15 December 2023

Acknowledgement: Who or What & Why in Your Life...

Approaching the end of another challenging year in your particular life, there are many opportunities for acknowledgments.

The real question is, how many have you given in 2023? How many have you received?


1a: the act of acknowledging something or someone.

b: recognition or favorable notice of an act or achievement.

2: a thing done or given in recognition of something received.

As you think about it, who or what do you wish, that they would acknowledge you for your service or contribution?

If your efforts were for another person you know personally very well, that may have even more relevance.

  • Maybe it was a meal. Maybe it was a ride. Maybe it was a financial contribution.
  • Maybe it was a chore or effort around the house or a work project.
  • Maybe it was a prayer.

"Acknowledgement" is more valuable than you may ever know and realize in building and maintaining vital and valued relationships in your life.

Giving a sincere acknowledgement to someone or another entity for their service or the contribution, is vital only if you really care about maintaining and growing this relationship into the future. Or is it?

There are many reasons why you may continuously provide service or contribute something of value for someone or something else.

Are you being selfless or is it true reciprocity?

Is it between two people? Is it between two teams or businesses? Is it between two countries?

How are you personally acknowledging another? With words. With money. With deeds. With a written note. With a smile.

So what?

You see, your acknowledgement matters more than you may ever know or understand.

Is your particular relationship growing more valuable or is it just not reciprocal in nature?


This is a good time of the year to think more about who and how you will be acknowledging others in your life.

Walk outside or look out the window at the sun rising on the horizon in your neighborhood tomorrow morning.

What or who are you so grateful for and who will you acknowledge this coming year…

Thank you for reading this!

08 December 2023

Homeland Security Intelligence (HSI): The "New" Ecosystem…

It was the late Spring of 2011 in the Northern Virginia suburbs when it was gaining momentum.

Our small non-profit council group would meet almost weekly after our respective daily roles in the NCR.

Our INSA conference room was located off North Stuart Street in Arlington and there together, we would collaborate for a few hours face-to-face.

Depending on what direction you were coming from, the evening commute by Metro or car from Reston and Tysons Corner might be easier than from Springfield or Alexandria in those days.

After all, the roads and rails had all been laid on the former paths of our American natives and early settlers horse trails through the winding woods and across the rivers.

Our "Council Members" goal for these designated three dozen professionals and Subject Matter Experts, was to define “Homeland Security Intelligence” (HSI).

We were in Arlington, VA to produce a thought leaders White Paper publication that would address all of our diverse insights after a perilous decade since 9/11.

Our particular Sub-Team of 7 people was focused on the full integration of the enterprise (The Ecosystem) and it was to become another deep dive into our nations “Lessons Learned” and the new opportunities for future collaboration.

“Homeland Security Intelligence" is information that upon examination is determined to have value in assisting federal, state, local, tribal and private sector decision makers in identifying or mitigating threats residing principally within U.S. borders.” - INSA

As our small “Ecosystem Group” of 7 converged each week over the summer, on the key topics and issues to improve the connections of our intelligence enterprise, a set of new insights were discovered and new lasting personal relationships were born.

These “Community Engagement” concepts, to include those in key geographies of our country along with a “Whole of Nation” approach with properly qualified and trained U.S. public citizens, continues to this very day.

“The system will require unique, and not yet identified, analytic frameworks, knowledge management, collaboration tools, and training that include built-in safeguards for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for U.S. persons.” Page 11-Intelligence To Protect The Homeland…taking stock ten years later and looking ahead…INSA

A decade plus later in 2023, our own United States has accomplished so much resilience and yet we realize that this remains an infinite challenge going forward.

The “What” and the “How” are incorporated into so many integrated systems to this HSI enterprise today, including:

  • Biometrics.
  • Video Surveillance.
  • License Plate Reader technologies.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
  • Open Source Social Media.

And now even AI.

So what?

As human beings our curiosity and our knowledge ecosystem requires that we truly understand the “What” and the “How”.

Unfortunately, this is only the extent that today our “AI” has in its own understanding.

"AI will not accurately grasp the “Why” for some time to come into our future. Go ahead, ask it yourself."

At the time, many of those who were in our conference room in 2011 defining “Homeland Security Intelligence”(HSI), still did not even have a full understanding of the software Internet algorithms, that were then defining the only ten+ year old “Dark Web”.

Today, our community engagement initiatives as “Human Beings” in a room together, around good old fashioned conference tables, looking into each others eyes, shall remain our only chance of staying informed on the trusted continuous reasoning of “Why”…


02 December 2023

Extraordinary: Always Be Ready...

The G700 private jets were taking off from Winchester Regional Airport (OKV) and they roared just overhead as we approached the small business park off Front Royal Pike & Airport Road.

It was a another glorious Virginia Fall week, with the Maple and Oak trees in full colors.

The next training course was scheduled to begin at 08:00 sharp and you could feel the butterflies in your gut as you pulled into the small tree lined parking lot.

The 72 hour on-site course to achieve a “Personal Protection Specialist” (PPS) Certification (32E) in Virginia was just one facet of a continuous journey to learn more about what the definition of “Extraordinary” really means:



1a: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary.

2: employed for or sent on a special function or service.

Over the next six days we would be in this class room and also out in the local community applying new skill sets in real time. Day and night.

Our key areas of instruction, innovation, mastery and testing included:

  • Personal Protection Orientation.
  • Virginia Code and DCJS Regulations.
  • Assessment of Threat and Protectee Vulnerability.
  • Legal Authority and Civil Law.
  • Protective Detail Operations.
  • Emergency First Aid and CPR.
  • Advances.
  • Surveillance Detection.
  • Defensive Preparedness.


So our instructors will observe our behavior, coach us in the moment of action in order to improve towards true achievement of “Extraordinary” service.

The mindset and all of the innovative professional skills that are learned this week, shall stay with you forever.

So how does continuous learning and practicing these skills as a "Quiet Professional" over a decade ago, apply to our particular world in 2023?

As just an illustrated example, perhaps you are responsible for transporting your Principal client from a hotel to the airport in an unfamiliar California city at the end of a two day corporate event.

Some may call it pre-planning, and yet it is referred to as the “Advance”.

You have never driven the route before and based upon the amount of orange cones and detour signs already witnessed, you know it could be a challenge. There is no chance for errors.

As you take a first look in Google Maps at your proposed starting point and destination, the route looks unusual. Heading South for a few miles to make a U turn when you know your airport is to the North seems curious?

So to get a local perspective, you then approach the “Hotel Concierge” and ask them for the best route to the airport from their point of view.

They immediately pull out the paper Map of the area and show you the path North along the local North bound detours to provide you on a visual orientation.

Fast forward to check-out. You are now in the vehicle transporting your client with substantial luggage while they continue to deal with the growing barrage of message alerts on their iPhone.

15 miles North and 25 minutes or so later after keeping the visual orientation in mind with your Google Maps talking in the background, you safely arrive on time at this foreign airport.

As a PPS in your particular role of your small team, business organization or agency, just continue to remember this.

You learned and trained to be “Extraordinary”.

“Always Be Ready”…