In today’s blog, we honor our veterans, who have served us to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.
President Franklin Roosevelt spoke about four freedoms: the freedom of speech & expression, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear. I’m reminded on this Veterans Day that all the freedoms we enjoy don’t come without a cost.
What can we learn from those that serve, and how can we apply those learnings to our real estate practice? In their Open Forum, American Express interviewed 18 veteran business owners who shared the lessons they learned in the military that has led to business success.
They are summarized here:
1. The Power of Intense Focus
4. Superior Decision-Making Skills
5. Resourcefulness, Flexibility, and Persistence
6. The Ability to Harness Processes and Procedures
7. Extreme Discipline
The ability to silence distractions is a critical business skill that allows us to assess situations and identify solutions that yield positive outcomes quickly.
To achieve a mission, the military teaches that it takes a team watching each other’s backs while doing their individual best.
In the military, if something stays the same for too long, it starts to feel strange. You’re always moving to a new base, changing roles, and deploying to different locations. Change is also constant in private business, especially in companies like ours that strive to be ‘innovative and growth-oriented’ and continuously look to improve.
Superior Decision-Making Skills
All leaders would love to make decisions with perfect information, but that never happens. In the military, you learn to trust your ability to make decisions under pressure using what information you have available. Then you adjust as the situation warrants. Situational awareness is a skill learned in military service.
Resourcefulness, Flexibility, and Persistence
Veterans learn to pivot on a moment’s notice from plans that aren’t working to plans that are. When you are faced with the challenge of getting a job done without access to the resources that would ideally be available, one of the greatest skills you gain is an uncanny and nearly unparalleled ability to solve complex tasks with little to no guidance independently.
The Ability to Harness Processes and Procedures
In the military, everything is built on the fundamentals with a process and a procedure. We would never be able to progress to conducting night live-fire exercises if we couldn’t shoot, move, and communicate during the day. You don’t just hop into a plane and take it off the ground. There are many checks and safety inspections that have to be done, and a responsible pilot has to be accountable for all of it.
Starting and running your own business is the most all-consuming thing you can do. Running on little sleep, having a no-quit attitude, and persevering until the end is all attributes I can trace back to the military culture and training.
There you have it, seven key skills that we can learn from Veterans.