Tag Archives: tony scotti

Immaculate Information Conception

Respecting Those That Have Come Before

by Elijah Shaw

“This guy thinks he was born fully grown.”  That’s a saying I sometimes use which confuses the hell out of people when they hear it.  Allow me to explain:

To me it describes a person that thinks they know everything, particularly the ones that give the impression that this knowledge somehow came right out of the sky and was beamed directly into their brains.  They suffer from a rare and unexplainable phenomenon termed IIC or “Immaculate Information Conception”.

To these individuals they didn’t have to learn something that was taught to them by someone that at some point had greater skill or knowledge about a topic.  Instead they manifested the techniques and owe a debt to no-one.  Or to put it bluntly, they’re full of it.

I’ve said it before in previous columns, our industry is populated by the “Alpha Male” mindset (even in women) and while I also believe it is a valuable trait that allows us to rise above the pack and assume the role of protector, let’s be realistic, there are very few cases of reinventing the wheel.  Instead we as pros learn from one another, and more importantly, learned from someone prior, information or skills that allowed us to obtain the title of “professional”.  The interesting quality I observe is that particularly in the Close Protection Industry, we tend to devalue what has come before, much less pay respect to it.

Don’t get me wrong, like a traditional family the son should be expected and encouraged to grow up, move away and start his own clan.  From a biological level that is how we diversify and continue the species.   Yet in our industry we not only move out of dad’s house, in some cases we deny we ever even had a father.   IIC Syndrome claims another victim.

I think part of the problem lies in that there is a perceived vulnerability that lies in the fact that someone had to “teach” us something.  As if the implication may be that it also might mean there is something we don’t know, and could therefore fail at.    Industry speaking, I think we could also attribute it to the fact that many of our teachers may also still be in some way shape or form still associated with the protection business and therefore might actually be competition.

It’s different to pay respect to your kung fu sensei if he lives in a monastery or passed away many years ago.  It’s another story if you open up a martial arts school across town and may have to compete for the same new students.  Acknowledging the psychology and/or the economics is one thing, but that mindset is likely to do us more harm than good in the long run.

There is a value to strengthening ties to the past and calling upon the people who have not only knowledge but also the wisdom that comes from experience.  Even if that person no longer has any interaction with what you do, it’s just plain good karma to respect those that have achieved a high level of proficiency in a craft.  It’s one of the reasons we call a person “Doctor” even if they are not operating on us.

I can remember several years ago having my first phone call with Tony Scotti, of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute, an individual who prior to that I knew by reputation only.  As I’m chatting with him at my desk, I look to my left and on my shelf I see a book entitled Executive Safety & International Terrorism, written by Anthony J. Scotti.  I remember distinctly interrupting him mid-sentence and thanking him for what he’d done for the industry as a whole and specifically for helping me in my growth process.  That particular book was one of the 1st I purchased when I decided to get involved with the Executive Protection Industry.  Subsequently Tony and I have developed a friendship, but one that I’d describe as a mentorship because his experiences and outlook are invaluable to me.

As a side note to this, in 2011 I had my first chance to officially take one of Tony’s courses and I approached it not with the attitude of “I’ve been doing Close Protection Work for 18 years, and am also an instructor, I could teach this” but rather, here’s an individual (and a program) that has existed for quite some time and has produced quality results, let me keep my mouth shut and learn.   Additionally when I pass on things that I have learned from the program (which we all inevitably do) I try and remember to give credit where it is due.

There’s no mistaking that Immaculate Information Conception affects most of us at one time or another, but I think with self awareness we can all do our part to stop it from becoming an epidemic.

 

Originally printed in The Circuit – The Magazine for the Executive Protection Professional.  Buy it HERE.

Summit Group (Circuit Ad) 1

 

Certified Security Driving – A Student’s Review

 

By Einar Myklebust

While recently attending the ICON Executive Protection Academy I found that one of the skills they stressed over and over as vital to an individual working in the protection business was to have knowledge of motor vehicles and how they work.  I mean as protectors working with clients, we spend a lot of time in and around cars.  When asked for their recommendation, one company name kept popping up.  Tony Scotti and his Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute.  With that in mind, I did some additional research and made the decision to attend as to add “more tools in the toolbox”.  Fast forward to me on the road to southern New Jersey to attend Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute (TSVDI) for their Protective Driving Course.

When I arrived at the track at 11:30 PM the night before the class began, I was met at the gate by the Director of the TSVDI Program, Joe Autera, who was there to greet me, make sure I got in ok, give directions to the lodging, and additional information on how to find the part of the track where lessons were going to be conducted.

