14 Leadership Lessons from Veterans

November 11, 2014

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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I dedicate this blog to the veterans in our reading audience. You have my utmost respect and appreciation for your service to our country.


This is Veterans’ Day here in America, and as I think of leadership, I can think of no better examples than our military men and women. Here are some of the lessons they’ve taught me…lessons we ALL need in our lives as leaders.


  1. Good leaders are disciplined.
    They get up early and hit the ground running. They serve when they feel like it…and when they don’t. They establish solid habits.
  2. Good leaders are trained.
    They are teachable and purposely train for every possible scenario – drilling lessons so much that the actions become automatic.
  3. Good leaders are conditioned.
    They are strong mentally and physically. Lives depend on their strength.
  4. Good leaders are insightful.
    They have wisdom beyond their years.
  5. Good leaders are prepared.
    Our military folks are prime examples of this. Not only are they personally prepared. They also have a team that is prepared, and they have their equipment prepared.
  6. Good leaders care…deeply.
    It’s a “band of brothers” kind of care. Show me a leader who truly cares about his or her people, and I’ll show you a successful leader.
  7. Good leaders sacrifice for others.
    Being a leader is not about being served – it is about serving.
  8. Good leaders get out of their comfort zones.
    Neither the barracks nor the battlefield is comfortable. But good leaders live outside their comfort zones.
  9. Good leaders do what it takes to preserve legacy.
    They have strong principles and protect them fiercely.
  10. Good leaders strategize.
    They think, plan, and act. All three parts are critical to success.
  11. Good leaders value their teams.
    They know that battles are not won alone.
  12. Good leaders recognize individual strengths.
    They know that a team composed of diverse strengths is a strong team.
  13. Good leaders quickly gather intelligence and make informed decisions.
  14. Good leaders focus on a cause bigger than themselves.


I challenge you to do two things today:

  • Thank a veteran for their service.
  • Take the “good leader” assessment above and see how you’re doing as a leader.

I can assure you, I will be doing the same myself.

14 leadership lessons from vetreans