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This Veterans Day – Create a Band of Brothers and Sisters

Sean Lynch, November 9, 2015

The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. – George Washington

On Veterans Day, we pause to honor all American Veterans. We live in a country where people voluntarily accept hardship and risk while making the tremendous sacrifices that military service to the nation entails. To all Veterans, thank you for your service.

The military is an interesting organization. It coalesces disparate groups of volunteers into units with loyalties that transcend those that exist elsewhere in society. Military units are woven into the tightest of teams. Everyone knows the vision and mission. Reservoirs of trust are created between members. Training inculcates a belief that others always have your back. It’s on teams like these where the absolute highest levels of performance are achieved.

On Veterans Day, let us not only remember the service members of the past, but also use this holiday to learn from military Veterans of today. Veterans return to civilian life carrying the bonds that they shared in the service. Explore how to create interpersonal trust and loyalty within your organization that mirrors the Veteran experience. For example, employers could work to really stand behind employees and “have their back.” Try creating a culture where loyalty between employer and employee is not merely status, but shared devotion to a common objective. Co-workers with such values could become a band of brothers and sisters. And, that cohesion is incredibly powerful.

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