Managed Travel: Curriculum For High Risk Travelers

Each day an employee spends on the road increases their exposure to risk. They’re often in unfamiliar places, eating unfamiliar food, and operating on less sleep than they would get at home. Frequent travelers may have thousands of times more risk each year from exotic illnesses and food and water borne disease. Add this to language, clothes and hairstyles that set them apart from the crowd and they become targets for opportunity crimes from simple assault to kidnapping. Travelers must be their own first responders, and companies should send them into the world prepared for the most likely situations they will encounter. Here’s a simple list to form the foundation for traveler training.

  1. Review Duty of care / Duty of loyalty
  2. Risk management: population statistics and measurement tools.
  3. Travel risk drivers – causes, probabilities, and responses.
  4. Travelers need to know what resources are available for them, and how those resources will connect with them.
  5. How does your travel team know where you are?
    • Methods – traveler tracking via GDS Queue, GPS ring-fencing, traveler check-ins, active outbound calling to the traveler, VIP Security Teams.
  6. Medical, Travel, and Legal support available.
  7. Communication devices – Satellite phones, PLB’s.
  8. VIP kit bags – Vest, PBE, PLB, SAT phone, First Aid; including driver and VIP transport
  9. Personal travel kit.
  10. How to respond to a non-criminal crisis – consider type, location, and sensitivity to employee-level.
  11. Weather events.
  12. Accidents
    • Vehicle
    • Other accidents
  13. Illness – acute, persistent, poisoning.
  14. How to respond to a criminal crisis – Describe roles for people, locations, and traveler behavior.
    • Target selection.
    • Assault, Theft, Kidnapping, property crime.
    • Avoid or Respond.
    • Civil unrest.
    • Terrorism.
    • Threats, bombs, and assaults.
Risk Management Travel Management

How to Conduct a Salary Negotiation

Salary negotiations are something most people think about related to executives. Not true. They go hand in hand with “will” and “will not.” The important list everyone has about what they’re willing or unwilling to do in any job.

During my “Career Transition” course, I’ve met people who are surprised when I show them how to negotiate for a new position with their current employer. Negotiation covers more than your salary – time off, flexible work hours, flexible work days, your cube location or anything else that matters to you and the time to bring it up is right after you’ve been offered a job.

Your “Will / Will Not” list is important – it’s critical – but the time to refer to your list is after you’ve been made an offer. Here’s why. By the time an organization has completed the steps to identify their top candidate for a role, they’ve already imagined what life will be like with you on their team. Even if the job required a candidate to move. They think you’re amazing – that’s why they’re willing to hire you. So if you really are amazing, wouldn’t they rather let their new “amazing” employee work from home in Dallas, than an office in Charlotte? Maybe, but you’ll never know if you tell the recruiter on day-one that you’re not willing to move. Once you have the offer in-hand you have something that didn’t exist when you were a candidate – now you’re the selectee and selectees have leverage because hiring managers and recruiters don’t want to be wrong. They picked you because you’re the best.

On to the negotiation. Never accept an offer before you have seen all the details in writing. Thank the recruiter or your new boss for their call and say politely, “Thank you for your offer – I’m delighted, and I’m looking forward to reviewing the details in your written offer.” Review the offer once it’s received – most companies will send it via Fedex, so they know when you’ve received it. They’re ready to move forward so you may get a call asking when they’ll receive a signed acceptance letter. That’s when you kick off the negotiation. Here are the steps:

  • Thank them for the offer and their work and effort to get it to you.
  • Tell them you have a few concerns and would like to address them.
  • Ask the caller if he/she has the power to negotiate with you about the offer?
  • If they can negotiate, point out that you will accept their offer if they can make a good faith effort to resolve your concerns.
  • Share your concerns (you want a window office, salary too low, bonus structure insufficient, you can’t pull the kids out of school until May, etc…).
  • Stay positive and keep it light, and give them a chance to respond.

Live the life you want not the one others try to give you.

Coaching

Great Answers to Tough Questions About Your Salary During a Job Search

Salary conversations are one of the most difficult steps in any career transition. You don’t want to leave money on the table or be under-paid relative to your peers, but too often it’s a lop-sided conversation – the HR manager has much more information than you do – and the imbalance is getting worse. Armed with information about the recruiter’s point of view and their resources can help.

At some point during your job search a recruiter will ask you an uncomfortable salary question – when they surface late in the process you may be ready to answer, but when a salary question arrives early, and unexpectedly, it creates stress and uncertainty.

