Last month, I was “stuck” on my island. And by my island, I mean the world that is 6 inches between my ears.
Ever since I was a young Army officer, I had the tendency to be a recluse when faced with complex, tough problems. I don’t know if it was a ‘me’ thing or a learned behavior from the military, but this is somewhat aligned with the concept of the “burden of command.”
As a leader, the success or failure of your organization is strictly dependent on you -- this your burden as the leader. There is no one else to share in this responsibility. The outcome is dependent on your ability to lead.
So, I typically take extreme ownership of all my circumstances, and tend to shut out the outside world to give myself to “figure it out” on my own, on my island. This, however, is NOT the recommended course of action.
For example, I am an Army Veteran and entrepreneur, and my boutique headhunting firm is in helping companies find exceptional mid-career, corporate-experienced military Veteran leaders. I place top-caliber Veterans into these amazing opportunities with phenomenal companies.
My team and I have run into some problems to figure out the most efficient processes of running the business. We seemed to be constantly reacting to each of our unique customers’s problems and not being very efficient in our process.
As the weeks progressed, I saw that we were stuck in our own echo chambers, just reinforcing the same concepts that weren’t working in the first place. And the walls surrounding my island continued to grow taller, as I grew more determined to figure this problem out… alone.
This was until a man, whom I would later call my mentor, intervened. Bill Watkins invited me to a community of powerful, like-minded individuals who all ran businesses of their own.
He shared with me the power of identifying your core values and beliefs, which will later build the foundations for your business processes. He taught me effective techniques to be more operationally efficient and better communicate within the team.
Most of all, he pulls me off of my island (once a week virtually and in-person every quarter) to surround myself with other people to challenge and help build our businesses. He reminds me that I do not have to suffer through it alone -- there are resources to help.
And Bill does this to genuinely help others succeed. I find his authenticity a breath of fresh air, as he openly shares his struggles and failures in his past, so it can inspire us to do better.
I urge you all to find your own network or community to be plugged into, with life-minded go-getters. Find a group to flourish in and have as your personal board or directors.
Whether your struggles are to solve a workplace issue, problems with your boss, or to pivot into a new career, find people to help you think through your circumstances and where you can gain genuine feedback from people who care for you.
So, to Bill Watkins and the Lion’s Pride. Thank you.
Thank you for getting me off my island!
MilSpec Capital is a boutique headhunting firm that connects High-Impact Veterans to our client companies in various industries. Our Veterans typically have 5-15 years of private sector experience, in addition to their successful track record of Leadership.