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Command and Control with Paul Huszar

George Grombacher February 24, 2022

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Command and Control with Paul Huszar

LifeBlood: We talked about the value of being able to command and control situations, why veterans are assets to any organization, and the value of having a standard operating procedure, with Paul Huszar, retired Army Officer, and CEO of VetCor.  

Listen to learn how to find your career sweet spot!

You can learn more about Paul at VetcorServices.com, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening!  If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and subscribe as well. 

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

paul huszar

Paul Huszar

Episode Transcript

Come on

warm lead. This is George G. And the time is right. Welcome. Today’s guest is strong and powerful Paul Husar. Paul, are you ready to do this? Oh, that’s that’s how we stay strong and powerful in the army. I’m no longer in the army but still trying to replicate those cultures norms of value. So Whew. Good morning. And thank you, George. Let’s go. Paul is CEO of vet core and team vet core. He is a retired Army officer. He’s on a mission to create sustainable and meaningful employment opportunities and business opportunities for our nation’s heroes. Paul, tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do. Well, thanks, George. I was retired. I am a retired Army officer.

Paul Huszar 0:53
A lot of things have happened in my life in my life by accident. I went to West Point really, by accident, loved it stayed in the military. 23 years of service for combat tours in Iraq. And I had the privilege of commanding a combat airborne Engineer Battalion, the same battalion, I was a second lieutenant in and I later commanded them and took them back to Iraq, I was in Desert Storm with them and then took them back to Iraq. Just a very enriching experience, like culminated my experience as the dean of the Army’s engineer school, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. And then eight years ago, I retired and moved to Tampa, Florida, really, for quality of life. After some significant time away from family and deployments, I said, I time to live life. And so we moved here and have a pretty significant educational background. I’m a licensed professional engineer, Master’s in civil engineering, and I couldn’t find a job. And I recognize the challenges that veterans face.

In making that transition, people think you wear a uniform, all you do is shoot, move and communicate, and then understand that the same skill sets exist in the military as they do to run a city.

And I said, Man, if I’m experiencing this with my resume, what about the youngsters who have had so much rich experience compared to in responsibilities compared to their peers?

What are they experiencing? They were experiencing challenges. So just by luck and circumstance, I ran into a guy named David Howard, who David is now my business partner, but he was a CEO of a forensics engineering company that was doing causing origin loss investigations for sinkholes. Big deal in Florida. That’s how I got my resume. And I little known to me at the time, he was also looking around at other services and things to the clients they had. And he says, Hey, I’d like you to be the president of Vet Corps. He had the he had the concept, water damage restoration company, and lead it manage it started and he really started on Veterans Day. And this is a couple of weeks after Veterans Day. So off we go Manning training, equipping, and it gave me a way to try and help vets in a way I wasn’t able to do on active duty. When I was a dean. As army’s engineer school, we’re trying to work on fixing credentialing problems so that soldiers, sailors, airmen are more way ready to transition. And away we went. And we’ve had some success we’ve done we’ve done good work with our team members. I said, Don’t tell anybody to secret our success. We hire veterans, they’re great teammates. And then two years ago, we started franchising it about six months before COVID, which was a bit of a challenge. And so now we’re out just trying to tell our story about what we’re doing. We have 11 franchisees now across, six in in Florida, two in Texas, one in New York, one in Georgia, one in,

in Virginia, and soon to award one in Kentucky, one in Ohio. And so we’re trying to create a movement to create opportunities for vets as business owners now and really career opportunities to those franchises to

george grombacher 4:19
Nice. That’s a cool story. And thank thank you for your service.

Paul Huszar 4:24
Who I’ve said it’s a young man’s game, right still be doing it.

But it was a ton of fun and it was great honor and privilege. How does one go to West Point on accident, Paul.

So I, you know, I’m pretty sure I was profile. Like any other, you know, young guy that was a sophomore in high school was fit. I was athletic. I was kind of, I was a good student, and I was kind of the leader of my pals is. And so we’re walking around a career Fair it can State University. I was from Akron, Ohio. And it’s kind of the ringleader of the guys and sky. Army officer there. Representing West Point at a career fair college, college career fair. Booth stops me and says, Hey, did you ever think about West Point? My dad at the time was running a general contracting company. I used to work for him in the summer. That was pretty cool. I was good math. I was going to be a civil engineer. I thought that if I get a civil engineering degree, and then go work for my dad, you know, wouldn’t wouldn’t be handed to me. I said, No, sir, said that. He thinks I’m going to be a civil engineer. And he said, Son, did you know that Westmont was the first civil engineering school in the United States? I knew nothing about West Point. And I said no. And I turned around and walked back. And it was like he just real me. And then he handed me this brochure that said, you know, X percentage of the class, our varsity letter winners, X percentage, or team captains X percentage are valedictorians, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that, that was me. And I read that whole brochure on the bus, on the way back and send it in next thing, you know, I was hooked. Gotcha. Yep. And it was more of the challenge. Because I mean, I was patriotic person, my parents were patriotic, but no military service and like my family to speak of, it was more of the challenge. And what I saw, West Point was kind of, in my opinion, the greatest leader development institution in the world. And I was all about that challenge and trying to develop myself as a leader. Oh, amen. So