Day One

Started with a few hours in the classroom, where we learned a wealth of information about cars and their handling properties. One topic was G-force and the importance of calculating it for each specific car.  Another topic covered during the day was the importance of, often overlooked, tire pressure and preventative car maintenance in general.  Along these lines, there were many other details about cars that I had previously known nothing about, but which turns out to be paramount to vehicle dynamics.

Then we were told we were going to be evaluated on where we were as drivers, skill-wise, so we could chart our progression as we continued through the course.  A weather related note: as we walked outside to start our driving — It was raining hard and the wind was blasting. We had standing water in many parts of the training track.  In my mind I thought, “Well this can’t be conducive to high performance driving”. Boy was I wrong.  Thinking back, I am glad it was raining that hard as it afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot about car handling in adverse weather and see what a car is capable of in a controlled environment.

Day Two

Started at 8am with a short briefing on the day’s exercises, followed by a full day of driving. When Joe tells you “we teach to a standard, not a clock”, it’s not just words.  TSVDI actually does it. We got back to our rooms around 9:30 PM that day. They ran the attendees through our paces, over and over, until we got it right. And if anyone wanted a few extra runs for good measure, all you had to do was ask and it was done. We performed J-turns, backing up drills around cones, into garages, slalom, braking drills, straight in turns at high speed.  You name it we did it.

Day Three

Another early morning with the students finishing up a few drills, then back into the class room for a briefing on lessons learned from security driving to car jacking’s stories.  We then entered the testing phase, appropriately named Carjackistan.  A timed event encompassing runs on the track of the drills we had worked on over the 3 days of class, with unknown obstacles and a few surprises tossed in.

No review of any school or program can be accurately complete without also mentioning the instructors. TSVDI’s instructors are top notch. From their lead instructor (Janine Paul) on down the ranks, I have nothing but good things to say about their enthusiasm, skill, and attitude. I would highly recommend this school to anyone seeking to add security driver to their resume and I am confident that I came out of the program a much better driver than when I went in.  As Mark “6” James of Panther Protective Services so aptly put it in one of his remarks on the program, “You can find different, but you can’t find better.”  I agree with every word.

Einar Myklebust, ICON Alumni.

With Tony Scotti, Founder of Tony Scotti's Vehicle Dynamics Institute
With Tony Scotti, Founder of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute

Learn more at StephenBabcock.com.

Tony Scotti Offers his Views on ICON

If you’re in the Executive Protection world, chances are you’ve heard of Tony Scotti.  He’s a gentleman that has written numerous books and offered instruction for decades on the subject of how vehicles operate and how they play a vital part in the role of the Personal Protection Specialist.    If you’ve ever had the benefit of being instructed by him, know him personally, or follow his work on social media, then you know he’s famous for speaking his mind.

In light of that, I’m particularly honored by the kind words he used to describe both me and the services I provide in the areas of Executive Protection Training and dealing directly with clients.

You can find the post over at his excellent Blog, SECURITYDRIVER.COM

 

 

Tony Scotti speaking before a class attending the ICON Academy Celebrity & VIP Protection Course

 

Business of Security Interviews Elijah Shaw on Executive Protection

Larry Snow is a guy who moves behind the scenes in the Executive Protection community.  He has long ties to the industry, and as an expert in the field of Social Media, has a unique outlook– one that I share on a variety of topics.  He recently interviewed me regarding the Bodyguard Industry, with a recurring theme of the role mentorship plays.  *The above photo includes me and one of my mentors, Tony Scotti , a true gentleman that has offered me sound advice since our initial meeting.

One of the things we laughed about was the challenge to get the interview conducted due to my crazy schedule.  In fact, while you don’t see the video that accompanied this podcast, I was surrounded by half packed bags, and immediately after the interview, threw in the rest of my clothes, made a mad dash to the airport, and boarded a 18 hour flight to the other side of the world. Small Business Management or just anything that Elijah teaches isnt something I was going to miss.

If you’ve got a few minutes on the way to the range (or on the treadmill) I encourage you to give it a listen.

Click HERE

What’s So Different About The ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course?

 

In short, everything and nothing.  Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti recently said to me upon reviewing first hand the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course , “Why don’t you just call it the “Executive Protection Course”, as all of the fundamentals are here”.  Mr. Scotti, had  a great point, and my response was that I wanted to make sure those that attended knew that in addition to those fundamentals they were also getting something at the class that had a clear distinction from what they could find anywhere else.   –An emphasis on working with Celebrities and the challenges and rewards that come with that segment of the marketplace from people that still do the work on a daily basis.  As we like to describe it; additional tools for the toolbox.

