Be Klingon. Be aware

by todaystrainingblog

Okay, so I’m a Star Trek nut. But to be honest, which I usually am-not right but…, I’ve learned a lot from that denigrated TV show. And when in security it’s more important than ever to act like the fictional Lieutenant Worf, the security chief of ST:TNG on the USS Enterprise.

Let me say this before I continue. Most people in this world believe that Star Trek is a series of shows that can be highly entertaining for an hour, but beyond that it is sci-fi and fantasy. On the other hand, most people don’t look deep into the episodes and the issues, morality, & real life decisions that must be made on an every episode basis and easily translate to today’s world.

So how does Star Trek, Lt. Worf, & security relate? It’s very simple and relates not only to security but today’s modern world. And yes I am totally serious. Many of the episodes of the original series, ST:TNG and subsequent incarnations,  DS9 & Voyager, involve issues that are pertinent to terrorism, doing the right thing, &many other issues. I could easily name a bunch of episodes that speak to us today.

But being Klingon, as I have tried to model myself, is a matter of several things that we as security professionals need to do.  And why have I modeled myself after a fictional character? Simple, I believe that he is a consummate security professional from 30 years ago, and today. Here are some of the reasons;

  • We need confidence in everything we do. If we don’t exude confidence in a tense situation or when something new is being thrust upon us, then our subordinates will not buy-in. And then chaos will ensue or the situation becomes worse.
  • Inner strength. Something Klingons have in abundance. Should we have so much inner strength that we are arrogant and prone to getting upset and blowing up at someone? No, but inner strength is needed to overcome anything that comes our way, personal or professional.
  • We need compassion to be able to work with the people we supervise, manage, & try to move our way. And to understand what their individual situations are. And also we need it to be empathetic.
  • There are times when we have to be a ‘hard ass’, intolerant, bigoted, by-the-book, rigid, cop wanna be. But there are other times when we need to be the one to voice reason and tell people to step back and analyze the situation.
  • As I just stated we sometimes have to be that voice of reason, on both sides. On one side is convincing everyone that added security is a must to safeguard the facility or employees. On the next to calm everyone down when they want to slam the door and keep everyone out because they’re having a knee jerk reaction to an incident.
  • We need to be constantly training, both ourselves and our staff. And the c-suite should be included. But training them will have to be, for obvious reasons, be more subtle. If we continually train ourselves and staff, then we’ll be better prepared for anything that threatens… anything.
  • Preventive, not reactive, mindset. This is where being Klingon is probably most effective. WE as the security pros, need to be paranoid and think of the proverbially ‘what if’. If we can get into that mindset and relay that to the c-suite, production/office managers, vendors, visitors, and others then we will be on the way to creating the safest environment we can for our clients, companies, & employees.
  • Overcoming fear. This has to be grouped in with confidence. We have to overcome our fear of everything that happens and plunge in. Again, leading by example is what best defines this. If you are leading by example, and exhibit no fear in your dealings with officers, managers, clients, & the C-suite then it will be noticed by your subordinates or if you’re independent, the people you’re trying to sell your services to.

There is a lot more to being Klingon and acting that way while dealing with security. The traits of all Klingons is for honor, loyalty, stubbornness, honesty, fierceness, aggressiveness, tenderness towards others, and things that would take too long to go into here.

Suffice to say that if you act like a Klingon while completing your security duties it will be noticed. But like Lt. Worf it has to be tempered. He had to learn the intricacies of balancing both the Klingon way and the human way. And while it wasn’t all easily done he did an admirable job (which of course was the script).

So can you say the same thing? Will you rely on time worn and outdated ideas of the perfect manager? Will  you be a milquetoast? Are you up to the challenge of acting Klingon while on duty? For everyone’s sake let’s hope so. Q’apla (Success)!

And I am a Trekker, not a trekkie.  There is a difference in the definition. A Trekker is someone who knows far more than they should about any or all of the series’. A Trekkie is one who knows a lot but not nearly enough to challenge a Trekker.

All references to Star Trek, episodes, characters, & series’ are trademarks of CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.



Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear