One of the most important life experiences that helped shaped who I am as a husband, father and business leader was the time I spent in the military. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, I spent almost nine years with the Coast Guard in various leadership roles across the country.
That experience taught me valuable skills that have helped shape my career in so many ways. From work ethic to discipline to motivation to a personal sense of ethics, the military training I received was tremendously valuable in honing not just my business skills but by contributing to broader life skills as well.
That’s why I have always been passionate about hiring veterans for my team and leveraging all the valuable skills they have learned through that experience.
I can unequivocally state that hiring veterans will improve any company, enhance any team and create unbelievably loyal, hardworking employees that will contribute to your success.
Veterans bring a range of skills that are valuable for almost any organization. They are smart, quick learners and adaptable to any type of situation. They learned how to lead and influence behavior for results. They are incredible team players and thrive in diverse environments. Their military experience gave them exposure to a wide range of technology and international trends that are often pertinent to a variety of business situations. More importantly, veterans have likely proven their mettle in unexpected, mission-critical situations that demand commitment, endurance and adaptability.
These are exactly the type of skills that can enhance any team in any business. As an example, in 2005 I hired an Army Captain who was leaving the service to run one of my poorer performing production facilities. Through his training, he quickly established new maintenance and housekeeping schedules and routines and, more importantly, provided strong leadership to his team. He was able to quickly identify problem areas and worked closely with his employees to develop solutions that benefited the entire organization. This production facility quickly became one of the most efficient, clean and profitable facilities on the West Coast.
I’m proud of my service to our country, and I’m proud that my colleagues at Galleher feel the same way. They have seen firsthand the positive impact veterans have on Galleher’s culture and on our business success. They understand and appreciate the skills veterans add to our team. And they appreciate working side by side with people who have such diverse life experiences. And, of course, all of us at Galleher are honored to help the men and women who have courageously served and sacrificed for our country through our partnership with “Building Homes for Heroes.”
For managerial and supervisory positions, there are companies that specialize in placing junior military and senior enlisted NCOs [non-commissioned officers]. The one I use most frequently is the Lucas Group.
I would encourage every business leader to see the benefits of adding veterans to your organization. You’ll be thrilled that you did.
Ted Kozikowski is the CEO of flooring distributor Galleher LLC, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. He boasts a proven track record of developing high-performing teams, aligning them with goals and leading them to deliver results.