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Swiss Special Forces To Boardroom ‒ Business Success

Written by: Mike Ciabatti, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Are you looking to gain discipline, focus, and determination? Look no further than the Swiss Special Forces. My experience in rigorous basic training and leadership development in the Swiss military prepared me for combat and success in the cutthroat business world. Discover how my time in the Special Forces gave me the skills to adapt and thrive in any situation.

photo of a snowy mountain under a cloudy sky

The Challenges of Basic Training in the Swiss Alps


Basic training in the Swiss Special Forces is designed to be physically and mentally demanding to weed out those incapable of handling the demands of being a special forces soldier. The training takes place in the Swiss Alps, where soldiers are required to endure extreme weather conditions and rugged terrain.


During my 4-month basic training, I had to pass several selection tests, including shooting tests, physical fitness tests, and psychological tests. These tests are designed to challenge every aspect of my being, and I remember feeling overwhelmed and unsure if I would make it through. But I pushed through and passed each test with flying colors.


The physical fitness tests were particularly challenging, including long-distance runs, endurance marches, and obstacle courses. I had to be in top physical shape to pass these tests, and I remember feeling exhausted and sore at the end of each day.


The psychological tests were also designed to be challenging, as they were meant to test my ability to handle stress and pressure. I was put in simulated combat situations and had to remain calm and make quick decisions under fire. These tests were meant to simulate the real-world conditions that special forces soldiers must handle.


Despite the challenges, passing these tests was essential if I wanted to be a part of the Swiss Special Forces. And looking back, I realize that these tests were not only a measure of my physical and mental strength but also my determination and willpower.


The Importance of Self-Development in the Special Forces


During my time in the Swiss Special Forces, I learned the importance of self-development. This required me to look closely at myself and identify my strengths and weaknesses. As a special forces soldier, I constantly pushed myself to be better physically and mentally.


One of the critical aspects of self-development was learning to overcome my fears and doubts. I had to learn to trust myself and my abilities, even in the most challenging situations. This was not always easy, but with the help of my trainers and fellow soldiers, I was able to develop the self-confidence and mental fortitude needed to succeed in the special forces.


Another essential aspect of self-development was learning to adapt and improvise. Special forces soldiers are required to operate in various environments and conditions, and I had to learn to be flexible and think on my feet. This needed me to constantly learn and grow, both as a soldier and as a person.


Self-development is a vital aspect of the special forces, which I continue to practice in my personal and professional life. I learned that self-awareness, self-confidence, and adaptability are crucial skills I can use in any area of my life, not just in the military.


Leadership Lessons Learned in NCO School


After completing basic training, I attended NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) school, where I learned about leadership and how to motivate special forces soldiers to follow me in combat. As a leader in the special forces, I made quick decisions and led my team through difficult and dangerous situations.


One of the key leadership lessons I learned in NCO school was the importance of clear communication. As a leader, I had to convey my orders and intentions to my team, and I had to listen to their input and concerns. This required me to develop strong communication skills, which I still use today in my business dealings.


Another essential leadership lesson I learned was the importance of trust. As a leader, I had to earn my team's confidence and trust in their abilities and decisions. This required me to build strong relationships with my team members and to be open and transparent with them.


I also learned the importance of motivation and inspiration. A great leader can inspire and motivate his team to do their best, even in the most challenging situations. I learned that by setting a good example, showing my team that I believed in them, and providing them with the tools and resources they needed, I could help them achieve their goals.


These leadership lessons I learned at NCO school have served me well in my business career. I have applied them to build effective teams and lead them through challenging situations.


The Value of Peacekeeping Missions Abroad


During my ten years in the Swiss military, I had the opportunity to participate in peacekeeping missions abroad under the United Nations. These missions were some of my life's most challenging and rewarding experiences. They allowed me to practice all the skills and lessons I had learned in training, and they helped me grow as a person.


One of the critical things I learned from these missions was the importance of cultural understanding and sensitivity. I was able to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and I had to learn to respect and understand their perspectives. This helped me to develop my cross-cultural communication and negotiation skills, which have been invaluable in my business dealings.


I also learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration. On peacekeeping missions, I was part of a team of soldiers and civilian personnel working towards a common goal. I learned the importance of being a good team member and developed my leadership skills by leading my team through challenging situations.


