From the Womb to the Grave We are the Protectors and Counselors
The terms we use for our clients vary and the discipline we need to show in maintaining a distant relationship from our principal and their family are for good reasons. This even becomes harder when your relationship has extended for over 30 years and when you have begun service with one principal to have your service expand to many family members. Watching children come into their own and experiencing the growth of grandchildren from adolescence to adulthood all creates relationships you have always been told to avoid.
The real truth is you can try all you want, attachments will still be made no matter how hard you try to avoid it. I don’t care who you are, you will find yourself living life with your protectee’s and this comes with attachments. The quiet moment you find yourself wiping a tear from your eyes because of the pain you witnessed or the inner smile you get when something positive has happened to a person in your charge, all these experiences start manifesting into attachment. What I have found through my own experience is you have to maintain professionalism and be a good listener while using very few words in the guidance you may provide… fair, firm and formal are three words that I was taught in the police academy and something I have put to work for my benefit in many situations.
Like many of my peers, I have experienced everything from births in the family, playing with the children when they are younger to witnessing relationships being torn apart for various reasons, affairs, loss of love and even death of our protected members. In addition to my very expansive family I have been known to many as “Uncle Bill”. The guy sitting at the counter drinking coffee in the morning and discussing the daily schedule. To the guy who shows up at your boyfriends house to bring you home (after having a quiet conversation with the wanting boyfriend) because you were found alone without adult supervision. Answering the questions you have on the ride home as to why your parents are “doing this to you” and what the alternatives are for you as you become an adult. Just like our own family, the hardest of all is helping our family members cope with sickness and even death. When we are placed in such a position of trust we often find the need to counsel people through many of life’s issues. How to handle funeral arrangements, how to make arrangements with estranged family members and finally how to say goodbye without letting go of the good memories of the loved one who has passed. What’s even harder is going through a time of sickness, we have always had all the answers to the questions but the hardest is coping and understanding why someone is suffering from cancer or some other illness.
I choose to follow a simple policy when it comes to financial and emotional issues, always break even when you walk away. Do not ever allow yourself to be placed in a position where you are owed or you owe someone else. This could be as simple as working off the clock because the principal asked a favor of you, to feeling owed because you went above and beyond by emotionally investing yourself in a matter and now you feel that the client should cut you some slack in other matters.
The fact is you need to know your responsibilities and why you exist. Some people call it “looking after” someone which is true as we help the principal maintain their path. The path may be anything from business and personal schedules to the broader term of achieving their goals. This is all relevant and is important to what we do. But the bottom line is “we exist to protect our clients from injury, death, loss and damages… we keep them mentally and physically healthy”.
At the end of the day we need to fulfill and maintain our focus on our duties of physical protection but understand this, close personal protection is much more than carrying a gun or being the Kungfu expert and you need to be smart enough to handle it all.
Bill Peeler is the Founder and President of Peeler Group International. an executive protection company. www.peelergroup.com