Recommended Reading For Disaster, Crisis, and Emergency Managers Part 1: Uncovering Disaster Timelines

December 6, 2018 in Books and Resources

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a number of veterans looking to enter the world of emergency management. This is a new profession for many of them, and I’ve had many discussions with them about some first steps to take as they begin learning about the field. Some of these vets had recently transitioned out of the military while others had been getting involved in disaster management by volunteering with groups like Team Rubicon, which led to the realization that managing disasters and crises was a career path that spoke to them.

While the latter option more closely resembles my personal journey into emergency management, when I first became interested in the management of disasters—both natural and man-made—I would often ask people working in the field what books they recommended I read so I could begin educating myself.  What I found shocking was that I would very rarely get a solid answer about books that would be good starting points for my personal study.

Maybe I was just asking people who weren’t book readers to begin with, but I often found myself getting directed to Red Cross training manuals or online FEMA classes as a default. While those are great opportunities to dig into the technical aspects of disaster response, I was looking to get beyond a training focus and instead deepen my understanding of disasters through education.

For veterans (or anyone else) looking to make emergency management their career and looking to jumpstart their personal education process as they transition into the field, books offer an invaluable opportunity gain a solid foundation of knowledge as they enter the field. While future posts in this series will include many more books that have contributed to my professional development in different functional areas of disaster and crisis management, here are the first three books that I recommend to Continue reading »

Weekly Profile: Articles about Red Queen Problems, Trust, On-Demand Dog Walking Problems and More. Week of 10-22-17

October 22, 2017 in Books and Resources

The Weekly Profile: with the goal of helping to find common ground and innovative solutions by learning from people and perspectives in the military, business, technology, security and more. 

Here are five articles, podcasts or videos we read, watched and listened to this week and wanted to pass along.

1. “ The Red Queen Problem: Innovation In the Defense Department and Intelligence Community.” This War on the Rocks article is written by author and entrepreneur Steve Blank to highlight solutions to many of the problems the government faces when trying to innovate. Beginning with a comparison between the approach to innovation we could use during the Cold War with the threats we face today (and how that impacts innovation), he moves into six problems and solutions that can help move organizations past simply putting the word innovation into their mission statement and then continuing with business as usual.

If you are familiar with lean manufacturing concepts or how it relates to product development, you might notice that his check for “solution/mission fit” is the same as companies searching for “product/market fit” and while at first I thought the author was just trying to relate it to the website’s military audience, after thinking about it, it really does translate the lean concepts from a business setting and into a military/government focus. As one of the major goals for The Weekly Profile is to help our subscribers find common ground between the problem they face in their field and how people have faced similar challenges in other professions, this article was one that had to be included and shared this week. You can read it here.

Follow On Reading: If you enjoyed this article, we recommend that you take a look at the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, which expands on the innovation cycle that Steve Blank discussed. While there are some aspects of the approach to product development that should be thought through by people working with the government or with first responders – specifically knowing where the consequences for undeveloped ideas lands and whether you will be putting someone’s life at risk – for those looking to bring innovation to the DoD or Intelligence Community, it could prove to be a great resource. You can learn more or pick the book up on Amazon by clicking here.

2. “These 13 Exercises Will Prepare You For Work’s Toughest Situations.” In what she calls “dynamic empathy,” the VP of Content for Nerdwallet (a finance focused website) explains how you can quickly gain an understanding of how a colleague feels so that you can figure out how to act on it in a swiftly changing environment. Using 13 different scenarios that she used to learn the skill, she has created lists of questions that you ask yourself (this is an internal exercise) that can be prepared and thought through ahead of time to ensure you are prepared to consider other people’s motivations in tough situations.

If you are getting ready to give a performance review, take a look at Scenario #1 in the list. When managing conflict and attempting to de-escalate a situation take a look at Scenario #8. If you are building and instituting new processes, consider Scenario #4. Having issues managing up and working with your boss? Consider Scenario #2. If you are an instructor or trainer, look through Scenario #5. Negotiating? Scenario #6. Regardless of your role, there is a high likelihood that one of the 13 scenarios in this article can help you and that is why we recommend you take a look at this article, which you can find here.

