Guest Article: Six People You Do Want In Your Group, by Kit Perez

Editor’s Introductory Note: This article is a follow-up to Seven People You Don’t Want in Your Group.

We’ve talked a lot lately about who you don’t want in your group, and the general consensus when I teach these concepts is usually that the list of undesirables leaves out 90% of people who otherwise would have been included. The bottom line response to this is, “yes, and?”

You don’t want undesirables in your group; it’s that simple. It’s about risk — you decide how much you’re willing to take on, and if you decide to bring on someone on the “should not have” list, then you better have a plan for mitigating that risk.

There is, however, a pretty solid list of people you should be on the lookout for. If through your long-game recruiting process you come across one of these, snag them up, because they’ll be assets to your group and your cause. Many of these are merely the opposite of the “who you do not want” list, but they are worth specifically talking about. Keep in mind that you won’t generally find these guys from an internet forum or comment pool; then again, you shouldn’t be recruiting from the internet anyway, right?

The Teachable Guy

People who want to learn are worth something, because they WILL learn if taught. They’re hungry for knowledge, and they don’t allow their ego to get in the way of their training. If you know more than they do on a subject, they’ll want you to show them what they don’t know, regardless of who you are. You won’t hear their arrogance drowning out the mission; instead, you’ll see someone who is humble and willing to work. Even someone with no skills, who is eager to put in the work and learn is better than someone with a skill who refuses to learn anything new. The flip side of that is someone who brings better skills than you have to the table in a certain area. If they’re willing to teach you, be willing to learn yourself as well.

The Critical Thinker

You don’t want someone who’s driven by their feelings (or whose feelings are easily ruffled); you want someone who can think through a situation with logic and facts. You want them to be able to work a problem in a systematic process and come up with actionable, practical goals. Ideally you also want someone who can do this under stress. You can often find these folks in STEM fields, first responders, and other occupations that require this trait.

The Flexible Thinker

Just as important as someone who deals in facts is the “outside the box” guy, who doesn’t necessarily accept specific limits. When presented with an idea, he doesn’t immediately shoot it down as stupid or whine that it might be illegal; he’ll ponder the idea and look for a way to make it happen if it’s valid. That’s not to say you want a guy who’s always down for something illegal, either; a lot of things that might be illegal in Location A, however, might not be in Location B. Get the guy who’s willing to find out before throwing his hands up and saying no, or who can find a way to make something work.

Note: We are not advocating illegal activity. We’re advocating that if something is illegal in one state, if you don’t actually live in that state, perhaps you should actually check the laws for your location before marking an activity as “bad” and warning everyone they shouldn’t do it.

This heading also covers the guy who’s creative and can come up with interesting ways to achieve your group goals. If you’re primarily a support group that seeks to increase public support for your cause, for instance, he can come to the table with innovative ways to do that. If your group is into more monkeywrenching or even offensive infiltration, he has the ideas of where to go and how to get in. What you will NOT hear from this guy is a long list of reasons why an idea won’t work.

The Mentally Stable Guy

By mentally stable, we mean that he is capable of 1) controlling his emotions and 2) has done the self-evaluation necessary to understand his own personal weaknesses and motivators. He “gets” himself, and doesn’t have that deep self-delusion about his own greatness. You want the guy who knows who and what he is, has already faced his demons, and isn’t afraid to be assertive or step aside, depending on the situation.

The Good Home Life Guy

For this one, life is in harmony. The spouse is either involved themselves, or highly supportive of the efforts. Their kids aren’t in jail somewhere, maladjusted, or involved in activities that can also be leveraged. Overall, this guy’s family life isn’t causing undue pressure on him that can end up being an issue for his focus and your group. By the way, this also sometimes goes with Financially Stable Guy, who might not have all kinds of money but his obligations are met and he isn’t blowing every extra dollar on gear he doesn’t know how to use. He also isn’t going to expect you to cover all of his bills so he can go “do liberty stuff” instead of having a job.

The Good Decision Maker

This goes hand-in-hand with being logical. This person can stop, game five moves out, and then act instead of constantly reacting to what goes on around him. You don’t have to worry about people like this going off half-cocked or acting impulsively because they understand how dangerous that can be. In other words, you want the person who can be described as “calculated.” They don’t act without a reason — and their actions have a specific goal in mind. This guy also generally thinks before he opens his mouth or puts his fingers to a keyboard — another critical skill seemingly lost on many.

