General Attributes & Transferrable Skills That Make Hiring A Veteran Smart!

Military_LogosHere is a list of attributes and transferrable skills that make hiring a Veteran smart!  I wish I could take credit for the top 10, but I cannot.  The info was received without the author’s name so my apologies to the smart person that figured out how to quantify and state what many of us Veterans have always felt.  I have added #11 and invite you to contribute!


1. Accelerated Learning Curve.
Vets have the proven ability to quickly learn new skills and concepts. They possess identifiable and transferable skills proven to achieve success.

2. Leadership.
Vets understand practical ways to manage and achieve goals even in the most trying circumstances. They are trained to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration.

3. Teamwork.
Vets understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues and how diverse individuals or groups can best work together to achieve overarching objectives.

4. Diversity and inclusion in action.
Vets have worked respectfully and cooperatively alongside others regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion or mental or physical capabilities.

5. Efficient performance under pressure.
Vets have the capacity to know how to accomplish tasks on time and in spite of stress or adversity. They understand the importance of dedication and perseverance.

6. Respect for procedures.
Vets have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They understand how policies and procedures yield stability, safety and productivity.

7. Technology and globalization.
Vets are aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business. They bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy necessary for success.

8. Integrity.
Vets know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.

9. Conscious of health and safety standards.
Vets are cognizant of the importance of health and safety standards. This conscientiousness translates into the protection of self, others and property.

10. Triumph over adversity.
Vets are individuals who have triumphed over adversity. They have the proven ability to overcome challenges and obstacles through strength and determination.

11.  Loyalty
Vets sense of loyalty drives their commitment to country and their fellow service members enabling a personal strength to achieve the objectives.

My Most Valuable Asset?

Recently I received a LinkedIn group notice of a new discussion.  The title lured me to the page by telling me “Warren Buffet tells you: Reputation is Everything.”  Now being a savvy business person who loves to learn from other people, especially Warren Buffet, click I must.

The headline is followed by Mr Buffet’s actual quote:

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five  minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you will do things differently.” Warren Buffet.

OK, I agree.  Good point to ponder.  The next point made however is slightly less accurate:

“By far the most neglected yet most valuable asset, that nearly all RV Businesses overlook is their ONLINE reputation.”

Really?  Your most valuable asset is your “ONLINE reputation?”

Sure, establishing an online interactive monitoring and support program will benefit a company, but it is hardly the most valuable asset.  Replace RV Business with any other business and your online reputation is still driven primarily by your offline performance.

Your REAL-WORLD personal interactions, product quality and service after the sale will form your reputation and drive what people are saying about you wherever they are communicating.  If you are doing a good job, people will say good things and your reputation will be good.  If you are doing a poor job, then indeed your reputation will be soiled by people communicating that poor job to more people than you can even imagine.

No amount of online efforts ALONE will will solve your reputation problems as the problems were created in the real-world, by real people.  We need to stop worrying about whether something is virtual or not because at the end of the day, the affects and results affect our REAL COMPANY.

Tools are available to help us in every aspect of our business and I by no means devalue the tools or need to monitor our online reputation.  Just PLEASE do not tell me that my ONLINE reputation is my most valuable asset.  I am quite sure my most valuable asset is my REPUTATION!




Be nice! Really? You need to be told that?

Sometimes I am astounded at the rudeness or disdain some people display towards others.  I have come to expect social skills to be lacking in more than a few job areas, but for professional salespeople to fail in basic human interactions, let alone the finer skills of working with people is beyond me.

Photo Credit Dealerscope

Photo Credit Dealerscope

Recently I was discussing the current plight of a particular unemployed former “superstar” who has now been out of work for almost two years with a friend of mine.  My friend was racked with grief over this person’s inability to secure a new job at his previous pay level or even something close.  My friend was also distressed about this person’s inability to take his situation seriously or comprehend that maybe, just maybe HE needed to change.  Lastly, my friend has finally stop calling this person as he felt he was more interested in seeing this person get back on his feet and moving forward than him.  The once close relationship is now on hold, but my friend still feels great pain over it.

Now I will admit I do not know this person very well, but I know of him.  For many years, he held a prestigious sales position in a well respected company.  He had the job, the pay, the perks.  He seemed to have it all.  What he did not have was the time of day for the up and comers looking for mentoring, the newbies looking for advice or the peers simply looking to get to know him better at an industry event (where time and opportunity were ample).

To be honest, I was turned off by this person early in my career exactly by the examples given above.  As the new guy, apparently I had nothing to offer.  As the up and coming guy, I guess I posed a competitive risk.  As the industry peer, it was interesting to see how he reacted to mutual friends greeting me.

Now I hold no grudge as I am just fine thank you, but I was struck by my friends commitment and grief over his friends situation even though he has no communication with him at this time.  Clearly they had a close relationship and I could not help but think I was being asked to help in some way.   So “help” I must, by talking of my perceived shortcomings of his friend.

Now, I realize that is not really “help”, but the interesting thing is my friend readily acknowledged what I said was true!  Even he knew his buddy had an “attitude” with people when times were good, but interesting I think he thought it was OK to be “elitist”.  He was separated from the “regular folks” and he liked it.

