3 Skills All Veterans Have That Make Them Great Business Leaders

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

On Veterans Day, I posted about the importance of helping veterans succeed in job interviews, and the importance of hiring managers understanding a veteran perspective.

When we can overcome this challenge together, more companies will see that hiring veterans improves the bottom line. Veterans make excellent employees, managers and company leaders. Those companies that make an active point to hire veterans see significant growth over time.

I am proud to say that Paramount Bank is one of those companies. Our business would not be the same if it were not full of hardworking, devoted veterans.

Pro-Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach said it best.

“I invest in veterans not to do them a favor; they are actually doing me a favor, because the qualities they bring to the workforce are invaluable.”

Here’s a real life example of that: Mike Hansen is a veteran who works for Power Home Remodeling. Within a year of employment, Mike was bringing in over a million dollars of business, and found that his veteran counterparts were outperforming their coworkers. He created a veteran hiring program, and is proof of why veterans make great hires.

Read more about Mike’s story here: https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/recruiting-veterans-power-hrg/

Here’s a quote from Mike that I resonated with: “The difference is the military population has a natural leadership background, a strong work ethic and an understanding of how to operate in chaos that most non-veterans can’t really relate to. The culture is very mission-driven in the military, and that can be applied to any work environment.”

Not every veteran will have the same takeaways from their service as I have, but I’ve heard many of the same lessons repeatedly from my fellow servicemen and women.

Loyalty, a team mentality and courage are common tenets that you’ll often hear from others. Together, they form the bedrock of the great leadership and fortitude that is expected in service. And drive veterans to succeed, and excel, in business.


Loyalty in the military is clear-cut. You are sworn to be loyal to your country. An added layer of loyalty also extends to your immediate superiors and inferiors via the camaraderie you share with them. You take orders from the top-down and act team-minded.

At the core of loyalty is the notion that you’ll stand with those you work alongside and for, no matter the circumstance. What business wouldn’t want an employee with that level of loyalty and devotion?

Loyalty leads to employees who understand the mission and are driven by it daily. They know the goal and the bottom line, they believe in their superiors and they will work as a team to put the business first.

Team Mentality

I’ve mentioned this before, but something that makes hiring veterans challenging is that we have a team mentality, not an “I” mentality. That means in interviews, it’s difficult for us to separate our own distinguishing characteristics and achievements from the team’s.

But once you are hired, everyone wants a team player. Service members don’t pride themselves on individual successes. You win together or you lose and get back up together.

Not to mention, we have been in service with others, whom we may not always get along with. That doesn’t matter; the military is no place for personal tiffs. We’re all united under our mission, and that’s the mentality we carry into the workplace.


All branches of the military require you to acknowledge that you are willing to throw yourself headfirst into high-stress situations and even make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of your country. It is a tremendous honor that requires tremendous strength.

It’s not always fair to compare the level of courage needed to serve to the average level of courage needed to manage daily life. There are certainly elements of courage that you’ll need to be successful no matter the situation. Risk-taking is the easiest way to keep the spirit of courage alive.

Veterans don’t shy away from risks.

It is not a bold proclamation, but it is one that has paid off for me immensely. There have been times in my life when I was uncertain and apprehensive of growth. This includes moving to a new state, growing a family, shifting my career and other situations many can relate to.

In leadership, veterans will use courage to rally their teams. We are all working towards the same goals, so we use taking a risk as a point of pride. Not everyone has the guts to shake-up their organizations; we’re doing it at Paramount Bank anyway.

And we’ve learned that as long as you have maintained your integrity, earned loyalty and cultivated a team mentality, everyone on your team will develop these same skills.

Other veterans may have different opinions about the lessons we’ve learned that make us great leaders. There are far more than those I have listed. These are just three that I have seen make especially great leaders, in the battlefield and the board room. I can tell you a thousand reasons why your company should hire more veterans, but when you think of skills you want your company employees and leaders to have, I’m sure these are on the list.

Seek out veterans to employee, and your bottom line will improve.