Whatâs a âred teamâ?
On August 2nd, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and so started the âGulf War.â
The United States and Western allies formed a âcoalition of the willingâ to remove the Iraqi Army from Kuwait.
A group of military planners, known as the âblue team,â set up shop in a hanger in an air base in Saudi Arabia, and created the basic plan for Operation Desert Storm in 24 hours.
This plan was passed on to another team, known as the âred team.â They were given the following instructions: âYou are the Iraqi high command. You have all the known resources, materials, and manpower available to the Iraqi military. A spy has given you the alliance battle plans. You have 24 hours to prepare your response.â
The âred teamâ prepared their response, which was then passed back to the âblue team.â They spent another 24 hours building countermeasures and contingency plans to foil the âred teamâsâ responses.
The rest is history…
Whatâs This Got To Do With Me? Iâm A Sales Guy!
âWhen you face your customers, there are questions you would prefer they didnât ask.
They may relate to your productâs weaknesses. They may relate to a change in the market which affects your productâs pricing or availability. They may relate to reputational damage caused by an embarrassing lawsuit or complaints on social media.
You have two choices. You can sit and sweat and hope they donât ask you these questions, or you can âred teamâ it by asking yourself what nightmare questions they can ask you.
Write these down. Go back to âblue teamâ mode and prepare your answers.
Your answers may not be that convincing, but at least you have something to say if they ask.
Whatâs This Got To Do With Me? Iâm Looking For A Job!
Job seekers attend interviews. Interviewers ask questions that you donât want to answer, such as:
- âWhy did you leave your previous job?â
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 yearsâ time?â
- âTell me about your greatest weakness/strength/mistake?â
There are others which are related to your personal situation, or to the job you are applying for.
âRed teamâ it by imagining you are a hostile interviewer. Think of the worst questions they can ask you.
Write them down. Go back to âblue teamâ mode to prepare your answers.
You may want to try these out on a friend (who can âred teamâ for you) and see how she reacts. If sheâs not convinced, you may need to improve your answers. Better to do that before the interview.
Whatâs This Got To Do With Me? Iâm A Student!
I was a student too, and, to be honest, not a very good one! I was interested in military history, however.
When it came to exams, I adopted the mindset of a general preparing for battle. I reviewed each subject and âred teamedâ it. What was my nightmare question? Where was I weakest?
That was where I made extra effort when revising and doing practice questions.
I really am not the smartest guy in the room. I did manage to get myself a bachelorâs degree, a teaching qualification, and an MBA, so I must have done something right.
Got a big sales meeting coming up? Looking forward to a challenging job interview? Studying for a professional qualification and preparing for exams?
Get into âred teamâ mode and anticipate your âenemyâsâ worst moves.
Prepare for them.
Be ready to use them.
Let me know how you get on!
Before you start âred teaming,â you need a position to defend!
Here is an article I wrote on building a business case: âWhatâs In It For Me?â The 3-Stage Guide To Answering This Question
Hereâs one on preparing a sales presentation: Sell The Hole, Not The Drill! How To Make A Successful Sales Presentation