3. “Podcast: A Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules To Lead and Succeed.” Robin Dreeke, a former Marine Corps Officer and an FBI agent who had a career in doing counter-intelligence work with their behavioral analysis program, talks with Brett McKay about his new book The Code of Trust. We found his interview to be very interesting as he takes a look at some of the techniques that go into validating others and actually building trusting relationships. While mistrust of people, companies, governments and products seems to be pretty rampant today, Dreeke’s approach isn’t about doing anything that gives people a reason to walk all over you, simply trying to be nice to others or dishing out flattery. It is about thinking about situations from the other person’s perspective and being able to address their needs, their concerns and allow them to accomplish their goals, which in turn, also works out for you as well. You can listen to the podcast here.

4. “Crime as Jihad: Developments in the Crime-Terror Nexus In Europe.” This article from The Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point looks at the connections between criminals becoming involved in jihadism using data from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, England and France and the striking percentage of people who had criminal records before traveling to fight in Iraq or Syria. As the authors to the article point out, it isn’t just the fact that they are criminals that is important, but the reality that their criminality is relevant to their extremism, how they radicalize into violence and how they operate once radicalized.

For those of you who are students of terror and the threat that these individuals and organizations pose, this article takes a look at how the Islamic State has been encouraging “regular” crime. It highlights a few cases of criminals-turned-jihadists and looks at where future research needs to be focused as we consider the fact that of the 580 people sentenced in Europe in 2016 who had ties to terrorism, the average sentence was only five years, which connects the risk level of terrorist attacker with our calendar. You can read the article here.

5. “Wag, The ‘Uber for Dog-Walking,’ Is Drawing Uber-Like Scrutiny.” Here is a bit of a lighter article to end this week on. This Bloomberg Technology article takes a look at Wag, the on-demand dog walking company that is reported to be raising around $100 million dollars in it’s third round of financing. The problem however, is that “every time a pet dies or goes missing, Wag and Rover (a similar company) take a public relations hit,” which is starting to cause concerns for investors. Yes, you read that correctly. A problem that the company is facing is that there is an actual risk of a dog going missing or dying during their walk. Apparently, this has become a big enough problem where the company has stood up “a dedicated team to handle dog rescues.” It has gotten to the point where one former customer (who allegedly turned down $2,500 and a trip to Disney World in compensation for her dog going missing on a walk) received a threatening cease and desist letter from the company after she turned to social media to voice her concerns about the company. You can learn more about the story and read the article here.

Until next week – get left of bang and stay there.​

Patrick and Jonathan

If you’d like to get The Weekly Profile in email form, in your inbox, on Sunday mornings, please subscribe at this link.


The Weekly Profile: Improving Social Skills, Reactions to Active Shooters, Chess Experts in Finance and More. 10.15.17

October 18, 2017 in Books and Resources

The Weekly Profile: with the goal of helping to find common ground and innovative solutions by learning from people and perspectives in the military, business, technology, security and more. 

Here are five articles we read this week and wanted to pass along.

1. “How To Prepare Your Family For An Active Shooter.”This article from The Secure Dad website embraces the same concept of an article we included from Jeff Chudwin about police ambushes a couple of weeks ago: while the goal is always to get left of bang, there could be times when we can’t observe the attacker ahead of time and have to be ready to take action once something begins.  Andy Murphy, the author of the article, has been very supportive of Left of Bang but acknowledges a similar reality to the police ambush article in this write up about how to prepare your family for active shooter events.  In these situations, being right of bang isn’t a result of complacency or being caught in Condition White, but because you never were able to see the assailant ahead of time because you weren’t in the right position. Even though it isn’t ideal, it doesn’t mean you should waste a split second trying to figure out how to react either.

In this particular article, Andy Murphy uses his experience as a sports videographer and his access to stadiums and arenas to help think about the run, hide, fight reactions a person should be ready to execute if they find themselves in a situation with an active killer.  In the run section, he highlights a simple, yet effective way to prepare and rehearse that escape route.  In the hide section, he hits on something often seen in active shooter scenarios where people trying to escape end up in a room without an exit (something that occurred in the Pulse Nightclub attack). And in the fight response section, he reminds us how hard actual fighting is, and how, if you are unprepared or untrained, it isn’t as easy as it looks in the movies.

As you read the article, don’t limit the application of this particular article to stadiums either. It isn’t just that you want to find the vendor areas so that you can escape – but that you want to think about alternative routes you may not normally think about (such as how employees are moving around this arena without being seen). Don’t let domain dependence slow the learning but keep the applications of the article broad in mind as you read through it.  This is one of the top articles this week for a reason and for subscribers looking to keep their families safe; it isn’t one to skim through. To find, read and think about the concepts in this article, you can read it here.

