After noon and the Australian morning, which in turn should help us really bring the community together. It sounds ambitious, but it will be accessible.

Jon:

Yeah. I'm looking forward to it. Just tell me what time I need to be out of bed.

Phelim:

Absolutely. Well, it's a it's it's, it's not going to be too bad for, for, for all involved. And it will be a unifying topic, especially because I think after COVID or. Towards the end of COVID, people are going to say we've had a lot of responsibilities thrown on us. What do we want to keep? What do we not want to keep? Maybe some facilities management stuff we don't want to keep, uh, maybe some, you know, things that perhaps we want concierge to do, maybe not, but workplace violence. I think we've got a special role to play. Anyway. We'll give you more of that. As it develops, um, VIP protection, obviously a lot of people will want to do it, but don't know why. Some people know why, but can't, so it's been perfect to have Simon Morgan on to lift the lid and explain to us what to do when you're in the position and how to go to boards, doing that role. Right. This has been another fantastic edition of the circuit magazine podcast this week with a tremendous friend of the magazine. And of course the industry, Simon Morgan, from John and myself. Thank you very much.

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