Pay the price and listen, or pay the price twice. In the world of executive protection, the safety and security of the principal should always be the top priority. To achieve this, proper planning and execution are crucial. However, as with any plan, unexpected deviations can happen. This is where the value of listening to trusted local advisors comes into play.

We spend a great deal of time vetting our partners and ensuring we have the best possible fit for success in who we work with. Our efforts should end up being that in my mind of something akin to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, a professional and collegiate approach to executing operational requirements in time-sensitive and pressing environments.

I’ve provided below, two anecdotes that are of different operational contexts but the idea that radiates out of them is communication or the lack thereof and its express relationship to the level of trust that exists in both of the examples. These are real events, and while the information must be limited, I hope they are engaging enough to provide specific examples.

Anecdotes from the field illustrate the importance of listening to local advisors. A business client overseeing a UHNWI program altered the plan last minute to improve the principal’s safety, privacy, and security. This decision led to unnecessary public attention and a potential breach of operational integrity. Had the client listened to the briefing provided prior to the movement of the principal and stuck to and followed the advice of the team executing the movement, this issue would not have happened as they’ve been provided with the correct information at the beginning of the operation and made an informed, poor decision due to a lack of local area awareness and operated on assumed but foreign operating knowledge.

Contrast this with another anecdote where the contractors engaged to provide the oversight, management, and leadership of a foreign yet nationally engaged workforce identified through a SWOT analysis that the workforce was not adequately trained, overworked, and understaffed. Through collaboration with the client, an arrangement was made to improve the situation by establishing standard operating procedures, and training regimes, and recruiting more officers into the team. The client listened to and acted on the advice of the trusted local advisor, resulting in better operational efficiency.

The question arises as to whether the flow of information was a fault in the first and a success in the second instance but the matter of listening is what reigns supreme as the difference between the outcomes of both operations.

Trusted local advisors are invaluable resources for executive protection operations. They possess knowledge and understanding of the local environment, culture, and customs that may not be easily available to outsiders. They also have established relationships with local authorities and can provide insight into potential threats and risks.

By listening to and following the advice of local advisors, executive protection teams can better anticipate and mitigate risks. They can also operate more efficiently and effectively, providing a better experience for the principal.

It is important to note that listening to local advisors does not mean blindly following their advice. It is essential to maintain critical thinking and evaluate the advice received against the principles and goals of the operation.

Listening to trusted local advisors is crucial. If you can’t trust the agent beside you after all you’ve done to work with them, where does the fault lie? In them or in you? Their knowledge and expertise can make a significant difference in the success of an executive protection operation. Through collaboration and proper planning, executive protection teams can achieve their objectives. This can be done while ensuring the safety and security of their principal.

Reference: Panoptic Solutions Operation Debriefs (2020-2022) all operations are subject to NDA’s. Note: Client deviations from the plan: the risks and the importance of listening to trusted local advisors.

Pay the Price.


Kuvshinov Ilya

Shield Wall – Trust




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