Along those lines, when we made the decision to introduce an Advanced 10 day course, I wanted to again have a distinction in the market.  This time it came in the form of not just teaching how to do everything the “right way” but also how to act (and react) when things go wrong.  the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course puts an emphasis on operating in a hostile environment with a client and covers a multitude of disciplines including Risk Assessments, Threat Planning, Surveillance Detection, Counteraction Drills and medical life saving techniques, with several curve balls thrown in.   Having recently wrapped a course to positive reviews, I think we are again practicing our philosophy of giving great value and respect to the time and resources expended by the attending student.  Now looking forward to Tony stopping by the next one and letting me know what he thinks.

 

Learn more about ICON’s Advance Executive Protection Course by clicking HERE.

ICON Bodyguard Course Recap

 

ICON is proud to announce the successful completion of our October 5-day ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course!  Thank you to the 17 students that attended, making the commitment of both time and resources to achieve their individual goals of succeeding in the Executive Protection Industry.  

Like past courses, we packed the schedule with as much information, tactics, scenarios and drills as we are able to in an effort to maximize the students limited time spent with us.  In addition,this session, we were happy to have two “thought leaders” in the industry as guest instructors, namely Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James of Panther Protection Services.  Both Tony and Mark brought decades of hands-on experience from their perspective fields and everyone, from the instructors on down, were very happy to have them at the Academy.  As one previous Alumni put it, having the opportunity to hear Mr. Scotti speak on the role Armored Cars play in VIP Protection, or “6”discuss the anatomy of the shooting of Former President Reagan from both the attacker and the protectors viewpoint, was worth the price of attendance alone.

 

Next course, January 11-15, 2012.  

To sign up for future classes, which now feature scholarship and special finance options, click HERE.

 

“I recognized the enormous benefits in training internationally with like minded professionals in our field.  Having instructors and presenters that actively work within the industry and who are willing to share their wealth of practical information, transposed to world class training that was both interesting & informative, with a focus on the real aspects of the work.  I will not hesitate to recommend the course to my friends and colleagues in the industry.”  ~ Chris Feretopoulos from Melbourne, Australia on why he choose to attend the course.

Be a better Security Driver with Tony Scotti

I always say “if you want to be the best, learn from the best.”   With that said, if you want to learn more about security driving, I can’t think of a better instructor than Tony Scotti and his organization.  Here are some of the upcoming courses he has on the horizon:

The Security Driver Seminar:  A guide to providing same & effective Executive Protection Driving

SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 1, 2010

A 2 day seminar custom tailored to further enhance the capability of security practitioners – from entry-level to experienced professionals – to meet the challenges associated with one of the most critical aspects of executive protection – planning, managing and providing safe and secure ground transportation.

Through a series of intensive and informative discussions, participants will gain valuable insight into industry recognized best practices and proactive strategies that have been proven effective for detecting, deterring and responding to the full range of likely risks and potential threats which may be encountered while getting the principal from Point A to Point B…and beyond.

Key Topics to be Discussed Include: The Role of the Security Driver and How it has Evolved The Three Critical Factors of Secure Executive Transportation Fulfilling Security Needs While Meeting Expectations Legal Questions and Considerations Protective Intelligence; the Foundation for Success Surveillance Detection and Why it’s So Important Integrating Security Driving into the Broader EP Function

This is a rare opportunity for the practitioner to gain valuable insights from some of the most recognized experts in this highly specialized field today

*****

Security Driver & The Business of Protection

OCTOBER 22nd & 23rd, 2010

Industry Expert Tony Scotti will be conducting  2 executive protection seminars in the Boston Massachusetts area on October 22nd and the 23rd.  Day one will focus on Security Driving, while day 2 will concentrate on the skills needed to succeed in  the executive protection industry.

Click on links below for additional information.

Security Driver Seminar
This one day classroom program, developed and instructed by Tony Scotti, based on his 38 years of experience conducting training programs and vehicle operations in all types of environments.
http://www.securitydriver.com/training/advanced_security_driver_seminar.html

A Seminar on the “Business of Protection”

The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential – Calvin Coolidge
You can spend more time on training that increase’s your potential, or you could spend your time on training that releases your potential. Unless you can get your potential to the market place, all it is -is potential.http://www.securitydriver.com/training/business_of_protection_seminar.html