What Silver Linings Are Emerging For You?

Next week, I will be delivering two (virtual) keynotes. Instead of following the recent thread relating to the “People First” movement, I thought I’d take a brief hiatus to share some profound insights gleaned from one of my new clients. They are a membership of military veterans who exist “To enable ex-military leaders to achieve their full potential in the marketplace, through our common values, teamwork, mentorship and our network’s connectivity.” What an incredibly worthy cause! And what incredible timing!

Existential Questions

The written introduction to the talk goes like this:

”To say that we’re in unprecedented times somehow seems like an understatement. In isolation, people around the globe are being forced to confront existential questions they were too busy to contemplate in normal times. This is leading to a huge divide in reactions. Some are behaving like victims while others are behaving like warriors.

A Time For Action

Military veterans know first hand that crises present opportunities for action. There simply isn’t any utility in questioning “Why me?” or “How am I going to recover from this?”. This is the time to think about action and about others – about the communities we are a part of, large and small, that need our strength and our counsel. This is how we grow. This is how we challenge our potential.”

Connection Has More Meaning Than Ever

In order to maintain some level of sanity (relatively speaking of course!), I find myself reaching out regularly to those close to me. In doing so, there is a magical exchange – perspective gained and perspective offered. This exchange isn’t anything new. It’s just so wonderfully evident during lock-down.

I believe people are awakening to the deep-rooted need for human connection that we all share. In the midst of all this madness, it would appear that silver linings are emerging! While none of us know how Covid 19 will change behaviours longer-term, my personal hope is that our collective isolation acts like a vaccine to the “us versus them” pandemic that has been travelling the globe for some time now. Military veterans are painfully aware that this virus has deadly consequences.

3 Important Questions

I’m going to keep this post short – in part because my kids are waiting to beat me soundly in a MarioKart race – but also because I believe there is incredible wisdom embedded in the military mentality seldom featured in Hollywood movies. In keeping with the military theme, I have 3 important questions for you:

1) How would you articulate your mission in unambiguous language?

2) How are you helping your comrades cope with circumstances more difficult than yours?

3) Ultimately, how will you use this experience to become a better human?

I hope you’ll agree with my belief that these are questions worth answering.




30 Minutes

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Brent C. Wagner