14 U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
CAREER & EMPLOYMENT
spent nearly four years in the military as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. During that time, I learned a lot about perseverance, discipline and determination from the military standards for working as a team. Little did I realize how much those skills and experiences would shape my leadership during a global pandemic. In the military, we prepare for a variety of scenarios and rely on our team to play their individual roles to achieve a greater goal. The belief in this process is how we navigate and survive the challenges we encounter. When you have clear expectations of yourself and those around you, its easy to follow through, execute a plan, and be accountable. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in early 2020, my organization, like many, was unsure of what the future held. But what we did know is we owed it to our customers and our employees to ensure there was minimal disruption to their daily lives, especially as we all hunkered down at home and learned to work in new ways. Nearly two years later, many companies, large and small, are still grappling with the disruptions of COVID-19.
Relying on Military Experience
During Times of Uncertainty
By Chris Wayne
Thus making it imperative to maintain a sense of stability and ensure our teams have the resources they need to work effectively against a set of challenges that constantly evolve. Here are four ways my time in the military taught me how to lead during times of uncertainty, and its my hope that sharing these experiences can help you lead when you are met with adversity.
Create a culture of open communication
Leaders can face an uphill battle when it comes to managing unforeseen or unprecedented issues. Being in charge - whether leading a large team, company or battalion - requires that those who report to you buy into the fact that you are the one who makes the final decision. But just like any endeavor, those in charge can lose control of their team if they dont earn their respect and trust. Maintaining that respect starts with open and frequent communication, especially in times of uncertainty. Fostering an environment where your team feels connected and comfortable to express concerns will create trust and ultimately lead to respect. Earning respect can also mean remaining consistent in your work, setting clear expectations with your team, and making sure everyone understands the impact and importance of their role.
Know when to lead and when to bring others in
The mark of a strong leader is someone who understands when there are smarter people in the room. There will be instances where its the right decision to lean on others who might have more expertise or more insight into the issue you are facing. True leadership can look different in various scenarios, especially when your team is navigating uncharted territory. Knowing when to step back and allow your team members to lead wont lessen your leadership; in fact, it might do the opposite.
Failure is a catalyst for growth
Failure is an inevitable part of life. In the military, we know failure can mean the differencePrevious Page