No matter if you’re just getting into the EP industry or have been a pro for years; there are some executive protection skills that you should never be without. These include both soft and hard skills, and they’re what separate the successful EP professionals from the not-so-successful ones.
To make things easier for you, we’ve divided all the executive protection skills into two categories, so that you can start checking them off one by one.
Before we get into this category, we thought that we should first explain what soft skills exactly entail. These are the things that you don’t learn in schools, boot camps, or training programs. However, soft skills are what is going to put you on the EP map, and make you stand out to clients.
First on the list, and arguably the most difficult skill/quality to possess, is resourcefulness. You see, more often than not, you’ll have to work at locations, venues, and with people that you’re not familiar with. That’s just the name of the game. So one of the most important executive protection skills that you need is being able to think on your feet.
You need to do everything in your power to shape the outcome of a job or mission to best benefit your client. Be proactive, not reactive.
Also, your resourcefulness needs to carry over to planning, being creative, and thinking outside the box. If you’re a security officer who’s been assigned to someone, it’ll be solely your job to come up with safety strategies and procedures.
Sure, communication skills sound like a no-brainer, but there’s actually a fine art to mastering them in the EP world. Now, no one’s saying that you need to be a public speaker, and give talks in front of huge audiences. However, you do need to be well-versed in all types of communication, including:
Solid verbal communication skills will help you in pretty much every single aspect of your life, not just your profession. You also need to have a good grasp on non-verbal communication, especially if you’re part of a team. It won’t always be possible to use your words, which is why you need to rely on signals and hand gestures.
Written communication is, again, pretty self-explanatory, but it’s an amazing quality to have. Often, you’ll be expected to write out briefs and mission goals, and getting your point across in a clear and concise way is key.
3. Social Skills
Another huge part of the job is creating and cultivating relationships with clients. They need to trust you enough to share important details about themselves but also respect your authority and knowledge. That is an extremely delicate balance that you have to achieve, which is why social skills top the list.
In addition to your clients, you have to network and build strong relationships with those around you. Whether it’s your team, your client’s staff, or the paparazzi, for example, you need to gain everyone’s trust and have a solid rapport.
You could argue that commitment isn’t really a skill, rather a trait, but we still wanted to mention it because it’s so essential. There is absolutely no chance that you could perform well in the EP industry unless you’re totally committed.
Sure, you could probably get by, not care, but that’s really bad for business. Privacy, productivity, and most of all, security, come first and supersede your needs.
As an EP professional, you’ll be expected to make decisions on a daily basis. These decisions could be small, and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. However, every once in a while, you’ll have to make a decision in a high-pressure situation, and sometimes, there’ll be lives at stake.
When push comes to shove, you’ll be on the ground, making decisions, and there’s usually no time to waste. To pull all of that off, you need to keep your calm and stay ready.
As a stark contrast to soft skills, hard ones are much easier to pick up and learn. You can study, work hard, and train to do any of these, and they’re invaluable assets in your EP career.
Out of all the hard executive protection skills we’re going to mention, driving is probably the single most important one. You cannot be successful in the EP industry unless you can operate different types of vehicles successfully.
Some of the driving tactics and maneuvers that you should know are:
- Motorcade driving
- PIT maneuvers and counter-pits
- Close quarters driving
- Driving an armored car
Basically, you need to cover both defensive and offensive driving skills because that’ll probably be a huge part of almost any job.
7. Unarmed Combat
No matter what your current job entails or who your client is, if you want to be part of the EP industry, you need to know unarmed combat. Now, there are a ton of different approaches that you could take here and countless different training tactics.
Whether you’re looking into martial arts or specific combat training for EP professionals, it’s all pretty much up to you. However, you need to be skilled at it and practice every day to ensure that you’re always ready.
A lot of people in the EP industry really emphasize having excellent shooting skills, but you’ll probably be utilizing them much less than you think. Remember, the single most important aspect of your job is to keep your client safe and avoid conflict at all costs.
If there’s an incident involving active shooters, your first response usually won’t be to open fire. It’ll be to get your client to safety as soon as you possibly can.With all that said, handling firearms, gun safety, as well as precision, are all incredible skills to have in your arsenal.
9. Emergency Medical Skills
To make your EP skill set complete, you definitely have to participate in some emergency medical training. Now, you don’t have to become an EMT or a registered nurse, but you do need to know the basics.
For example, you should know how to perform CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, treat a gash or a burn, and more. Since picking up these skills is difficult to do over the internet, we suggest taking a course or two, and having some sort of certification.
Nobody said that being an EP professional is an easy job. There’s so much to know, train, and understand before you can make it in the field. However, one of the best parts of the whole job is that you get to learn something new every day.
If you’re struggling, and just don’t know where to start, this list of basic executive protection skills should help out a bit. And if you’re still not exactly sure what you’re supposed to do, sign up for our newsletter, and let us help you.