top of page

Leadership Lessons from Memorial Day

Memorial Day has its roots as far back as 1868 and became an official holiday in 1971. This is a day for honoring those who served and died in our armed forces and is a sobering reminder of sacrifice and honor.

This holiday is a time for all of us to take a pause, practice a little mindfulness, and take stock of our behaviors.

Because when it really comes down to it, our behaviors are all we truly have control over. Whether in business or in your personal life, your behaviors define who you are and what you stand for.

When it comes to your customer perceptions of your business, the sum of your team's behaviors will represent your brand. This perception extends beyond your customer understanding into your team dynamic. As a leader, your behaviors influence your team's performance and your wake impact their experience as employees.

Appreciation Matters

Keep in mind that this holiday is all about giving appreciation and thanks.  Leaders can learn from that by ensuring they show gratitude to those who do great work for them and for their customers.  This isn’t intended to overshadow the tremendous thanks we owe those who served and defended our nation.  It is intended to be a reminder that showing gratitude is one of the purest ways to show care everyone in your life.

Leadership Matters

Many amazing leaders were members of the military.  They were forged in a crucible that pressure tests men and women into the very best versions of themselves.  We owe much to these leaders who find value in understanding that learning comes from both success and failure, but that both also come with a cost.  There is value in those who stand next to you and leadership goes hand-in-hand with trust and teamwork.

Training Matters

In depth, unwavering training is at the core of being in the military.  The stakes are high and there is no room for error – that makes the training, drills, and repetition crucial.  There is no substitute for knowledge and the experience that comes from both training and execution.  There is a level of comfort that comes with the rhythm and cadence as performing tasks becomes second nature.  That allows for a focus on the bigger picture and impact because muscle memory kicks in when needed.

Dedication Matters

There is a high level of commitment and dedication that it takes to serve and sacrifice in uniform.  There are moments that certainly push one’s limits, and for that, fantastic tenacity is required to find success.  For those who sacrificed, they showed the ultimate dedication and refused to waiver in the face of adversity.

So these are just words – and can never show the level of gratitude deserved for those who fought and sacrificed in our armed forces.  But they are truly the measures that defined those brave men and women to whom we owe so much.

What can we learn?

That being a leader isn’t defined just by one act, but by many.  

That leaders come at all levels of an organization and are valued by those they lead and those lead them in turn.  Leadership is about doing – not about thinking, wondering, hoping, or dreaming.  Those may be qualities that leaders need as well, but without action, they are just folks with big thoughts and no accomplishments.

Which brings us back, full circle to gratitude.

Thank you again to all who served.

Tony Tony Johnson, CCXP Customer Experience Speaker | Author |Trainer | Consultant 606.356.7447 FREE RESOURCES AND TRAINING TOOLS WEB - TWITTER - FACEBOOK - YOUTUBE - INSTAGRAM - LINKEDIN - PODCAST - CALENDAR Improve Your Customer Service with my Book: TOGETHER WE SERVE: Four Proven Strategies to Create Winning Experiences for Your Guests and Your Tea. Click to Purchase on


Tony Johnson is an award winning speaker and author on the topics of sales growth, customer experience, and leadership. Tony speaks to thousands annually and has been featured on ABC News and Fox News. He is available for business planning, motivational keynotes, leadership workshops, and employee service skills training.


#TonyJohnson #consultant #Business #CX #Culture #CustomerService #Healthcare #College #CustServ #CustExp #HigherEd #CustomerSuccess #Marketing #SuccessTips #Hustle #EntrepreneurLife #Retail #restaurants #customercentric #Disney #CEO #CXO #CRM #CEM #Brand #happycustomers #trust #respect #wealth #CustomerTrust #Hospitality #Empathy #CustomerCentric #Practical #Creative #Innovative #Recognize #Recognition #Appreciation #Believe #Team #Leader