Three corporate auditors tell a compelling story of how personal safety principles and skills enabled them to escape safely from a life-threatening situation.
The three professionals, two women and a man employed by one of our clients, a Fortune 100 Corporation with plants and offices located throughout the world, were on an assignment in Mexico City. Finished for the day, they took a cab from their work site, intending to return to their hotel. They were completely unfamiliar with the area and, before they realized it, the driver had driven them outside the city.
He parked in a deserted area, turned to his passengers and pulled a gun.
He demanded that they give him their briefcases and valuables. The kidnapper then ordered the man and one of the women out of the cab, clearly intending to abduct the second woman.
All three of the auditors had recently attended my seminar, OUT OF HARM'S WAY. They remembered the key points and techniques introduced and reinforced during the presentation. Calling on their own resolve, they remained calm, assessed the situation, and started looking for a weakness in their abductor.
The targeted woman, bolstered by her companions' support, realized that something had to be done. She identified a potential vulnerability and seized the opportunity to exploit it. Playing on the driver's heritage, she began to pray the Hail Mary. The would-be rapist became agitated and waved his gun at his captives. Then, abruptly, he instructed all three to get out of his cab and quickly drove away.
Each of the auditors attributes their successful escape to the methods, examples, and principles that were addressed during OUT OF HARM'S WAY. These techniques enabled them to take control of a terrifying situation and, quite possibly, saved their lives.
The moral of the story is that, without some level of personal safety training and information, our professional education may be sorely lacking. Even when we are extremely competent, it is critical that we make a commitment to invest the time to make our own safety an integral part of our lifestyle.
Although the world seems to have taken a break from international terrorism, plain and simple street crime - robbery, abduction and sexual assault - are on the rise everywhere from small Midwestern cities to major international destinations.
These facts should alert you, not alarm you. You don't want to carry a howitzer or earn a black belt in karate; and you certainly can't afford to expend time and energy worrying about how to stay safe.
Following are a few important personal safety techniques and attitudes that have literally saved the lives of business professionals around the world. These suggestions can give you the freedom from fear which will allow you to concentrate more energy on your business objectives.
FOUR PERSONAL SAFETY IMPERATIVES
Whether you are working in your own backyard or halfway across the world, to stay safe, burn into your mind these four interrelated principles.
- BE AWARE. Pay attention to your surroundings. Most professionals who are victimized are so focused on the job at hand and its impending deadlines that they forget to stay aware of what is happening around them.
- TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. You will almost always be correct. If you feel uncomfortable about an individual or a situation, remove yourself from those circumstances. Caution is not foolishness or paranoia.
- FOCUS. Home in on that negative feeling and take immediate action. Never ignore it. It's your subconscious giving you advance warning. Many crimes could be avoided if victims would seize the chance to remove themselves from danger. This window of opportunity which frequently exists for only about 30 seconds! So, have a plan.
- STAY CALM. This above all. It enables you to use your instincts, your mind, and your body most effectively.
By developing a few simple habits and focusing on your ability to perceive what's going on around you, you will greatly increase the enjoyment of your daily life and business objectives.
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