Perfect Start-up Employee: Vets
Regardless of the size of an organization you will always find entrepreneurs. Lockheed Martin's Clarence "Kelly" L. Johnson comes to mind; specifically, the development of that organization's "Skunk Works." The Skunk Works outfit was responsible for the invention of the first XP-80 jet fighter in 1943. So no matter where you work the traits, skills and risks associated with entrepreneurship, they can be put to good use.
I have to say that as a former Army officer, there is always a little friendly rivalry and banter among members of different services, but when the chips are down we all have a healthy respect for each other. So for you skeptics out there I bring you Technical Sergeant Ryan Klug, USAF.
I am not sure I can tell you exactly what Klug does and if I did then the black Tahoes might pull up in front of my house. Yikes! Klug is a young man, by comparison to yours truly, and he holds several degrees: Aviation Maintenance Technology, Computer Science, IT Management and certifications such as: A+, Net+, and is working toward his Security+ Certification exam. Klug intends to complete an MS in IT with a concentration in business intelligence. (No Tahoe yet.) An avid reader of Inc., he knows that he will finish his military career one day and make the transition to the private sector.
All branches of the military do a very good job of placing the management of an individual's career in their own hands. They manage it almost like a business unit, adding assets such as degrees or certifications in preparation for the next step. While we don't always have the resources in small business I have seen similar internal growth and continuing education requirements in small business beyond those requiring CLE's or CEU's to maintain certifications or licenses.
I don't know Klug but his wife and my wife are Internet cohorts. Ryan started reading the Inc. articles and is getting a real charge out of them. Apparently filling his wife's ears with information such as Six Sigma and the like which she finds... frustrating. I find it encouraging for those out there that are recruiting for new positions. This gives you some indication of the caliber of individuals in our armed services. They are paying attention, they frequently work with limited resources, they are well educated and apply themselves to problem solving in very entrepreneurial ways.
For those in military service you have our appreciation and respect, for those moving from the active services to the private sector there are a myriad of opportunities for you, the transition is not always easy but can be very fulfilling!
I would be very interested to know how many active service members are Inc followers. My bet: more than most people think.
GLEN BLICKENSTAFF | Columnist | CEO of The Iron Door company
Glen Blickenstaff is the CEO of The Iron Door company, which makes high-end doors and windows. Glen has a track record of turning around and managing retail, building and financial companies.