Lessons from our Veterans
The price that America’s veterans have paid and continue to pay is beyond measure. We celebrate and honor them on Memorial Day. We enjoy our picnics and family gatherings because of their efforts. We can pursue our dreams and goals due to their courage.
I will attempt to honor them by looking for wisdom we can apply to our businesses, careers and professions. We will examine three lessons to help us grow.
A Worthy Cause – Sacrificial Effort – Victory is earned
The Cause –
Work for a cause, not for applause – Unknown
Leaving the world a better place for their families and future generations was at the heart of the life and death efforts our veterans gave. A worthy cause indeed. We have the same opportunity as we grow our businesses and careers. Although the goal is to prosper financially, it will only carry you so far. It you examine and look at the enterprises that have “the juice” you will find a cause and comradery within the organization. It may be making the better biscuit, a product that helps seniors lives better, or more sustainable manufacturing. It may be in the causes your company supports that inspires the team. It doesn’t matter, what does matter is a cause everyone can rally around and that is clearly defined. The Cause – find it, define it, and rally behind it.
Sacrificial Effort –
The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. – Jeff Miller
Nothing makes a successful entrepreneur’s blood boil quite like someone saying they were just lucky. This is an insult because it completely discounts the risk and sacrifice they made. The things they gave up and the things they lost in their pursuit of their dream and cause. Great companies create an environment where the cause and the team are important enough for sacrificial effort. These employees feel empowered and appreciated and they know their contributions make a difference. I watched my dad work for the same company for 42 years and he loved it. He took pride in being “a company man”. Things have changed a bit. Millennials may not view the world quite the same way, but they are no less willing to sacrifice if they are convinced an organizations cause and beliefs align with their own.
The key thing to remember is sacrifice can be honorable and is required for success and our veterans gave us the ultimate example.
Victory is earned, but worth it.
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. – George S. Patton
Powerful words from a great leader of men. What is more inspiring than the image of our soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima? The cause they believed in, the sacrifice of so many lives, the impossible challenges they accepted is what led to a victory that helped make the world a better place. Victory in business, like in war, needs to be defined. Unfortunately, we have seen the negative results when that is not the case. When we know and believe in the bigger picture we can learn from defeats and setbacks. We understand that sometimes just surviving to fight one more day is a victory. Lastly, they teach us that great leadership will inspire ordinary people to do and achieve extraordinary accomplishments. This to me is the ultimate victory and success.
Whether our cause proves to be worthy, and our sacrifices enough to lead to success, we would not be able to experience the opportunity without the men and women who keep us free.