Why Veterans make Great Leaders

With Veterans Day, November 11th, just around the corner, our thoughts go to those men and women who stand in the gap for freedom. With those thoughts, comes the reality of what happens when they return to the workforce – whether they chose to return or were part of the ongoing military layoffs. As companies are offered incentives for hiring veterans, we have to wonder – why? Why do we need a ‘reward” for making a smart business decision? The truth is hiring a veteran is as big of a plus for the company as for the veteran. Why? Because veterans make great leaders.

Consider these 5 points:

1. In order to lead, one must first have respect for those who led them, as well as for the reasons behind established policies and procedures. Veterans have a deep respect for authority and structure. They understand hierarchy, accountability, and responsibility. They can be counted on to lead the pack by their personal example. They understand the importance of following the rules – and also when you have to take the risk, even if it means breaking the rules.
2. True leaders know how to get down in the trenches and carry their share of the load. Veterans have been in the trenches. They carried the load when it made the difference between life and death. They understand the mission. They have been trained in the “real-world” to complete the task – by the deadline.
3. Leaders are problem-solvers. Veterans have been well-trained to see the problem and respond with a solution. They handle the urgent – facing enemy fire – without losing sight of the goal – rescuing a people in bondage.
4. A great leader understands team work. They inspire their team to gel and motivate them to reach high. Veterans understand teamwork. Their mission, their lives, depended on melding together with their unit. They learned to work together, regardless of race, gender, religion, etc., understanding that everyone was dependent on everyone.
5. Leaders maintain integrity. Veterans have learned to “tell it like it is”. Every day, their mission depended on integrity and loyalty. They knew that shoddy work could cause mission failure and destroy lives.

The veteran who seeks employment might not have the college degree you consider as a job prerequisite, but they have the training. They learned the ropes – not by the books – but by being in the heat of the action. In an Inc.com article by Alison Griswold, veterans themselves shared pointers they learned in service that prepared them for leadership. Concepts like:
• Take good care of your people
• Assembling diverse teams creates better perspectives
• Listen
• Stay calm under pressure
• Act decisively, even on limited information
• Carefully plan out the logistics.
• Lead with integrity.
• Be, know, and do everything you ask of those below you.
• Give 100% of your effort.

Go for it. This Veteran’s Day, connect with Springborn Staffing. We will find your Bangor and Portland, Maine company a best-fit candidate for your open position. We’ll find you a true leader – who just might also be a veteran.

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