In the video above, I answer a question that I get asked a lot, “what’s in the backpack?” Well, I carry that backpack with me everywhere. When I’m not at my house, it’s always nearby. And of course, watching the video, you will quickly see what’s in it, my .500 magnum, which is one of my conceal carry guns. And additionally, that backpack is heavily armored. If someone shoots at me from behind, or even from another direction, I can have a way to absorb the bullet harmlessly and take away the danger. It’s a big pack for that reason; it covers a lot more body area. Then hearing that the next question is, “why do you feel you have to be so well-armed and to defend yourself so heavily?”
Most people would be happy with some little Glock tucked in their pants. But not me. I want to be ready for a small war, and there is a good reason for it. I put those thoughts into my Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, which has become highly relevant in the early years of 2020. When I was writing that book, I knew that it would stir up trouble, and it has. To my mind, it’s the good kind. But one thing is for sure; you don’t have to go out into the world looking for trouble. Trouble will come to find you, and for all kinds of reasons. The main reason is that the world’s bureaucracies were all built to conceal a dark truth about human nature. They were built to conceal laziness and the unambitious, which is in the majority. Everyone wants a trophy for success, but not everyone wants to do the work to become the best at something. And when people discover they can’t loot off you for their own efforts to make them their own, then they seek to get rid of you in any way possible to erase your memory from their minds. And that is why it’s important to be well-armed and always ready for trouble when it comes looking for you.
While I was writing The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business a few years ago, I had a confrontation with a consultant from a very expensive and powerful firm that teaches Lean Techniques worldwide to the biggest corporations that there are. When he found out that I had my own theories on process improvement and that I took exception to his constant beratement of “shooting from the hip,” as if it was a reckless assertion toward productivity, he became irate when he discovered I was writing that book. “what are you going to say that hasn’t been already said, the field is crowded with opinions on process improvement. Pick your poison and get with the program.” My response was, “well, I want to create a system that doesn’t involve poison, something that is more reflective of what is really going on in the world.” That’s when he lost it and pretty much swore himself to be my enemy, which didn’t work out very well for him. There was no provocation to try to make the guy mad. He went there on his own. It was the realization that a kind of scam was being exposed that he secretly feared was the real issue. And ultimately, this secret is a big problem out there in the world. I knew it was, but watching some of the violent reactions that played out, knowing that the secret would be put into a book I was writing, was just too much for him, and many, many others.
The truth of the matter is what I said in the video when people find out they can’t steal from your efforts to hide their own lazy and unproductive natures; they actively seek to eliminate you from the discussion, whether it’s cancel culture, outright violence, social ostracization—whatever means they can come up with. And we are seeing that play out on a mass scale these days in business, politics, media, and even neighborhood soccer games. It’s everywhere. But what’s worse for them is when you don’t care, and you don’t need what they offer, which is kinship in a team environment. At that point, everything they have ever been taught turns out to be a lie, and they can’t handle that knowledge. There is a great yearning in the world for nobility and individualized respect. While traveling all over the world, I have found that when people see those elements in you, they often pay reverence instantly. People crave the kind of individualization that evolved in American culture and, ultimately, American business. But there have been many who have shaped this European collectivist mindset into global affairs and have evolved a kind of socialism during international trade that has found its way into every aspect of business. And the big secret was to hide the incompetency of the many from the eyes of the few. So when people often criticized me for “shooting from the hip,” they meant that I should always sit down and consult with others to figure out the best next step. Even if my idea ended up being the way to go, the bureaucrats wanted to believe that they had some hand in the process and wanted to share credit for the endeavor. But to a person like me, that all takes too long, so I cut them out and take my shots without them, which denies them of the theft, which makes people angry, very angry, for being exposed. That’s why I carry the backpack, and it has come in handy often.
After dealing with that guy, and many others like him over the years, I felt it would be good to address the process improvement problems that all businesses have, especially these days with all the woke problems that are entering our places of employment. There are many great techniques for process improvement out there, but most of them never address the real elephant in the room. What makes people corrupt, and why do they intentionally sabotage process flow in a business? I often point to the time clock, even the salary people, and say, “look how quickly they leave for the day.” Their minds were never on their work; they just collect their paychecks and associated with other people waiting for someone else to do something. They are too lazy to do things independently and often leave all the heavy work for the few with a mind to do it. And there is no fancy consultant class that can address that issue. To deal with that, we must deal with the real problem that sits at the heart of all process improvement needs, the lack of human capital and raw individualized leadership. That is why I wrote The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, to empower the types of people who really do all the work and to prevent those who get in the way from doing so. And also to explain that consensus building and teamwork are only distractions away from productivity. In the world we have today, it is the few who make everything happen and the many who try to hide behind those exploits and take credit for them as their own. If you let them take that credit, they will love you. But if you don’t, they will do everything in their power to get rid of you, even if it means killing you any way they can. Sometimes they become so jealous that their minds lose all reason, and their thoughts become a Shakespeare play. And the only way to have real peace is to carry a backpack like the one I do and make sure that their intentions do not become your reality.