Momentum Podcast: 480
How to Hire Momentum
by Alex Charfen
I'm on my way back from Fort Hood, where I just got to speak to a group of transitioning military leaders, and it is always such a privilege, and so exciting to get in front of audiences with American Dream University and Phil Randazzo.
There's a message that every time I go to speak at the military I can try to convince them of, and that is that the military are magicians at execution, because in the real world, getting stuff done is a magic trick.
In the businesses I’ve owned, I’ve always had team members who have military experience in leadership. The world needs to understand that members of the military consistently make ambiguous outcomes reality despite not having enough people, time, resources or direction.
They have the ability to adapt and overcome consistently, and this is why you want military leadership on your team. They can take an outcome and drive it to a conclusion 100% of the time. If you had this level of experience and ability to drive to outcomes on your team, your business would explode and be what you want it to be. It creates an unfair advantage.
They are a source of foundational strength and adaptability, and they can help you grow your business in a way of that provides you a level protection and support in a way you never thought possible.
If you’d like to learn more about American Dream University and support their mission, you can find them here: https://americandreamu.org/
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: I'm on my way back from Fort Hood, where I just got to speak to a group of transitioning military leaders, and it is always such a privilege, and so exciting to get in front of audiences with American Dream University and Phil Randazzo. There's a message that every time I go to speak at the military I can try to convince them of, and that is that the military are magicians at execution, because in the real world, getting stuff done is a magic trick.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds; those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then re-write them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future.
Instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive, human evolution, and we always will be.
One of the commonalities in almost every business I've owned, in fact, I think it's every business I've owned, is that I've had people who have military experience in leadership, and I actually ... I have a bias towards interviewing, and hiring, and recruiting people who have military experience, because here's something that you, me, and the rest of the world needs to understand about military members, especially those who have leadership experience.
You know what, I was in front of the room today at Fort Hood, and a room full of military leadership, all in fatigues, they're super intimidating. You walk in, and it's like everybody's dressed the same, they all sit straight up, they are paying attention like crazy, they watch everything you do, and here's what I shared with the people who were in that presentation room today, is that the military ... sorry about the GPS in the background. The military does this amazing thing. Here's what I ask every time.
I want to prove to the military how important they are and how amazing they are, and I'll ask the following question: "How many of you in this room have had an ambiguous outcome or goal given to you by the military, by leadership, where you did not have enough people, you didn't have enough time, you didn't have the resources you should have, and the directions for the outcome were unclear, and probably way too vague to actually create success, yet you still delivered 100% of the time?" Here's what happens in a military room. 100% of the hands go up, because that's what they live in.
The military doesn't have massive resources and doesn't have tons of capacity down at the actual get-stuff-done level. It's where you have to have ... you have to [inaudible 00:03:17] unique abilities, or unique connections, and figure things out, and adapt and overcome. The military is so able to adapt and overcome consistently, that this is why you want military leadership on your team, because here's what I said in front of the room: "I want you all to know something. You can take an outcome, drive it to a conclusion, and get it done 100% of the time, and in the real world, that is a magic trick."
Because it really is. In entrepreneurial businesses, if we could drive to outcomes 100% of the time successfully and nail them, even though we didn't have everything we need, our business would explode. Our business would continue growing. Our businesses would be what we want them to be. I want your business to be what you want it to be. I want your business to grow. I want it to explode. I want you to go make the biggest impact and as much income as you possibly can.
When you're hiring, I would make the strong suggestion you go out and look for people who have military experience. In my business today, one of the reasons that I'm at Fort Hood is that we had the incredible opportunity to recently recruit a military member, or a former military member, Greg Dubé, who's our systems manager, and our systems engineer, and runs all of our IT, technology, everything. Here's why I was so ... not just one reason, there are so many reasons I'm so excited that we were able to recruit Greg, but here's one of the major ones.
Greg was a nuclear propulsion engineer in the military, which means he rode a nuclear reactor around the ocean in a submarine. There's nothing we're going to give Greg that is going to trigger him and make him out of control, and get him worried, or upset, or anxious. When you hire a military member, here's something you have to understand. They've actually been in life and death situations. When you are a nuclear propulsion engineer, sooner or later, you are in a life or death situation.
