octobre 2019
Expert Author Tony J Ridley
"What happens in Vegas, stays on YouTube" is now a common phrase and reality, just ask Prince Harry. Reputation management and the risk posed by citizen journalism and readily available cell phones are now a key service expectation when it comes to executive and dignitary protection services. Considering the poor result of both Prince Harry's protection team and that of the US Secret Service scandal following their antics in Colombia, it is becoming very clear that government agencies are inadequately prepared or understand this now common threat. In this article we look at contemporary executive protection requirements with a focus on reputation management. By reading this article you will immediately be able to evaluate your own executive protection and reputation management systems to determine if they are comprehensive enough for the modern environment.
"They are there to protect him for security reasons, not to regulate his life" comments by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Howe in dismissing the role of his government supplied executive protection agents charged with "protecting" Prince Harry highlights the disconnect between what government agencies deem a threat and what constitutes a major threat in the commercial world. Allegations that they also participated in the party antics of the group, does little to install confidence in the holistic protective security service.
The worldwide coverage and resulting scandal involving US Secret Service agents following allegations of inappropriate behaviour whilst conducting reconnaissance of pending Presidential travel locations, also reinforces the disconnect between real word executive protection demands and the governmental approach to the service. How could these services and skill sets therefore be relevant to commercial, celebrity and business clients when the outcome and damage can be so significant? Why do buyers of executive protection services think that only "government trained" agents should be engaged for commercial services when the demands are worlds apart? Why do celebrities think that massive human shields are the best protection for their reputation and physical needs when intelligence and technology dominates the executive protection market in the modern world?
A recent training session I conducted for a former government security professional, now a kidnap for ransom specialist, reinforced the need for awareness and skills in online reputation management and the impact of social media or citizen journalism. She confirmed the despite a long and successful career in a similar role within the government, she did not know the first thing about online reputation issues but increasingly it was a significant factor in the protection and recovery of high profile individuals. Kidnap for ransom, extortion and blackmail cases are seeing the use of public and private networks to spread fear, rumours and targeted content for economic gain. In a couple of simple sessions, we were able to introduce key management systems, identify monitoring solutions and create a crisis response mechanism to ensure the facts where dominating the message in the event of abduction or reputation damage.
Access and information is now readily available on executives and celebrities along with the ability to broadcast negative or breaking news, therefore reputation management has become included in the array of services and demands of executive protection professionals. More and more companies, celebrities and agencies are monitoring and tracking what is said or group sentiment towards them. At the cold face, executive protection services need to support these efforts as part of a preference for cure over treatment. They can not exist without each other.
  • Do you know what is being said about your product, service, name, client or celebrity, by whom and where?
  • Can you manage the content and access around the individual?
  • Is your information linked to your physical and protective security services?
  • Is every one that needs to know the threat, plan and response aware of their roles and responsibilities?
  • Does your plan work in the real world?
  • Can you prove that it has and will work under real-world conditions?
  • Do you know the warning signs of an impending crisis?
  • Do you know exactly what you have to do in order to reduce the threat?
If you don't know what to do for all of these issues or have a plan for these priority areas, you have a significant vulnerability. These are the fundamental requirements to a comprehensive executive, celebrity or VIP protection system and service. Anything less is a placebo.
This article draws observations from the recent Prince Harry and US Secret Service incidents that reflected poorly upon the protected VIP and the service provider. Outlined are the key issues that have been overlooked and the expanded requirement for executive protection to include reputation management, at all times. Use the information in this article to assess your current plans, providers and understanding of executive and celebrity protection services.
Tony has generated significant value to clients and companies by enabling business growth, maximizing variance on return for assets, expanding market share and cost efficiencies. Hundreds of companies and departments have benefited from the direction and input provided by Tony.
Expert Author Lisa Schilling
As you enter this busy holiday season, ask yourself, "Do I have a giving philosophy?" Often this time of year brings up strong emotions and unfortunately stress. Identifying your giving philosophy, can help save your mental/emotional health. It provides a guide to making choices during this hectic time of the year. Aligning what you do with your personal philosophy helps to maintain peace and harmony. My philosophy is, "The most valuable things we possess are our time & attention." The greatest gift someone can give me is to share their time with me and give me their full attention. What a rare gift these days! Eventually that is what stays in our remembrance and leaves the greatest impact on our lives.
Today less emphasis is placed on this precious non-renewable resource. Instead, society focuses on the accumulation of material possessions. This is unfortunate, because most people won't remember the gift you bought them years from now, but they will remember the times you shared together and the memories created. A few years ago, after falling into a overwhelming spiral of buying stuff that wasn't really wanted or needed, for people I really didn't know or care deeply about, I became jaded with the concept of Christmas. I wanted to find a way to realign Christmas with my giving philosophy.
As a result, I evaluated my list and started making some targeted changes. It started by giving those I care about inexpensive gift baskets with some of their favorite things. In the least, it shows attention to what they say, do, and enjoy. The baskets include a variety of items, from snacks they like, scented body care items, something handmade, or anything particularly special to them. Often little things found on junking journeys that they would like. Then a personal handwritten note is included with an invitation to share a meal together on me. That way, the gift is shared, as a plan to spend time together, (which is the true gift of friendship) would be set. Not being able to think of things to put in someone's basket is a good indication that you are not close.
When evaluating your gift-giving list, look at how much is "expected," but not "excited" gifting, meaning gifts have always been exchanged, but you no longer have, or never had, a close relationship with this person. Perhaps it is time to suggest a get-together versus an obligatory gift. Buying gifts for everyone in an extended family can create another draining holiday experience. Many years ago, we found that buying for everyone was not only financially draining, but also mentally. So much so, that it began to cause dread, versus a spirit of joy. Many times, we had no idea what to get these people and it became a source of frustration instead of an enjoyable experience.
That is when the main family decision makers got together and decided that it would benefit everyone to draw names. This way more thought could go into the gift choices and more funds would be available to purchase something they might actually want, use, and enjoy. Now there are many variations of this concept, the important thing is to evaluate what would benefit the people with whom you exchange gifts. One guiding principle is to determine if the current routine reflects the meaning of the season and your giving philosophy, or if it has become an expected routine of consumerism. Sometimes change is necessary to realign values and priorities that have drifted off course.
Along that course, look for ways to make your holidays more meaningful instead of more full of stuff. Pay attention, it is likely your next get together will have several people, all in the same room, looking at their personal electronics. As a result of this trend, it could be an idea to have "no tech zones" or "tech-free time," to help gently refocus your family on each other. Creating boundaries up front can help everyone to be aware of the gift of full attention. Having some fun no-tech activities planned can help family members cope with the reduced electronic stimulation. Don't become discouraged if not everyone is excited about this change, refocusing takes time to develop. Stick with it, and continue to align your activity to what you value.
This holiday season, as you identify your giving philosophy, consider the gift of your time. Look for how often things are purchased for people, instead of actually spending time with them. Often, especially with the older set, your time and full attention would mean much more. All this is not to say buying gifts is somehow bad. Gift giving can be very rewarding and healthy, especially giving gifts to kids or a special person. However, by putting more thought, than money into the gifting, you honor the true heart of giving. Even if you don't have large amounts of extra time, when you choose to spend time together, your friends and family will feel and appreciate the "gift" you share with them. The memories created during that time, will last a lifetime, they will become priceless.
Expert Author Lisa Schilling
Learn to master the head game of baseball using these 10 incredibly simply mental hacks to help you be mentally tough in the field, at the plate or on the mound. Good ballplayers prepare and they build strong routines around those preparations. Whether in conditioning, stretching, practicing, warming up or playing, most successful players will tell you they have a routine they follow. Start to develop your own routine that allows you feel comfortable and at the top of your game. Consider adding these visualization techniques to build even more control into your game.
  1. See it: Spend time before each game visualizing yourself making clutch plays. Whether hitting the ball, throwing, pitching or catching. See every aspect of that play, from start to finish, as if watching a movie in slow motion. Involve all of your senses. How will it look?

