LinkedIn Business Combat Readiness

December 30, 2014 |  by  |  Linkedin Blog


Anyone familiar with contemporary handgun shooting techniques will be familiar with Colonel John Dean ‘Jeff’ Cooper. He was credited with developing 4 primary colour codes to describe levels of combat readiness in defensive tactical situations. *

Subsequently government agencies world-wide have adopted different variants of Cooper’s original colour codes for describing different threat levels.

Many of the special forces I’ve trained world-wide were taught Coopers colour codes to pre-programme them for combat readiness. I believe these four primary colour codes are equally important for LinkedIn members who want to mentally prepare themselves for business combat readiness to facilitate profitable business growth.

When adopting these colour codes it’s easy to confuse them with tactical situations or alertness levels. In reality they have nothing to do with either of these. In fact they are primarily designed to alter your state of mind. Cooper was adamant that the most critical aspect of surviving any lethal confrontation is adopting a combat mind-set.

Therefore the colour code levels dictate your awareness of actual and perceived threats, and your personal ability to deal with those threats. Being able to seamlessly transition from one colour level to the next requires the individual to be constantly aware of their immediate environment and surroundings.

There is no difference in business, because as we all know, business is war, and in most wars the spoils go to the victor.

Unlike conventional warfare the business battlefield is not always immediately identifiable. Your opposing armies are your business competitors. To leverage any kind of competitive advantage over your competitors many contemporary business owners are utilising Linkedin business social media as their primary weapon of choice.

And why not?

With over 330 million business members proactively hunting and fishing for new business on the world’s largest and most fertile hunting ground, it makes good business sense to join and leverage LinkedIn.

I personally believe that every business owner on LinkedIn seeking long term profitable and sustainable business growth would benefit immensely from understanding and adopting the following four LinkedIn business combat readiness colour codes.


CONDITION WHITE: Blissfully ignorant – unaware and unprepared

A very high percentage of business owners live their lives in a permanent state of Condition White. When a business competitor attacks you or your business, and you are blissfully unaware of threats, then the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your business competitor attacker. When confronted by anything potentially damaging, the typical reaction of a Condition White business owner is likely to be; “Oh my God! Where did that come from, this can’t be happening to me.”


CONDITION YELLOW: Expecting the unexpected – relaxed but alert

Most business owners operating in Condition Yellow are typically facing no immediate actual threat. However they adopt a business combat readiness mind-set, as they are aware that today might be the day they have to up their game to defend their business from aggressive competitors.

Business owners operating in unfamiliar territories, surroundings and new business sectors, and those dealing with business people unknown to you, should always operate in Condition Yellow. Proactive observation skills are key to minimising your business risk/s.

Special Forces often refer to watching your six. In aviation parlance 12 is the nose of the aircraft and 6 is the blind spot behind the pilot. In simple terms watching your six means watching your back.

You will be surprised as to how long you can remain effective in Condition Yellow, even though maintaining proactive observation skills can be mentally exhausting. The key to success is to identify and process the available intelligence in a relaxed but alert manner.


CONDITION ORANGE: Gut feeling relating to a specific alert

More often than enough when we have a gut feeling that something or someone is not right, then sit up and pay attention, because your gut feeling is frequently correct.

In business growth mode you might initially identify something is not quite right and it grabs your attention. A specific alert has landed on your business radar and you need to modify your focus to identify if it is an actual business threat, or a perceived business threat.

Either way do not forget your six because of this escalation in your alert status.

Condition Orange allows you to respond immediately to actual threats by having and deploying your own business combat readiness counter offensive strategies and tactics.

Operating in Condition Orange can be mentally exhausting, so if or when the threat is neutralised I recommend you shift back to Condition Yellow as soon as reasonably possible.


CONDITION RED: The fight is on – combat ready

Condition Red in business growth environments means that your alert status has been raised to the highest status possible. You the business owner have identified an imminent actual threat which requires immediate decisive action to neutralise it.

Someone is assaulting your business and you are reacting to the attack and defending yourself. You are taking immediate and decisive action to stop or minimise the risk/s presented by your business opponent.

In short the battle has commenced and you may be faced with unprecedented psychological and physiological changes. Your heart beat races through the roof as you mind and body struggle with what’s commonly referred to as ‘the fight or flight syndrome.’

Understanding and adopting the four business combat readiness colour codes will automatically prepare you for fighting the fight, because each colour state builds upon the previous one.


Business Predators & Competitors

Think of Condition White as a camping ground for potential business victims. Your lack of awareness presents you as an easy target for business predators. You will be noticed by all kinds of business predators and competitors.

In Condition Yellow, your alertness is equally as evident, and marks you as someone whose business will not  be that easy to target by predators.

To summarise; the Colour Code helps you ‘think decisively’ in a business fight. As the level of business risk increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases. If you ever do escalate to Condition Red, the decision to use ultimate business force has automatically been made deep in your subconscious.

* Colonel John Dean ‘Jeff’ Cooper was a United States Marine and the creator of what is known as ‘the Modern Technique’ of handgun shooting. Cooper is still recognised as one of the 20th century’s foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms. His shooting range was called The Gunsite Training Centre.


Dr. Mark D. Yates the CEO of Link Business Marketing Ltd is considered a global business growth specialist & #1 Linkedin Expert from over 330+ million members’ world-wide. He helps business owners leverage Linkedin for profitable business growth & would like to help you grow your business. Contact him at: Tel: UK (0) 203 390 2013 or at: 
You can view his Linkedin profile at:
Dr. Mark D. Yates

Dr. Mark D. Yates is a global #1 LinkedIn consultancy business growth specialist, LinkedIn speaker, LinkedIn Sign & LinkedIn training instructor & CEO of Link Business Marketing Ltd. If you need to hire a LinkedIn expert to help you gain profitable business growth, contact him. Tel: UK 0203 390 2013 Email:, connect with him on LinkedIn & Twitter You can view & download his dynamic independent LinkedIn training program at:

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