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Six Powerful Business Lessons You Can Learn from Special Forces

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Practice. Practice. Practice

“The only easy day was yesterday” is the unofficial motto of the U.S. Navy SEALS. It is meant to remind them they can never stop training and practicing their craft. SEAL Team Six (the team that took bin Laden) expend more ammunition in their training than the entire U.S. Marine Corps, according to Inside Seal Team Six by Don Mann with Ralph Pezzullo. Special operators who have written about their experience will often note that, as hard as selection and training might have been, staying in the unit is much harder. In specops units “selection never ends.”

At businesses, continuous improvement should be imperative for the business and the people in it. Establish metrics to identify new targets, gauge the competition and develop learning opportunities. The answer to the question “Is this good enough?” must be “No.”

This mission, and the next

Special operations mission planners know two things: Their assets are extremely valuable and after one mission there will be another and another. Their plans will be focused on mission success and on keeping team members as safe as possible. Plans will always have options if things “go pear shaped.” Special operations leaders are very careful with their exceptionally valuable people. Their aim is to mitigate risk by putting smaller numbers of troops in harms way by relying on superior training and technology.

In business you will have this mission and then another and so on. Accomplish your objectives and work very hard keep your people safe, physically and psychologically. Ensure your plans identify safety risks and ways to mitigate those risks. Conserve your assets.

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