PERSONAL SECURITY: You Need a Great Team for When the Crap Hits the Fan

Published on July 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 10.18.43 AMAlacrity comes after, but in a civilization that promotes procrastination to Olympic heights it is often difficult to find. Yet as Napoleon said: “Strategy is the art of making use of time and space.
I am less concerned about the latter than the former. Space, we can recover, lost time never.” Security must absolutely be anticipatory; this cannot be emphasized enough.  Procrastination is the choice of those who would rather be victims.  Remember that we are what we do every day; do not expect your procrastinating friend to have prompt actions during a crisis, he may be a passenger as he is your friend but he cannot be part of your crew or team.  Anyone who needs to be told a second time what he has to do does not belong to the team; ideally there should hardly be any need to tell anyone what he has to do…  When every member of a team is pro-active and alacrity the ruling principle the potential of that team grows exponentially.

Loyalty tends to evaporate when people are outside their comfort zone for a substantial period of time; make sure your team members are neither fair weather friends nor chocolate soldiers who cannot survive the heat of the real world.  At the end of the day most individuals are simply loyal to themselves, or more precisely to the image they have of themselves.  So to find out how loyal one will be, you must figure out what image of himself this guy has. The clearer and the prouder the image, the more loyal and reliable the man will be.  The famous Shakespeare character Coriolanus is utterly proud of himself therefore he is utterly loyal to his country; his countrymen have no pride therefore they are utterly disloyal to him.  I tend to pick men who have great pride in who they are (not what they have!) as one can only be truly proud of himself with a proven track record of keeping his word.   Watching the latest (2011) interpretation of “Coriolanus” by Ralph Fiennes is a good way to get started on loyalty considerations.

Skills come last but are certainly not least on the important virtues of the individual wolves of your pack. Having lead or been part of very many different teams for very different gigs, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that different individuals inside the same team have different skills. A group of nerds will be quite helpless in a major security crisis, yet they can be a great addition to many teams that would have put too much emphasis on muscle or shooting skills.  Genius engineers/mechanics skills are in my experience the most important skills to have and protect in a team.  The Paris-Dakar race mechanics can change a universal joint in 15 minutes flat; this could save lives in a crisis when time lost will mean much worse than lost points.  Many people can repair the engine of a generator; fewer could convert it to natural gas, and fewer yet fix its voltage regulator.  In a crisis the skilled engineer/mechanic is worth gold; make sure there is at least one in your team.


Patrick Estebe offers an unconventional approach to security issues. He has created a Multidimensional Security System based on insight and creativity, which allows him to organize individuals and teams capable of handling a wide range of acute situations. These situations include crucial VIP security, critical defense of airports, seaports and megayachts.

As a Captain in the French Marines then Inspector in the Intelligence Service (in charge of counter-terrorism units), Patrick Estebe had the opportunity to experience the power and limitations of a linear approach to security.

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