What the Marine Corps Taught Me About Business Leadership

Michael Veltri Motivational Keynote Speaker

I joined the Marine Corps at age 17 and spent the next eight years proudly serving my country. I learned many valuable lessons during my time on active-duty that helped me thrive in corporate America and succeed as a battle-hardened entrepreneur.

And here is one lesson that has repetitively helped me throughout my life as I successfully battled cancer, progressed through the C-suite ranks, and stayed present and connected in front of audiences as large as 10,000 as a business keynote speaker:

I am responsible for creating the results I want in business and life. In the Marine Corps, we call it “Extreme Ownership”. That is, I am responsible for the success — and/or failure — of my projects. No excuses. The buck stops with me.

Imagine how your business and personal life will thrive if you, and everyone around you, took unparalleled personal responsibility, initiative, and accountability to successfully achieve goals.

So here are three simple steps to help you and your team exercise their extreme ownership “muscle” — to help you and those around you become an unstoppable, goal-achieving force with balance, not burnout.

Get Into Action Now:

Get Specific: You can’t achieve what you can’t measure. Extreme ownership is fostered by having a very specific and measurable goal to achieve. For example, “I will get a 20% raise and a $25,000 performance bonus by December 31, 2018” is a very specific and measurable goal. Compare that with the elusive goal of “I want to make more money”… You must get as specific as possible to ensure you can measure your progress and results.

Action Step #1: Take 60-seconds to declare a new specific and measurable goal right now.

Guilt-Check: If you are creating goals out of guilt, obligation, fear, ego, or anger, you will not posses the unstoppable, creative, and flexible attributes necessary to foster extreme ownership within yourself, and more importantly, within those around you — your business colleagues, clients, customers, family, and friends.

Action Step #2: Look at the new goal you created above in Step 1. Did you choose the goal because you truly WANT to achieve it? Are you excited and inspired by the goal free from guilt and/or trying to please someone (such as a boss, spouse, business partner, etc.)? If there is any guilt, ego, or anger in your goal, recreate it. Otherwise, you will soon give up trying to achieve your goal when the going gets rough. And trust me, any goal worth achieving is going to hit many rough spots.

Relevant-Action: The Pareto Principle, also called “the 80/20 rule”, states that the few vital tasks we work on each day leads to 80% of our results. That is, only 20% of our time and actions really produces anything relevant.

Action Step #3: Take 10-minutes to get into relevant, unstoppable action to move your guilt-free goal forward. Don’t waste 8 minutes researching something online when you can pick up the phone, or better yet have an in-person meeting with someone that can help you achieve your goal.

Once you are crystal clear on your guilt-free goals, your leadership, motivation, and performance will expand exponentially. You will become a creative, innovative, and determined leader able to improvise and inspire those around you to possess extreme ownership. Plus, business and life become a lot more fun, stress-free, and exciting when we are embracing and fostering extreme ownership.

If you have any questions on the action steps listed here or have any other innovative ways to foster extreme ownership in yourself and others, post a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @mpveltri . I’d love to hear from you.

And if you liked the ideas presented here, please take a look at my Keynote Speaker Resource Page where you can find more information on my dynamic business leadership keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and consulting: https://michaelveltri.com/meeting-planner-keynote-information