Military Intangibles – Discipline, Teamwork, Leadership – The Icing or the Cake?

On Veterans Day, a link to an article in “The Atlantic” was posted on some social media sites I follow. Help Veterans by Taking Them Off the Pedestal is an interesting perspective on side-effects from the current national pride in our military. While anyone who served in the Vietnam War might argue on the contrast from then to now, I’ll invite you to read it and form your own opinion.

I do love his quote, “The intangibles veterans bring are important – discipline, teamwork, leadership. But those things are the icing when we thought they were the cake.” The military intangibles are indeed the icing. But the icing is that little extra that makes all the difference.

For years I’ve advised recently placed candidates that if they show up to work early, ready to go everyday, they’ll be in the top 20% of most companies.

Return calls right away, over-communicate with your superiors and subordinates, and you’ll be in the top 15%.

Add making “Doing Your Best” a daily commitment and you’re in the top 10%. I often receive employer feedback supporting and never conflicting this assertion.

Through my role here at BMI,  I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people and job seekers. They are Service Academy Graduates, Technical Experts and Experienced Leaders with a variety of tangible skills that are directly transferable to high-value industry roles. And that is the cake.

But The Icing, the little extra that delivers superior performance and holds significant value in corporate America – that is what gets them into these elite programs in the first place.

Bobby Whitehouse

Image courtesy of Steve Johnson