There is no doubt in my mind that I was destined to be in the military – I was born with all the raw material that makes for good soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. I have always craved discipline and structure and I seem to innately systemize everything. These characteristics were honed to a razor sharp edge, both in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, and in the Air Force; however, once I left the military and started working in industry, I was dumbfounded! How did the U.S. economy continue to prosper when corporate America operated so haphazardly?

Military units function efficiently and purposefully – they know what the mission is, and they get the job done quickly and effectively. Every person in the unit knows what their function is and what they are expected to do to move the unit closer to the mission objective. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things always turn out exactly right, but there is purposeful action every step of the way. On the other hand, the private sector tends to move so slowly, with so much bureaucracy and so many layers of authority, it’s a wonder anything gets done! As a product of Air Force training, it was only natural that, as I started my own company, I would fall back on that experience. From Day 1, I relied on discipline, accountability and standards to direct my operations and then glued it all together with systems to ensure consistent results. I was excited by how productive our operations were and how quickly we met our objectives.

It has been my privilege to get a behind the scenes look at numerous corporate and organizational operations, large and small, and I have concluded that one of the main reasons why 95% of new businesses fail within the first five years and why so many companies and organizations struggle is because they have lost sight of the four main pillars of success: Discipline, accountability, standards and systems. Companies and individuals alike also seem to have forgotten that they – and only they – are responsible for their results. Blaming outside forces for, complaining about or justifying lackluster results are a neon sign pointing to the fact that you are not taking responsibility for your results. Until you do, your four pillars will be built on sand and will never help you build what you want.

With the proper strategies, tactics and tools to build upon this four-pillar foundation you can create whatever level of success you choose, for your business and for your life.  In the coming weeks, I’ll take you through each of 4 pillars and elaborate on how making a commitment to incorporate each one of them in your life and your business is a powerful recipe for success.

If you just can’t wait, then you can order a copy of my new book, Remarkable Courage, right now.  It lays out the entire strategy for success in a simple, action-oriented fashion that produces incredible results!

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