Tag Archives: Thom Shea

Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos

What could you accomplish if you killed your excuses?

Recently, I was given a chance to preview the newly released Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos by retired Navy special operator Thom Shea. His previous title, Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life, has also been reviewed here. This time, Shea relates his experiences in transitioning from the world of warfare to that of business, while applying the same methodology he used to thrive in some of the most chaotic environments imaginable.

I’ve known the Sheas for some time: always willing to share their experiences for the greater good, involved, connected, razor sharp, and demonstrating impressive effectiveness in whatever arena they care to engage. They are the sort of people whose focus and intensity assures their voices are naturally attended.

Thom Shea came up through the ranks of Naval Special Warfare to emerge as a sniper. He is one of the breed of warriors whose weaponized math demands a methodical approach and awareness of the many factors allowing them to deliver precise fire at amazing distances. Luck is not a factor. Those shots are accomplished through skills assembled, filtered and applied in an environment where only results carry the day.

It’s the same approach Shea used to formulate his understanding of the factors affecting human performance. And it can have an equal impact, albeit in a positive fashion rather than being a whisper from afar that tells an enemy his war is over.

My studies in psychology called the goal self-actualization, and volumes were written by luminaries such as Goldstein, Rogers, and Maslow, whose works defined the concept. Shea, though, hardly interested in theory, has laid out a formula he uses to radically alter performance, by breaking down its components to essentials, and then demanding that  his clients actively pursue the goals they describe at the beginning of his consultancy rather than merely absorb his concepts.

Three Simple Things—acts simple, but not easy—are what he uses in each of what he calls the five pyramids of human performance: spiritual, interpersonal, intellectual, financial, and physical. A thorough discussion of each replete with examples of their identification, refinement, and application follow. Though the term self-actualization does not appear in his titles, Shea has mastered the doing of what others have only theorized, and that makes his title eminently worthwhile for anyone interested in the realms of self improvement the man addresses.

Thom writes in the straightforward style of a senior NCO, and judging from the stories of client success he relates, apparently provides consultation in the same manner as well. From the twenty-one days it takes to teach clients to honor their word, to mastering their fear, through to the ability to keep on the move for twenty-four hours straight, the methodology he’s developed works when used as designed. Not all of his clients got there on the first try. In reading the book, you’ll understand why, and undoubtedly see something in yourself that could benefit from the principles he relates. Three Simple Things: Leading During Chaos is made available for e-reading and in hard copy through major retailers by Clovercroft Publishing. I hope you’ll check it out.

Choose to Love, -DA


In production news here, the Editress has completed content review and transitioned into production editing for the fifth title in Sean’s File, Twenty-Four Hours to Midnight. The bridging, dual-timeline tale of Ritter at war in two subsequent decades shall, God willing, appear later this year.

Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life

Generally, I am in the business of writing books, not reviewing them. Now and again, however, one encounters an opportunity that must be seized. This occasion was one such.

I was privileged to receive a copy of “Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life” for the purpose of this review. Essential bordering on vital, the title fulfills its promise of providing insight into the process of cultivating a mental state that allows building up some of our most effective special operators.

I have known a number of such men, and more who earned their stripes in the arena of law enforcement. They are, to a man, preternaturally capable specimens. Their capability results in a level of confidence not normally encountered in day-to-day life, because such a life does not raise up an outlier. That level of confidence is sometimes taken for arrogance by the unfamiliar. In some cases, the presumption may be correct, but for most I sense only a spirit of command and control whose unshakable nature is unsettling in those used to uncertainty, trepidation, and the usual overarching desire to avoid conflict.

The aura serves as a warning as well; these men—and in many cases, women—are dangerous. It is a benevolent danger: a sword that is sheathed unless it is called to draw the blood of the unrighteous. It is a danger that an enemy of gentle people must bring with him. It is a conviction acknowledging that he who would set aside his humanity loses the consideration of civilized folk.

Highly decorated Naval Special Warfare veteran Thom Shea, in assembling a set of motivational lessons and memoirs for his children, has produced a handbook for the mastery of what he terms Internal Dialogue. He richly illustrates applicability of each precept through relating portions of his own war story.

His writing style reflects its source. In the no-nonsense cadence of a seasoned instructor, Senior Master Chief Shea lays out the framework of an Unbreakable mind and sets each component with enough validating mortar to grant his theories a universal relevance.

Anyone with more life experience behind them than before them will recognize and appreciate the wisdom herein; anyone on the upslope of a life will find applying Chief Shea’s adamantine philosophy worthwhile, interconnecting, and even transformative.

downloadI am glad I encountered “Unbreakable.” It is a philosophy of excellence, self-control, and commitment to individual responsibility. If only it were adopted without fail, the result in each adherent would be a quality of character in whom tares of social exploitation—the soft bigotry of low expectations, dependence, and fearmongering—would find no place to sink their barbs.

I highly recommend this title, and rate it five stars on merit. It is the writing of a warrior and a teacher, not a wordsmith. Necessarily, it is a book about Thom Shea: his story, and how he got there and back again. Regardless, everyone, especially those responsible for producing the generation that will follow our own, should absorb and apply the treasure of deliberate thinking that is the bounty of this book.

Get it through Amazon as a Kindle Book or trade paperback, or at Barnes and Noble for the Nook.

Choose to love. -DA