Wrapping It All Up

There are plenty of good people out there. Sure, they’re rare, and they’re sometimes hard to find, but they’re around. In many cases they’re not involved in the “cause” yet at all, at least not in some public capacity. They’re not sitting in a comment forum running their mouths or talking trash at every opportunity. They aren’t already corrupted into believing they can’t learn anything more than what they already know.

You can find them in all kinds of places you wouldn’t expect. A lot of the time they’re just keeping their head down, training, and learning on their own. Go find them. They’re out there.

Note: This article originally appeared in the highly recommended American Partisan. The author, Kit Perez, is the co-author of Basics of Resistance: The Practical Freedomista, Book Ia primer on resistance methods. (It was co-authored by Claire Wolfe.) Perez is also a counterintelligence and statement analyst, as well as a longtime political writer on national security, intelligence and privacy/tech topics. She holds a BA in Counterintelligence and a Masters in Intelligence Studies. She specializes in deception detection, HUMINT, and digital surveillance issues.




24 Comments

  1. Another type to keep an eye out for is the “worker bee”. They will mostly be found in low skill or vocational type jobs. These are not your lives for Friday night types, this is the guy that never misses work does whatever needs done and goes home. They won’t be backstabbers looking to move up or trying to show up their co workers, they are usually quiet but friendly types. These people don’t want to move up or on to something bigger they crave the security of a routine that never changes, many will have been at the same job for many years making little or no more money than when they started.
    I don’t expect these people to be prepped and I don’t let them know that I am but I do cultivate a casual acquaintance with them and try to keep up with some of the things going on in their lives. If or when the time comes I can decide if and who to bring aboard. I prep for them but I’m sure their contribution in labor will be a net gain for my monetary outlay in food and supplies.
    We need thinkers and planners in our groups but I’ve been around a lot of groups that try to talk a problem to death and I’ve seen others that for a plan and roll up their sleeves and get things done. There is a lot to be said for people that you can give them a task and they just go get it done, they don’t need a lot of pats on the back they don’t need to feel like it was their idea, to them it’s just a job and they just do it.
    As someone who has managed people and organizations for years I’ve seen a lot of managers that overlook or worse look down on these people but personally I admire them, obviously not for their creativity or motivation but for their dedication, an almost stoic approach to doing a job most others couldn’t or wouldn’t.

    1. I would agree that worker bees are often overlooked and are valuable; typically, however, you don’t want people who are JUST worker bees. You would ideally want them to also have one of the other skills as well.

  2. Thanks Kit. Agree with all of it, but I think you may have omitted one…Knowledge! I’m old and somewhat broken but in my time I’ve managed to retain a lot of info that happily puts me in a lot of your categories. Summing it all up…LISTEN, THINK, DISCUSS THEN ACT. What are your thoughts?

    1. You don’t want a competitive person in your group. This personality is always working to be better, faster, stronger than everyone else. Instead of doing the best he/she can and contributing, the competitive person will sacrifice others or even the group just so he/she can be the winner. This personality is very dangerous.

      You DO want people who have experience in surviving all that life throws at them; whether it be physical, mental, emotional, financial or social stress and/or failures. These people are resilient and no matter what their age, gender, or health they will bounce back, rise to the occasion and help other people while doing it.

      1. Competitive personalities are not an automatic no-go. It depends on who they’re competing against, and what their core motivator is. If they’re the type of person you describe, who chooses to put their own personal “winning” or looking good over the goals of the group, then no, they wouldn’t be suited. Interestingly enough, however, they would fail on the basis of their own self-interest and possible narcissism, not their competitiveness.

        There are plenty of competitors who use that trait to drive them to be better people, better trained, better able to assist the group, better at everything than they were before. That’s not a bad thing; in fact, overachievers can get a lot done if their mind is in the right place.

        Competitive people can also be inspiring to the rest of the group, if they see group members as their “team” and are personally invested in that team’s success. The flip side of that is competitive folks often force the less motivated among your group to either leave or step up.

        In other words, don’t count them out right away. Use that observation time to dig into that streak and see if it’s something you can actually use in your group.

