What the military can teach us about organization

Today we salute the incredible men and women who have bravely served our country. As we do, let’s also consider the powerful lessons the military teaches us about getting organized.

Teamwork

From their first day in boot camp, recruits become members of a unit. In training, it doesn’t matter who crosses a finish line first or who crosses it last; it matters that everyone crosses. Part and parcel of teamwork is the understanding that you are only as good as the weakest link in your platoon. So members cheer each other on and support one another as they are put through their grueling paces.

The concept of teamwork has the potential to radically improve both your work environment and your family unit. Consider asking how you can encourage and support your team members — and how you might lean on them to help you in areas where you are not as strong.

Respect

Each massive branch of the military functions as one, single team. They can do so because everybody from top to bottom understands that each member has something to contribute.

Do you let others around you contribute enough? Or are you limiting yourself and everyone around you by trying to control how tasks are done.

Duty

Every person in the military must fulfill their obligations within the context of a highly complex operation. The military progresses by building one assignment onto another, but it wouldn’t get very far at all if individuals in the chain failed to carry out their assigned tasks or took shortcuts that undermined the integrity of the final product.

In that spirit, the military drills its recruits over and over again in the basic skills like pressing uniforms, making a bed, and keeping a pristine locker. Soldiers have to do each task just right, and they often have to do them in a matter of minutes.

These drills aren’t done capriciously. They ultimately over time develop a soldier’s discipline and attention to even the smallest details. In addition, it enables many men to comfortably live in a confined space – and keeps their space clean so they can focus on more important matters.

These lessons are absolutely applicable to civilians. Establish habits and routines for dealing with the details that, if left undone would distract and undermine your confidence.

I’m sure there are many more “buttoned up” lessons we could take away from the military. If you have any, please share them with us!

We owe each Veteran (and their family members) an enormous debt of gratitude. From everyone here on the Buttoned Up team – thank you from the bottom of our hearts.