2. ”How To Help An Employee Who Rubs People The Wrong Way.”A large portion of the client work that we do at The CP Journal involves some element of making more informed decisions about people and their safety. But we also spend a good deal of time helping people use the common elements of human behavior in areas outside of a security environment as well – such as how they can be used in conversation.  In this Harvard Business Review article about how to tackle awkward conversations, the author shows how it can cause some interpersonal challenges for managers and leaders who recognize that they need to address the problem of employees who rub others the wrong way and provides a few ways to prepare for the encounter.

As the articles drives to the point that the best way to deal with these situations is through thorough preparation, the four pillars of behavior that we write about on our site and teach in our classes can help you think about how to prepare. From decisions about what behavior you are going to display during the conversation, what type of behavior you are looking for as feedback from the person and how you set the conditions for the conversation using group behavior, the environment and the collective mood, the universal and uncontrollable elements of behavior provide a great compliment to the strategies discussed in this article, which you can find here.

3. “How the CIA Staged Sham Academic Conferences To Thwart Iran’s Nuclear Program.”This ProPublica article is an excerpt of Daniel Golden’s book Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universitiesand takes a look at some of the ways and reasons why intelligence agencies use academic conferences to lure the top minds from a range of scientific disciplines into a position to be recruited. As it can be hard to gain access to Iranian or North Korean scientists in their own country, by sponsoring conferences where they will speak and present research, intelligence agencies create a reason for them to leave the safety of their own borders and create opportunities for conversations that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them.

With an explanation about how shell companies are used to actually host the conference (so that the CIA’s name isn’t plastered all over the place), examples of how it has worked well (recruiting Iranian nuclear scientists to defect) and ways it has gone wrong (assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program), this article offers an interesting look into the world of intelligence collection and recruitment. You can read it here.

4. “Wall Street’s Best Kept Secret Is a 72-Year-Old Russian Chess Expert.”In this Bloomberg Pursuits article, James Tarmy profiles Lev Alburt. Alburt spent the early part of his life as one of the most important Russians for his ability to beat other people at chess. After being disenfranchised by Russian politics, he defected, first to West Germany and then to the U.S. Since then, he has built a business teaching the game out of his New York City apartment to some of the wealthiest and most influential people in business and finance. You can read the article here.

5. “How To Get Started With Physical Security: A Guide For Startups & Small Companies.”With so much conversation about the challenges in security, so many articles about innovative new products and so many sales pitches about what you need to protect your company, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of choices you have to sort through as you seek to protect your company from harm. This article from our friend Ami Toben is written for the small companies who have grown to the point where they need to begin thinking about how to stand up a security function.  One of the biggest reasons why we recommend this article is because it stresses the importance of, and the need to, first understated what you are looking to protect before you begin thinking about how you are going to protect it.  While it often seems like common sense, it is one of the biggest mistakes we (and Ami) see and leads to a great deal of wasted money, time and ineffective security. You can read the article here.

Until next week – get left of bang and stay there.​

Patrick and Jonathan

If you’d like to get The Weekly Profile in email form, in your inbox, on Sunday mornings, please subscribe at this link.


“Left of Bang” Added to the U.S.M.C. Commandant’s Reading List

May 25, 2017 in Books and Resources

Last week, Jason Riley and I learned that our book that we co-authored, Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, was added to the 2017 Marine Corps’ Commandant’s Professional Reading List for the Sergeant and Staff Sergeant ranks. As you might imagine, being included on this list is something that we consider to be an incredible honor.

When we first set out to write this book in the fall of 2011, we only had one goal, and that was to ensure that any Marine who wanted to learn how to read behavior and recognize threats by enhancing their situational awareness had the ability to do so. We realized that not every Marine who wanted to attend the Combat Hunter course would be able to. We know that not every Marine has the extra money to pursue similar training outside of the military on their own. But we also knew that books are easily sharable and something that can be revisited time and again and talked about amongst the members of a unit. While the book is just one of many tactics that we are using to help ensure that violent acts are prevented around the world, it continues to be one of the most impactful ways that are helping us make these skills accessible to everyone.

