Lee Sherratt is the CEO of Elite Bodyguard Ltd which is located in Holland Court, Norwich; here is a link to its website:
Q: How did you get into the security business?
A: Many years ago when competing on the British Judo team I was encouraged to earn some extra money by working in security. I carried out my first role at the ripe old age of 17 as a Doorman (back then we were unfortunately known as bouncers!) at the cock Tavern in Edmonton London. This was way before licensing reform and certainly before formal training and qualifications. The Cock Tavern was known to be a bit of a spit and sawdust place then and fights and ejections were quite frequent. I’m happy to say I survived and over the years I gained valuable life experiences in interpersonal and people skills along with an understanding of situation management and threat assessments. I decided to learn whatever I could from as many people as possible, extracting the best practice and further developing my skills. I worked with the MOD and was a contractor for the Home Office for a while and the carried out various Private contractor roles, homing my skills to be an effective Close Protection Operator.
Q: What is you role in Elite Bodyguard LTD?
A: I am the Chief Executive Officer and lead Director for Elite Bodyguard Ltd along with partaking in an active role as a company Director for the Elite Academy of Security Training Ltd (our International training arm)
Q: What was you most dangerous job?
A: Danger can be defined in many way’s, I have worked both armed and unarmed over the years in various locations and countries throughout the world. Every job has an element of danger or there wouldn’t be a need for protective security? Its about waying up the risk and appying the appropriate action in order to minimize the perceived threat.
Q: What personality characteristics make someone a good bodyguard?
A: Communication, vigilance, interpersonal skills and being able to adapt quickly to situtions you find yourself in whilst remaining synonymous with your environment. A professional Bodyguard or Close Protection Operative is required to be assertive committed and a quick learner in order to overcome any difficult or dangerous situations.
Q: What is the biggest change you have seen in the personal protection industry in your career?
A: Without a doubt the formal qualifications and standards that are now in place, in the UK we are known Globally as the pioneers and leaders for training and qualifications. I am very humbled to not only carry the required license and qualifications but to also deliver training via our Academy, I get to teach those I look to employ – ideal!
Q: What was you most challenging job?
A: Enuring the safety of millions of visitors, VIP’s and service personnel throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games. The enormous size of the task along with the increased perceived threats made my role extremely challenging but also very rewarding. It was an honor to be involved in such a crucial element of Pre-games training and assessment and operating at the biggest Global media event of 2012.
Q: What is the most common misconception about your industry?
A: I think the perception and pre-judgment of those who have little or no understanding of the levels of expertise and commitment provided by protective personnel. They often believe the Bodyguard / Close Protection Operative lacks intelligence and is a huge monster like figure when realitiy shows us they are not. They plan, check, assess, cover and deliver a thorough and complete security blanket for their principal, putting their life on the line to keep the principal safe. Mindless and thug are two words that should never be associated with the modern day Bodyguard.
Q: What do you think the best form of personal security is for a person who cannot afford a bodyguard? (handguns, mace, ect….)
A: Vigilance and common sense – stay switched on and don’t compromise yourself. In short don’t let yourself become a victim! And if in doubt seek help or advice form a professional protective provider.
Q: Without mentioning any names; who was the biggest diva you have ever had to deal with and how did you accommodate him/her?
A: I have worked for many devas over the years and fnd that e best way to accomodate them is to bend to their wimms only putting your foot down if their request is likely to compromise their or your safety. Diplomacy is key and keeps you employed!. It’s all about rapport and trust, if your principal trusts you then often they will listen to your view and advice, if its minor and not an issue then let them have their way.
Q: When do you know you need a bodyguard?
A: If you believe you are being followed or stalked, if you are travelling somewhere where there is an element of risk or if you are a person of high net worth, have a high media profile or work as an executive within a targetted organisation. Consider your options, Good companies will help you, they can provide a security survey and threat assessment and advise you of their findings. Our primary objective is your safety!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)