  2. Smell it: Smell the fresh cut grass, the popcorn from the concession stand, and the leather of your glove. Involve any detail that will make the memory come alive as you recall it.

  3. Taste it: Taste the sunflower seeds, gum or Gatorade you will have during the game.

  4. Hear it: Hear the sounds of the crowd, the crack of the bat, and the pop of the ball as it hits your glove.

  5. Notice it: Notice every little detail. How will it feel? Kick the dirt, feel the drop of sweat, the grip of the bat and the pounding of your heart before the three, two count pitch is thrown. Note your perfect body mechanics, knees bent, pushing off from the back leg, balanced extension, and two-handed perfect execution.

  6. Feel it: Experience the intensity of the emotion that comes from making the big play. The feeling of adrenaline as you make an essential out or game winning run. How your heart beats faster and you jump in the air, ready to start celebrating with your friends. Each detail will further cement this memory in your brain.

  7. Review it: Each time you see yourself successfully making that play, you will exponentially increase your chances of actually doing that when you are in that situation on the field. Because of the Reticular Activating System the brain, you are strengthening this important synaptic connection. Your brain only knows what you repeated tell it. If you tell the brain something often enough, it will work to make that happen. So keep playing that perfect movie in your mind (little details are important) and you are very likely to execute them the next time you are on the field!

