A Veterans Day Reflection

This Veterans Day, we’d like to take a moment to thank those who have served. Many members of our team have a veteran in our lives who have affected us personally, and we’re continually inspired by our friends, family, and colleagues who have made sacrifices for our freedom.

To help us honor the heroism of veterans today, we asked our friend and client, Charles Buchanan, to share a word of reflection with us inspired by his time in the military.

During his 15 years of service, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Buchanan was deployed three times to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo. He completed several leadership and career courses, including the U.S. Army Ranger School and Command and General Staff College.

Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan is the founder and CEO of Positive Leadership Solutions, providing professional training in leadership, teamwork, and business management to organizations around the country. He’s also a senior lecturer at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, where he teaches a course on leadership, character, and teamwork. He continues to serve with the Ohio Army National Guard.

Read below for Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan’s insights on trust and teamwork—values that we work hard to cultivate in our culture at Serif.

A note from Lieutenant Colonel Charles Buchanan

“I learned the secret to leadership during my time in the military. The secret is that people are the greatest resource in any organization. It doesn’t matter what the organization is or what they do. Nothing happens without people.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to command over a thousand soldiers in three different organizations during my time in the military. It was a great honor and one I will never forget. Each of the three organizations was different. They had different missions, equipment, and people. The one thing that was consistent was that the people were the greatest asset and resource within each organization. My final command was of an armor battalion. Though we had some of the U.S. military’s greatest weapons and equipment, they were worthless without soldiers using them. Technology and equipment continue to progress and get more advanced but they will never replace the ingenuity, creativity, and heart of people.

What follows from this truth is another closely related one—take care of your people and they will take care of you when you need it the most. Good leaders are good stewards who take care of their resources. If people are the greatest resource in an organization, taking care of them is the greatest responsibility of leaders.

Leaders are not perfect and they often make mistakes. When a team feels supported, they will take care of their leader and help them fix those mistakes. But a leader who neglects their people will have a team that neglects them when they need them the most.

 

I have seen both scenarios play out countless times during my service. Good leaders look great because they have teams who take care of them. Bad leaders look horrible because they have teams who don’t respect them enough to help them.

On this Veterans Day, I want to take the opportunity to thank the veterans that came before me and especially thank the ones who took care of me when I needed them. I have met amazing people over my more than 19 years of service and continue to be inspired by their service and dedication. I am eternally grateful for the brothers and sisters I have had the opportunity to serve with.”

 

Charles Buchanan
Founder and CEO, Positive Leadership Solutions, LLC
Army Ranger, Ohio Army National Guard

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