Breaking Bread & Making Friends

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”
-Dale Carnegie

This week, we attended the Veteran’s Career Transition Workshop put on by the Society of American Military Engineers. We spoke with retiring O5s and O6s from all branches, and a few Senior NCOs, as well. It was exciting to hear their goals, excitements and aspirations for the next mission. I also got out to meet with an old colleague / new partner. We’ve done business in the past year but haven’t been in person in ten years. So, I wanted to share a few takeaways: 

  1. Talented leaders are leaving our military every year, and with them, a ton of leadership experience, diverse interests and diverse networks. Find a way to talk to them! Maybe you hire them, maybe you learn from them, maybe you have a partner for your next project, or maybe you have a friend for life.
  2. Stay in touch with people. The world is wildly accessible through social media, but being “connected” on LinkedIn doesn’t make you connected. As with any critical relationship, it takes quality time investment, and intentionality to nurture relationships.
  3. Trust that your first move will be welcomed with outstretched arms and reciprocated soon after that. You might even inspire that person to turn and reach out to others with you in mind. Don’t just be the first to reach out – make it meaningful for your friend who might be a bit out of practice. 
  4. Does your company have a vision for your business? Getting more work and hiring more people isn’t a vision. Talking about services, project experiences and org charts is excellent information, but do you have a vision for where your business, division, office or team is going? Surprisingly, this is a differentiator in the marketplace.        
  5. Lastly, get out and break bread with people…in person. Zoom was great for the Covid Contingency, but no technology can beat meeting in person, shaking hands and feeling someone’s energy. Get out of the office and meet someone new.  

BJ Kraemer, President

P.S. – MCFA is committed to helping transitioning veterans. Suicide, PTSD, homelessness – we have epidemics destroying our veteran community, BUT SO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO HELP. If you are interested in helping or know of resources available to help, please contact us. Through our foundation, The Friendly Strife Foundation, we are helping to create, curate and connect those who want to help with those most in need.