When we as entrepreneurs can go out and find people who have been all the way there and back, then it's a massive benefit to us in our businesses. It's almost ... it's not almost, it is an unfair advantage. When I talk to people sometimes, I get the craziest responses about hiring military members, because I talk about this all the time. It's one of the keys to success that I've had, and it's one of the keys to success that I share with entrepreneurs. I get the weirdest comments back.
Sometimes I have people say things like, "Oh, I've tried to hire military, but it's really hard to understand them." It really isn't, you just need to sit down with them and talk to them. Then one that blew me away a few weeks ago, I was talking about hiring military, and talking about how I have the experience hiring military, and I had a person come up to me after my presentation and almost in a hush-hush tone say, "Hey, do you ever worry about military members having PTSD? I mean, if they've been to war, they can come in and cause all kinds of chaos and challenges in your business. I've heard horror stories."
I can't tell you how strong the reaction that I had to that comment was. I actually had to mentally talk myself down, because that is just such a crazy statement to make. Are there people who are in the military that have experienced trauma? Yes. Are there people who are not in the military who've experienced trauma? Yes. Let's be honest, most of the people you hire are going to have experienced trauma of some kind or another. Is it more dramatic when you're in the military? Yes, it absolutely is and it can be, but is there anyone anywhere who hasn't experienced trauma? Probably not.
To say that all military members should be overlooked or passed over because some military members have experienced trauma and have PTSD is crazy. In fact, here's how I look at it. I would much rather go to business with someone who's gone to war, because business is not going to trigger them like it did when they were at war. I would much rather go to business with somebody and fight in business with somebody who's actually been in a foxhole, and who's actually had to support the man or woman beside them in a life or death situation, because here's what I know. Anything else they do in the future is going to be easier for them. Anything else they do in the future is going to look like they can just walk through it.
Today, I shared our Momentum Equation with everybody in the room, and we talked about how you create periods of momentum in your life. Military members, the people in the room, I had people talk about periods of momentum in their lives, like when they had to raise their kids on their own, or when they got divorced, or when they had to overcome something, or when they got into basic training, or into their specialty school. All of those periods of momentum are what you're hiring.
You're hiring someone who's already been there and done that. You're hiring someone who has put themselves in a position where they must execute, where their life is actually on the line. You're hiring someone who has gone into a position that a lot of us wouldn't go into. Here's what I found the consistency is throughout my entire career, is when you bring on military members, they are a source of foundational strength, they are unflappable most of the time, they adapt and overcome like the average person just doesn't even have the skillset to do, and they will help you grow your business in a way that makes you feel protection and support like you didn't know was possible.
My message is if you want to grow your business, hire military, and talk to people who have been in the military. Here's the bottom line. You can agree or disagree with what military members are asked to do. That is a political argument, and you can have that political argument. I have my own, but the reality is, is that anyone who has served in the military honorably deserves our unconditional respect, and I would say support as well.
When I'm recruiting, I have a bias towards military, and I think you should too. If you get the opportunity to bring a military member on, chances are they're going to blow you away with how much they can do, how quickly they can do it, and how little challenge there is in getting it done. Thanks for listening today.
Man, what a privilege to speak for American Dream University. If you haven't gotten a chance, you might want to go check them out. They accept donations. They're an incredible organization who is in it helping military members transition, so check out American Dream U online or on Facebook, and if you feel so inclined, they are incredible organization. You might want to make a small donation to them.
Phil Randazzo has pretty much self-funded that charity for years, and has just recently started to take outside donations. What he does is sets up events at military bases where he gets incredible speakers who normally would not be available to come in and speak to military members. Some of the most intense speaking days on the planet are conducted for military members through Phil Randazzo at American Dream University, and we give military members the experience to be in a room that really no one else could actually get into.
I mean, there's been events where Tim Ferriss speaks where just ... I can't remember everybody who's spoken, but just amazing individuals. So check out American Dream University, and if you're so inclined, make a donation. I would really appreciate it.