I recently started thinking … What does it take to be the best?
Can we learn something from the Navy SEALs and apply it to business? And, after some research – absolutely!
Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) teams go through what is considered by some to be the toughest military training in the world.
It takes over 30 months to train a Navy SEAL to the point at which he will be ready for deployment.
From day one in SEAL training, trainees are taught the importance of teamwork. Focus is not on the individual but the team. The fact that the SEALs have never left another SEAL behind on a mission is a testament to this belief system.
Think about that, 30 months … how long is your training program?
Their initial training is called BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition) it’s about six months long, and divided into three phases; Basic Conditioning, Diving and Land Warfare. The training pushes them to the limit both mentally and physically in order to weed out those who may not be able to successfully complete the demanding missions and operations with which SEALs are faced.
How demanding is your training? Are you preparing your team for what they face? Are we looking for the “cream of the crop”? Are we weeding out those that we know will not be successful or are we trying to convince ourselves that they’ll make it?
New SEALs report immediately to their operational units and begin 12 to 18 months of extensive individual-, platoon-, and squadron-level training in preparation for deployment with their SEAL platoon. This training/deployment cycle is repeated to make sure SEALs are constantly improving and learning new skills that can save lives and help missions succeed.
They literally train around the clock because they know that failure is not an option. Either they succeed or they don’t come home.
Are you training continually? What’s that saying … “the motherhood of learning is repetition”. Or, is training a one-time, new hire event?
Why do they have such a high percentage of success? Here’s the outline:
- They have an objective. They know the mission before they start.
- They work as a team and back each other.
- They sharpen their skills DAILY.
- They always have a contingency plan. Expecting the unexpected.
- They take risks.
- They commit.
- They take action.
- They never give up until the mission is complete.
- They serve others.
- They gather as much information (intelligence) as possible before the mission starts and as the mission continues. This aids them in adjusting their approach if necessary.
Then once the mission is complete, they go back and work on 2, 3, and 9.
Look at your training program and your systems, how do they compare?