The Resilience Shield
SAS resilience techniques to master your mindset and overcome adversity
Dr Dan Pronk, Ben Pronk DSC, and Tim Curtis
Sydney, NSW: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2021
Paperback 336pp RRP $34.99
Reviewer: Neville Taylor, October 2022
Within the covers of The Resilience Shield lies an excellent set of life guidelines for us all. The subtitle may well be off-putting to some potential readers, but therein are simple prescriptions that we can all follow to not only improve our personal resilience but also enhance our individual personas.
The three authors are former SAS members – one as a physician, one rising to command the SAS Regiment, and Tim Curtis as a squadron commander. On ceasing military service they all completed and MBA and subsequently played significant roles in public health and personal well-being. Ben and Tim are co-founders of Mettle Global – a consultancy delivering resilience solutions to clients globally – and co-hosts of the podcast Unforgiving 60.
This work has evolved from the authors’ own experiences, observation, research, and advice from others. They have identified six layers of resilience – Innate, Mind, Body, Social, Professional and Adaption. All are woven together to form a Resilience Shield for an individual which also benefits those around them. A chapter is devoted to each layer with accompanying case studies and advice on finding the correct balance so that layer-interactions can take place. The Resilience Shield website (www.resilienceshield.com) is a portal to resources and up-to-date information that complements this book. It also contains a Resilience Survey readers are invited to take and is a component of a research project with the University of Western Australia.
A very significant and pertinent case study is that of Brigadier Rod Curtis, AM, MC now retired. He won his Military Cross as a lieutenant in Borneo, commanded the SAS Regiment and later been its colonel commandant, as well as being the father of Tim Curtis. He had endured numerous life stresses in his career and his resilience remained intact until the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. Many of his lifestyle habits were curtailed in order to stay healthy, and his resilience fell away dramatically. With Mind, Body, Social and Professional layers affected, Tim and his father set about developing strategies to fill these voids and restore his depleted resilience.
I would very strongly recommend this work to any potential reader. A most valuable guide to life in our stressful times, with the added advantage of having a wry sense of humour embedded into its easy- to-read text.
The RUSI – Vic Library thanks the publisher for making this work available for review.