Salary bombs come in many shapes and sizes, but often sound like this,

  • “How much do you make?”
  • “How much did you make in your last job?”
  • “What are your salary requirements?”
  • “How much do you expect to earn?”

Recruiters will ask because they want to increase their success rates. There are two issues – the first is your salary and benefit expectations for the current role; the second, and less important, is your salary history. Most people assume previous salaries will be used to negotiate a lower offer. That may be the case with unprofessional or inexperienced recruiters, but you should assume you’re negotiating with a professional, and tap into their competitive drive to find a great candidate in their price range. There’s no point to pursue a candidate who would never accept a low offer, so the question about salary requirements is an easy way to vet the candidate pool, improve the recruiter’s success rate, and reduce workload. When it comes to questions about your salary history the problem is your previous role and responsibilities may have little correlation to the job you’re interviewing for now, and your current salary is irrelevant.

Your response matters; mishandle this and you’re no longer a candidate. Handle it well, and you could be on your way to an offer for your next great opportunity.

Rehearsing your response will give you an edge. Try turning it around on the person who asked:

  • “Rather than answer your question I have one of my own. How much have you budgeted for the position?”
  • “In my previous role, I managed a ten-member team, and this position has eight direct reports and thirty people – it’s very different than my current job.”
  • “How much do you think it’s worth?”

In another approach you could point out that given your skill-set, the job description may expand substantially by the time you’re finished with the interview process. If the recruiter can confirm that the company’s salary and benefits are competitive in their industry for that location, then you’re confident you can work something out once the details are known. This shelves the conversation and lets you pass through their “screen” to move forward in the process.

Sometimes nothing works, they hold their ground and don’t allow you to deflect. When a recruiter insists you provide an answer about your current or previous salaries, as long as you asked them to clarify how the information will be used, you can be confident that you’ve done everything you could to help yourself. It’s time to provide factual details. Don’t offer a compensation number, then add medical, 401K, bonus, and other perks, to give them an inflated value…like $200K when your base compensation is $130K. Recruiters have access to a powerful tool – the Equifax Verification Service, theworknumber.com, a subscription service that many companies use to verify employment history and salary information. You can’t lie about your salary and get away with it. You should tap into a source of power for job seekers – Glassdoor.com. Although salary ranges published on Glassdoor are self-reported, it could be very helpful to ask your recruiter to explain the numbers and ranges for similar positions found there about the company you are interviewing with now.

Whatever you do, once you’ve given them an answer don’t negotiate against yourself – only negotiate once a formal offer has been delivered.

Human Resource professionals want to be successful partners to the companies and organizations they support – stay focused on your value and let them be your champion to explain why you’re worth more than everyone else.

Coaching Featured

How to Handle Turkish Carpet Sellers

Hagia Sophia

Travel to unusual places can challenge you in new ways – especially westerners who are not accustomed to aggressive sales people. These are entrepreneurs who stand guard over bus stops, train stations and tourist locations to offer themselves as guides, or to grant you wi-fi service at their “Uncle’s” store. They ask where you’re from and then tell you about the time when they were an exchange student in your hometown. Another favorite is to ask about your area code, and then announce their Brother lives in that part of New Jersey, and that’s how they know it.

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Their goal is to push you into a sales-funnel, wrapped in hospitality, and fueled by your guilt to repay something helpful they produced early in the exchange. They understand western manners – the quid pro quo polite people live by. They insist on serving hot tea and hold it up as a custom in their country that guests must be treated like royalty when they step across the threshold into their store.

Rugs are my favorite. In your home they become obvious conversation starters – no one could miss that interesting silk runner inside your front door. It’s a status symbol that will remind your neighbors that one time you attended a conference in Istanbul or a bus tour through Morrocco, or a back-packing misadventure in India. Once you have a cup of warm tea in hand, you owe them a chance to show you two or three carpets. They’ll show you the inexpensive cotton one, then move up to the wool, before pulling down the gorgeous silk rug you’ve been eyeing since you sat down. The small wool rugs are about the price of your hotel room, so they don’t seem like a huge commitment. Besides, when would you be back in Rajasthan, or Turkey, or Morrocco, or wherever this pitch happened to be?

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The tea is good, so you start thinking about what your significant other will say when FEDEX shows up with a tube at your front door. “Oh, that?” you’ll say, and remember how guilty you felt about trying to leave before the entire show, and picturing the small mountain of rugs they’d already pulled down and rotated to demonstrate how the colors change when you look at it from the other angle, and how, when you flipped them over it became a “summer” rug to keep the floor cool. You’re starting to sweat like the assistant who was pulling down enormous carpet rolls, all the while insisting “this is easy – you deserve to make a good choice, and you can’t do that unless you see many colors and these amazing, hand-woven, carpets made by the woman you saw in the room we passed-by earlier.”

