On any given day I field a number of interview requests, requests for podcast appearances and also guest blog posts. I don’t have time to respond to many of them but some I do choose to either because the requests come at the right time or the interviewers have a style or an edge that catches my attention.
The Sniper Mind interviews are part of a revelatory puzzle in their own right. Each interlocutor brings in their own style and perspective, direction and aim and their questions and my answers form an ever-growing picture of how I, the writer, got to be here, today. In the process we also get to see the things that affect the development of each of us and, more important for The Sniper Mind world of decision making and choices in the face of uncertainty and fear, what are the elements we use and the mind tricks we employ to overcome our own limitations.
The interviews below will be added as they occur so this page will be updated often. Bookmark it and come back to it if you don’t want to miss anything.
Errol Doebler is a former Navy SEAL and FBI Special Agent whose current role is to help corporate leaders become more effective in their job. He maintains a website as well as a robust presence on Google+ and Linkedin. On top of that he has a Daily snippet where he shares some of his Navy SEAL knowledge and wisdom. It is brief but always thought provoking, mind-expanding and useful. You can subscribe to it here. He’s focused, direct and incredibly easy to talk to which is why this was one of the earliest podcasts I agreed to, to discuss The Sniper Mind. In this episode his questions lead me to discuss some of the background of the book plus my own background and how snipers and their training are relevant to today’s business world. His partner in the podcast, Zac Ruiz, is a tech entrepreneur who has a clear understanding of the challenges startups face and the complexity involved in getting a business team to work smoothly together. Together they bring in a very nuanced approach to leadership, attitude, perception and the way business is done today. My interview with them was the second one I have done and by then I knew what to expect. Despite that, such is their focus and synergy that they still managed to gently coax questions and insights out of me that are the direct result of their close collaboration. Listen to the podcast and enjoy the revelations as we discuss The Sniper Mind, search, digital, leadership, culture and the future of work. Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud.
Productive Computer Systems
Productive Computer Systems is the company owned by Oleg Moskalensky. Oleg has a deep background in coding and he's very experienced when it comes to understanding how companies run, marketing, search and the web. Oleg advises companies in the steps required to achieve digital transformation and he also helps restaurants with bespoke software that creates greater engagement with their customers, improves customer loyalty and increases customer visits. Ben Moskalensky is Oleg's son but his claim to fame is all of his own making instead of relying on his lineage. Uncharacteristically for a young boy he has his own hill to climb early on and The Sniper Mind is dedicated to him. All of these factors contributed to the very first interview I gave about The Sniper Mind went to Oleg who hosts his own Hangouts On Air and who has had me as a regular guest where we've discussed search (mostly) marketing, the odd April Fool's joke (because April Fool's is an odd occasion) and, now, the way the brain comes together when it has been trained to deliver the outcomes we really want. Check it out (warning, we laugh a lot).
Linking Into Sales
Linking Into Sales is a coaching and business training business founded in 2009 by Martin Brossman and Greg Hyer that delivers business-to-business advice, training, coaching and presentation on many of the digital and social selling skills businesses need in order to grow and thrive. It has a very forward-looking approach that aims to help business professionals understand why a lot of the legacy marketing practices no longer work as expected. Martin and Greg are active in presenting a lively podcast and video show where they talk to many different guests about social selling, the evolution of trends across the web, search, marketing, branding and the mindset that’s required to develop in this area. Inevitably they bring their own perspective which is what makes each show unique and in this particular case you will see that Martin is no stranger to handling a rifle and he immediately surfaced his own experience of dealing with long range shooting and the multitude of factors that govern it. The focus, of course, was on social selling and what mental and psychological sniper skills can contribute directly in this field. As always the discussion had many asides, was lively, surfaced some unexpected gems as we touched tangentially upon psychology and perception and we discussed the ever-important role played by environment and support networks and the mental space that we now all, commonly inhabit. You can catch the full interview in video and podcast formats, here.
Critical thinking is a crucial skill that affects everything we do. It is key when we make decisions about social media and search. It lies at the very heart of our sense of agency that goes into forming our identity. It informs our values and principles, allows us to make better decision when under pressure and helps us prioritize resources during crises. SEMRush has always delivered content that’s ahead of the curve and this interview is exactly that. Hosted by Anton Shulke and Craig Campbell the SEMRush show has been leading in bringing thoughtful subjects that range from marketing and search to video creation, content planning strategies and social media behavior to its audience. What makes this awesome is the twin perspectives brought into play by its two hosts. In this one we talked about snipers, of course, but also search and social media and content creation and empathy. You will find it here.
The Social Media Hat
Mike Allton has been synonymous with social media since probably there was any kind of structured form of social media to speak of. His website, The Social Media Hat, has been featured in newspapers and magazines and it is talked about across the industry. Mike's work as a brand ambassador and social media expert is widely acknowledged. The website attracts and audience of professionals as well as marketers and the information it provides ranges from the theoretical to the practical. The emphasis is on finding ways to better deal with the many challenges of working online.
