How I Decided To Join The Marine Corps!

As an adult my first opportunity was to either join the Marine Corps or let fear dictate my decision!

In the beginning I let fear play a part of my decision until I spoke with my Dad.

In all honesty I guess it wasn't what you could call a real conversation.

His response to me telling him that I spoke with a Marine Corps Recruiter was "Ah Hell you couldn't even make it through Boot Camp!"

Now don't misinterpret this to mean that my Dad was somehow a poor father, because he wasn't. In fact he was a great father!

He had a way of motivating you without you even knowing it!

Well that statement motivated me into not only joining the Corps but graduating in the top 10% of my Platoon!

So joining the Marine Corps was an opportunity that I didn't let go by! What did I learn from my twelve years in the Marine Corps?

The very first thing that I learned was that the only person in your way is you!

Although I was in the Marine Corps way back in 1975 I know that it was the foundation for my entire life!

When I look at a challenge now I think back to the Marine Corps! There is no mountain too high to get to the top! Whether there are enemy troops in the way, or a business problem, there is a way to the top of that mountain!

Leaders find a way to the top!

It might mean going around to the other side and climbing it from there. It might mean that you come up from the side! It might mean that you go up in spurts!

It might mean that you call in an air strike (or an outside professional) to clear a path! No matter what you make it to the top!

That is just one thing that the Corps taught me!

The Marine Corps also taught me about Integrity!

The kind of integrity that could cost you your life, yet you understood that cost!

The kind of integrity that put your fellow Marine ahead of you when things got tough!

An integrity that I experienced firsthand when a fellow Marine came back to save me from being killed! I will never ever forget that type of integrity!

The Corps taught me about decision making!

There are some decisions that you can sit around and debate for hours, days, months, or even years, and then there are decisions that must be made instantly!

There is a difference, and the difference can cost you your life or your business!

When the enemy is coming over the hill to take your position you better be prepared to retreat or hold your ground! You don't have time to get a committee together and perform some decision making exercise to decide what is the proper decision to make! No, you better muster up all your experience in a matter of a few split seconds and make a decision right now!

In combat that decision could cost lives!

In business that decision could cost jobs!

Leadership is a tough position, but a position I would not trade for any amount of money in the world!

We started off talking about seizing opportunities or watching them go by!

Recognize that every single day you have choices that equal opportunities.

It might be as simple as starting a conversation with someone that you would never think about doing!

It might be reading a book that you haven't got the time for!

It might be sending an employee a letter of appreciation instead of just thinking about it!

It might be to take a leadership class that you have been thinking about doing!

It might be telling your spouse how much you care and appreciate them!

It might be going for a walk with your children!

There are opportunities that will change your life each and every day you are alive and breathing in oxygen.

Seize them!

Or watch them go by…

Thank you and May God Bless You!

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