Turkish Carpets

“Hey – at least I didn’t buy the hand-made 8’x10′ silk rug from Pakistan!” You weren’t even going to buy the small wool rug until they showed you the enormous shipping log that listed three people from your hometown as sophisticated travelers who commemorated their trip by purchasing the biggest silk carpet in the store.

How do you travel to India, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Morrocco or any other country without buying a carpet that looks completely out of place in your New York loft or California contemporary? You thank them for the tea and say, “maybe someday, but not today.”

Paul Laherty has participated in several carpet presentations, and so far, has managed to avoid an awkward conversation with his wife, the decorator, and architect in their house.

Sales & Marketing Trip Reports

Armored Attitude

Attitude is the most important ingredient for your survival and security. Survivors share a realistic belief about their capabilities and likely outcomes. Survivors have an “Armored Attitude.” Don’t confuse this with unbridled optimism from pom-pom waving cheerleaders. An Armored Attitude is a rare approach to adversity, but it’s extremely effective.

Awareness is another powerful ingredient. Awareness is the preparation and the dynamic evaluations people make as they move through space – often called situational awareness. Awareness isn’t sufficient to find a solution in high risk situations or events. Awareness is a starting point. High awareness gives you an edge and allows you to consider alternatives as risk increases, meanwhile attitude is the motivation layer that guides you to safety.

Survivors thrive because they understand that 9-1-1 is never immediate – it’s only a back-up. Survivors with an Armored Attitude understand that Police and Fire Fighters are Second Responders. You must be your own First Responder. Remember the Cheerleaders – they’re the one’s who let their guard down when the Cavalry shows up. Survivors don’t stop fighting while there are still choices to make.

In Tim Larkin’s, How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of your Life, he offers a thought experiment that asks how you would feel if a muscle-bound 300 pound man was paid to harm you? Tim doesn’t ask if you could defeat this opponent, only if you could “touch” him. It’s easy to imagine that you could put your hands on this guy, but harder for most people to envision walking away from the encounter. Tim teaches you how. It’s that attitude that gives you an edge. His program, TargetFocusTraining, teaches exceptional skills to average people and can help you develop an Armored Attitude.

Another great resource to help you develop an armored attitude comes from Tim Schmidt, the founder of U.S. Concealed Carry. Tim is an expert who knows how important attitude is. He has been a strong advocate for Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Dave Grossman’s “Bulletproof Mind.” Dave’s program educates people about personal defense techniques and ideas. Between the two of them, you’ll get a terrific education in the power of attitude.

Case studies demonstrate how planning can build an environment to create winners with an Armored Attitude. Southlake, Texas, a city with 35,000 residents has an incredible record in High School football. Southlake Carroll High School has won the Texas state 5A football title five times in the past ten years and three former Dragon’s suited up for the 2011 Superbowl. In the late ’90’s the Dragons outgrew their existing facility, but rather than divide their students between two High Schools, Carroll ISD kept 9th and 10th Graders together in the original building, while 11th and 12th grade students moved to a new “Senior” High School. From kindergarten to graduation students in the Carroll School District are Dragons – a unified mascot across Southlake established an enormous fan base. Dragon’s symbolize the entire city, not just their football team, and residents have high standards and higher expectations.

Another example may answer the question – Why are Marines so tough?  Organizational marketing drives their confidence and attitudes. Marines benefit from the same ingredients that make Southlake Carroll so tough. Individually Marines are evenly matched against US Army Infantry soldiers, but Marines have a different belief system. Every Marine is a Rifleman first, and that expectation is drilled into them from their first day. Marines are indoctrinated to feel like they’re part of an exclusive, neglected, and scrappy organization that can’t depend on anyone else for survival, and their mission profiles and history provide ample evidence to support those attitudes. Meanwhile, the Army lowers expectations and motivation by dividing its forces into three broad groups: Combat Arms (Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers), Combat Support (Chemical, Military Police, Military Intelligence, Signal), and finally, Service Support (Medical Service, Quartermaster, Logistics, etc.). Expectations are stratified by design. Many Support soldiers believe they will not be needed to perform combat operations – “we won’t need to use our weapons” is a common attitude in the support ranks and contributes to lower motivation and performance in combat skills. Unarmed civilian contractors hired to perform many duties carried out by support units contribute to that belief system by serving as an existence proof that those thoughts are accurate. Army Warfighters are professional high achievers, but on balance, it probably takes fewer Marines to put more rounds on a target.

