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What the Corporate World Can Learn From the Special Forces?

corporate world special forces
the Special Forces

In one of my previous roles, I built the human performance program for an entire nation's Special Forces. The most diverse, intense and biggest crash course in learning on the fly and adapting I could ever have wished for.

In this role, I learnt 1000 times more than I ever taught anyone. Sure, I went on a steep learning curve with how to train a massive group of elite soldiers to be combat-ready and combat-effective, something I had not done before with some fairly unique demands, but the real lifelong learning for me was in these areas…

👉 Stress management
👉 Stress inoculation and the relationship to resilience
👉 The true importance of recovery (mental, physical, emotional)
👉 Communication up and down the chain
👉 Communicating on mass what high performance is, and the impact it can have on sometimes not directly obvious areas of military operations
👉 Creating wholesale institutional and cultural change. Top down-bottom up.
👉 Managing substantial, consistent and often resistant roadblocks

These are all areas which are relatable to business, sport and life in general. Over a series of posts, I will break down some of my learning and translate some of the learnings that we can take away. We cannot (and should not attempt to) take everything from a military setting because they train in line with what they need to go and do, go to fight.

My why behind sharing is because I rarely speak about what I learnt in this incredible environment and there is so much great learning I can share with you. It has been a number of years since the project came to a close and there is not a day that goes by that I do not utilise the skills I learnt there.

The second part of my ‘why’ for this mini-series of posts relates to the fact that so many people get it wrong when it comes to implementing learnings from military environments into non-military environments (business and sport mainly). The information must be adapted to the setting in which you will be using it. The military is trained to fight, that’s not what happens in the board room or on the sports pitch. The tactics and strategies need to be translated into usable, relevant and appropriate information for your audience.

So, I am going to be doing some translating over the coming weeks. Sharing some of the amazing things I have learnt. Starting this week with one of the Special Forces strategies for managing intense stress and pressure, the 3 R’s of stress management.

Stay tuned.

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