One of the hardest things for anyone to do is stay focused. With attention focused on politics, COVID-19 and its effects, natural disasters, and personal challenges, it can feel hard to smile at your loved ones at the end of the day.
Security professionals must do their best to stay focused at all times, and often on more than one thing at a time. No matter where they work, what they have to do, and what their client is doing, staying focused helps them - as well as whoever and whatever they protect - stay safe.
If you are a security professional, Leumas Security Services Founder and Rent-A-Cop Reboot co-author, Samuel Griffin, understands how hard it can be for you to stay focused. He also understands that you must figure out how to do it anyway.
“I don’t want security professionals to make some of the mistakes I made early in my career,” Griffin says. “In many cases I was blessed by how smoothly things went even though I lost focus, but things could have easily been a lot worse.”
An experience Griffin had in Washington, DC more than two decades ago stands out. “I was backstage waiting on my client when at least 100 Secret Service agents flooded the area and very quickly pushed me towards the back entrance. These guys came with snipers and other resources. Then President Bill Clinton walked in. To say it was intimidating is an understatement!
My client warmly greeted the President, gave him a hug, and said, ‘Come on Sam.’ But I couldn’t move. There were so many agents I had nowhere to go. I politely said, ‘Excuse me’ to the president as I placed my hand on his back. I actually walked between him and his security team.
The point of this story is that I lost focus. I should have moved to a location that would have prevented me from being pushed out of position. That moment could have placed my client at risk, even though Secret Service officers were present. They were responsible for the president, not my client.
"From that day forward, I never blinked when I met anyone. I honestly didn’t care who they were. My focus was on the protection and well-being of my client,” says Griffin.
He has since met a wide range of highly-visible people, many of whom were his heroes. But he had learned his lesson.
“Sometimes I didn’t realize who I had really been with until months later,” he says, “but I still felt honored. I got used to working with celebrities and other public figures, and remain proud of my ability to stay focused and keep them safe.”