When it comes to reforming any profession structurally, resistance to change is as frequent as it is expected. Executive protection is no exception. The growing trend of change in our profession in Latin America, motivated by the evident ineffectiveness of the traditional system in real conditions, is met with objections from the most dogmatic circles.
The most frequent observation is that some novel concepts do not match what they call the "daily operation" or the "operational reality". So what does this famous "operational reality" consist of?
In the same way that the life of an Eskimo differs greatly from that of a native of the Amazon, the operational reality of executive protection will be different between countries or cities; also whether you work in a private company or in the public sector; with the executive or his wife; whether you serve a businessman or his children; in a large group or if it is the mission of a single agent; in a place of war or in a relatively peaceful area, and so on. However, the most important factors in defining the operational reality are the vision, knowledge and skills of the operators and executive security managers, including the ability to dialogue and persuade the executive himself.
In this way, we can realize that "the reality" or "the daily operation" of executive protection is not something absolute or objective, but a set of merely personal experiences that, although frequent in some regions, can in no way have a general, universal or much less dogmatic character, as some claim.
Consequently, if someone points out that one of the measures of modern protection does not match "reality", it only means that this measure is outside the vision, experience, knowledge and skill of the declarant, but does not imply that it is really unfeasible in operation. Indeed, modern protection, like any other innovation, seeks precisely to pose another operational reality different from the one previously known. This is the meaning of breaking paradigms and evolving.
In our particular case, after 27 years of operational work, 20 of them in Mexico, the operational experiences are far from those of most of our colleagues, however, they are no less "real". This is due to the application of different visions and methodologies, so we have decided to gather these experiences, together with many examples of real operation, in the book Executive Protection in the 21st Century: The New Doctrine, to share them with our colleagues. Our proposal in the book is to offer alternatives to the serious and multiple problems suffered by traditional executive protection.
While it is true that the so-called "operational reality" is something merely subjective, the hard data*, together with recent facts, are quite objective, as they show that traditional executive protection, based on this old "operational reality", proved to be a failure practically every time it was put to the test. Therefore, it is essential and urgent to change these old concepts of operation in order to save the lives of executives, protectors and citizens in general.