5 Lessons in Excellent Teamwork from the Navy SEALs

5 Lessons in Excellent Teamwork from the Navy SEALsI am always amazed by the teamwork exhibited by those protecting the United States in the military. My grandfather was in the Navy, as was my father-in-law. Teamwork is of the utmost importance. The fact that naval officers and troops can perform so effectively under great stress and pressure is astounding. The sole reason they are successful is because of teamwork. It can make or break an operation.

I think all of us in sales and business can learn a great deal from those in the military. I read an article recently by Shawn Parr entitled “Navy SEAL Lessons for Operating Successfully as a Team”. I wanted to share the five tips he outlined in his article. Read his words below and be sure to visit the original article for more information.

1. A Navy SEAL does not discriminate.
Regardless of shape, size, beliefs, or culture, the biggest personal trait demanded of a SEAL is demeanor. A Navy SEAL does not display a superior attitude or arrogance, but rather a confidence in his physical and mental abilities for the good of the team.

Great sales people and business leaders come in all shapes, sizes, genders and cultural backgrounds. It’s their confidence in the abilities of the workplace and the team that makes all the difference. – JC

2. Every person counts.
Settling for mediocrity is the death of an organization. Every SEAL knows with 100% confidence that the person behind him will be able to save his life. Corporate leaders need to be able to say the same about their management teams. Employees’ livelihoods depend on it.

3. SEALS train.
When SEALs are not on combat deployment, they spend the vast majority of their time in training. In contrast, executives spend the majority of their time executing. The importance of training for new employees, or even a veteran team, is vital to the success of the business. Navy SEALs spend thousands of hours honing their skills, and so should employees in a profession.

4. Everyone is expendable.
All SEALs are trained in a nearly identical manner, so no one SEAL is indispensable to the unit or the mission. The understanding during combat is that anyone can be lost at any time and the rest of the unit can carry on the mission successfully. Businesses need to ensure contingency plans are in place for any unforeseen personnel circumstances within their organization so the team can carry on without any delays.

5. You never know the measure of people until they are tested.
People are more resilient and tougher than imagined. During SEAL training, instructors prove that their men are capable of 10 times more than what they ever imagined. Until your team is really tested, you can never be too sure who will step up and who will falter in any given situation.

Source: “Navy SEAL Lessons for Operating Successfully as a Team” by Shawn Parr

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