This post is dedicated to the service members everywhere who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight to preserve freedom. In the U.S. we recognize Memorial Day on the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day honors those who actually died in service to the country. Volunteering for the military carries with it the potential for the ultimate human sacrifice, one’s own life. The brave men and women who train and deploy are faced with the ever-present threat that they too may join the ranks of those we honor each year on Memorial Day.
The public response to veterans past and present has changed over the years. Today, I am blessed by the routine outpourings of respect and affection given to those returning from the Gulf War theater. I can recall soldiers returning from Vietnam who were not welcomed so warmly.
While public opinion may be fickle as decades pass, the undeniable truth is we all owe our freedom to those who fight and sacrifice.
I encourage anyone who is in a position of leadership to take a moment to reflect on the solemnity of this day. If you are an entrepreneur owning your own business, you should be grateful for the opportunity to operate your enterprise in a free commerce society.
Managers at all levels also carry a special burden often unrealized. I contend that we too should honor, support, and defend the ideals of freedom and equality in our respective places of work. I am speaking of the very freedoms our soldiers fight to defend.
Depending on the size of your company, your programs about diversity and equality may range from the subtle to the very formal. Nonetheless we as managers must shoulder the duties for maintaining standards of respect for our teams.
While HR programs often go to serve the masses of employees, if we, the leaders, assume greater responsibility for administering a safe, respectful workplace, the masses would be far more engaged and loyal.
Our veterans serve nobly to support and defend the rights we have. Let’s not let the workplace lose sight of that.
To my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you for your service. Words cannot express the gratitude. May God be with you.
Doug Thorpe’s company HeadwayExec is proud to have been recognized by the Veterans Administration as a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB).