Veterans Day honors the people who dedicated a portion of their lives to their countries through military service, but what about the other 364 days of the year? If you truly want to honor a veteran, don't just attend a parade - hire a veteran to work for your small business.
Maybe you haven't hired a veteran due to a misconception or common stereotype. Many make the broad assumption that veterans of military service are regimented, overly concerned with detail, unwilling to think outside the box, and lacking in creativity.
I've worked with people who assumed ex-military personnel were "...fine if you need someone to follow orders, but otherwise -- forget about it."
That impression is based on a total misunderstanding of how the military operates. While basic training is designed to indoctrinate and assimilate new recruits, the ultimate goal of military training is to create leaders -- at all levels. (Think your organization promotes from within? You have nothing on the military.)
The same is true for graduates of military schools, including American universities like the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel. Cadets rise through the leadership ranks based on merit and bear tremendous responsibility for the conduct and performance of their classmates. Leadership training starts the first day of school.
And while much of military training is skills-based, some training exercises focus on developing analytical and problem-solving skills, creativity, and risk assessment -- all skills that are in great demand in the business world.
Live and breathe the importance and value of teamwork.
Embrace the chain of command but also excel at taking personal responsibility for performance and results.
Instantly adapt to shifting priorities, changes in focus or direction, and general conditions.
Have extensive training in equal opportunity, diversity, ethics, and equitable treatment.
Have strong analytical and reasoning skills -- and know how to make decisions.
Need an employee who can follow and lead, who is accountable and reliable, who can foster teamwork and lead by example, and who has extensive leadership training from one of the best leadership laboratories in the world?
Hire a veteran. Put your trust in their skills, attitude, work ethic, and dedication. Add one to your small business team.
That is the best way to honor their service to your country.