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

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

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