Furthermore, I also developed a sense of discipline and responsibility on these missions. I learned that when you're a part of a peacekeeping mission, you are a representative of your country and therefore have to act accordingly. This helped me to understand the importance of being professional, responsible, and accountable in any situation.


My experience on peacekeeping missions abroad has been personally and professionally invaluable. It has helped me to become a more understanding, compassionate, and responsible person, and these skills are something I use in my business every day.


Applying Military Skills to Building a Business


After my time in the Swiss military, I decided to start my own business. At first, it may seem absurd how my experience in the military could help build a business, but I soon realized that the skills I had acquired were highly transferable.


One of the primary skills I have been able to apply is discipline and organization. The military requires a high level of discipline, and I have been able to use this in my business by staying focused and organized, setting goals, and meeting deadlines.


Another critical skill I have been able to apply is the ability to adapt and improvise. In the military, I was trained to think on my feet and to come up with creative solutions to problems. This has been invaluable in my business, where I have had to adapt to changing market conditions and find innovative ways to grow my company.


The leadership skills I gained in the military have also been critical to my success in business. I have built and led effective teams, delegated responsibilities, and made decisions promptly and confidently.


In my business, I work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I have applied my cross-cultural communication and negotiation skills to build strong relationships with my clients and partners. Finally, my experience on peacekeeping missions abroad has helped me to understand the importance of cultural understanding and sensitivity.


Overall, my time in the Swiss military has been precious in preparing me for the challenges of building a business. The skills and experiences I gained in the military have helped me become a more disciplined, adaptable, and effective leader. These skills continue to serve me well in my business today.


Overcoming Difficulties and Gaining Confidence


One of the most significant takeaways from my time in the Swiss military was overcoming difficulties and gaining confidence. Basic training in the Swiss Alps was incredibly tough physically and mentally. I had to push myself to the limits and face many challenges, but I emerged from this experience with a newfound self-confidence.


During the training, I faced several selection tests, including shooting tests, physical fitness tests, and psychological tests. I learned that the key to success was not to give up but to keep pushing forward, even when things seemed impossible. This determination and perseverance helped me pass the selection tests and move to NCO school.


At NCO school, I learned about leadership and how to motivate special forces soldiers to follow you in combat and trust my decisions. This experience helped me to develop my decision-making skills and to understand the importance of being a leader who is respected and trusted.


Overall, my time in the Swiss military taught me that anything is possible with hard work, determination and perseverance. It helped me gain confidence in my abilities, which has been invaluable in building my business, where I often have to make difficult decisions and take risks. It also helped me understand that failure is a part of the process and that it's not the end but a learning opportunity.


In conclusion, my time in the Swiss Special Forces was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience that helped me become the person I am today. The skills and lessons I gained have been invaluable in my personal and professional life. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve my country and develop myself.


The Value of Self-Development


One of the most valuable lessons I learned during my time in the Swiss military was the importance of self-development. I was allowed to learn new skills, push my limits, and grow.


During the 4-month training course, I was allowed to participate in various activities that helped me to develop my physical fitness, shooting skills, and psychological resilience. These activities were not only challenging but also rewarding. It helped me to understand that my limitations were only in my head and that I could achieve more than I thought possible.


After basic training, I attended NCO school, where I learned about leadership and how to motivate special forces soldiers. This experience helped me to understand the importance of being a leader who is respected and trusted. It also helped me to develop my decision-making skills and to understand the importance of being a role model.


Self-development was not only limited to physical and mental training. I had the opportunity to attend various classes and courses on different subjects. This helped me to broaden my horizons and to understand other cultures and perspectives.


Overall, my time in the Swiss military has been a precious opportunity for self-development. The skills and lessons I gained have helped me become more disciplined, adaptable, and effective, and these skills continue to serve me well in my business today. It also helped me to understand that self-development is a lifelong process and that I should always strive to improve personally and professionally.


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Mike Ciabatti, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mike is a Swiss-American entrepreneur and innovator with a diverse background in both military and private security. He left the security industry to pursue his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. He has created several successful businesses in various industries and is known for his ability to spot new trends and opportunities. Mike is also a devoted father and loves spending time with his family and dogs in the Swiss Alps. He's a great lover of nature and outdoor activities.

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