The Life of Bionic Man Chris Hall

One of my close friends Chris Hall @TheLifeofBionicMan on IG is preparing to run his first Marathon this year. Chris “Bionic Man” Hall, is a business owner and Husband who calls The D.C. corridor home. Chris might have every excuse not to run twenty-six miles, but anyone who has played basketball against Chris knows firsthand that when Chris takes on a Challenge the only thing that ends it is Finishing the Mission. Listen to an episode of the Podcast that I did with Chris here: LISTEN

Connect with Chris Hall @ahintofparadise

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Precision conversations with Steven Hollowell

Still One of my favorite Interviews on the Podcast.

Steven’s logistical expertise enables him to handle issues and forecast problems troubleshooting them before they occur. All of these skills and life experiences has led Steven to become a sought-after consultant, concept coach, and team builder.

6 Reasons You Should be talking about Veteran Leaders.

If you’ve made it through season one of the Veterans Leadership Blog Podcast.

You have heard from Thought Leaders and the Veterans community who echo my belief that:

“Veterans are the Key to Unlocking America’s next Golden Age.”

If you are in business or hiring for a busy organization

Here are 6 reasons You Should Be Talking about Veteran Leaders:

  1. Leadership: Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. The military trains people to lead by example as well as through delegation, direction, motivation, and inspiration. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.
  2. Teamwork. Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one’s colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of group and individual productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.
  3. Efficient performance under pressure: Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to know how to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.
  4. Respect for procedures: Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. Veterans know that they count and that they can be counted on. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, serve, lead, and take on responsibility at each level. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to exist.
  5. Diversity and inclusion in action: Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as physical, mental, and attitudinal capabilities. Veterans know that diversity creates opportunity.
  6. Technology and globalization: Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.

 

I am so excited to introduce you to Veteran Leaders and those who love and support them.

BernardBergan.com provides transitions Training, Coaching, and a Community that empower Veterans to change the World.

We are committed to helping service members transition and helping Veterans Lead.

The Ultimate Guide to Military Veterans Transition

Serving in the Military requires you to be all in. The Commitment to Serve is more than just wearing the uniform it is fully embracing the Lifestyle.

 

Anyone who has served knows that it is a rare privilege for those who get to wear the uniform.

The big question is: What happens when your Service ends?

My answer is that you continue to serve.

There are many who have walked this path before us, and as they transitioned from military service they continued to serve as successful Business men and women, Community Advocates, and Leaders.

While all of our transitions will look slightly different, they will all have a few things in common.

This post will highlight a few steps to transition well and continue to serve beyond the uniform.

  1. Make peace with this new Beginning: Transitioning from a lifestyle you completely embrace is difficult. You have to accept mentally, emotionally, and physically that this is the end of this leg of your service. Move forward towards your new mission. There is a whole new life for you and your family ahead of you commit to moving on and give yourself the time you need to adjust.
  2. Attend Military Transition Programs with an open mind: - Transition Programs can jumpstart the flow of ideas that will connect you to whats next. Be open to the feedback and access the experts that will help you connect with your next opportunity.
  3. Explore the Unknown boldly: - There is always a special talent lying dormant in an individual, explore that talent. Now might be the time to pursue your artistic talent, creative writing, or public speaking. Go back to school or start that new business. What’s in your heart is there believe it.
  4. Put to Use your Military Values: - Integrity and discipline are two of the most important values instilled in an individual during your time of military service, building on these values will open doors for you more than anything else.
  5. Run with The A group: - Associate yourself with the A group (positive thinkers). Walk with people that will impact your life positively and challenge you to push past preconceived limits.

 

 

POPULAR QUOTES FROM

The Veterans Leadership Blog Podcast EPISODE 001 Run With the A Group

“It’s going to end one day.”
“Failure is part of the process.”
“Take it seriously and be patient.”

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Brought to you by BernardBergan.com Motivating and Empowering Veteran Leaders to Continue to Serve Beyond the Uniform.

Learning from the Journey of others – Self Assessment

One of the amazing things that my mentors did for me as I transitioned was to talk about the lessons they learned during their transition. Some of my Mentors went straight to work after completing their military careers while others journeyed back to school, and some did both. They talked about going all in adjusting to a different pace of life while course correcting when necessary. The ability to make corrections along the way to self-assess is something we all benefited from in the military. On a high performing team, you might not have the time to answer all your questions and address all your doubts. You must act. While you are taking action, you self-assess categorizing your strengths and what you bring to the table. You also look at your weaknesses deciding if they will be harmful to the mission or are they something you can manage as you zero in on your goals. Make a decision then make that decision right. Learning from the transition stories of others helped me to see beyond the immediate obstacles. I saw that as they transitioned they made a decision then, they put everything on the table to make that decision the right decision.

This knowledge empowered me during my MSSA journey. I had made a decision. Now I had to do the work to make this decision right. Many transitioning service members forget that they are empowered to endure to the very end. Transitioning well might mean getting so focused that you choose to stop watching television. It might mean twelve-hour study sessions on Saturdays. It might mean waking up at two-thirty every day, so you have an hour to study before reporting for duty. Are you committed to self-assessing and finding the gaps in your preparation? Self-assessment, every step of the way, allowed me to fill in one of the critical gaps in my transitions approach.

I knew that there was an aspect of competition to secure my a role with Microsoft. My self-assessment showed me that if we all trained the same and we all had access to the same tools, uniformity would once again make finding the right candidate a needle in a haystack for Microsoft. During my self-assessment, one question that kept reoccurring was How was I going to present my best self each time and gain some advantages along the way?

