CARVER+ SOFTWARE ONLINE COURSES FREE CARVER Chapter Login

Keep Punching! Once in a Decade Opportunity

monday security memo Aug 02, 2022

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Keep Punching! Once in a Decade Opportunity 

Morning Al,

Since moving back to Florida a year ago, I decided to take up the sport of boxing. I don't formally compete mind you - I am a little too old to be squaring off against younger foes in the ring - but I do enjoy a hard workout in the gym. One of the mottos that I've incorporated from the boxing world into the security consulting world is the phrase, "Keep punching!" While it may sound overly simplistic, these two words are exactly what it took for me to survive my first decade as an entrepreneur.

As any small business owner would agree, you can - and frequently do - take a metaphorical "beating" on a regular basis (i.e., cashflow problems, legal issues, fierce competitors, etc.). There were plenty of days that I felt like Rocky Balboa (in the original movie) when Apollo Creed was using Rocky's head as a punching bag. The only way to survive the turmoil...

Continue Reading...

The Larry Bird Work Ethic

monday security memo Oct 04, 2021

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

The Larry Bird Work Ethic

When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, one of my favorite memories was watching classic NBA match ups on TV, with my dad, between Larry Bird's Boston Celtics and Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers.

My dad, who was a 30-year high school basketball coach (and also played in the NCAA Final Four in college), would always point out that while Bird didn't have the natural athletic ability of Magic (or usually anyone else on the court), he more than made up for it by being the most mentally and physically prepared player and by giving the greatest effort. Bird's relentless dedication to practice and his obsession with improving his fundamentals were legendary.

Ever since high school, Bird was known to begin each-and-every morning with 500 jump shots. He also had to hit 99 free throws in a row or else he would start over (he had the highest free throw percentage in the NBA four times). He then...

Continue Reading...

Security Consultants vs. Security Contractors Report

monday security memo Jul 26, 2021

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Security Consultants vs. Security Contractors

Hi Barbara,

In over 20 years of working within the Intelligence Community, as well as the private security industry, I have come across many misconceptions about my profession. On the intelligence side of the house, there is an obvious misconception that spies drink martinis, travel to exotic locations, and engage in adventures similar to that of James Bond. When in reality, the majority of intelligence officers (myself included) prefer a smooth scotch, travel to some real "armpits" of the world, and honestly spend more time typing reports than Miss Moneypenny.

When I transitioned into the private security world, I also found a major discrepancy... knowing the difference between being a security consultant and a security contractor. Unfortunately, the terms seem to be used interchangeably, yet couldn't be more different. So, allow me to give you the proper definition...

Continue Reading...

Reflections on a Decade in the Security Consulting Business Report

monday security memo Jul 19, 2021

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Reflections on a Decade in the Security Consulting Business Report

Exactly ten years ago today, July 20th 2010, my company, Security Management International, LLC was officially formed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. At the time, I was a naïve 37-year old guy, who thought that I could take on the world. I vividly remember standing on the balcony of my one-bedroom apartment in the city of Rosslyn that day, overlooking the Potomac River and the shiny white monuments of the Washington DC National Mall, and imagining what I could accomplish by the year 2020. It’s amazing what a decade can do.

Today, as I write this issue of the “Monday Security Memo,” I am sitting on the back porch of my waterfront home on the island of Siesta Key, Florida. I’ve graduated from the rat race of city living to a more tranquil environment for me and my family. Behind the palm trees in front of me, I can...

Continue Reading...

Write Your Character Report

monday security memo Sep 27, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Write Your Character Report

Like many Americans, I am thrilled that football season is back.  Political posturing and social debate aside, watching football is still a welcome outlet from what has been a difficult year for many, thanks to COVID-19.  To get into the spirit of the season, I spent the weekend reading a book entitled, The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons from Vince Lombardi, The World's Greatest Coach.  It was written by Lombardi's son, Vince Jr. 

