When I saw the opportunity to see Ben Roberts-Smith present at River City Labs it immediately peaked my interest, not because he has a media profile more so because of his mix of skills from the military through to business. I was interested to understand the transition he had gone through. In my career I’ve interacted with a militarily personnel and they often have difficulty getting the commercial sector to understand and visualise their skill sets.

To say I was not disappointed is an understatement.

I wrote on my meeting review – “Every question led to a relevant example that you could take into any business and implement”. 

How often do we meet someone that can take their stories and have you visualise the lessons from those stories into your own business and personal life – a rare event.

The two hours with Ben talking flew by, not one yawn from the audience, no squirming, everyone leaning forward keen to hear more.

My key takeaways from this event were:

  • Listen – really listen, let people know they have been heard, even if you disagree with what they are asking for or change direction on something, if you have truly listened they will respect your decision.
  • “Hot Wash” – a military term for cleaning down an aircraft when it lands. Using this idea in your own business – having those end of day meetings that cover everything while it’s hot, nothing festers, if you have something to bring up this is your chance otherwise it’s done and dusted and you move on. Great way to stop the niggles that can build up in a team.
  • Family First – yes work is important, we all get caught up in the deadlines and the promises to clients in order to keep the cash coming in but really your family are missing out. Find ways to keep your family time sacred. 

These takeaways are common sense but they often slip down our priority list as we become busy.

I even found myself at the front of the queue to have a photo with Ben, something I would probably only do if it was Valentino Rossi at Moto GP!

Thanks again to River City Labs and to Ben Roberts-Smith.

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