Violent weather, mechanical failures, bad luck, criminal mischief, and civil unrest swallow targets everyday on any part of the globe. No matter where a threat comes from or what form it may take, an Armored Attitude combined with good situational awareness will give you an edge that may be the difference between an interview with you than an interview about you.

Coaching Risk Management

Uber is the greatest thing since the iPhone


31bits-uber-hpMedium

Uber is awesome – it’s changed my life. Enroll using this link to receive a free $30 credit. https://www.uber.com/invite/9k7pk

The technology revolution has a firm hold on travel. Los Angeles hosted GBTA2014 and showed off a lot of positive changes.  Like most American cities that grew up after World War II it was designed for cars and public transportation is well behind contemporary European and Asian cities. When I moved out of LA in 2008 you couldn’t find much downtown on the weekends, but expansion around Staples Center and LA Live have turned the concrete landscape into a city-dwellers dream. There are people everywhere now, all the time, and people need transportation

Visitors should still opt for a rental car if they’re planning to visit more than one or two areas within the metro area, but technology’s enormous reach has finally arrived in Southern California. Uber.

Cabs in LA are expensive, and slow traffic and long distances have conspired to make taxi’s uneconomic. By July, 2014 Uber had become a market-maker in Los Angeles; waits for a car were never more than 7 minutes. After two days and five or six rides, I was a raging fan. A week later, and I was ready to swear lifetime allegiance.

Uber introduces riders to their driver and their car before it arrives. Every time the “Sam in a Prius” pulled up, I felt like I was greeting a friend. I began to notice an “Uber Waive” – a practice where Uber-users flashed their mobile phones at the unmarked car as if to say, “Hey – I’m the guy who called you through the app.”

Every car that picked me up was clean. Every driver was courteous. Every fare was cheaper than I was expecting – so much so that I want Uber to add a way for me to offer the driver a tip. At one point I was so impressed that I asked a driver to travel around the block before “ending my trip” so he could collect a tip. He refused. Only later did I realize that the receipt I received via email a minute or two after stepping out of the car contained a map of our journey together – to reassure riders that they were delivered by the shortest route.

Many times the driver who accepted my request would call to confirm the pickup location and ask about my destination. Once, when I needed ride from downtown to Redondo Beeach, a 30 mile trip, the driver said that he had an appointment he didn’t want to break, and would I allow him to turn the trip down? Yes – and the next driver who accepted my trip was delighted to take me to the South Bay. How many times have you ridden in a cab and the driver was visibly irritated by something? It just doesn’t happen with Uber.

Uber provides an incredible experience – all of it positive. By the end of the week as I stood on the curb outside my hotel and watched people hail cabs – I just couldn’t stop thinking they’re “suckers” from another era. Uber changed my life.

Travel Management

Locks, Vaults, and Fences

Locks are only a delaying mechanism. That’s it. They don’t keep bad guys out, they merely impede progress. Walls do the same thing, as do fences. Good security relies on layers of protection. Distance to separate a building from a street, a locked front door to slow entry, a hidden safe to protect documents or valuables. Each layer can be defeated, but each adds time for a response.

Valuable items can only be protected with an overwhelming response. Locks and vaults are not sufficient, yet most businesses think they are. Consider the “rooftop burglaries” by jewelry thieves in Texas who knocked off a series of jewelry stores over a period of months. They disabled sophisticated alarm systems and entered through holes they cut in the roof. Then they spent six to ten hours to cut through commercial grade safes before gaining entry to the valuables inside. It’s no surprise that Monday mornings keep every police force in the nation busy to complete damage and theft reports. That’s when business owners return to the office to find broken windows, missing merchandise and evidence of other crimes.

The US Federal Reserve Bank of New York has an engineering marvel beneath the massive building at 33 Liberty Street to house gold bullion for the United States and other countries. A vault constructed on the bedrock below lower Manhattan. Here’s a description from their documents:

“The gold also is secured by the vault’s design, which is a masterpiece of protective engineering. The vault is actually the bottom floor of a three-story bunker of vaults arranged like strongboxes stacked on top of one another. The massive walls surrounding the vault are made of a steel-reinforced structural concrete.”

