So often in today’s society, we find ourselves in a pickle. We either have discovered that we are have an uphill battle in front of us or that we need to rely on others to succeed. It seems that the culture within the United States has evolved over the past few decades, and, while that can be a positive at times, certainly negative undertones have also evolved and arrived on the scene. At times, you find yourself questioning whether or not you can even trust your co-workers, your boss, or your business partners. Outside of work, you might even [unfortunately] not be able to trust some family members; maybe, they are not reliable or simply break promises. Either way, trust is cloudy in this evolving world.
My Marine Corps Experience
Looking back on my nearly eight years of time in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, I am proud to say that I worked with a Band of Brothers who were very dedicated, very reliable, and always there to back me up. We looked out for one another – it was the right thing to do, and it is part of the massive and great Marine Corps Tradition. Luckily for me, I grew up with the understanding that your word is your bond. This was instilled in me at a young age, and it was my duty to work hard to ensure that I did not break promises and let others down. Certainly, I am human and have made a mistake or two in my years, but a handshake over a deal worth much more to me than some legal document. As times have changed, documents are needed, and I get that, but a handshake seals it for me. Back to my time in the Marine Corps, the trust and camaraderie was a two-way street; it was earned! Marines know what is at stake, and the great majority of them go out of their way to make sure that the missions get accomplished. When times get tough and bullets are flying, it is critical to be able to rely on others to have your back!
[Below is a 2003 Picture of my Marine Corps Reserve Unit just prior to deployment of OEF/OIF.]
Civilian World Translation
Sure, in the business world, it might be tough and challenging, but [in most cases] people are not shooting at you with various deadly weapons. At times, we might get comfortable since the situation is not really life or death. But, many lessons can be learned if you look at how the Marines are trained and how their teamwork and principles make all the difference. For business leaders, I challenge you to work diligently with your subordinates to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Building the connections now will help the organization weather the storms in the future. In a day wherein clichés are popular in the workplace [and gossip is in an abundance], it is critical that we break down the barriers between these groups and work towards an environment wherein everybody has an important role that others depend on. And, if you cannot trust somebody within the organization, why have them as part of the team? It’s that simple!