  8. Detach from it: When the movie doesn't play out like you have envisioned it, you have to practice detaching yourself from it and moving on. Like being able to watch it on a video, seeing that it happened but not internalizing that it happened to you. Once you start internalizing that it happened to you, then it starts affecting your game. Then it affects your team, and not in a good way. You owe it to yourself and your team to detach from the error, own it, but move on from it. The next play must start fresh. You have to keep your mind from attaching itself to that error. Detach and let it go! Keep your head in the "here and now" game only. Detachment lets the past keep on going like water down the river... you can't get it back again. Your focus must always be on what is coming downstream now.

  9. Expect it: See yourself making the play. Always mentally talk yourself up. Have positive phrases to say yourself to stay mentally up if you start feeling bad about how things are going. If you go into an inning already worried or fearful of not being able to execute a play, then the brain will set you up for that outcome. It is essential that you see yourself as capable of getting the job done. That is why when teams start to lose focus they can let a game slip away. It is also why momentum can help a team rally, as this type of mental conditioning can work in the opposite manner to help a team.

  10. Build it: Good ballplayers prepare and they build strong routines around those preparations. Whether in conditioning, stretching, practicing, warming up or playing, most successful players will tell you they have a routine they follow. Start to develop your own routine that allows you feel comfortable and at the top of your game. Consider adding these visualization techniques to build even more control into your game. When starting to create these visualizations start with small sessions, maybe one specific play. Find a quiet spot where you can be relaxed but alert. You may want to put on head phones and play a certain upbeat song (if that doesn't distract you) and then begin creating the movie in your mind of the play going perfectly. Keep replaying it in your mind, adding more and more sensory details until it is so realistic you can't imagine that play going any other way other than how you just imagined it. Then another time you can imagine another play or hit or pitch. Before a game, take time to sit quietly and mentally replay that movie that you created earlier. This is where that visualization becomes powerful. In a game situation, you can flex that memory like a flexing a muscle and it becomes easier to execute that play just as you imagined. If it works for top athletes, there is no reason, it could not work for all athletes. It just requires desire to succeed and commitment to try.
Expert Author Daniel Blanchard
Have you ever seen a picture of one of those old baby cages hanging out a skyscraper's window from the 1930s? In the 1930s, parents were worried about their kids' health because of the poor air quality in those big, old buildings.
I guess this fresh air thing must have been a good thing because in some ways it still persists today. Scandinavian parents often park their little ones in strollers outside of restaurants while they go inside to take a break. They say the fresh air, and even the cold air is good for their babies' lung development.
I'm not disagreeing with getting our little ones some fresh air. But, in that same vein, I don't think that we'll see American parents today hanging their kids outside their 10th story apartment window in a cage. Nor, will we see parents leaving their little ones outside unattended in the cold to build up their lung capacity.
You want to know what else sounds a little crazy? Today, American parents are taking youth sports too seriously. Rules have even been put into place at some youth competitions to discourage cheering. Officials are continually reminding parents of what appropriate behavior is at games. And signs are posted all over just in case parents have forgotten the rules. Coaches even send behavior contracts home for athletes and their parents to sign. Police are now stationed at a lot of the youth games taking place every day across this great big country of ours. Do you remember this craziness when we were kids? No. Me neither. Parents have gotten a little crazy with youth sports, wouldn't you agree? Parents, let's just relax a little and let our kids have some fun. Okay?
Now, as my Granddaddy always said, "Go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us." Remember, sometimes things can get a little crazy, however, through some introspection and self-reflections we can stop some of the craziness right now. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do and all that you will do...
Expert Author Daniel Blanchard
We parents would prefer to have a sure-proof parenting manual that would answer all of our questions in a straight forward manner. We want exact steps that we could follow as easy as a well-written formula or maybe we would even settle for a simple but effective recipe like one gets when baking a cake. We want a proven way to raise our kids.
Sadly, there are no perfect parenting books, and there isn't an ideal scientific formula that can answer our questions. Through much experimenting and support from others who are experienced, there are benefits to be gained that we might be able to measure and analyze like a scientist. However, crunching parenting data will always be imperfect.
As we explore the opposite side of the equation, the art of parenting, sometimes we find that side even messier. And all we can do is just stay calm, and breathe. That's right. Just breathe. Breathe because you deserve it. You are not alone. You do matter. And you are making a difference. No matter what our kids say, we really are the most important people in their lives, and believe it or not, they really are listening to us.
Instead of constantly worrying about our parenting prowess, let's just look for the simplicity in the complexity of parenting. Let's be okay with the unknown and creating something new and artistic through parenting. Let's learn how to dance on the edge. Heck, I say let's even learn how to dance in the rain on the edge again, like when we were kids. Dancing in the rain sounds better than waiting helplessly for the storm to pass, doesn't it?
Now, as my Granddaddy always said, "Let's go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us." Let's know that parenting is kind of like a science and an art all mixed up in some delightful crazy and messy way for us to meander through in the best way we possibly can. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do...