It is also very humbling to be added to the Commandant’s Reading List for Sergeants and Staff Sergeants as well. While the book was written with the individual Marine on patrol in mind, there are no roles better able to influence a unit than the squad leaders and platoon sergeants that Marines of these ranks fill. They see these Marines more than anyone else does and can use their experience to develop competent and proficient Marines before they deploy, making them incredibly influential members in a unit. One of the challenges that these Marines face, however, is that it can be challenging at times to put their experiences into words so that they can be shared and used as teaching tools. One of the most common comments that we hear from our readers and students is that, for the first time, they have a common terminology to explain what it is that they saw. They have a shared language to explain why what they were observing was important. And if that ability to communicate with someone else can help even just one squad leader help a new Marine elevate their situational awareness to a level of informed awareness, then I see that as a massive success.

To show my appreciation for the men and women wearing a uniform and volunteering to head into harm’s way, we have added a “Left of Bang Discussion Guide” to our library. This guide is designed to help leaders discuss the principles of how to get and stay left of bang with their unit, whether it is a formal Professional Military Education session or an impromptu debrief between the members of a team. You can find the discussion guide here.

To everyone who has read the book, thank you.

Never forget. Never Quit. Semper Fidelis.


A Situational Awareness Discussion Guide: “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life”

May 25, 2017 in Books and Resources

The goal for this discussion guide is to help leaders in organizations across the military, police, and security industries, as well as corporations, universities, and other academic institutions, have effective conversations about how the concepts discussed in Left of Bang apply to them and their organizations.

As professional reading discussions are an effective way for leaders to understand the concerns of their teams, demonstrate how they view situations and communicate values throughout an organization, each of the topics covered in this guide is followed by a statement of purpose for that particular question as well as questions for leaders to consider following the discussion for internal reflection.

My hope is that through the following questions and reflection points, leaders are able to jump start their discussions with their team about the book or situational awareness and are stimulated to create more questions of their own that solve problems unique to them. If there are any questions that come up during a discussion about Left of Bang that you are unable to answer for your team or that you would like a second opinion on, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask us using the contact form here.

Get left of bang and stay there,

Patrick Van Horne

Part 1 – The War Lab


  • Make a list of the training events you have conducted in the last year and the purpose of each event.  How much of your recent training is focused on what to do both before and after an incident occurs?  Does this align with the tasks and problems you are likely to face in your job?

Continue reading »

The Importance of Mindset In Policing

May 12, 2017 in Books and Resources

Here is a great TEDx talk given by our friend Chip Huth in 2015 that we share as a reminder to protectors, warriors and guardians in our society.  As “us vs. them” mindsets continually bombard us in our media, in our politics and in our community, stepping back to remember that we hold ourselves to a higher standard when we sign up to be a public servant can help ensure we focus on what is important and what it will take to get to successful outcomes in each encounter we have.  Take 10 minutes to watch the video below.


Left of Bang Training In Law Enforcement: A White Paper

August 2, 2016 in Books and Resources

In May of this year, Shane Wickson, a patrol lieutenant with the Cleburne Police Department in Texas published a white paper titled, “Tactical Behavioral Profiling Training For Texas Peace Officers” explaining why behavioral analysis should be taught during a police officer’s entry-level training. This paper highlights a key problem facing modern-day police officers. Despite the rising risk of officers being ambushed in the line of duty, Wickson notes, “all training that pertains to pre-attack indicators or reading situations is done on the job or via elective coursework. These courses are not usually supported by the department and individual officers usually pay for and the courses on their own.” As the concepts written about in Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life and taught in our Tactical Analysis Program are designed to take the “magic” out of threat recognition through our structured Baseline + Anomaly = Decision approach and the clear categorization of behavior into the four pillars, those components of situational awareness become the foundation that are developed throughout an officer’s career, making them more safe and more survivable while on the job.

Shane Wickson’s white paper, which was written while he attended The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, has been added to our behavioral library and can be found by clicking here.

