Colorado Springs hosts many small businesses and non-profits led by veterans. As we move around our community we learn a lot from these entrepreneurs, lessons that we all can apply to our business challenges.
Veterans learned to apply many traits from their military service, lessons garnered from “boot camp,” “survival school,” “sea duty,” “aerial combat maneuvers.” Whether they served for 3 years or 30, these business owners bring to our community several key traits.
First they learned about “the mission.” Mission was always in the forefront of their mind as they conducted their daily activities. They knew why they were there, what they needed to do, and what mission success meant. It was always clear. It was also always the job of the leader to reinforce the mission, to make it certain to all what they needed to do to fulfill their objectives. Small business owners in Colorado Springs are no different from those platoon leaders–keeping a clear sense of mission is essential for your business. Does your team know the mission?
The second thing they learned was to be persistent and to work through problems, often with less than ideal situations. Maintenance troops at the end of a 10,000 mile supply chain often worked through problems without all the equipment and tools they needed. They learned to be flexible and make it happen no matter what.
The final lesson they learn is “it’s all about the team.” So, while these small business owners often cherish their memories of military service, everyone of them would remind us all that we need to stop to thank those who are currently serving. It’s not about those who served, but those serving.
So the next time you at the coffee shop and you see a Fort Carson soldier, or an airman from Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, or the US Air Force Academy, stop to talk to them. Ask them why they serve, where they are from, and what are their dreams. While your at it, buy them that “cup of Joe.”
To our veterans leading small businesses and non-profits, thank you for serving your home town–Colorado Springs.