Serve logo

At the heart and mind of leadership

Thank you for protecting our nation

By Ty ZabelPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
9-Line complete...Dust off success!

Here is the action of what you are about to read. If you are going to take the right step to your next successful adventure, then you need to find a supporting team. A team that values you as a Veteran and values you as a human being. If you feel like you are getting the cold shoulder, start looking for a new job. Don't wait around to be fired. You, as a Veteran, are valued, and people care about you. Your passion is not a disgrace, and your focus is not a problem. I am here to help you grow and realize your own potential. I want the best for you and those that you desire to be close too.

If you are interested in learning further ways to develop yourself reach out to me at my one of my many social media platforms or email me directly at [email protected]

From one Veteran to another, I value you and appreciate your time to read my thoughts. All my best to you as you ignite your walk.

When you hear the word service, what image comes to mind? For me, I grew up in the era of McDonald's Happy Meals, and I see the person behind the cashier, asking me if I want a toy with my meal. Today, many McDonald's locations don't even have someone behind the counter.

Now attach that same word "service" to the words, "thank you for your…." I know this is a widely universal term, but how many realize these words are actually not helpful at all? If you sit a Veteran down and ask them what these words mean to them, you will get some strong emotions. For me, externally, I smile and thank the person making the statement. Internally I cringe and sometimes fight back the tears depending on what I am dealing within my own life circumstances. A better way to handle the word service might be to use the words "thank you for protecting our nation."

Moving into the idea of protecting our nation, being a service member is the greatest sacrifice anyone can make. I believe that anyone that raised their hand to serve did with honorable intentions. As I served in the capacity of a Master Sergeant in the Air Force and, more recently, as a service officer, I would make the statement that this is not always the motive. I am horrified by the stories I hear about what our Veterans have dealt with. I don't just mean combat situations. I mean general life situations.

Therefore, my point for this article is to focus on the word "service!" I am not going to define service as my audience, you the Veteran or family member know well what this means and the impact the word has on you. My focus is to start to help you in ways to start shaving off the corners of your square peg in a round world.

Let's jump into the topic. As you adjust to your new role in life, you have to realize that Zig Zigler said it best, "If you help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want." My role as the founder of Honor From Above, Inc I desire to help you in the capacity to help you grow and understand your role and the ability to adjust to your new life. I know that my role in the world is to help others grow and adapt to the brave new world. I am not asking you to jump out and trust me. In fact, I don't want your trust. I want you to question me at great lengths to ensure you and I both understand each other. Just as you raised your hand to serve, now is my time to serve you. As stated by Eugene Habecker and his book, "the Other Side of Leadership," he says, "the true leader serves, serves people and not always doing what is popular, and or may not impress" 1.

As a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, I have seen this over and over again. People everywhere hinge on titles. I have taken a different approach and realize that people have potential. 2. My ultimate desire is to see your perspective and learn how I can help you grow and encourage you along the way. 2. As I develop myself, I have found that the best ideas are not my own, rather ideas and compilations of others. Therefore, if you are going to shave the corners, you have to realize that even though you know you are awesome, others don't know anything about you. They don't have any concept of the things you have done for our nation.

Here are some examples of how you, a protector of our nation, possess the value to aid others, and build credibility. Outside of being called a Veteran or knowing what the word service means, here are some great examples of questions to ask. Find out what your new team expects of you, what areas need the most help, and is there anything else that I can do for you? 2. You see, the most important aspect I am trying to get you to realize is the best leaders can anticipate what others need. This means you are going to have to put yourself on equal grounds or even a slightly lower level. I am not saying you should be a doormat. I am saying that you need to watch and learn just you did in the military. As I discussed in my previous article discussing attitude, you must have action too. This action has to take shape in the form of adding value to others. 2.

Now you might be asking yourself in standard military fashion, what does this look like? I am glad you asked. Here are some ideas presented by Mark Cole, a man that runs multiple multi-million dollar companies for John Maxwell.

Stay close to those that are in your leadership and learn to know what they are thinking.

Ensure you are on point with intentions.

How can you exceed their expectations?

Ask the team how they believe all of you can exceed customer/client expectations.

As we have all done for the most part in the military, take responsibility for our actions. 2.

Stay with me here. Don't be the person that tells your boss what they want to hear. Be aware that if you do this, the leader might not like what you have to say. Remember, your passion is going to come out, and you may not be well received. Just remember the previous five principles and ask permission to speak freely. You know what to do if given the approval.


Eugene B. Habecker, The Other Side of Leadership (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1987, 217).

John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within you 2.0. (Nashville, TN: Harper Collins, 2018). Chapter Seven, The heart of Leadership: Serving People.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.