Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One Soldier’s Successful Journey from the Battlefield to the Boardroom: Part Two

In continuation of our June posting featuring Dave Krall, an Army veteran, USMA Graduate, and now Regional Sales Manager at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., this week we look at the seven highly transferable qualities that Krall believes should make veterans highly marketable in the civilian world.

1. Leadership: Krall explains that true leaders provide guidance and direction, are highly visible, and make tough decisions. Veterans have developed all of these skills both in garrison and on the battlefield.

2. Creativity: While this may not be the first trait that comes to mind, think of it more as adaptability. Krall points out veterans can think outside the box and come up with creative solutions, which are traits civilian companies should value. In the military, snap decisions must be made in constantly changing situations. These decisions require adaptability and creativity.

3. Respect: As business culture changes, Krall sees a tendency toward a less heavy-handed, and more empathetic style of leadership. Demonstrating respect for peers, leadership, and subordinates, an integral part of the military, serves veterans well in the civilian world.

4. Can-Do Attitude: Krall calls this attitude the “hallmark” of veterans. Many veterans have found themselves in very difficult situations, where it is only a positive attitude that sees them through.

5. Work Ethic/Discipline: Service members are expected to work hard and to completion of the mission. They do not operate on a 9-to-5 day, and understand the objectives to be accomplished. These are obviously welcome traits in the civilian workplace.

6. Honor: Krall points out that this is a little mentioned transferable quality, but one that deserves recognition nevertheless. In the military, it is expected that you will not place yourself into situations that risk your integrity. Having honor in the civilian workplace helps veterans engender the respect of their employees, peers, and employers.

7. Self-Starter: Companies today are looking for people who can function independently and without hand-holding. Veterans should be valued for their ability to be work proactively and without a lot of guidance or direction.

These qualities have come full-circle in Krall’s career. It was the qualities listed above that enabled Krall to transition so successfully into the civilian workforce, and these same qualities that influence him today as he seeks to hire veterans for positions at his company.

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