Becoming More Agile from an Army Medics PerspectiveSep 07, 2021
Today, with the rapid pace in the world of business some may find it downright difficult to keep track of all the latest trends, methods, and buzzwords. It can be overwhelming and sometimes challenging to admit to your peers that you’re unaware and out of the loop on the latest next-gen CRM software or newest methodology trend. Admittedly, this is how I felt transitioning out of the military while returning four years later back into the business world. Prior to being brought on with The PMO Squad I was a Senior Line Medic for a Mechanized Infantry Battalion in the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment. With the high operational tempo in the military you learn the skill of resilience extremely quickly along with the ability to adapt and overcome. For instance if I was treating a real world casualty patient and my treatments were ineffective, then I would move onto another method until their vitals stabilized and I was able to find success keeping them within the right margins. I continued to use these methods throughout my military career and time as a line medic. Use what works and discard what does not. I didn't know it at the time, but I was already a practitioner of agile. What exactly is agile? There are many definitions of the term, some may disagree with me, but mainly agile is the ability to respond to change. It is a way of dealing with and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain turbulent environment.
My biggest takeaway from the military was that it undoubtably forces you to learn adaptation in the form of either doing it or you don’t and possibly risk failing the mission all together. Meaning in a sense, there really is no other option, other than to find a way to accomplish the mission, or you risk failing while possibly costing lives and/or precious objectives in the process. Thankfully, the repercussions of the business world aren’t as severe when your team fails to meet its milestones or deliverables. However, failing to meet your objectives can still result in a hit to your reputation or worse, even losing your position at your firm. In order to mitigate the risk of failure, it’s imperative we refrain from becoming complacent, and instead maintain a hunger to consistently learn while also adapting to change on the fly. My old First Sergeant used to tell me “Reyna, complacency kills, when we were deployed in Afghanistan those words were hung up outside the gate every time, we left the FOB (Forward Operating Base) as a reminder to every one of us that if we get too comfortable it can inherently cause a mission failure. That’s why it’s a good idea to constantly enhance your readiness”. I’ll never forget those words from him even to this day I use them as fuel to ignite my drive and urge to consistently better myself in every facet of my personal and professional life.
It’s been almost two full months since I’ve started my transition from the military back into the business world. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to conduct a Business Development Internship with The PMO Squad through 50Strong! My time with the firm has been short, but as I journey further along into my role I cannot help but notice the similarities between the adaptiveness to respond to change I’ve learned from the military, and the agile approach that I am becoming more familiar within The PMO Squad. I'm eager to learn from the mentors placed before me, and equally as enthused to return value from the experiences I've had in the military. Agility is within all of us, it is most certainly not something that we can learn overnight, but the ability to adapt and overcome successfully is something we should all strive to achieve within our personal and professional lives.