One thing that many overlook when choosing to pursue a specific career is a cultural fit. I knew that I would have to dive deep into tech culture learning what it would be like to work at a software company. To that end, I did as many informational interviews as my schedule permitted.  I met women and men at Microsoft's who showcased the company culture and embodied the company values. I was excited to see the similarities, and I was challenged to overcome some of the differences. As I worked to adapt to tech culture, it deepened my resolve that Microsoft was the right fit for me and the MSSA was the conduit to get there.

 

During my guaranteed interview what resonated deeply with many of my interviewers was that I showcased not only the company values but the company culture. My research, self-study, and determination showcased that not only was I able to do the work but I would work to excel at each task. At the end of 2013, Microsoft was a company in transition and with that came amazing new opportunities to be a part of a culture that was shifting to a growth mindset. This theme of having a growth mindset was a major discovery as I prepared. The military has many storied traditions, but we produce the best of the best through good strategies, consistent input from others, and hard work. I had spent six years practicing what Microsoft was transitioning to, and I knew from first-hand experience that I would be an asset to that culture.

Reposition Yourself – Winning Small to Win Big

For many of us, the idea of repositioning ourselves seems at odds with everything we were trained to do. Military precision requires solving problems at scale while remaining committed to the team. Orders are what allowed you to reposition, and without permission, moving on was not an option. Don’t anticipate the command still, echoes in my subconscious as I strategize and plan what is next for my family and I. This truth served me well when working in a mass formation in which we all had to move as one. As I transitioned, however, anticipating what was next and preparing for the new mission was what allowed me to turn small wins into big wins.

During my last two years in the military, I moved my family from twenty minutes outside the base to over an hour away. I had relocated my family to Downtown Seattle so that we could start to observe what life could be like once we had completed our military transitions. There was a lot of relevant feedback on this move. My Platoon Sergeant was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make it in on time if we had rapid deployment needs. My fellow soldiers and peers voiced concerns that my family wouldn’t be as safe as when we lived in a traditional military community. All of these concerns were relevant, and I allowed myself to learn from this feedback while focusing on my need to reposition myself.

What I didn't know when we first moved was that many of my mentors lived in Seattle. The small wins from moving to Seattle stacked up becoming big wins as my network within the tech community continued to expand. Though the decision was not popular with my chain of command at the time, it proved to be the right decision for my family and me despite the pushback. Turning small wins into big wins should be a focus of your strategy as you transition. You might not have the time to make sure every decision that you make is right, but you can build on each decision until it reveals its deeper strategic value.

 

If you look closely, you will discover deep value can in every step of your military journey, and the same strategies that allowed you to win in one arena will allow you to excel as you transition. Each military school that I attended required a shift to a different location. That repositioning allowed me to minimize distractions while focusing on what I was sent there to accomplish. Whether it was airborne school or advanced training in my military specialty without being repositioned the sacrifices needed to focus on my immediate goals would have been muted by the noise of daily routines.

The military infused in all the service members the power of daily habits and routines. These small wins’ lead to bigger wins that combine to produce the desired effect. In your transitions process, your daily habits will have to change. Habits like waking up early to make your morning formations might become waking up early to study for an IT certification. The habit of spending two hours at the gym might be adjusted to spend one hour at the gym and the next hour at a career center training for your new role. As you look through your daily routines, ask yourself what can I tweak or adjust to reposition myself. As you make, these adjustments small wins will become big wins. These adjustments might not require you to move over an hour away, but they will highlight how you can reposition yourself.

Trust the Process – The road ahead

The road ahead for many transitioning veterans can be a lonely one. Even with the right mentors and allies the hours and hours of study, self-development, and stepping outside of your comfort zone will challenge all that you know and all that you are.  The process can be overwhelming. This process will include training, interviewing, resume building, and building your personal network. Your mentors will open new doors for you, but it is up to you to walk through them. When things get difficult, and it will you have to dig your heels in and trust the process.

In my second week of basic training, our Drill Sergeants treated our platoon to a special PT session in which their goal was to make the walls sweat. Upon completion, we were left to ponder this idea if you trust what this is designed to do you will become a better soldier. If you resist and remain inflexible, you will break.

Transitioning well does not have to break you. Its only purpose is to aid you in redesigning your life from what it is to what it could become.

What could your life look like if you completed your resume? What would it look like if you completed that job application? What would your life look like if you completed that transitions program? How about your college degree?

Transitioning from the Military can be Sudden or Gradual. One thing remains constant. You have to own it. You can complete the journey by breaking it down into manageable parts and executing immediately on what you learn.

 

The road ahead won’t always be clear. When things lack clarity, do not use that as a reason to hesitate. That is when you need to lean in visualize the road ahead trusting the process. My military transitions journey was full of moments where trusting the process was the only choice. No one had ever attempted what we were pioneering as MSSA students. The course work was extremely demanding, and there were no easy victories. Every question only led to more questions. These unanswered questions would at times pile up threatening to immobilize and unravel all the progress that we had made. I had to tap into many of the lessons I had learned as a soldier and commit to seeing it through to the very end. One of my strategies was visualizing which was more difficult. I had survived basic training, airborne school, and had deployed to some of the toughest regions of the world with that in mind how could I let a class get the best of me.

As a transitioning service member, you might be tempted to innovate in your approach to overcoming adversity. What I know from my transitions journey is that the same mental, physical, and strategic approaches to overcoming adversity that you mastered through the rigors of military training can if adapted to your current challenges will bring you success in these new environments as well. Your military service is proof that you can endure long hours, your service is proof that you can rise to the occasion digging deep down to accomplish the mission. The same personal courage and grit will serve you as you transition. You will have to find strategic approaches to willing yourself to win, and each win will compound to get you closer to your transitions goals.

When things seem difficult as you face the road ahead your commitment to trusting the process will empower your will to win.