This is the success and transition story of Air Force Veteran Joe Paranteau . As a U.S. Air Force veteran, he is committed to veteran’s issues. He supports causes to end child trafficking and exploitation.
From the foot soldiers of the Roman Empire and Genghis Khan’s cavalry to today’s military, the contributions and leadership of people in uniform have stood the test of time.
I spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve and the leadership lessons I learned have lasted a lifetime. I often rely on my military leadership lessons to lead sales and business teams today.
Here are a few of the most enduring lessons I learned. Whether you have served or not, you can take some of these golden nuggets and apply them to your business:
It’s Not About “You.” It’s About “Us”
The moment enlisted or officers start their initial training – the core value is the same. No one person is greater than the team. If you are a lone wolf, you won’t go far. From the minute your service begins, you learn that the sum is more significant than its parts. The team is everything.
My first night in training, I watched people shed their individuality for the team’s good. Over time, our team grew stronger through proximity and shared adversity. If something wasn’t right, the whole team suffered.
I was a chow runner, which meant I ran ahead of the formation to the chow hall to sign our unit in. The fastest runners guaranteed their units ate first. I could run fast. In fact, on a good day, I could get signed in 5-10 minutes before my unit would arrive, which meant I had time for a bit of shut-eye. One day, I was fast asleep leaning against a pole. Click, click, click. I heard the boot taps of my drill instructors as they circled me. I woke up and stood at attention. They yelled at me for what seemed like hours.
I had already learned to take ultimate accountability for my actions. When asked why I was asleep at my post, I replied, “No excuse, sir.” In reality, there is no reason for an excuse, although people make thousands of them. My unit had to wait because of my actions instead of eating early. I stared into a sea of hungry, impatient eyes and realized I made a mistake that affected everyone. I learned to never repeat that mistake again! (continue reading)