“There are no doors into the gold vault. Entry is through a narrow 10-foot passageway cut in a delicately balanced, nine-feet-tall, 90-ton steel cylinder that revolves vertically in a 140-ton, steel-and-concrete frame. The vault is opened and closed by rotating the cylinder 90 degrees. An airtight and watertight seal is achieved by lowering the slightly tapered cylinder three-eighths of an inch into the frame, which is similar to pushing a cork down into a bottle. The cylinder is secured in place when two levers insert large bolts, four recessed in each side of the frame, into the cylinder. By unlocking a series of time and combination locks, Bank personnel can open the vault the next business day. The locks are under “multiple control”—no one individual has all the combinations necessary to open the vault.”

The Federal Reserve has a good system – they even have a dedicated, uniformed, armed protection force to provide security.

An armed response force is the element most companies neglect. Too often companies and individuals rely on government supplied police to fill that role. Corporate security teams rely on police departments to prioritize resources in their favor, but plaques and free lunches aren’t worth much when the police department is inundated and overtasked during and after a major local crisis. Enormous sums are spent to house and monitor valuables, but active defense might include an unarmed security officer in a blazer with a two-way radio, left without any means to produce a credible threat to a motivated opponent. When chaos rules, 9-1-1 forces become reporters, not responders. Organizations must plan to be self-sustaining and deliver integrated control over the entire security defense and response lifecycle.

Risk Management

Business Continuity and Asset Protection

Sound protection for data, Intellectual Property, real property, and other day-to-day assets companies and senior management must secure demands that plans and procedures recognize threats posed by employees with access to those assets. Security managers tend to spend effort on low probability events including, tornadoes, fire, civil unrest and others while ignoring the risks their own employees create.

In 2009 a programmer at Goldman Sachs stole code used by the bank to run their high-speed trading operations. Sergey Aleynikov worked as a programmer at Goldman Sachs, and left his job with “hundreds of thousands of lines” of source code. Although he was prosecuted, the charges were thrown out. From the Guardian, “Because Aleynikov did not ‘assume physical control’ over anything when he took the source code, and because he did not thereby ‘deprive [Goldman] of its use,’ Aleynikov did not violate the [National Stolen Property Act],’ the court wrote in its decision for United States v Aleynikov.”

More recently Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was betrayed by a security staffer who carried a bomb into a staff meeting. Syria is conducting a war and the senior leadership team has been holding frequent planning meetings. This is an organization that is already on the highest alert, yet the blast killed Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat (al-Assad’s brother-in-law), and Hasan Turkmani, a security adviser and assistant vice president.

In case you think Syria is an extreme example consider this case. In December, 2009, another suicide bomber attacked a CIA operations center in Khost, Afghanistan which killed eight Americans. Most were CIA agents. Like the Syrian attack, the suspect was well-known to the people he targeted. A week after the bombing, NBC news published an article that identified the attacker as Humam Khalid Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 36, a Jordanian Doctor and al-Qaida sympathizer from Zarqa. The CIA planned to use him to infiltrate Al-Qaida as a double-agent.

Internal threats are real and have potential to cause serious damage. And none of the expensive firewalls, access control systems, alarms, fire-suppression, locks, gates, fences and security systems companies are already sustaining can prevent loss from a Trojan Horse. You must consider ways to compartmentalize data and assets and limit the damage caused by theft or malicious destruction employees can do to a company or organization.

Risk Management

Duty of Care and Duty of Loyalty

Duty of Care is the idea that Corporations are responsible for the security of their employees during travel and when engaged in activities that support the company’s interests. The European Union’s Duty of Care Act is the most prominent regulation in Europe to codify this requirement. The EU spells out how companies should behave regarding employee safety and security, but the United Kingdom took this a step further with the UK Manslaughter Act that allows companies to be held criminally liable for harm that come to their employees. The regulation applies to UK employees abroad, or the non-UK Company employees while they are in the UK to conduct business. These regulations jump-started the Duty of Care industry in Europe and North American Corporations are still playing catch-up.

Duty of Care describes the set of behaviors, planning, and actions companies must take to safeguard their employees. Duty of Loyalty is the concept of employee compliance with their employers’ efforts on their behalf. If a company makes a car service available, or requires employees to meet minimum safety guidelines, Duty of Loyalty is the force that compels an employee to meet those standards. Companies that go out of their way to create a high quality of life for during employee travel and are proactive about serving travelers on the road will generate much higher loyalty. Companies undermine their employees loyalty through cumbersome or overly-restrictive policies and should strive to strike a balance that rewards loyal behavior while not driving the employee to another company.

Risk Management Travel Management