    2. I actually omitted it on purpose, and here’s why. Knowledge alone doesn’t make anyone fit to be in a group; in fact, I think we all can think of at least one person who has lots of knowledge that shouldn’t be in the group. Knowledge can be trained/gained/sought. Personality traits, character, etc., these things are more elusive. If you give me someone with zero knowledge but a strong willingness to learn and the right mindset, I can work with that. Someone who has all the knowledge in the world is worthless to me if he has poor character, thinks with his emotions, or has a temper problem, etc.

  3. This article brings forth the question, “What makes a person one who would be asked into a group?”

    Put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor.

    In your anger do not sin.

    He who has been taking from others must steal no longer but must work, doing something with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

    Be careful kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.

    Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

    Always giving thanks to God our father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    There’s more, but these will get you started, but more importantly get others started on track.

    May God Bless all you who love Him.

  4. Fisher, you comments are spot on. Those qualities must be present.

    I have known people for over 20 years and than finally the mask falls off and it’s stunning to realize you never knew them.

    As Apostle Paul, be of one mind and one purpose, building unity in the cause for Christ.

  5. One sure guy to recruit,if he needed you,the Macguyver type. Knows the 3 ingredients of gun powder,mixing ratio, and lots of books from the past for the way things used to be done before we got so reliant on Big Brother.

    1. When you have the SurvivalBlog article opened, if you click on the little icon under the Title that looks like a printer, it will reformat the article for printing. Much easier than just copying into Notepad and you get to keep the important formatting stuff like bold, italics and even the link URLs.

    1. Typically people tend to look for like-minded folks in the places they themselves already are. A lot of these new people you’ll need to get creative about finding. Join your local fire department. You’ll meet some. Check out search and rescue units, churches, or even other volunteer opportunities. Don’t go into it with the idea that you’re looking to recruit people, go in with the idea that you’re looking to MEET people. Cream rises to the top if you give it time.

  6. While having all of these people in your group may be desirable, you left out the most important person. That is the person who will unflinchingly pull the trigger when and if the time comes when defense is needed.

    All the bravado in the world can go out the window when the chips are down and the fighting begins. I don’t imagine it might be too much of an issue with combat vets, but the average Joe who may have little or no skill with a weapon is the unknown factor.

    Armchair Rambo’s can quickly turn into Barney Fife’s when a crisis comes. So choose a few of these guys for the group as well.

    1. Let’s back up a second. I don’t necessarily want someone who will “unflinchingly pull the trigger.” Even people who CAN do the job when needed don’t revel in it. They do it because it must be done. I want someone who values life enough to understand that taking one is a big deal — EVEN IF it’s a necessary act. I don’t want someone who will fall apart rather than do it, but I also don’t want someone who is quite open about how much fun they would have if they could “kill a bunch of ______.”

      Most of the people I have met who tell you all about how unflinching they would be are either not mentally stable, or they’re lying cowards. Those who CAN do it, don’t need to brag about it. As you said, Armchair Rambos are all talk and often can’t back up their mouths.

      For the most part, you can suss out those who would fail in the observation phase by simply looking at how they handle stress, anger, pressure, etc. In truth, however, no one knows exactly how they will react in a life-or-death self-defense situation until they are in one. And again, mental training is at LEAST as important as training in firearms. I don’t care how well you shoot, if your mind is weak.

      1. “In truth, however, no one knows exactly how they will react in a life-or-death self-defense situation until they are in one. And again, mental training is at LEAST as important as training in firearms. I don’t care how well you shoot, if your mind is weak.”

        Thank you, Kit.
        I hope that I would be able to shoot in a time of stress and danger, but I won’t know until I’ve “been there, done that”, in order to protect self, family, friends, society. That little 5 pounds of trigger pull can have tons of unintended consequences.

  7. Great article. An extension of the “Critical Thinker” category is to seek someone who is analytical by nature; someone that will give you an unemotional, unvarnished assessment of the facts that you have at hand, including risks and benefits. A general categorization would be “problem solvers,” including engineers, research professionals, etc.

  8. When I hear someone say ” I feel ” I immediately back off. When I hear ” I think ” then I pay attention. Emotions are great but analytical thinking trumps feelings. Thank you Spock.

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