Now, for those who don't follow American football, Vince Lombardi is regarded as one of the most successful coaches ever, leading the Green Bay Packers to multiple championships in the 1960s.  He is so well-respected that the Super Bowl trophy is actually named after him.  Furthermore, his dedication to the game - and his strict adherence to mastering the fundamentals - has made him a timeless reference for...

Continue Reading...

Clint Eastwood was right... Report

monday security memo Sep 20, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Clint Eastwood was right... Report

I have always been a big Clint Eastwood fan.  From the Western movies early in his career, to the Dirty Harry series, and now into his later years as a director (which I feel is his finest work), the man is a Hollywood icon.

However, one of my favorite takeaways from Mr. Eastwood is his self-advice from the movie Magnum Force: "A man's gotta know his limitations."  In other words, stick to what you know best.  This simple statement represents the cornerstone for any businessperson.  As an entrepreneur, you must be brave to strike out on your own.  But you also must be honest with yourself and recognize clearly what you can do and cannot do, particularly in terms of performing international security work.  

Similarly, in his best-selling book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell describes Law #1: The Law of the...

Continue Reading...

How Good Are Your Counter-Espionage Skills?

monday security memo Sep 13, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

How Good Are Your Counter-Espionage Skills?

While international travel has come to a screeching halt due to COVID-19, the threat of economic and industrial espionage continues to proliferate. In fact, due to the global pandemic, intellectual property (IP) and business intelligence (BI) is more valuable than ever to foreign governments and business competitors, looking to gain an economic advantage in the marketplace. 

According to the FBI, economic espionage costs American businesses over $500 billion in lost proprietary secrets each year.  Furthermore, corporate espionage is occurring right now in nearly every country, though most actively in China, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Russia, UAE, as well as the United States. 

Therefore, my question to you is... how prepared are you to protect your organization's valuable IP/BI?  Have you been trained in the fine art of...

Continue Reading...

Happy Labor Day/Why We Work

monday security memo Sep 06, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Happy Labor Day/Why We Work

Today is Labor Day in the United States.  For our international readers, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the achievements of American workers.  It was founded during the Industrial Revolution, a time when the average American worked 12-hours per day, seven days per week, in an effort to eke out a basic living.  During those days there were minimal (if any) labor laws, factories were comprised of immigrants, and children as young as six years old often toiled beside grown men under dangerous working conditions.  

Things have obviously improved since the 1800s however, we still - most of us at least - appreciate the value of hard work.  

But what does it mean to actually work these days?  Why do we do it?  Why do we trade our services for remuneration?

The most obvious answer would be survival.  To put food on the table for our...

Continue Reading...

5-Step Process for Highly-Successful Security Consultants

monday security memo Aug 30, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

5-Step Process for Highly Successful Security Consultants

Rarely does a day go by that a fellow security professional does not reach out to me with a question about global security consulting. Most of these inquiries come via email or social media. They typically involve topics such as: how to start a security company, how to win clients, if SMI is hiring at the moment, or whether I would like to invest or partner up on a project.  I never mind these questions and - despite eating up a good hour or so of my time - I make an effort to respond to every one of them, within reason. I do this because I never forget the days when I was just starting out with my own company. 

As a young entrepreneur, I would reach out to industry leaders for advice, in the hopes of gaining some golden nugget of wisdom.  Most people never responded back to me, some verbally slammed the door in my face, while the...

Continue Reading...

Reflections on an African Coup d'etat

monday security memo Aug 24, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

Reflections on an African Coup d'etat

This past week, the world watched as yet another coup d'etat unfolded in Africa.  This time in the country of Mali.  A previous coup occurred in Mali back in 2012, leading to an influx of Al-Qaeda fighters flooding the region.  It is yet unknown as to what effects the overthrow (and arrest) of former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita means for the troubled nation.

For clarification, a coup d'etat is defined as the removal of an existing government from power, usually through violence.  The word itself is French and translates to "blow of state."  Overall, there have been roughly 200 coup attempts on the continent since the 1950s (with a 50/50 success rate).

During my twenty years of international security consulting/contracting, I have had the opportunity to experience two African coup d'etats.  I had a front row...

Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.