Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! With Memorial Day coming up, I wanted to talk about the relationship between business and the military. While business leaders do not typically risk their lives for the mission of their organizations, you can learn a lot about leadership from those in the military that did. Today I wanted to share the leadership traits that our greatest military leaders had and challenge you to see how you can apply them to your leadership situation.
Preparing To Win
The military does not practice combat drills during war; they practice combat drills in preparation for war. Victory is won on the practice field. In business, your combat drills are adequate tools, proper staffing, training and development, and coaching and mentoring. How are you preparing your team to win?
Q: What skill do you think is most important for a business to have long-term success? Why? How is it currently involved in your business?
Armed forces personnel put the welfare of the Nation and their team before their own. When you put the mission of the organization and the needs of others before your own needs, you will be successful. Your mission will require you to make withdrawals from your team. The question is, are you making the proper amount of deposits to earn the withdraws?
Q: What types of requests cause you to make a withdraw from your relationship with people? Has someone ever shown you that they put you before themself? What did they do? How did it affect your relationship?
The greatest leaders are the ones who have the proper perspective and mindsets to thrive through adversity. Our Armed Forces have endured a long tradition of perseverance in the pursuit of victory. Every leader will face obstacles on the way to success, but the ability to persevere and overcome these obstacles is one of the attributes of a great leader.
Q: Share a time when you persevered through a difficult situation. What did you learn through it?
Are you taking responsibility for your results? Military personnel take personal responsibility to fulfill their obligations and perform the duties as part of their team unit. There are leaders who make excuses, and there are those who get results. There will always be resistance. However, as a leader, you need to show your team that perseverance is the only option. Do not expect others to do what you have not done or are not willing to model out.
Q: How do you define accountability? Why do you think the military is a good model of accountability?
Attention to Detail
Are you paying attention to the details that separate great performers from average ones? As with your own results, in the military, it all comes down to execution. In the military, not paying attention to detail can result in a comrade's death or a defeat in battle. On the job, not paying attention to details can result in an unhappy customer or losing them to a competitor altogether. This can result in the loss of great employees. Never despise the details. If the average person does not define you as over the top when it comes to the details, you probably are not doing it right. Move with urgency! Seek perfection. Do what others are not willing to do to get what others will never have. When you take care of the small details, the big picture paints itself.
Q: On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at paying attention to detail? Do you think attention to detail is a fixed trait? Why or why not?
What better way to learn from the military’s systems of preparation than to read books by accomplished military veterans! Add the following two books to your reading list. Extreme Ownership and the Dichotomy of Leadership. If you struggle to find time to read, they are also available as audiobooks! Take notes or jot down your biggest takeaways after each chapter and challenge yourself to apply something from the book by the end of the quarter.
If you want to be successful in business, you have to prepare before you are faced with challenges or setbacks. Part of what prepares the military for war is their training exercises and habits. Take a look at the systems in your current business model and ask yourself these two questions. How can we improve our habits and routines so that they support the health, not just the productivity, of our organization? What are our plans to tackle unexpected challenges, and is everyone aware of those plans?
Successful people know how to pay attention to details. This week, try implementing one new strategy that can improve your focus and attention to detail. Examples of strategies include avoiding multitasking, setting limits on screen time, or organizing your workspace regularly.