The problem as we all know by now is that the “regular folks” are now the folks in charge and he has no access.  He never cared to develop even a cursory relationship with them.  He never took advantage of helping someone in their career that may not have contributed to an instant rise in his sales numbers (aka commission or bonus).  I find this to be truly sad.

Whether you are in sales or not, please take the time to mentor, advise, network and help others network as well.  The time will be short, but the payoff in professional equity and friendships made will be well worth it!

Oh, and please be nice because you just never know when that person you are being rude to today just may be the person you need help from tomorrow!

Happy Independence Day

May we all seek & find our individual independence from the things that hold us back and while we celebrate this weekend our Country’s Independence Day with family and friends may we always be ready to fight for our collective independence whether the enemy be foreign or domestic.

Independence Day

I swore the following oath on July 20, 1980 upon entering active duty in the US Navy and I invite all to contemplate and reflect on the power and commitment of these few carefully chosen words. They demonstrate an interesting dichotomy where those that step forward to serve actually give up some of their freedoms for a time to protect and defend everyone’s.

“I, Robert A. Fields III, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

While the commitment to obey orders (through the military chain of command is obvious (and necessary) the purpose and focus is on the oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

We do not stand ready to fight for a piece of paper, but for a way of life. A way seen by few people outside of our borders and a way that provides us the greatest opportunities to express individual freedom, to be the people God meant us to be. As noted in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Take some time this weekend to put aside (not forget) your angst over whatever political, government or social issue you may be fighting for, support or hate and contemplate the great opportunity you have to fight for yourself and others simply because you live in this great nation. A nation founded by people with a vision and the courage to stand up for what they believed in and with the dedication to ensuring future generations the same rights and opportunities.  You were blest to be born here and privileged to be able to exercise rights not available to most of the rest of the world.  Teach your children the greatness of our collective, the importance of its protection and the criticality of our participation in its ways.  Complacency is an enemy while blind compliance is a sure threat.

As we stand together to support and protect our collective independence, let us also look inwardly and admit the challenges that we alone have allowed to hold us back from whatever we are trying to accomplish.  Let us work to vanquish these foes that hold us back and set forth on a new path towards our individual liberty and happiness.  After all our definitions may be different, but “we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Happy Independence Day!

The Limited Value Of LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise”

At the risk of offending anyone who has endorsed me on LinkedIn by using the “Skills & Expertise” selections, does anyone else find these endorsements lame, unthinking and worthless?  I should also add annoying since they clog up the LinkedIn update feed with nonsense such as so&so has been endorsed for CE.  What the heck does that really mean???

Just the other day a friend mentioned to me that someone had endorsed him with the skill/expertise of Operations Management.  This friend is a sales animal, but even he admits he is not an “ops guy” and he had nothing but negative to say about the joker who endorsed him.

I might agree these attributes would be of value if everyone doing the the endorsing truly knew the person receiving the endorsement, but there in lies the dilemma.  We ALL have connections we do not know as well as the next person (just as our real life relationships have differing intimacy levels), but to provide “point and click” categories for all to use simply does not reflect a thinking or sincere endorsement.

Clearly the written endorsement is of the most value to individuals, but it is difficult to quantify and from LinkedIn’s perspective more difficult to provide useful (and valuable) search results.  That said, these categories would be of more and real value if they were linked to written endorsements.  Most especially if the endorser were REQUIRED to write about each skill or expertise category selected.

Now there is an idea…

“Networking? Why do I need to do that, I am not looking for a job?”

Trust me, if you wait to start networking until you need a job forget about it!

That ship has sailed, everyone already knows you need a job because why else would you be calling or emailing them now?  What you don’t understand is if they had a referral or reference for you they would have already told you about it!  Please don’t make matters worse and belittle yourself by asking for help now.

I mention jobs above purely because of the employment environment we have been in, but the same goes for any situation when you are overtly looking for “something from somebody” without investing the necessary time and sincerity into building a relationship with the person you are begging, err I mean asking for help.

Think about it, do you like to be used?  Of course not!  You want to feel like the person you are helping would help you if you needed, but unfortunately most people only have very shallow relationships.  After all we are too busy with our our thing, our own work and our own families.  We don’t have time for others, yet we expect others to take away from their time and commitments to help us because we are a “good person”.  Wake up, they view that as a SELFISH PERSON!

How many times have you seen the previous successful person falling from their lofty perch only to have everyone around him letting him fall to the ground without so much as a flinch of help?  Admit it, all the time!  This is because of the attitude above and frankly most people feel this way which is why someone who understands networking (or what I like to call “relationship building”) actually draw folks to them.

You have seen it.  A person like this walks into a room and they never seem to have a problem finding someone (or a group) wanting to “catch up” with them.  These people of understanding make people feel good about themselves.  They encourage or inspire others to do more or ignore what has been holding them back.  Face it, they are a pleasure to be around!

Well, I am here to tell you that you too can be that person!  But you must let go of selfishness, negative attitudes and be willing to stop talking once in a while!  Not an easy task I well know, but trust me you will gain understanding, feel better better for it and at the same time you will actually build deeper relationships with those around you.  You will also (eventually) become that “guy”!

We can’t discuss it all in one sitting, but this is something to be discussed in more detail and practiced all the time.  It is easy and you will be surprised at what you learn and what you earn, namely respect!  I look forward to discussing further and if you ever want to discuss or chat, you got my contact info!