How “Gates of Fire” Can Help Millennials and Their Leaders: Lessons and a Reading Guide

July 26, 2016 in Books and Resources

The millennial generation often gets a bad rap from people in the military and police communities for stereotypically asking their leaders “why” they are doing something instead of blindly doing what they’re told to do. While there are situations when there simply isn’t time to answer this question and you truly just need to trust the person to perform the task without asking questions, I never completely understood the criticism of people who ask the question, “Why?” Almost all of my training and experience as a Marine Infantry Officer taught me to seek out an understanding or the purpose for what we were doing, as the times when there wasn’t time for an explanation were infrequent. The pursuit of knowing why we were going to conduct any operation is summarized in the Marine Corps’ doctrinal publication, MCDP-1: Warfighting, where we were taught that there are two parts to a mission; there is the task to be conducted and the desired result from that action. The reason for the two parts is because the leader can only assign tasks based on the information currently available to them at the time. Yet, as the situations that police officers and military service members operate in are dynamic, the commander needs to allow for flexibility in how the task will be performed in case the situation has completely changed. By making the intent for the operation explicit and explaining why the task has been assigned, it allows the men and women on the ground to adapt to the situation when the initial task is no longer the best way to accomplish the mission. While tasks may become irrelevant, the intentions for the action don’t. So, for someone operating on the ground, failing to know why you are doing something and not implicitly understanding what the purpose is for an action is incredibly dangerous, as it means you eliminate your ability to adapt to any new conditions you face.

Staying committed to a certain task without understanding what that task is supposed to accomplish is dangerous because it means you are operating in a way that reveals you have been taught “what to do” and “what to think” instead of being taught “how to think” and “why to do.” Being tied to a task without a purpose requires that you get permission or guidance to do something because you are unsure of what your goal is. You become incapable of exhibiting initiative because the task was provided without context. The commander’s intent, which is the explanation of why a task should be done and what end state the commander is looking to accomplish in the operation, is the most important component of the mission because it allows for those on the ground to adapt to the changing circumstances. If this is the case, then why are people who seek that understanding considered insubordinate instead of being recognized as a professional in their field?

In the numerous articles that I’ve read about how to lead millennials, I’ve found that there are two types of people who fill the ranks as commanders in the military and police forces. There are those that embrace the opportunity to explain their intentions for an action (true leaders) and there are those that will always view junior members of their unit who ask why with contempt (dictators). A dictator might answer questions about why something is being done with phrases like “that is the way we have always done it here” for a number of reasons. This might be because they actually don’t know why they are doing something and are simply repeating the actions that they saw the person who had the job before them do. Or, it could be because the ability to step back from a situation and truly explain the purpose for something requires that they step off the path of least resistance and perhaps they are too lazy to put in the mental effort. While it’s frustrating to realize that, in this case, your own chain of command will not be a source of professional development for you, this shouldn’t hinder your pursuit of understanding what the purpose of your tasks are. You should instead focus yours effort on learning how to find these answers for yourself.

While it is perfectly logical that someone who wants to understand why something is being done would turn to the person in their chain of command who assigned the task for that answer, a critical skill for professional warriors is the ability to find the answers to these questions on their own. There are other sources you can turn to as you seek to develop yourself and your ability to define why something is being done that is completely within your control. The most accessible form of that wisdom within your control is in books, which is why many military leaders release recommended reading lists for their unit, as they often times provide the answers that the Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen might have at various points in their career.

As an example, consider the historical fiction book Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, which has found a home on many of these recommended reading lists, including the Marine Corps’ Commandant’s Professional Reading List for new Marines, both for new enlisted Marines and new officers. The story is about the 300 Spartan warriors led by Leonidas who stood up to over one million Persians at the battle of Thermopylae. The story is told Continue reading »

How To Tell Better Stories and Improve Case Study Presentations

June 25, 2016 in Books and Resources, Veterans, Business, and Security

nobody-wants-to-read-your-sh*tThis past week I had the privilege of presenting around the Los Angeles area with the Joint Regional Intelligence Center. Over the course of the three days of events, I got to hear an impactful, engaging and moving presentation about the ambush of two Las Vegas Metro Police officers from a detective in that department. As case studies and “lessons learned” presentations are so important to furthering the profession of warriors, protectors and guardians, I found myself thinking about what made this particular presentation so strong. Alternatively, as I’ve seen many of these presentations, what has made others so boring and hard to sit through? While it is easy to focus on obvious things that might detract from a presentation, like a speaker who visibly isn’t passionate about their topic or a presenter who reads their text and bullet point filled PowerPoint slides to their sleeping audience, I’ve found that the most engaging case studies and lessons learned presentations are the ones that tell the best story.

