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Teamwork Is The Most Important Lesson You Learn From The Military
Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the personal website of Brad Harrison.
Of the first ten years of my grown up life, I spent four at West Point and the remainder as an Airborne Ranger in the Army. The key principles that we focused on were leadership, teamwork, and integrity. These are also the core principles that the team at Scout Ventures believes is critical to strong management teams.
This week I’ve been working with one of our teams and they are struggling with teamwork. Each founder is bright with unique and relevant experience, and they all complement each other well. Unfortunately, they struggle with creating their own support structure because their teamwork skills are weak. I know this because when they have heated discussions about the direction of their product and business, they often can’t reach a solution without coming to me to help broker the negotiation.
In large companies, we see a strong focus on teamwork within certain verticals --- sales, marketing, product, technology, etc. --- but these teams often don’t see eye to eye when they compete for required resources like budget, manpower, etc.
In early stage startups, resources are much more limited and it’s often teamwork and shared resources that enable these businesses to get things done and succeed.
But when there are more than two founders, it is inevitable that someone is not comfortable in his or her role. This happens when multiple founders want or think they can be CEO, or when they simply can’t agree on titles and responsibility. This can become even worse when the company is raising money and there’s a prospect of hiring new people. In all cases, teamwork often suffers.
How can this be resolved?
First and foremost, believe in leadership. This means that one person must be responsible for providing direction to the team. This is the CEO. And this is a critical piece for creating a strong team.
Second, the CEO needs to set an environment based on mutual respect. This is so important for getting each and every member of the team engaged with the understanding that their opinion matters.
Third, the CEO needs to engage his or her team members and have them work to solve problems. This often requires asking people to provide their perspectives and having a constructive conversation exploring opposite points of view.
Fourth, regardless of the outcome of a specific debate, the team needs to all embrace the decision and move forward. Moving forward means each team member supports their peers even if they didn’t agree with the decision.
And last, the CEO needs to bring the team together to bond and move forward. At Scout Ventures, we like to have a good meal or take everyone out for a night; either way our goal by the end of the night is to hear the founders saying, “I love you man,” “I understand the decision,” “I got your back,” and “We’re going to be a billion-dollar company.”
The Colt Model 1911 .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol that John Browning dreamed up more than a century ago remains on of the most beloved sidearms in U.S. military history. Hell, there's a reason why Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, still rocks an M1911A1 on his hip despite the fact that the Army no longer issues them to soldiers.
But if scoring one of the Army's remaining M1911s through the Civilian Marksmanship Program isn't enough to satisfy your adoration for the classic sidearm, then Colt has something right up your alley: the Colt Model 1911 'Black Army' pistol.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.
‘I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’ — Mattis hits back at Trump for calling him the 'world's most overrated general'
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis decided to take on President Donald Trump's reported assertion that he is "overrated" at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City on Thursday.
"I'm not just an overrated general, I am the greatest — the world's most — overrated," Mattis said at the event, which raises money for charity.
"I'm honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress," Mattis said. "So I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals ... and frankly that sounds pretty good to me. And you do have to admit that between me and Meryl, at least we've had some victories."
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.