Adventure Operations Group (AOG) is a veteran owned company dedicated to the pursuit of adventurer. AOG's Training Programs and Adventures will take you "Beyond Normal Limits". AOG leads epic adventures, instructional programs, leadership training and assessments for individuals and organizations. Our programs are unique and emphasize mental focus, individual skills, leadership and personal achievement. We specialize in Human Performance Training. Working with AOG is the best way to achieve "next level" results for your corporate group or to enhance your personal capabilities. Contact AOG today to learn how we can get you or your team "Beyond Normal Limits".


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Corporate Zeal

How do you create mission focused employees?  How do you encourage team members to subordinate personal agendas and function as a cohesive team in the current chaos?  What techniques work to mitigate the negative effects of organizational stress? How do I train my team? These are questions every manager struggles with, at every level of organizations.  Lackluster performance, poor motivation, lack of initiative and  bad morale can cause frustration and seem like insurmountable challenges for corporate leaders.  This frustration is compounded by the confusing nature of most Human Resources departments, which at some major corporations are either too over tasked or just simply not equipped to handle the non standard issues that are keeping your team from becoming great.

Managers in all organizations are desperate for staff that are mission focused, but often lack the know how, time or ability to create that focus.  Most organizations are filled with great individuals who want to succeed and want their organizations to succeed.  These employees want to be led by great leaders that know how to inspire their teams to work together as a cohesive unit and achieve the right goals.   

Here are three things managers can do to improve your team's focus and motivation:

1)  Regularly remind your team of your organization's mission or purpose.  It sounds simple, but mangers need to regularly remind their staff of why their organization exists and what the overall mission is.  Employees at ALL levels need to hear this.  Often new hires are exposed to the organization's mission and values during on boarding, but forget and lose focus once comfortable in their positions.  At the start of a monthly staff meeting is a great time to quickly restate the Strategic Mission of the company, with an example or two of recent organizational success stories.

2) Define and communicate your division, team or Business Unit mission within the overall company mission.  Team members who understand how their team or division supports the overall goal are far more likely to stay engaged in the right activities to achieve that goal.  Communicate this message as often as necessary, but especially when new staff or team members are hired.

3) Ensure that individuals on your team understand #1 and 2 above, and how their personal life mission fits in with them.  Individuals who are misaligned with organizational goals and values must be either realigned or encouraged to move on to other opportunities, period.  As a leader within your organization,  it is your responsibility is to manage this process and do everything in your sphere of influence to ensure that individuals on your team are aligned within all 3 spheres of "mission focus".

Need help getting your team focused?  Adventure Operations Group is a company staffed by energetic and high performance instructors that have survived the chaos of combat, understand modern corporate leadership challenges, how to train for success in dynamic situations and who can help your staff learn to apply the values and principles that drive your organization's success.  

Most AOG instructors are combat veterans, from the ranks of the Special Operations units and other USG teams, but also include experts in climbing, survival, organizational development and what it takes to achieve elite personal performance.   AOG instructors are highly motivated and committed to introducing you and your team to the principles of "SOF Focus", and showing your team how to consistently deliver winning results in all conditions.

Contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bug Out Basics- Part 2

Part two in a series on Bug Out/Bail Out tactics from AOG teammate Josh:

Long gun and movement considerations

There seems to be quite a bit of discussion about “bugging out” and what kit to carry.  There are plenty of options out there but one question that continues to come up is how to stay “the grey man” and still carry a long gun.  I think we need to take a hard look at our situation, the circumstances we might find ourselves in, and what to do about that long gun.  Because we need to have some context to our situation we’ll try to paint in broad strokes, and add specifics as necessary.  To be honest, if we keep things realistic I think we’ll find most decisions won’t be too different no matter the circumstances.

By definition “bugging out” means we are moving.  We want to move from point A to point B.  What are our points???  Our home??  Work?  A vehicle?  A public forum?  A predetermined “safe” house or sight??  A hasty hide or building to occupy??  By definition we are trying to get somewhere of lesser advantage to a place of better advantage.  The exception would be moving to SOMEONE, like our family or friends in need, someone in trouble or disabled, etc.

Regardless of why we are leaving we have determined that we need to be somewhere else.  Inherently that means we have a purpose and to move accordingly.  I can’t think of a single reason to move and not have a destination and not be highly motivated to get there.  Even if you don’t have a specific location and only know the place you’re at is sucking, you still probably aren’t going to move like it’s a Sunday drive.  Speed becomes a factor.

For this discussion we’re going to talk about moving on foot.  If we have a vehicle then the point is almost moot.  Believe me, if I’m "alamo’ing" up or moving in a vehicle then the gear I chose and the time and distance I can cover are a different discussion.

So if we’re moving on foot we need to be VERY conscious of what we carry.  There are tons of discussions about what and how people will carry life saving equipment and comfort items.  We can talk about that too, but the one item that continues to arise is that pesky long gun.  Do we need it??  Should we take it??  How?  What if we don’t take it??  What are we going to do with it??

Answering some of these questions and coming up with some solutions might help us in the rest of our load out.  Determining what we carry and how we carry it also determines what we can accomplish.  Things like where we can go and how far we can travel are directly related to the solutions above. 

Simple math tells us we can go farther without a long gun.  If I forgo a long gun (in this case an M4 carbine) that means I don’t have a 7-10 pound rifle and 3-10 pounds of ammo (one mag weighs approximately 1 pound).  Can you move farther with 10-20 pounds less??  I think I can.

