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  • George Gomola

Are You a Quality Multiplier?

Dr. Ken Mara is in charge of the selection and assessment process for Navy SEALS, SEAL Officers (SOAS), and Special Boat Operators (SWCC). He described an event that occurred during BUDS training several years ago while working at the BUDS training facility in Coronado.

He heard the bell ring 3 times, signaling a candidate quit, or dropped on request. He then heard another 3 rings, followed by another. Three candidates had just ended their quest to become Navy SEALS. He watched as they placed their green training helmets on the sidewalk under the pull up bars that line the grinder at BUDS. They had made their decision. Nothing else mattered.

According to Dr. Mara, candidates rarely quit alone. They do it in groups of 2 or 3. When they hit their breaking point, and everyone does, they seek out someone else who is ready to quit. They commiserate, question the strength of their “why”, redefine their level of commitment, and quit together. Instead of lifting their brothers up, they help them quit.

The candidates who succeed make a different, and much more difficult choice. When they reach their breaking point, they turn to a team mate and ask for help. Asking for help is hard to do, especially for alpha males like seal candidates. It requires humility and risk. The irony is that humility and risk equate to the true definition of courage. No one makes it though BUDS without asking their buddies for help. No matter how good you are, there is always somebody better. By asking that person for help you empower them, more importantly you empower yourself. Dr. Mara calls this process becoming a QUALITY MULTIPLIER.

At Fairfield Strength we are all really good at helping others, but not always willing to admit or ask for help when we are struggling. This could be in a class, at home, work, or with nutrition and mindset. The key to success is the understanding that we are a team. Being a part of a team requires humble acknowledgement of our own personal limitations and more importantly, an understanding that doing the impossible becomes commonplace when we rely on the strength of our team mates. As team mates, we are either a source of strength or a path to weakness.

Weakness is not about ability, it is about willingness to ask for and seek the right kind of help. By giving each other the opportunity to help when help is needed, we empower ourselves and make our team stronger. Asking for help is not viewed as a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength, humility, interdependence, and community.


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