Today’s Article By David Huff
on behalf of OST Global Solutions, Inc.
“READY…UP!” and in unison, twenty soldiers pivoted to their right and raised their rifles and machine guns to fire a controlled pair or 3-5 round bursts. We were in week two of our intense training cycle and had moved to Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). It was morning and it was already over 90 degrees plus humidity.
Expended brass flew and the smell of gunpowder and oil hung like a heavy fog in the North Carolina humidity. Sweat dripped into my eyes and my back screamed in protest from the body armor and ammunition rig that sat high on my chest. The red holographic reticle from my EOTech (the sight for aiming the weapon) danced as I fired. I was struggling to maintain accuracy after the hours of close quarters marksmanship training, hunching over, leaning into my shots, and conducting magazine changes. I was on the end of the line so that I could observe my men, and the exhaustion was apparent on their faces.
That is the type of effort and hard work that goes into the training that makes you great in combat. I knew it, the other Non-Commissioned Officers knew it, but the soldiers didn’t since they had never experienced it before. As we broke for lunch, I explained the importance of the training and reminded everyone that mind always gives out before the body. The intense training cycle continued for the next two months, and they had to keep their spirits together to persevere.
Fast forward to now, the government just ended a 16-day partial shutdown. Solicitations, deadlines, projects, events, paperwork, and other endeavors were put on pause. After the deal to re-open and fund the government until February was passed, the federal workers got back to their offices with a mountain of work awaiting them. More than likely the government will need to catch up on its buying for this quarter, much like it did after the Sequestration.
We need to get prepared to sprint until the next crisis and potential shutdown that is just around the corner. In the business development world, now is the best time to get in contact with your government customers. Fit in your capture activities while you can. This stop-and-go, strapped-for-resources type of environment could end up being the new normal for a while. Whether we replay this fiasco all over again in a couple months remains to be seen, but that has been the trend as of late. Regardless, we must go on and serve our customers as if the politicians will work things out between themselves.
You may have to put in the long, exhausting weeks responding to the flurry of RFPs that will come out within a short window of time. You will test your endurance as you may get the proposals done while some of your business development staff has been laid off. Be mentally prepared to do so while the holiday season is upon us.
And, to prevent becoming an overhead-cutting casualty, we need to persevere and persist by constantly training to stay sharp. We need to prove ourselves indispensable and irreplaceable in this increasingly competitive and resource-scarce environment. Attend courses and learning events, absorb the latest best practices, so that you churn out higher quality work, faster.
For us in the infantry, it was about who could change magazines faster and who could shoot better. In the business development world it is about doing fast and accurate work, developing the best customer relationships, and positioning ourselves ahead of competition. When pressure builds, you may lose some of your higher brain function and you will always revert back to your training. Your training and your ability to persevere will carry you through the battle. Be prepared to sprint, and be prepared to adapt to whatever challenges lay ahead.
Business Development Analyst
OST Global Solutions, Inc.
…Because There is No Second Place in Proposals! TM