Secrets How Military Veterans Enable Their Employers to Succeed


TSecrets How Military Veterans Help Their Employers SucceedHIS CONTENT PROVIDED COURTESY OF USAA.  Military service members are taught how to create integrated operations plans with multiple contingencies to ensure critical strategies succeed, create and develop personnel to succeed in their careers, and coordinate the placement and use of critical resources to ensure a plan has the best chance of success.  This military training and military experience, with some modification, is “off-the-shelf” ready to be applied to the successful execution of business strategy.  Military veterans before having often overcome great personal struggles to establish their civilian career success.

Great companies are based upon a sustainable value proposition of creating and maintaining value for a variety of stakeholders.  The Business Qualities of Success are what business need to do in order to be successful among customers and in the marketplace.  Customers find the products or services the company produces to be satisfying to meet their needs, stockholders find the return that the company produces to be equal to the comparable risk – reward ratio of other similar ventures, and employees find the time spent at the workplace to be engaging, interesting, and rewarding.  When any one of these three elements fail, the company usually fails.  The central driver for success in business is the employee.  Employees create products, satisfy customer needs, meet financial obligations, and make the critical decisions to guide the company to success.  Therefore, finding and keeping the finest employees is the most crucial decision for a company.

The Business Qualities of Success

The Business Qualities of Success are the primary drivers for what makes a business, or any size or service or product, successful.  Business must complete successfully an amazing amount of centralized and simultaneous tasks to be perceived competitive in today’s marketplace.  Businesses must manage cash flow to ensure they have enough immediate money to pay their bills, pay employees sufficient benefit packages so they remain with the company, operate at the lowest cost and highest service level to meet the most demanding customer, and ensure all the company’s and their employee’s activities are both morally, ethically, legally, and socially sound.  This is a challenge to achieve, but the qualities below help businesses ensure they meet these demands.

caMO2Consistent Improvement – The final area is consistent improvement.  The modern marketplace, from a dry-cleaning store to operating a hot dog stand to a global corporation, is in a constant of flux.  Customers demand new products, customers want to pay less, governments consider new legal measures, and markets demand even better returns.  Central to the all the criteria in the Business Qualities of Success is the ability to get constantly and consistently better in these.  The process that businesses go through of almost evolutionary adaptation is critical and central to their success.

Execution – Execution is the successful delivery of the product or service to the customer that fulfills the need for which they customer purchased the good or service.  The company must execute literally thousands of tasks before a good or service reaches the customer from purchasing raw materials to transporting goods to conducting advertising.  However, all the events in executions must be viewed through the prism of customer satisfaction and how the good or service satisfied the need of the customer.  For example, if I do anything from developing marketing, and delivering a laundry detergent to customers that does not clean clothes or make them smell fresh, then I have ultimately failed because my execution failed to satisfy the reasons the customer purchased the product.

Financial Results – The achievement of above market financial returns is the reason that businesses operate.  This could be a child’s lemonade stand or a multi country, multi-billion-dollar conglomerate.  However, financial results are not only quarter to quarter Earnings per Share (EPS) returns.  Good fiscal management and results return an above market return to shareholders, but they also maintain a good credit rating for the company, timely payment to suppliers and vendors for materials and services, a relatively low debt level, and solid investment levels to ensure the future success of the company to meet its business objectives in a competitive environment.  At times, these can be contradictory, but they usually can be achieved.

1000w_q95ffffLeadership – Just as military forces need leaders, Business businesses need leaders that possess: high ethical quality, rigorous decision making skills, an analytical mind that can see the perspective of both the firm and the customer, an appreciation of how to attract and grow talented employees, a keen sense of financial returns possible, and how to ensure that the company meets all the legal, social, and ethical requirements of its operations.  Leaders that meet these criteria are in short supply in any business, but the leaders that possess these qualities nearly always emerge as the leaders in their companies and underlying divisions.  Leaders are the executors of business strategy and their development must be central to any successful business.

Service and Quality – Customers will buy new services and products to try them out and see if they work.  However, service and quality is what will make customers stay and attract even more customers.  Customer demand good service both in the purchase of a product, but also in the after-market support of the product.  What if the product breaks?  What if I have a question?  These thoughts and concerns run through consumers that are on their way to becoming customers.  The highlights of service and quality are primary factors of what makes the restaurant chain McDonalds so successful.  McDonald’s is legendary for their consistent service, quality of food preparation, and rigorous engineering of their food development, raw food ingredient purchasing, and in store customer service.  I can go from a McDonald’s in Key West, FL to Portland, ME to Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA and have the food taste the same with the same service quality.  Service and quality are central indicators to the success of a business.

carrierStrategy – Strategy for businesses means setting a path and establishing the conditions for success in a venture or ventures that will: (1) satisfy financial returns, (2) be difficult for the competition to emulate quickly, (3) be within the skill sets of the business to execute successfully, and (4) can satisfy the customer need for the good or service over a sustained time.  Apple has made this type of a strategy a success when Apple transformed itself from a computer company into a personal electronics company.  Today, Apple is the standard for personal electronic devices such as phones, MP3 players, and portable media devices.  A key element of a success strategy is also to know when to adapt, change, or abandon a strategy that is no longer working.

Military veterans can apply the Military Qualities of Success to support and reinforce the Business Qualities of Success.  It is not just enough to get a job; the military provides great skills that can lead to fantastic success in the civilian world.  While challenge is an inherent part of the transition, it is vital to remember that others have successfully transitioned and succeeded.

Career progression from a rewarding military career to an equally or more rewarding civilian career is a daunting, but far from impossible task that many before you have achieved.  The clear majority of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen were leaders in the military and it is vital to their progression that they become leaders in the civilian world.  A successful second career allows you to find and secure employment in a challenging, enjoyable position and then maximize all your precious military experience and training to become a leader in your new chosen field.

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA –
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA –
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition –
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA –
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) –
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning –



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