What can you do to survive if you find yourself as a leader a part of a schizophrenic team or company?
1) Stay focused. When leaders and motivated individuals, especially former SOF operators and Veterans find themselves on dysfunctional teams it can lead to epic frustration. If approached correctly however, there are valuable personal and professional lessons to be gained. Focus on your individual mission, your team's core capabilities and ensuring quality output continues (within your sphere of influence). Just like in military selection courses, your personal growth and development will increase exponentially during periods of extreme corporate hardship, and you will be refining your leadership skills to help guide a future team or organization through a similar challenge. Setting the example for others to follow is NEVER a bad personal strategy.
2) Keep the Type A in check- If you find yourself swimming against the current, or fighting an irreversible trend, don't make your personal situation any worse by drawing attention to your obvious disgust with the situation, or by inwardly thinking of "them" as the enemy. Now is the time to fade into the grey, and adopt a lower profile with respect to any open forums or group meetings. Now is also the time to increase your observation to ensure your situational awareness is at max zoom. There are numerous lessons to be learned, so make sure you observe as much as you can and take lots of notes, especially when the negative feelings and emotions are strongest as these are likely the most important "what not to do" moments.
3) Proficiency- Many former SOF operators struggle with the proficiency, or lack thereof from among their peers in the corporate world. After a career of mastering advanced individual skills, adapting to numerous environments, performing elite tasks in unthinkable conditions and enjoying the camaraderie of an elite team lifestyle, many former SOF and Veterans have difficulty assimilating into a corporate culture that often rewards the very opposite traits of their former professions. It's rare in corporate America to find the level of accountability that SOF warriors are accustomed to. Often times, individuals in companies can get away with poor communication, incomplete assignments, lack of diligence and disruptive behavior. The effects on veterans can be devastating. Rather than allow a dysfunctional reality to corrupt your positive mental attitude, think of soft resistance techniques and create individual proficiency standards for yourself. For me, my focus is on email communications. I hate long drawn out email conversations, arguments or worse, the wrong outcomes when employees don't understand the intent of my email. I continually assess myself on how effective and complete my emails are. Additionally, I hold myself to a high standard of accountability and ensure that I "own" outcomes, both those above and below me. These areas are my personal proficiency checks that keep me focused on maintaining a high standard. Now if I can just remember to sign my time sheet.....
Remember, when you make the transition to the corporate battlefield, it's not if, but when you will find yourself in an unfamiliar environment where things are screwed up and not as they should be. Most companies and teams are understaffed and running super lean, many are reacting to uncertainty about the economy or the competition and all of them are trying to increase profit.
Don't underestimate the difficulties of thriving in the private sector as a corporate warrior, it can be done but it takes deliberate action and a disciplined approach. For former SOF operators and Veterans or any highly motivated individual, remember the steps to surviving the difficult times are to stay focused, keep the attitude in check, maintain YOUR proficiency and be an example for your team.
Beyond Normal Limits
ADVENTURE OPERATIONS GROUP
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Adventure Operations Group (AOG) is a veteran owned company dedicated to the pursuit of adventurer. AOG's Training Programs and Adventures will take you "Beyond Normal Limits". AOG leads epic adventures, instructional programs, leadership training and assessments for individuals and organizations. Our programs are unique and emphasize mental focus, individual skills, leadership and personal achievement. We specialize in Human Performance Training. Working with AOG is the best way to achieve "next level" results for your corporate group or to enhance your personal capabilities. Contact AOG today to learn how we can get you or your team "Beyond Normal Limits".