Freedom Isn’t Free – Part II

Picture of a flying american flag

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
2. Teamwork
3. Adaptability
4. Superior Decision-Making Skills
5. Resourcefulness, Flexibility, and Persistence
6. The Ability to Harness Processes and Procedures
7. Extreme Discipline

Focus
The ability to silence distractions is a critical business skill that allows us to assess situations and identify solutions that yield positive outcomes quickly.

Teamwork
To achieve a mission, the military teaches that it takes a team watching each other’s backs while doing their individual best.

Adaptability
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.

Extreme Discipline
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.

#WinTheDay.

About the Author
Mark is the Chief Executive Officer of JP & Associates, a rapidly growing full-service real estate brokerage. He is focused primarily on expansion and productivity. He has invested nearly 20 years in understanding the inner workings of high performing real estate agents, teams, managers, and leaders in major markets across the world. In prior assignments, he served as a Business Coach, in progressive leadership capacities for the 5th largest US-based real estate brokerage firm; in sales and customer marketing leadership capacities for a major consumer goods company; and served a stint in the US Army, Medical Service Corp. He was later recalled to active duty during the desert storm campaign.

Mark is a father of 3, lifelong learner, Spartan and adventure athlete. He earned his MBA from California State University and a Behavioral Change Certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine. A number of years ago he decided to make "One Helluva Move" and not play it safe, and since then in his spare time he has climbed the world’s tallest free-standing mountain - Kilimanjaro; completed the Spartan tri-fecta, the LA Marathon and the world-famous Iowa border to border RABGRAI ride among other crazy adventures.