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.