For presenters looking to improve their speaking performances, I recommend you pick up Steven Pressfield’s most recent book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That is and What You Can Do About It. The aptly titled book isn’t only for writers but also provides a number of takeaways for speakers looking to improve their presentation delivery. When it comes to improving the case study presentations, we can start with his chapter on “How To Write A Boring Memoir.” Pressfield writes: Continue reading »

“Left of Boom” – A Review

April 13, 2016 in Books and Resources

There are two things that I will always support: people who serve and support our nation’s service-members through their actions, and efforts to deny our enemies the ability to launch attacks against our country. Former CIA case officer Doug Laux is, without a doubt, one of those people, and his book, Left of Boom, is absolutely one of those efforts. I’ll be honest and admit that I only first looked into the book out of curiosity after receiving four or five emails last week from people letting me know about a new book that was published with a title very similar to mine. But after reading the book’s subtitle, How a Young CIA Officer Penetrated the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and Amazon’s book description, I not only picked it up, but became so engrossed in the story that I read it from cover to cover in a single sitting.

Left of Boom is the personal story written by Douglas Laux, one of the book’s authors and the CIA case officer who was able to infiltrate the Taliban, and his co-author Ralph Pezzullo. To provide a point of reference for our readers, while Left of Bang talks about how we can use enhanced situational awareness and behavioral analysis to identify people with violent intent as they move through the attack cycle, in Left of Boom, the authors tell the story about how Laux worked to understand the networks reaching back into Pakistan that supplied Taliban fighters in Afghanistan with IEDs, and in turn was able to help our service-members move to a point even earlier on the bang/boom timeline.

As with many books written by former CIA officers, there is the inherent excitement in reading about Continue reading »

The Weekly Profile w/ Articles About Rocky, Training, Perfection, Stories and Competitiveness. 2/28/16

February 28, 2016 in Books and Resources

Every Sunday morning, Jonathan and I send out our Weekly Profile email to our subscribers with articles to support our nation’s protectors.  By selecting articles that come from business, decision-making, training and threat recognition, our goal is to help professionals in dangerous jobs find solutions to problems by considering perspectives to specific situations from outside of their particular field. Here is this week’s email.

To receive these articles in your inbox every Sunday morning, you can subscribe here.

The articles that we chose this week weren’t intentionally selected because they are storylines from a Rocky movie, but after watching the movie Creed this past week, I can’t help but notice the similarities.  From overcoming initial obstacles, having setbacks along the way, training in an environment of constraints, having a compelling story and knowing when to be competitive and when not to be are themes in nearly every Rocky movie and likewise are in this week’s articles.

So cue “Eye of the Tiger” and start your training montage with the five articles we read this week and wanted to pass along.
1. “Transaction Cost.” This article from the Making Sense blog is a must read for professional trainers. While many of the trainers that I talk to are striving to improve the performance of their students, the fact that life goes on for a seminar attendee once the class is over is a major obstacle to be dealt with.  By applying an economics perspective to this challenge, Dr. Leon Standler’s article might be the help you need to find a way to keep your students engaged following time spent in the classroom.  You can find the article here.
2. “Failing Forward: What We Miss In a Search For Perfection.” This article from Thom Dworak of the Virtus Group (the hosts of the WINx Conference) looks at the role that failure plays in the development of new police officers in non-critical situations.  This article caught our attention because as we seek to develop protectors who can adapt to changing situations and can rely on their judgment while operating in uncertainty, the limitations that come with a zero-defect mentality can do more harm then good.  You can read the article here.
3. “The Case Against Startups Raising As Much Money As Humanely Possible.” This Fast Companyarticle shows how some of history’s most innovative companies were built not only in an environment of constraints, but also designed to solve massive problems that the world faced.  There is a line in the article that says, “there is nothing that brings people together like stress and necessity,” and as our country certainly has some pressing problems that need to be solved, there is a lot of room for people to build profitable companies who see the way forward in these areas.  Often times, our nation’s protectors operating on the ground might see ways to fix the system that they are tasked with protecting, and if that is you, you can find the article here.
4. “The Importance of Storytelling Ability.” Winning isn’t always about facts or rational thought, more often it is about motivating people to act through emotion.  As the article’s author, Ben Carlson from the Wealth of Common Sense blog, highlights, transparency and honesty are often the sources for the most compelling narratives, Whether you are looking to drive social change, be a stronger presenter, grow your business, or counter the narratives being told by our adversaries, the ability to tell stories s a key skill worth developing.  You can find the article here.
5. “Situationally Competitive vs. Always Competitive.” This article from Ben Casnocha highlights two key components to emotional intelligence (EQ): self-awareness and self-regulation.  While he never actually uses these words, as he tells the story of a team building exercise dominated by overly aggressive “leaders”, simply ask yourself, are you more likely to follow someone who is situationally competitive or always competitive?  You can find the article here.
Until next week – get left of bang and stay there.​
Patrick and Jonathan
The CP Journal​

How We Work: The Tactical Analysis Online Program

August 28, 2015 in Books and Resources

As part of our “How We Work” series, we answer questions that we have received from readers to pull back the curtain and show you the technology, principles and processes that power our business. If you’re looking for the usual weekend reading, make sure you sign up for our Weekly Profile to see those articles that we want to pass along.

