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MAG Leadership – Managing Your MAG (Mutual Assistance Group)

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In this article, Jeff B. offers spot-on advice on the leadership required for setting up a MAG (Mutual Assistance Group).

I want to welcome Jeff to Next Step Survival and thank him for being a contributing author. I’ve known Jeff for about a year and a half within a prepper group we belong to, and he has earned respect from all of us in the group.

For most, our only experience outside of military or law enforcement is what we see on TV. Name your favorite dystopian thriller. The reality will be it sucks, and it will be a major issue for any group after a real SHTF event.

This points to the greatest need to build a group NOW!

You need to have time to vet or know anyone you think you can plan on for a MAG. Just because you are in a small “prepper group” now does not translate to how you would interact with the same person with real-world stress.

After all, this won’t be camping with your buddies over the weekend. You will probably be towing your scared family along with you. You must have trust and respect, but a similar personality would be helpful. You could have the best skills, supplies, and plans, but if you can’t get along, it won’t work.

MAG Leadership

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The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.

John Maxwell

Leadership is more than barking orders. Leadership is measured by success. Success means that each pillar or person has their needs met or addressed. Leadership guides the right people and the right resources to the issue.

Some people are born leaders, and some are followers. Nothing bad with either. Those people have already chosen their role in life. On the other hand, some people have a great mindset but can’t translate that to a team.

Not everyone handles stress well, and there would be plenty to go around. Many people can’t handle more than one task at a time. They may have strengths in one area but nothing related to the situation or are willing to put in an honest day’s work for their keep. “You are only as good as the people around you.

If you were lucky enough to have a group of people that even show up after an event, you are lucky. So let’s consider the 5 most common pillars of prepping and think about what it would take to be a leader for each. Listed not in order of priority.

  1. Food – Do they know which are priorities? Do they have experience feeding large groups in rotation? Experience gathering or pulling resources, possibly a chef’s background that knows ingredients and substitutes, growing and planning, simple help with preparation?
  2. Security – These have the most training and are responsible. Here is where the military and LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) background plays in. They must be able to provide forward operating positions, and control the flow of wanted and unwanted traffic, whether it is people, groups, or other evildoers. They have to have discipline. They would also have to be in charge of dealing with problems within the confines of the MAG. Knowledge to repair weapons or make unconventional weapons and force multipliers.
  3. Water – Many areas to cover, like retrieving, purification, storage, and usage. Again, knowledge and utilization of available resources.
  4. Shelter – Should have construction knowledge, physical strength, tools, and familiarity with tools. They would need to be able to work with what they have.
  5. First Aid – Knowledge, skills, supplies. Ok, I know a lot of preppers will bring a ton of first-aid gear with them, but it would all be better in the hands of a trained professional.

Many other skill sets should not be overlooked. A well-rounded mechanic, a heavy equipment operator, someone versed in ham radio and other communications aspects. Even a social worker, clergy, or a school teacher could benefit a large enough group.

So within this fictitious scenario, a single leader is not the desired leadership style you would want. My personal opinion is that a board or group of leaders is the best option.

This way, everyone answers to someone else. It keeps the greedy Narcissist at bay. Unfortunately, this sounds a lot like creating a government body. Hopefully, yours is a functional one!

Now back to reality. You might have 5-10 people who could enter your perfect inner circle. Of course, everyone would have to multitask on any good day.

How would they respond under severe stress or possibly injuring or carrying an injured friend or family member? Hopefully, this adds fuel to your thought process, and you can take your MAG to the next level.

Wrapping UP

Creating a MAG is as diverse as human nature itself, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on putting together a Mutual Assistance Group and how to manage that small group. Scroll down past the social share images below and drop us a comment.

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Jeff B.

Prepping for about 13 years now in the Midwest. Husband, father, brother, son, Grandfather to 6. I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, and in general just being outdoors.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mic Roland

    Hey Jeff,
    Nice article. You’re right that the Lone Leader is far too prone to going wrong. One of my college professors used to say that the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship. The trouble is, finding a benevolent dictator. Someone on the list commented about the narcissist/egoist such that anyone really eager to BE the boss is probably not the one you want.

    A well-defined and understood chain of command and/or succession plan is important too, in case the primary leader (and there’ll usually be one) is incapacitated (e.g. illness) or away.

    While the leader(s) don’t need to be the most skilled at all the tasks, they do need to fully appreciate their importance to the survival and well-being of the group. Someone too obsessed with a particular skill would be prone to misallocating resources to the others.

  2. Jeff

    Mic, I agree with all of your comments. “You are only as good as the people around you”. We need to choose wisely.
    FYI- it was me who said avoid the first person to run up to the podium!!! LOL

    1. Brian Hawkins

      I agree with you both. Leadership takes a certain amount of “skill,” but it should be considered a burden that the leader is willing to accept for the group’s betterment. Anyone that wants to be a leader, so they’re in charge, has already started on the wrong foot.

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