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5 Valuable Military Skills Useful for Entrepreneurs


5 Valuable Military Skills Useful for Entrepreneurs

Did you know Aegis Power System's CEO and Founder, Bill Dockery, is both a US military veteran and a successful entrepreneur? In fact, he has 8 years of active duty military experience, more than 25 years of personnel management experience, and 19 years experience as an entrepreneur building a thriving small business.

As an airman with the US Air Force, Mr. Dockery served four years as an electronic technician during the last part of the Vietnam War and an additional four years as a team chief in Europe upgrading communications centers in the region. He then went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Engineering at UNC Charlotte which led him to several lucrative positions in Silicon Valley and Boulder. In 1995, Mr. Dockery ventured out on his own to start Aegis Power Systems in partnership with Vicor Power. With his valuable background as both a serviceman and business man, we can all learn a lot from his advice and expertise.

In honor of Veteran's Day, I asked Mr. Dockery to share five valuable lessons learned during his time in the military that are still applicable to the business world today.

1. Management Experience
"The amazing thing about the military is that regardless of age, a young man or woman can be given management experience and large projects." Mr. Dockery explains that even in his early twenties he was in management of crews as large as 50 people. He firmly believes that this gave him the in-depth insight to leadership skills necessary to oversee people in any other business environment.

2. Ability to Meet Deadlines
Working on a military timeline may mean personnel keep precarious hours in order to meet certain goals. Mr. Dockery shares, "Working in changing environments with assorted needs often leads to shifting deadlines. Nonetheless, these deadlines must be met. I have become accustomed to a similar understanding in the business world where I have many times spent long hours in pursuit of a customer objective."

3. Global Outlook
Having spent time on multiple continents and among several cultures through his duty with the Air Force gave Mr. Dockery the diplomacy to interact with all types of people and cultural traditions. This has proven a beneficial experience in preparation for operating Aegis Power Systems where Mr. Dockery now has worldwide clients with diverse power supply needs.

4. Systemizing Procedures and Data
Of course the military must be highly structured in order to operate smoothly, but also procedures and data must be systemized. This is another characteristic that Mr. Dockery has carried over to his work with Aegis Power Systems. Implementing the ISO 9001:2008 operations method is just one of the ways that employees at his company maintain an orderly account of records and parts. This internal accountability results in speedy delivery of products to customers and ease of employee absences or turnovers.

5. Attention to Detail 
"While in the US Air Force as staff sergeant, I was given projects with very large scale and scope. Supervising $10-20-million projects were not uncommon as part of my required duties." Mr. Dockery goes on to explain that being given such a high level of responsibility forced him to learn to pay attention to detail, a skill that essential for any business owner or entrepreneur. "Overlooking a small task or component can have dramatic results -- attention to detail is a must," he states.

Even for those of us without military background, the above skills are desirous for any motivated start-up business man or woman. Is your company veteran-owned? What skills do you see your CEO implementing from his/her time in the military?

Aegis Power Systems is owned and operated by a veteran, but also employs several who have served our country. To all those who have spent their time and effort in the honor of our military, we say, "Thank you!"