I don't write many guest posts although I have many approaches to do so each month. A lot of the times I don't have the time. At other times the subject matter and the effort involved in writing something that delivers direct value to the audience would be better suited to my own website (davidamerland.com). And there is also the constant struggle with time, where it is always better to spend the little time I have working on something that I need to share with my direct audience than creating content that would better fit elsewhere. The Social Media Hat is one of the few exceptions to this because of the wide variety of people it attracts and the overall quality of Mike's work in the area.
The article I wrote, detailing four-steps to making better decisions had to focus on four of the many different steps that our brain uses to make cognitively sound, executive decisions. The four that were chosen had to be easy to understand within the structure of the article itself and the personal experience of those who would read it, easy to execute within the same parameters and relatively easy to remember afterwards.
Decision making is, of course, a cerebral activity that employs a very specific cognitive machinery that's itself made up of a number of different neural centers of the brain. How we make decisions and the kind of decisions we make depends upon both internal and external conditions. This article shows you what to do to control, to some extent, both types and get the outcomes you want. Dive into it here.
Voice of Bold Business (#VBBRadio)
#VBBRadio is the podcasting arm of Business Advocate and Consultant Jess Dewell. Jess is part of the new breed of marketers who unabashedly align personal values and work and try to raise the bar for everyone in marketing and business. Her podcasts, marked by the #VBBRadio hashtag) have found an audience eager to hear what her guests have to say and determine some of the changes and challenges facing those who do business online, today.
Jess has a very disciplined, determined interview style that tends to bring out clear answers because it helps her guests focus. This was no exception. In examining the decision making process in business we looked at values, empathy, sympathy and the question of just how does a modern day business person get to acquire all those skills. You can catch the podcast on her Voiceofboldbusiness.com website.
A book review by a former sniper is always going to be the litmus test The Sniper Mind will be judged by. In writing this book, of course, I did interview, at length, 100 active and former snipers but it is still nerve-wracking when someone who's been through the process that transforms the brain from into a highly capable, analytical predictive machine, looks at the book and measures its findings against his own experience. It is gratifying to know that even an experienced sniper found something new to take away from it. Check out the full review here.
Daily Grind Podcast
The Daily Grind Podcast is a daily, conversational style podcast where host, Colin Morgan, talks to fascinating entrepreneurs, business people and authors from across the world, delving a little into their minds and producing a podcast that delivers some fascinating insights. Colin has a very easy-going style that draws his guests in and helps them surface some of the obstacles they faced in their careers (and how they overcame them). In a thirty-minute format Colin packs a lot of material and tends to dig fairly deep.
In talking to Colin I had to retrace a little of the initial starting point for what became The Sniper Mind and also how I made all the decisions that led me into packaging the exciting research I was coming across into a book that's designed to help readers develop their critical decision-making skills. You can catch the thirty-minute podcast and Colin's amazing style, here.
The Shaun Tabatt Show
Shaun Tabatt is not a stranger to long working hours, books, authors, travelling and marketing (quite possibly in that order). His show invites some pretty amazing authors from across the board and the subjects they cover are truly varied. As you might have guessed Shaun has an understated, easy-going but very focused interviewing style that helps his subjects gather their thoughts.
As you might have guessed, given Shaun's breadth of experience, this was a wide-ranging talk that brought the value of The Sniper Mind from the battlefield directly into everyday life. We talked, of course, uncertainty and fear, how we manage emotions and succeed at controlling how we think in order to get the desirable outcomes. But, above all, we talked about people, connections, relationships, snipers, skills, transitions and how a book that is about some of the fiercest, most finely honed warriors in any battlefield, is actually a book about the mindset we need to develop in order to succeed in life. Catch the podcast here.
The Ash Rao Blog
Ash Rao is a global talent acquisition expert at Verizon who also blogs and coaches people on their careers. When someone has that kind of rounded experience you expect the interview to be different and Ash did not disappoint. Over a round of email questions Ash forced me to examine some of my own beliefs and seek the roots of them in my writing. We examined, of course, The Sniper Mind and my journey in writing it.
Ash's questions took me back to my own background and the journey that started it all and my own intent to demystify everything by stripping away myths and legend and actually looking at the way things truly work - whether that is search engine optimization or how the brain works.
Ash is a pretty amazing person who blogs about quite a lot of things and definitely worth following on Medium. The Sniper Mind interview with her can be found here.
If this was a movie series, my podcast interview with Sarah Elkins would qualify as the "origins story". Sarah is an incredibly easy-going interviewer with a relaxed style that manages, nevertheless, to dig deep.
Interested in the narrative structures we weave and the story telling that makes us who we are, Sarah made me dig deep into the narrative constructs of my own identity.
She wanted me to explain how I became me and it actually made me wonder whether there was a defining moment, something that clicked and produced the seeds that have grown into the person I am today. As it turns out nothing ever happens without reason or, indeed, cause. To find out how I got to this point (and where the journey is taking me) you will need to listen to Sarah's podcast interview.