[October 4, 2020] Yesterday, I was a guest on the “Welcome Home Veterans” radio show on WIBG 1020 AM and WIBG 101.3 FM. Joe Griffies was host of the show and this guy, wow, he can talk. Tomorrow, I’ll give write about that experience and what he is doing to help veterans across our nation. For today, I’d planned on giving a list of lessons I learned from being in the U.S. Army.
I thought it best just to list them. Here are 20 lessons I got from 40 years in the military:
- Adopt all reasonable responsibility you can
- Tell the truth
- Be prepared (yes, this is the Boy Scout motto but it is especially needed in a difficult leader position)
- Show your men that you care about them (means help them become better men)
- Work Hard, Play Hard, Be Hard (physically and mentally)
- Learn how to get along with most people
- Accept criticism with grace
- Never complain1
- Be Loyal to a fault (read 14th century Dante’s inferno & his 9 Circles of hell)
- That pride and greed are serious character flaws.
- Practice, Practice, Practice; make what you do a part of your muscles, including your brain
- Read, think, write (train yourself to study, learn, and analyze)
- Understand your Core Values and stick to them (loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, …)
- Know your strengths and weaknesses, admit them to yourself & decide to improve
- Know your priorities: God, Country, Family
- Face your fears; have courage
- Know where you are going, plan on how to get there, set goals, and “go for it”
- Leadership is never a job or career, it’s a lifestyle. Fail to understand that & you will not succeed
- Do those things that have value
- I learned that we in the military owe a great debt of gratitude to the American people, so every day I thank them in my prayers.
Shortly, I will be writing another book on this very topic. My thinking is that I have to get this list down to a dozen or so. The hardest part of writing is not thinking of subjects to discuss but thinking of what not to write.