What do we consider in making that determination?  Now things get somewhat tricky.  Each person envisions different situations.  I think the biggest consideration is the geographic location we find ourselves in as well as the circumstances that have made us move.  Let’s run down a few somewhat generic situations and make some decisions from there.


Back to the topic.  When do we need a long gun??  Do we need one if our vehicle broke down on a rural road and we’re trying to walk to help?  Probably not, but are we comfortable leaving it in the vehicle?  That also depends.  It depends on if you have it in something like a Truck Safe, and what the overall situation is like.  If we know it’s only about 10 miles back to somewhere we can get some help then it might be better to leave the rifle and haul ass to a known destination.  It’s about probabilities and in this situation, stateside, it’s probably best to leave the long gun.  Even with a longer distance (for you truly rural folks) I don't think it changes much.

 If the exact same situation happened in Iraq or Afghanistan, you can bet the long gun is coming with.  Talking to some coworkers last night we went over every situation we knew of where people had to un-ass a vehicle and most said that at the time they were worried about just getting out and grabbing ANYTHING was second on the priority list.  Several made mention of grabbing their bags but burning everything else (including belt feds) in place.  I’m not saying if any of these actions are right or wrong only that the situation dictates what we’re going to do.  

 Another situation might be some kind of natural disaster.  For this situation let’s assume we’re ahead of the power curve and a disaster is pending, but hasn’t occurred yet.  Some examples might be hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, etc.  Often times the routes from a city to a more rural area become clogged.  We might just need to make it from our home or business to another “better” location.  In this situation we will probably encounter many more people, both good and bad. 

Again, is the long gun necessary?  Maybe not yet, but I probably wouldn’t want to leave all my guns to be burned in a fire.  I’d like to think that even if I don’t need the rifle right now, it might be the only chance I have to keep possession of one.

 The next logical “threat” would be the same situations above, but, for whatever reason, we’re in the thick of it or post disaster.  Think hurricane Katrina or some of the looting I’ve seen in the Midwest post tornado.  In this situation we can expect more social unrest, historically meaning people become more desperate and predatory.  Do we need a long gun??  If I’m moving through an area full of people capable of horrible acts for their own self preservation I’m probably even more inclined to move as quickly as possible.  I don’t think provoking any actions from people in this type of situation is advisable.  What I mean by provoking is giving them any reason (in their eyes) to interact with you.  Moving as quickly and quietly as possible seems to, again, be the best answer.

 I’m going to stop there because any situations we come up with past this are probably not based on history and might seem a bit “far off” for some.  I think the examples we’ve chosen are somewhat realistic and if we discuss these events we probably can get some decent ideas for “end of the world, social breakdown, zombies, et al."

 So what are our choices??  Leave the long gun, hide the long gun, take the long gun but have it concealed, take the long gun and look like you’re ready for a fight?  Anything else?
More on those choices in Part 3, coming next week.
Until then, stay full tilt and focused!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's next, bodyguards on Everest?

Mountaineers on Everest suffer attack

I never thought I would read about work place violence on Everest, usually the danger there comes from more "predictable" risks.  I found the reference to jealously on the part of the Sherpa's to be especially interesting.  I witness daily the negative and corrosive effects that people with less than pure motives have on organizations and teams, although I was not there and can't say for sure having only read one side of the story, but the account from the mountaineers seems pretty rational and measured. 

Bottom line, glad these guys are okay and also glad that it appears all parties somewhat resolved their issues before departing.  A potential line has been crossed though, hope we don't see more of this.

From another point of view, I've been mentally rehearsing a "bail out drill" from 7000M all night, not fun and definitely not something I'd want to try.  Also, wonder who will be the first to contract a PSD team to tag along on the next Everest trip?  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bug Out Basics

From AOG Teammate Josh-
The concept of “bugging out” is not new, although there are some new twists.  The premise is whatever situation we are in, we need to be somewhere else that is better.  The reasons are many; natural disaster, disabled vehicle, terrorist attack, etc.  One constant is having a small bag that will assist you in getting from point A to point B.  The bag, sometimes called a “go bag” or “bugout bag”, should be easily accessed, easy to transport, and contain whatever items needed to augment your personal gear and be appropriate for whatever location you’re in.

A few things to consider when choosing a bag for this purpose are its overall size, how it’s going to be carried, and the general appearance of the bag.  I’ll expand on each point.  If a bag is too big it will inevitably get overloaded with things you probably want but don’t necessarily need.  This becomes contrary to being easy to access and easy to transport.  If it’s too small then obviously it might not be able to carry essential items.  Backpacks make a perfectly good platform for a go bag but it becomes very difficult to access items in the bag quickly.  A shoulder bag, fanny pack, or lumbar pack makes access much easier.  The tradeoff is more weight can be carried easier in a backpack.  The overall appearance of the bag should be complimentary to you as well as the environment you are in.  A soldier working in Baghdad will probably need a bag that appears different than a bag for a soccer mom in St. Louis.  The point is it might be best if the bag doesn’t draw undue attention while moving within your environment.

I’m not going to delve into the exact contents of the bag but where you are will generally determine what you need.  If you are in the desert the procurement and carriage of water might be high on the list.  If you find yourself in a non permissive environment maybe a few extra mags, night vision, and a satellite phone might be needed.  I would concentrate on communications, signaling, self defense, and basic needs like staying warm and hydrated.  Most importantly we are trying to get from point A to point B.  I would suggest items that help accomplish that specific goal.