george grombacher 6:44
you said that sometimes people don’t connect the dots that that vets are great teammates, that the same skills that you learned in, in the service greatly serves you in any endeavor. And to me, I’m like, Yeah, that’s I have all the reverence for for the systems and the processes and kind of a standard operating procedure that that y’all have to go through in order to have the greatest fighting force on planet Earth. So why why do people not get that or and maybe, Bill build a little bit on on why vets are are perfect candidates.

Paul Huszar 7:25
So first of all, people are honor vets, they revere vets, they thank us for our service. They just don’t understand us. And I’ve done I did a lot of thinking about this, because I went for a period about six months in my own personal transition. And then I also studied it, I tried to be introspective and reflective and understand it. And what though I’ve come to conclusion is we’re at a point in time in our nation’s history, where less than half a percent of the population actively served in the US military. It’s the lowest it’s ever been, we should pound our chest. Because as you said, we have the greatest military in the face of the earth, we’re the most powerful nation ever, we’re doing with the least amount of our national treasure at risk. Awesome. That translates to only about 7% of the entire population have ever served our veterans, right? Again, lowest it’s ever been in our nation’s history. And it’s only getting lower as the population expands. It’s a growing population, more babies born than people dying. Actually, the veteran population is declining, because of the size of the service. So again, good news, not trying to say anything bad about that. But then we drift farther and farther apart from the the really the community, the society that we serve, to protect and defend. So fewer and fewer people have a cousin, a neighbor, or a brother or a sister, a spouse, who they actually know, that has any service. So you know, we have these great freedoms in our country, people are thankful for that. But they don’t necessarily understand who we are what we do, because of those the lack of personal experiences and personal connections. And so a lot of stigmas have evolved. You know, the two most common words associated with veteran, disabled and homeless. I mean, it’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. But if you were to pull people, that’s what you’d find out. So what happens is, if you wear a uniform, all you do is shoot, move and communicate. And you know, if you’re in the army, you were a grunt or tanker. If you’re in the Navy, or a seal or ship driver in the Air Force, who are pilot, if you’re a Marine, you’re your grant. But that’s not true. And even the people who were those combat skill sets have, as I said, I think the military is a greatest leader development institution in the world. So I think it’s it’s just a thing that has happened naturally in society. And, and we’re not good at telling our story either. Because all of us who are veterans have spent our entire adult lives for the team. Right and then you get out And you’re supposed to do a resume and go in an interview, and tell people how great you personally are. So they’ll have you join your team. And you’re not used to that fact, you’re uncomfortable about that. So we don’t do a good job telling our story. So what you have left is the fill the gap is, you know, Hurt Locker. And I use that as an example. It was Academy Award winning movie, and it is absolutely, in my opinion, terrible depiction of military service. And then these stereotypes just perpetuate over time. I don’t think anybody doubts that we’re great teammates, that we that we have great work ethic, sense of duty, etc. But I’m not sure people hire based on that. They’ll fire based on the lack of that over time, and they discover it. But they’re hiring based on new skill sets on a resume keywords mean, all those all the search engines are built on that. Well, we speak a different language too. So that’s a problem.

george grombacher 11:00
Yeah, that certainly makes sense. It strikes me that somebody that will be coming out of out of the military veteran would probably thrive in an environment like like a franchise,

Paul Huszar 11:12
it veterans succeed overwhelmingly compared to their sibling peers in franchising, but I would tell you, it’s not for the reason most people think, you know, franchising, in my opinion, is all about training, standardizing and replicate. It’s one of the reasons I think we do very well as a franchisor. And then it’s all about following SOPs, if you will, operations manuals, taking the brand, and doing the best and operating it in a specific geography usually defined by a set of zip codes, etc. Well, people think, well, veterans succeeded that because they follow orders. Well, they do they have to write. But the definition of leadership providing purpose, direction, motivation in the military is familiar with giving orders in terms of task and purpose, or five W’s in a mission statement who, what, where, when, why, and nesting Commander’s Intent, understanding intent to levels above your own, so that veterans can exercise initiative within the intent. So they, they follow SOPs, and then they make them better. Right, and then they share because they’re good teammates, to the left and to the right. And they also are really good at continual learning, because they spend three to four years in the job or in a location and change their lifelong learners. And military is designed like that, again, people don’t necessarily understand that they’re always doing after action review. What’s an after action review, determine what happened, why it happened, and how we can improve. Imagine a culture where an organization does that.

