(Here is another in a special series of articles by Jeff Cantor, an expert on personal security and close-quarters combat.)
Fortunately, the vast majority of the time, I have had the emotional discipline and the mental focus to make decisions that resulted in successful outcomes.
There were times when I was stateside and I was woken in the middle of the night by a call from the other side of the world – calling for a rapid decision.
There were other times when I had to make split-second decisions on operational challenges, ones in which people’s lives were literally at stake.
And the one common thread that connected all of these decisions was “time.” I knew how to make the best use of the time I had to make the decision.
So much of what we do is time-sensitive. Even some of the most mundane things in our daily lives – such as walking the dog or getting to work – revolve around time management.
|So much of what we do is time-sensitive.|
For myself, time has always been such a critical factor in determining the outcome and so I learned two really important lessons that I will share with you now.
No. 1: Make sure you have definite accurate deadlines. When evaluating a challenge, make sure you know exactly how long you have to make a decision, perform the task and achieve the goal.
Once when I was weeks into an anti-piracy operation, I had a difficult choice to make. A very lucrative offer for a stateside job had come onto my plate, and they needed an answer within 24 hours and boots on the ground in four days.
That meant I had to decide very quickly if I was going to stay and smell the sweet success of putting an end to a piracy operation, which was extorting money from governments, companies and people or if I was going to get on a plane, put on a suit and give dog and pony shows to upper-level executives to promote a new business concept.
|“What if I had taken too long to make my decision?”|
What if I had taken too long to make my decision? The company offering me the opportunity could have found another grunt to be their poster boy or gal and the generous offer would have dried up.
Decisions like these and others that are even more time-sensitive are difficult because the challenge is always the same – too little time and to evaluate too much information.
As an extreme example, if some thug ever attacks you, then you will have only a couple of seconds to react. Of course, in this case you will have to fall back on whatever training you have. You won’t have time to think, just act!
No. 2: You must realize that you must decide what to do while the choice is still yours. You can’t wait for events or other people to make decisions for you – because it’s self-defeating and possibly dangerous.
Once while in the middle of a jungle operation, I was chest deep in a swamp for hours.
Aside from mosquitoes on steroids, there were venomous snakes and other dangerous critters both in the water and on the surrounding land, with nighttime approaching very quickly.
We were tasked with extracting an asset who was being held in a jungle hideaway that was nearly surrounded by the swamp. And because it was nearly impossible to cross the swamp, our enemy already knew the best place to wait for our forces. So they had a full complement of land forces dug in on the dry ground between us and the camp.
In order to insert into the camp from dry ground, we had to create a diversion. By employing small arms fire from the swamp, we tricked their forces into believing that we were launching an all-out assault from the swamp.
The fake assault was so convincing that the enemy diverted the majority of their forces to the swamp to fight – creating a huge opening for my assault team to drive through and secure the asset.
Had I not decided quickly to launch a diversion from the very start of the attack, my choices would have shrunk dramatically as time passed. Eventually, the choice of when, where and how to attack, would no longer be mine.
We would have been forced to deal with our adversary’s decision and under less-than-favorable conditions. Instead, we controlled and dominated the outcome.
How much time you do have is clearly dependent upon the situation. But one thing is for sure, time allows you to think before you act and to construct a plan that includes contingencies.
Until next time, stay alert, check your six, put your back against the wall and stay safe!
P.S. I’m deeply concerned about the explosion of mass shootings and terrorism we’re seeing in places like Columbine, San Bernardino and Orlando. I absolutely refuse to stand by quietly while these kinds of tragedies continue to happen. That’s why I created FREEDOM FROM FEAR with Sheriff John Bunnell of America’s Wildest Police Videos. And it’s why it’s so critical that you view it the minute it’s released Tuesday, July 12. Click here now to register!
The dollar rose 2% against the yen today, and Japan’s stock market surged, after the country’s ruling coalition won a big victory in upper house elections, setting up clear expectations of more monetary stimulus in that country. The Nikkei stock average closed up 4 % after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s victory. Reuters reports he is likely to tighten his grip on his conservative party, which he led back to power in 2012 promising to revive the economy with hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms – a program now referred to as “Abenonics.”
International news: Theresa May is poised to become the U.K.’s next prime minister after her potential challenger abandoned her campaign. May, a Conservative, will replace her party counterpart, David Cameron, who said he would resign after the success of the Brexit vote, which he opposed. May also opposed Brexit but has vowed to see it through after the referendum supported the country’s exit from the European Union.
The contest for the prime minister post was expected to last at least two months. However, Andrea Leadsom’s campaign got off to a rocky start after she touted her motherhood as an advantage in a match-up with the childless May. It’s still not clear as to when May would invoke Article 50, which would officially set in motion the two-year process for the U.K. to leave the EU.
Starbucks said it will hike the base pay of all employees and store managers at U.S. company-run stores by 5% or more starting Oct. 3. In a letter to workers, the CEO said the amount of the raise will be determined by geographic and market factors.
The move comes amid heated discussions nationwide about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The company didn’t disclose specifics on starting salaries for various regions but said it does pay above minimum wage in all of its markets. In Seattle, where the company is based, it is in the process of phasing in a $15-an-hour minimum wage. No word if it will also mean a raise in prices at its shops.
Now, on the lighter side … Tomorrow is “Cow Appreciation Day.” In honor of that grand event, Chick-fil-A said that customers who show up at their local restaurant fully dressed like a cow will get a free meal. Last year, some 300,000 folks were moo-ved to take the deal, the company said. “Cow Appreciation Day is the one day where it’s OK to dress ‘udderly’ crazy and get rewarded for it,” Chick-fil-A said in a news release. The big event lasts from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone have a beef with that?
The Money and Markets Team