When it comes to personal security, many high-level executives and celebrities make a huge mistake. They want a security firm to send them the biggest bodyguard available who will be intimidating to look at and maybe even flashy with a firearm by their side. Worse yet, some individuals and their bodyguards slowly dissolve the professional boundaries and become more akin to friends.
When this happens, the bodyguard becomes a buddyguard, which is more dangerous than it sounds.
A quick search online will show you many instances where giant bodyguards absolutely fail to protect their clients and actually endanger them further. Not only is this frightening and dangerous, but it is also very embarrassing and can make bodyguards look inept. It also creates a huge liability threat to the client.
It is important to understand that while buddyguards might make these types of mistakes, highly trained and professional executive protection agents won’t especially when they are managed by a professional security company.
What is a “Buddyguard”?
As the name suggests, the buddyguard is a personal bodyguard that has crossed professional boundaries to become friends or buddies with the client.
It might sound like the ideal set-up: working closely with a friend who also keeps you safe and secure from any threat. However, buddyguards are not an effective type of security and could actually end up putting you in harm’s way.
Many clients will ask for a bodyguard who is as large as possible–6’10 and 300lbs. However, this means absolutely nothing if the bodyguard is not properly and thoroughly trained. In fact they will never deliver a response to a major threat.
You might even think that a large or ex-military bodyguard would be the most effective type of protection during a dangerous situation because they have faced intense threats before. Yet, ex-military bodyguards usually have training that is not relevant to personal protection or threats. They often revert back to their military training which may be the wrong way to handle the threat. The goal is to “cover and evacuate” not to stand and fight.
A professional executive protection agent, on the other hand, has been specifically trained to handle the types of threats and concerns that high-level executives and celebrities face. For instance, the World Protection Group’s agents understand exactly how to handle intrusions into privacy, stalking threats, investigations, gathering intelligence, and everyday security concerns.
Size really does not matter when it comes to personal security. Rather than asking for the largest bodyguard, you should ask for a bodyguard with the most extensive training or the best track record in the field. Executive Protection is about using the brain and the creative pre planning elements. These factors will ensure your safety, not someone untrained who stands at 6’10 or weighs 300lbs.
The Dangers of a “Buddyguard”
When boundaries are crossed and a bodyguard becomes a buddyguard, your safety is put at risk.
There is a huge danger that your buddyguard will no longer be taking their job as seriously. Instead of staying alert and watching out for potential threats, the buddyguard spends his time socialising or helping with menial tasks. They think they are part of the party and can get caught up in violation of the protection barrier that keeps you from slipping in Buddyguard mode. This means you are no longer being actively protected.
Worse yet, a buddyguard may want to capture some of your limelight and soak up attention. This can mean that when there is an active threat, the buddyguard escaulates the threat by overreacting and pulls out their weapon unnecessarily, increasing the danger level rather than removing their client from harm’s way.
Unlike a buddyguard, an executive protection agent is not looking to be the center of attention or to be in pictures of videos on TMZ with the client.
A good, properly trained protection agent will hardly ever require the use of a weapon to do their job in a 25 year protection career. Instead, they will be professional, stay alert, and always know how to evacuate their client from a dangerous situation.
You might think that having a very large, imposing looking bodyguard is a surefire way to keep yourself safe and deter any threat. However, a more subtle and low profile protection approach is often the better route to go down. An executive protection agent who does not flash their weapon, stride into spaces, or socialise with their client, will be able to survey areas thoroughly and know the best plan of action should danger arise.
What Happens When Professional Lines are Crossed
There are a few ways that a buddyguard can cross professional boundaries. Usually these are to become friends with their client, to form a romantic relationship with their client, or to try to enter the spotlight by using their client’s connections or platforms. All of these transgressions come with their own risks.
As professional relationships slip, so do professional standards and feelings – ultimately leading to intentions becoming confused, which means your safety is no longer the number one priority.
To ensure your executive protection agent only has your safety in mind, it is best to maintain a completely professional relationship. A highly trained and highly skilled protection agent will already know how to maintain these boundaries and will carry out their work professionally and effectively. It is important for the client to understand that they too understand what this professional relationship looks like.
Most importantly: A buddyguard might be more willing to follow any instructions given to them, even if a client’s request could put them at risk. A bodyguard or protection agent, on the other hand, has the confidence to tell their client ‘no’ when necessary.
Effective Professional Protective Agents
It might be tempting to hire someone who looks gigantic, imposing and someone you get along with great. However, at the end of the day, this is simply just not the best option when it comes to keeping yourself, your family, and your property safe.
The professional executive protection agents from the World Protection Group are specially trained to the highest standards. This means there is no need for flashiness or size – just quick and accurate actions, an understanding of how to navigate any situation, and the professionalism needed to keep their client safe and secure no matter what.
Appropriate and extensive training is one hundred times more valuable than being the largest person in the room. Your protection agent will never allow you to be in an unsafe environment and will always have an exit strategy or safehouse in mind.
In a dangerous situation, the key to staying safe iis time, speed, and distance. The best protection agents will act quickly to get their client as far from danger as possible using a combination of skills from their training, awareness of their surroundings, and choreography to get through the situation. A buddyguard will not be able to do any of this, but your protection agent will.