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Military Traits That Serve Entrepreneurs

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By Debbie Gregory.

A disproportionate number of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have military experience when compared to their civilian counterparts in the business world.  It is not a secret that skills acquired during military service provide individuals with a strong sense of leadership, as well as the ability to assemble a successful team. For military and veteran entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of launching their businesses, they would be well served to tap into their military training.

First and foremost, military training has taught servicemembers to lead with a clear vision and plan. Strong leaders have the right assets and tools in place to build trust and confidence in any situation. A leader should be a visionary and have greater foresight.   A leader should have the ability to accept and embrace failure.

Additionally, it is paramount to know and have a clear vision of your mission. By having a defined goal, you can then break that goal down into smaller, more manageable steps towards completion. Keeping mission focus at all times and also allow your people to be creative and innovative.

Your team is very important to your success.   Be sure to build a team that is prepared to pitch in and move out of their comfort zones.   When you embrace cultural diversity and different ways of thinking, you tap into a much greater pool of talent. Encourage your team to use their strengths to help your company succeed. Working as a cohesive unit will promote a sense of camaraderie which will help you through difficult times that may arise.

It’s no easy task to navigate the road to entrepreneurship. But if you’re a servicemember or a veteran considering this path, you already embody the courage, discipline and commitment it takes to begin this journey. It may not happen overnight, but in the end, the reward will be well worth it.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

Military Creates Entrepreneurial Mind Set

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By Debbie Gregory.

Whether at the helm of a two-person company or a bigger player, strong leadership skills can mean the difference between a successful business and a failing one. Leadership is almost 100% about managing people.

Having great ideas and a strategic vision won’t get you far if your employees aren’t willing to follow you. And too many entrepreneurs take leadership skills for granted.

This is usually not a problem for veterans in an entrepreneurial role. But just what is it about the military that has created individuals with such a strong sense of leadership? What values do veterans leave their military service with that that makes operationalizing a team so easy?

A business’s success really boils down to the way the team works together. Here are some pointers that will serve all businesses well:

  • You’re one team, despite your position. Lead by example. And never be afraid to ask for advice.
  • Listen throughout the chain of command. Communication is key! Share successes and failures. Information clearly transmitted gives them context and a sense of belonging to the company.
  • Embrace diversity. Hire and retain the best of the best. Often times, these employees will be your fellow veterans.
  • Have a strategic vision. Plan where you want your business to be in five years and how you are going to take it there.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. Leaders can be found at all levels in an organization. Giving your employees more responsibility will help you to identify which ones have what it takes, allowing you the opportunity to help them develop their leadership skills.

Successful CEOs must build a team that are prepared to pitch in and move out of their comfort zones. This is something fundamental in the military, where the teamwork ethic is so strong that they never leave a man behind.

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