george grombacher 12:54
Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me. I imagine that you’re familiar with with with Jocko Willink, and his book discipline equals freedom. And I think that a lot of people do view SOP standard operating procedure as well, that’s really limiting I’m going to be really constrained when in fact, it does the opposite. It allows us to handle and thrive in chaos and to exercise initiative, what like you’re talking about because we’ve already done the things that we know we need to happen. Can I imagine when we’re dealing with restoration, when you’re coming upon the scene of an accident and emergency that you want to make sure you have all those things checked off. So you can then figure out what’s going on?

Paul Huszar 13:40
Let’s write it and that’s one reason why it’s such a great industry for us because we have checklists, right? But every day, it’s something different dishwashers, ice makers, hot water heaters, air conditioning units, roof leaks, bio trauma, crime scene, kitchen fires, the aftermath of the winter storms in Texas, the aftermath of hurricanes in New Orleans, right there, all these things are very interesting. And you got to follow procedures, we have checklists, you know, our backs of our trucks are very organized like they were combat vehicle. But then you get there. And you also have to exercise initiative and judgment on the spot. Right? And, and that’s what we’re really good at. We’re used to doing that, and in service of someone else, and for a cause greater than ourselves. And one of the cool things, the coolest thing, and the thing I’m most passionate about is in our organization built around the cultures, norms and values of the military. The more the better we do. The more people we serve, the better reputation we have. The greater the businesses, the more reps, the more our reputation expands. The more business we get, the more opportunities we get to create. We’re fellow veterans, and that’s being a part of something bigger than yourself.

george grombacher 14:56
Sounds awesome. Like I really it’s Sounds like you’ve checked all the boxes, like,

Paul Huszar 15:03
I believe it is. It’s not without challenge, though. But it’s, I get up every day excited about that, because we’re driven by a cause we’re driven by our passion. Another

george grombacher 15:15
Paul, people ready for difference making tip? What do you have for them?

Paul Huszar 15:19
Alright, so I carry this around in my phone. And now that we’ve, we’ve started franchising, right, this has been really important to me. And I use it to also to help veterans in transition when they’re trying to look for what to do when in transition in their lives. And here, here’s the nugget. And I’ll show you a little infographic I have, I keep it on my phone and whip it out. If you can find the intersection of what you love doing, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at, you’ll never not work another day in your life. So see, there it is. Right, and I call that the sweet spot. And what I’m looking for when we try and find franchisees is somebody who thinks that the opportunity to be a vet core franchisee is the intersection of those four things that, you know, people think about, I like working out at a gym, with just because you’re like we’re going to a gym doesn’t mean you should be a gym owner, right? Because that’s not what the owner does in the business. So you got to be good at leading, managing, running a business that can think you don’t necessarily have to be good at restoration. But you have to be good at customer service and exercise and command and control good judgment, because we’re going to teach you the technical stuff, and you’re in the there technicians and stuff. The most important things I think are you know, are you passionate about it. And you want to be again, you know, if you passion about restoration began to be passionate about hiring vets and creating opportunities for vets. And so whether that’s an opportunity to vet core, whether that’s nine to five salary job, whether that’s you know, you’re an artist, and you know, you create your work and you sell it, whatever that is, if you can find the intersection of those four things. You find fulfillment and satisfaction in your life, I believe.

george grombacher 17:13
We think that that is great stuff that definitely gets who Ah, oh. I love it. Well, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they get involved with that court?

Paul Huszar 17:25
Yeah, so I’m happy to connect with folks, if they’re interested in that court, great. If they’re interested in learning about veterans, or if they’re a veteran interested in transition in assistance, any of those things reach me on LinkedIn, Paul, who’s our HQ SZ AR, or Facebook, those are I’m very active on both of those, as well as my company pages, or our company website, www dot dat cor ve T co our services.com or vet core franchising.com. And there’s places that enter your information, we’ll follow up with you. But, you know, again, this is not a sales pressure thing this is let’s connect and have a discussion and see if you know, for VET course, if you’re in that intersection of those four things, then you might be a good candidate. And then we’ve got some work to do. And if you’re passionate about trying to help vets and be an advocate, connect,

george grombacher 18:22
perfect. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did, she’ll call your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Somebody who’s a veteran, somebody who has veterans in their lives, help get the word out. Go to vet core services.com or vet core franchising.com. That’s VTC are find Paul on LinkedIn and Facebook. I’ll list all those in the notes of the show. Thanks. Good, Paul.

Paul Huszar 18:47
George, thank you so very much, appreciate it.

george grombacher 18:50
And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

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