Gage Skidmore

There are a lot of people achieving great success in VIP Operations. There are many more seeking to break into this industry. What set’s apart the ones getting results, from the one’s looking for results is often the power that comes from knowledge. Here are a couple of my observations regarding knowledge and information that might really help you.

Local Pre-Trip Research

I work extensively in the VIP operational community. I travel around the world protecting high-level VIPs and work very closely with other Professional protectors, as well as those in non-protective VIP sectors. Every day I read very valuable information I find on the internet. Some of it is general knowledge and some of it is focused on specific areas where I am lacking or would like to know more about.

When I travel I focus my research prior to a trip in efforts to learn as much as I can about our destination. I look into culture, language, crime trends, environmental threats, transportation, communication methods/concerns and any other local nuances. This allows how me to have specific knowledge of the region I am heading into. Essentially, it paints a picture of what I’m getting myself in for and gives me a heads up of what I need to watch out for, or how I may need to handle myself.

All of this research allows me to do the best I can when I find myself on a local or foreign mission. I have also been given great compliments for my efforts:

  • “You’re the one with all the details and information, I’m glad you’re on the trip “.
  • “You get around like a local. I’ve been here many times and you never have. How are you able to navigate so well?”

To me, these are some of the greatest compliments I could have received as it tells me my efforts are worth it and I am demonstrating value beyond just being a protective presence. It is also something that can be replicated, but with current systems, isn’t all that easy to accomplish.

The biggest challenge is finding the right information in a timely manner. Because of the internet, almost everything needed to get set up for success in travel is available. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to find and my time (or yours) may not allow the luxury of extensive research. As well, no matter what I read I will never have as much local knowledge as a local professional.

Topic Specific Knowledge

The other area which is of the utmost value to anyone in VIP Operations is being well versed in the depth of different sectors of the industry. In the protection area alone there are many nuances (public vs private sector, celebrity, executive, dignitary, athlete, ultra-high net worth, etc.) There are also many aligned industries like protection, ground and air transport, executive/personal assistants, hospitality, household support, travel, tourism, etc. Just like being able to communicate well with different VIPs, regardless of your field of employment, to truly be successful you need to be able to work with all of these people in all of these industries.

Your effectiveness in these fields will definitely come with more experience. But you can increase your abilities and speed up the process, by learning as much as you can about the different sectors.

The biggest challenge here is the depth, diversity and time required to find the knowledge. The other challenge is, most of these people in different industries do not regularly talk with each other outside of brief operational encounters or in localized pockets. However, we have a solution coming out we hope will make all of this easier and better.

A Better Solution

I think many people understand the value of information and knowledge. Unfortunately, there is so much out there and it is often lost in a sea of misinformation, other noise or otherwise poor information.

We have created what we feel is a better option. A way to cut through the clutter and get you truly valuable information. A way for you to enhance your knowledge base efficiently and effectively in order to get results. And if you’re a local with useful content or an industry leader with advanced knowledge, you will be better able to showcase the knowledge in a way that gets to the right people.

We have also taken it one step further than most other platforms as we’ve created a system that brings everyone in VIP Operations closer together. This allows aligned industry members to communicate more easily and share cross-industry information. This way we can all learn from each other and get better results.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, what separates professionals from the rest is the extent and depth of their capabilities. There are many elements that contribute to this and one of them is knowledge. Knowledge that is current, focused and applicable. When you find information quickly you are able to consume more of it. When you find great content, you can absorb it and apply it better. When you start applying what you have learned, you will achieve greater results. Once I found this solution, my growth and outcomes became exponential. Since my mission is centred around helping others I want to use what I know (and can do) to help you. I embrace the fact that knowledge isn’t just power, but it’s empowering. Let’s all get better and grow together.