Saying “sh!t happens” indicates events are random, have no meaning and there is no accountability or responsibility. It indicates such events could just as easily happen again and there’s nothing we can do about them.
This book is about catastrophes and how to avoid them, mitigate their effects and learn from them as seen from the perspective of the Masters of Chaos: United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets). Taking the attitude shit happens is negative and is fatal. In this book we learn why propane has a smell; how crash positions in airplanes were refined; how economic bubbles happen over and over; how failures in leadership lead to murder, cannibalism and massacre; and much more.
Titanic: Systematic Failure
Kegworth Plane Crash: The Danger of Deferring to Authority and Experts
Little Big Horn: Leadership Failure
New London Schoolhouse Explosion: Lack of Focus
The Donner Party: Social Disintegration
From Tulips to the Housing Bubble: Greed Overwhelms Reality
Apollo 13: Success Snatched from the Jaws of Catastrophe
The bottom line is we can predict and prevent most catastrophes because every one has at least one man made factor, of the 7 cascade events, involved. In other words, we have control over whether shit happens. But it means changing a complacent mindset, getting rid of delusional thinking, and viewing the world around us in a Green Beret way.
Every catastrophe requires seven
things to go wrong.
Six Cascade events leading to the
7th event, the Catastrophe. At least
one of the Cascade events involves
human error. Thus most
catastrophes can be avoided.
Shit Doesn’t Just Happen
By studying past catastrophes we
can learn to avoid future ones.
Focusing on the Cascade Events
and how they can be stopped is
The Gift of Failure
Book I covers:
Kegworth Plane Crash
Custer and Little Big Horn
Tulips to Housing Bubble
Passenger on British Midland Flight 92
reflecting on hearing the pilot announce
he was shutting down the right engine:
“We were thinking: ‘Why is he doing
that?’ because we saw flame coming out
of the left engine. But I was only a bread
man. What did I know?”
“I wish I could cry, but I cannot. If I
could forget the tragedy, perhaps I
would know how to cry again.”
Survivor, the ‘Donner Party’
From Tulips to the Housing Bubble
Greed Overwhelms Reality
“Monkeys in contemporary 17th century Dutch dress are shown
dealing in tulips. A satirical commentary on speculators during the
time of "Tulip Mania", an economic bubble that centered around rare
tulip bulbs. At left, one monkey points to flowering tulips while
another holds up a tulip and a moneybag. Bulbs are weighed, money
is counted, a lavish business dinner is enjoyed. The monkey at left has
a list of rare tulips, his sword denotes upper class status. Farther back,
a monkey sits like a nobleman astride a horse. One in mid-foreground
draws up a bill of sale; the owl on his shoulder symbolizes foolishness
and ignobility. Brueghel is not only ridiculing tulip speculators as
brainless monkeys, the work is an object lesson for the folly of
speculating to such an extent in such a transient thing as a mere
bloom. In the denouement at right, a monkey urinates on the now
worthless tulips; fellow speculators in debt are brought before the
magistrate or weep in the dock. A frustrated buyer brandishes his
fists, while at the back right a speculator is carried to his grave.” Jan
Brueghel the Younger, Satire on Tulip Manica
“From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two
words: 'Tough' and 'Competent.' Tough means we are forever
accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will
never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we
walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for.
Competent means we will never take anything for granted. We
will never be found short in our knowledge and in our skills.
Mission Control will be perfect. When you leave this meeting
today you will go to your office and the first thing you will do
there is to write 'Tough and Competent' on your blackboards.
It will never be erased. Each day when you enter the room
these words will remind you of the price paid by Grissom,
White, and Chaffee. These words are the price of admission to
the ranks of Mission Control." Gene Kranz; the Monday
morning after the Apollo 1 disaster; flight director for Apollo
Seven Ways to Prevent Catastrophes
1. Have a Special Ops preparation mindset
2. Focus by utilizing both big picture & detail thinkers
3. Conduct Special Forces Area Studies
4. Use the Special Forces CARVER formula
5. Have a “10th man”
6. Conduct After Action Reviews
7. Write and USE Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Are you interested in a presentation about various catastrophes and
how the cascade events could have been prevented?
Events covered range from human-machine interface, to leadership,
to communication, cost-cutting, engineering, group think,
perseverance, systematic failure, and more?
Catastrophes are cascade events culminating in disastrous chaos.
War is chaos. Special Forces is the most elite unit trained for a variety
of combat situations.
What makes Special Forces elite is our mindset and preparation.
Are you interested in a presentation on how to use Special Forces
tactics, techniques and mental attitude to help your organization
anticipate and prevent potential catastrophes?
Please email email@example.com
Free downloadable Powerpoint
slideshows on survival, history
writing, and interesting information
is available HERE
THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
The guide on the left is a complete preparation and
survival guide. The one on the right is a pocket-size
manual focusing on survival essentials.
New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West
Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 75 books
published, including the #1 bestselling series Green
Berets, Shadow Warriors, Time Patrol, Area 51, and
Atlantis. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the
world he now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs.