Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why Military? 

The US military comprises such a small portion of the US population (less than 1%, active and reserves) that most people have very little contact with these terrific people. Today, I had the opportunity to have lunch with a young, 20 year veteran, retired Lt. Col., USA. It was a very informative experience.

My background includes education and about 20 years in the private sector as a CPA, consultant and sales manager for a worldwide technology company. At the present time, I teach MIS to older students (ages 22 -30) returning to college to complete their four year degrees at Metro State University.

Life has dealt me an interesting hand in that I've been incredibly fortunate to meet literally hundreds if not a couple of thousand people and, frankly assess many of them.

Why was this man so impressive? First, he showed manners. He also exhibited the following characteristics: he listened; asked good, thought-provoking questions; showed he was/is capable of establishing an objective or goal, putting in a plan to achieve that goal and executing the plan.

Today, we have too many people afraid to make decisions or take a stand because of the PC (politically correct) crowd. In other circumstances, because everyone has become a victim no one is held accountable for their actions. Finally, there is the fear of being labeled a _______ by the media which will crush people personally. This media also can be so selective in the information they dispense that we consumers often get a biased picture of certain events or subsets of society.

The result is a shortage of people who want to put themselves "out there". Who can blame people for wanting to avoid the insane media circuses we see played out in the public arena?

Today I was fortunate to meet someone with leadership, communication and listening skills. In addition he can plan. Merge these talents with drive and desire, this is someone who can make a difference. His time in the military has taught him to assess, address, and execute. We need people like this more than ever.

Give me someone with experience on thinking, planning and executing any day. We all win!