Meet Rich Vaill, as he shares his leadership journey beginning with the US Naval Academy and his career as Marine Officer. He is a strong advocate for hiring VETS and has some persuasive arguments for why VETS make great employees– loyalty, discipline, mission-oriented, and fierce integrity. Helping him during the pandemic was his Marine mantra: Improvise, Adapt and Overcome! He describes himself as “decisive” leader who stands by his decisions, takes accountability for missteps, but is confident making decisions on the basis of available resources, and moving forward with the mission.
Rich shares that the service academies completely immerse you in service and leadership where you “learn, apply and correct.” The Service Academies’ emphasis on training, preparing for the unknown and unexpected, and the commitment to service of the interest of your country is at the forefront. One of the biggest lessons he learned is “take care of your people.” Train your people, equip them with the resources they need to succeed, and then let them perform, don’t micromanage. Rich learned in his command posts that leadership encompasses understanding and managing the “whole person”– dealing with marital, financial, other concerns of his team. His military experience served him well his roles of civilian leadership. Key qualities and principles that carry over: proficiency, communication, seeking self-improvement, endurance, enthusiasm ,and knowing yourself. Rich seeks to embody what he learned in the military: “integrity, discipline, lead by example, be professional, respectful, humble, stay in shape, and shine your shoes.” Rich, like many of the transformative leaders we have been speaking to on our podcasts is devoted to giving back. He has a passion for assisting veterans successfully transition into civilian careers. He even returned to active duty service to be the New Jersey’s “Hometown Link” in the Marine for Life” program. He has some words of wisdom for hiring managers to uncover humble veteran’s experiences to fully understand the unique qualities they can bring to the job.
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