It’s 4am and my team is prepped to do one of the largest drug seizures in local history…all 16 of us stealth up to the target, weapons ready. We are in position at two points of entry for maximum penetration and rapid action on the objective. The breaching sequence comes over the radio…”Standby, Standby, Standby…BREACH BREACH BREACH!”
Without question a Dynamic Entry on a target location, whether it’s a commercial building, a house or a one bedroom apartment, it is the most dangerous Tactical operation you can do for a lot of different reasons.
What is it? It’s the kind of operation you see on TV (or perhaps you still do them) where the door is bashed open using a ram and the team flows in and clears the place and secures the bad guys.
I had the pleasure of participating in hundreds of these kind of operations.
There are some interesting characteristics about the people who do these kind of operations.
I want to share with you how you can use these same principles to ramp up anything you do.
Before I do that, be my number 2 and I’ll walk you through an entry.
It started with the plan…this method is something you can use to be more productive in your daily life.
I would head out in civilian clothes in an unmarked vehicle and begin my planning process by doing a Recce (pronounced wrecky) which is the reconnaissance phase.
If it was an apartment, our surveillance team would have already provided me with a key for entry.
If I didn’t have a key, I would just linger until someone would leave and I would dart in behind them.
Here comes the part that you can use.
Plain linear or rote memory tactics are not effective and in particular when you only very short amounts of time, chances are you will miss something.
If you want to memorize something you must associate it with familiar things
You see when I am entering a building, I get one shot to remember things like the floor levels, number of stairs, surveillance camera locations, the type of door (wood or steel), which side the handle is on, if there were numbers on the door and/or a peep hole. Not to mention I would have to plan the route into and out of the building and contingency plans.
Make no mistake I didn’t always get it 100% right…sometimes I would miss the small things.
But if it was a steel door with the handle on the right hand side, I would visualize a life size superman on the door pointing to the side where the handle was. Now looking at the door in the picture here you will see it is also outwardly opening…that’s a whole new set of challenges!
So if you have something you MUST remember, learn how to associate it with familiar things relevant and meaningful to you.
If you really want to up your memory game, watch Joshua Foer’s Ted Talk…you’ll be a rockstar in about 5 minutes!
Now after I’ve assembled the plan, the team is in the room prepped and ready, I would brief them on their roles and responsibilities.
This was my opportunity to assess their level of concentration and commitment.
You see if you have someone tasked with an important job, as a leader you must assess their ability to do that job right up to the moment it’s GO Time.
The truth is at the end of the day people are just people, they may have not slept, they may have had a fight with their spouse or they may have a sick child.
If their head isn’t in the game, it’s up to you to know your people.
I can tell you when the potential for the use of lethal force is on the table everything matters.
Here’s something else you should know.
Contrary to what you might think, people do not “Rise to the Occasion” but rather “Sink to the Level of their Training” (Col. Dave Grossman)
If they haven’t been trained and rehearsed what you have assigned them, your entire operation will likely fail.
As we rolled out to the target residence, there is a certain amount of excitement in the vehicle but as we draw close, I remind everyone one to breathe.
I’ve mentioned this to you no less than 50 times! The value of breathing before an important event, whether it is giving a talk to the crowd or going through a door…
Use your tactical breathing 4-4-4-4 (in-hold-out-hold) to engage your parasympathetic nervous system which will slow your heart rate and allow you to think clearly.
Now, as we moved stealthily to the point of entry, safeties off our weapons and the tension in the air is almost visible…every fiber in our body is on high alert…this is the time where I would rely on the inherent characteristics of SpecOps personnel…men and women alike.
Listen it takes a lot of jam to have fear and press on.
Knowing that on the other side of that door there is someone waiting to do you harm or kill you but to be able to have the courage to continue is powerful.
You know what else?
There are things you are facing that require courage…whether it’s dealing with your shitty boss at work, or facing a challenge with raising your kids, or getting your health on track… Courage.
You find it by having a conversation with yourself.
Ask “What am I capable of?”
Deep reflection, planning and execution are hallmarks to demonstrating courage.
Summoning your knowledge, skills and abilities and applying them to the task at hand. If you don’t have the immediate skills, ask for help.
There is HONOR in asking instead of risking failure.
Look when I wanted to take my dream, well my mission, of transforming 1 million lives online I asked for help…and you know what? I landed probably the top biz partner in North America! Seek Help if needed…any ass can pretend to know what they are doing and fail.
Here’s what I have learned so far in this lifetime.
You possess the courage to accomplish anything. Health, Fitness, Relationships..you name it.
Sometimes you just need someone to bring it out in you. The truth is anyone can turn a bolt, but sometimes you need someone to tell you which bolt to turn.
My job…well my MISSION is to find the courage that lies within you. To apply it to achieve anything you desire in this life.
My foot does not come off the gas pedal…neither should yours.
PS…as for the entry that I started this story with? Well we managed to secure 25 kilograms of cocaine, some weapons, cash….and a Bad Guy who started crying…BooHoo…it’s always the same with those clowns…so badass until it’s time to face the music.