In the first “How We Work” article in this series, I wrote about the technology that we use to power The CP Journal, but what I left out of that post was the technology that allows us to actually deliver our products. Our website is the place where many of our clients spend all of their time interacting with us. Whether it’s reading something on our blog, downloading a resource from the library or going through the Tactical Analysis Program in the Academy, there are few things that impact the learning process for our clients as much as our website does.

These are the tools we use to build and deliver our online program on The CP Journal website: Continue reading »

How We Work: Collecting Information and Staying Current

August 21, 2015 in Books and Resources

As part of our “How We Work” series, we answer questions that we have received from readers to pull back the curtain and show you the technology, principals and processes that power our business. If you’re looking for the usual weekend reading, make sure you sign up for our Weekly Profile to see those articles that we want to pass along.

A common question we get from Weekly Profile subscribers relates to the variety of sources of information that we pull from each week in our recommended articles. The question is usually expressed along the lines of, “Do you guys actually go to all of those websites every week to see if there is anything new? Isn’t that really time consuming?” The short answer to this question is no, we don’t go to these sites every week. Instead, we use a number of tools to organize our reading and all of the research that we are doing. We know our readers are busy. We can help you find a way to centralize information in one spot. Here is how we at The CP Journal do it and how you can access it.

We rely on two tools, Feedly and Hootsuite, to centralize information and research. These platforms let us create streams for the eight different areas that help us find sources of information that are relevant to us. These eight areas include: Continue reading »

Weekend Reading and a Podcast

August 7, 2015 in Books and Resources

Here is the weekly reading list of articles that we found to be valuable.

1. “The Writer’s Most Important Skill.” This article by Steven Pressfield looks at the one very controllable element to becoming a successful artist and entrepreneur.

2. “How To Avoid Getting Pickpocketed.” This article from the Art of Manliness provides a look at some of the techniques that criminals and pickpockets use to separate you from your cash.

3. “Why It Takes So Long To Board an Airplane and  How To Fix It.” Interesting, thought provoking, and something you will think about anytime you fly.

4. The “New Rules” for musicians by Bob Lefsetz. While the rules are written about how to get ahead in the music industry, the applications to startups are readily apparent.

5. “Entrepreneurship: The Purest Form of Unconventional Warfare.” An article written by EM Burlingame at the Havok Journal about the parallels between military operations and getting a company off the ground.

Want to listen to a podcast?

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk to Jordan Harbinger and Jason DeFillippo from the Art Of Charm Podcast about “Left of Bang” and situational awareness.  They’ve had some incredible guests on their podcast and put out some great interviews, and once we started talking, it became clear why.
I had a lot of fun on this one and there are two ways you can listen to it:
On their site which you can find here.
Download it from iTunes here.

Weekend Reading: 7/31/15

July 31, 2015 in Books and Resources

Here are some articles that we thought were worth passing along:

1. An article from Fred Wilson at about the value of changing your perspective after spending a winter “On the Beach.”  If you don’t change your viewpoint every once in a while, you might always see the same things.

2. An article from Mark Suster at about “What You Can Learn From A Scorpion.”  He talks about what happens with startups when their big established competitors decide to crush them.  There are a number of parallels to the life of protectors, police officers and service-members.

3. Here is an article from James Altucher about “What Happens When You Don’t Care.” Here are 6 things that he learned and changed in his life when he stopped caring about things outside of his control.

4. “How Boulder Became America’s Startup Capital.”  A look at some of the history that has allowed Boulder, CO to have 6x more high tech startups per capita than the nation’s average, and a wide range of businesses across a number of industries.

5. “The Nerd’s Guide To Learn Everything Online.” A great TED talk video by John Green about how online education can change the way those seeking to better themselves can learn.