“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity.” -- The Navy SEAL Creed
When my SEAL team was deployed in Iraq, one of our jobs was to identify and eliminate high value targets, or HVT’s. One night we were tasked with capturing a known terrorist in rural area outside Baghdad. We were using helicopters as the insert platform. My squad fast-roped onto the roof of the main building and began aggressively clearing the target. Suddenly, it came over comms to get back on the helos, because we were on the wrong target!
Intel had provided incorrect coordinates, so the pilots placed us over the wrong houses. We hustled back to the birds, boarded, and proceeded to the correct target, which was less than a mile away. The element of surprise now gone because of the noise of the hovering helicopters, we had to adjust the plan and prepare for a possible gunfight. We roped in, successfully cleared the target, and captured the HVT. Mission completed. It didn’t go as we had planned, but our ops rarely did.
In business, it’s nice when everything goes smoothly, but you have to be prepared for when it doesn’t. Here are some tips I learned in combat that will keep you moving towards your ultimate goal.
After a bad experience, it’s natural to be uneasy about going back at it. But in business, as in war, there’s no time for second-guessing. Jump right back in, wiser for your mistakes and fully prepared for the next time intelligence leads you down the wrong road.