Anzac Lesson’s for Everyone in Business

I’m moved beyond measure by the sacrifice of soldiers, past and present and their families. Reflecting after Friday’s services and community events I mindfully waited to share.


With immediate family and friends serving in the military even as I write, I’m impatient for Australia. I long for the upholding of the Spirit of the Anzacs; that time honoured tradition of serving one another. In no way does this article set about to diminish the efforts of genuine serving personnel but rather it is a Call to Stand Up for everyday Australians, support one another and be there for one another, in business and in life….quit whinging and do the work that needs to be done ( okay maybe I’m not talking to you but that other person). Learning from tragedy, compelled by crisis or simply moved to make a difference, here are my Anzac Lessons for Everyone in Business:


  1. Vision Can Mobilise the Generations
  2. Give Them What They Need to Get the Job Done
  3. Give Them a Uniform
  4. Honour Rank and Seniority
  5. Burnt out? Seek Help
  6. Not All Conflict is Bad
  7. Remember Them and Create a Legacy
  8. A Call to Arms
  9. Lest We Forget


Lining the streets on Anzac Day The Power of Acknowledgment & Thank You. What if we thanked our Leaders for making the tough decisions? Stood alongside each other and cheered each other on?


1. Vision Can Mobilise the Generations


A vision that recruits on values and captures the moral compass of a society can mobilise the generations in times of local and international need.


The Spirit of the ANZAC, that quintessential Australian essence of lending a hand to a mate, without suspicion or fear of missing out or a desire for recognition can still be found in times of natural disasters with our communities rallying from the country to the coast. Peter Baines is one such Peace Time Hero


2. Give Them What They Need to Get the Job Done

You can have the best recruitment campaign but if your equipment and integration strategy falls short, your people simply can’t get the job done safely, with confidence or certainty.


Technology, nutrition, physical equipment, a place for down time, routine, strategic and operationally planning, a clear chain of command and importantly a safe working place with the freedom of a nameless, rank-less debrief.


3. Give Them a Uniform

From the military to finance, emergency services to hairdressers, resorts and retailers, educators and entrepreneurs, your external wardrobe is an expression of the culture you’re intentionally creating. The outward appearance can help people develop a sense of belonging, a sense of pride!


Whether we’re talking support workers, builders or Russian military without insignia, there is a stronger community expectation of appropriate conduct accountability. Stop being so politically correct and fearful and give them a sense of pride and connectedness,


4. Honour Rank and Seniority

There’s no longer any room for the old boys club in any business, any more than there’s room for women who are mean, catty or manipulative to others.


Get savvy and enhance your understanding of the different thinking models that influence fear based behaviours or promote a ‘them and us’ mentality between frontline staff and management. Know the people on your team, promote trust and stop shooting each other down!


If values don’t align with the expectations of the company, individuals will be tripped up by their own negative behaviour. The frontline or ‘Rank and File’ are encouraged to be the stewards of the code and help people to fit in or fall out. There is zero tolerance for harm at work.


Honour the role and learn to respect the person, even if you don’t want them on your Facebook profile


5. Burnt out? Seek Help:

While former generations of Australian soldiers may have carried the emotional and physical trauma close to their chest, today’s returned servicemen & women have a greater opportunity to diagnose the early onset of burnout and recover from the trauma of war with early diagnosis, access to information and recovery support for the soldiers and their families.


Mainstream workplaces have their own set of challenges – overload, accelerated connectivity and heightened expectations.


If you need help you approach your Army Chaplain, your local Pastor, your Employee Assistance Program, Counsellor, GP or Executive Coach, reach out and access the support you need to recover.


6. Not All Conflict is Bad

Robust debate and healthy disagreement about process or practice is one thing but when it all starts to get personal, deal with it swiftly.


If your workplace has been a battle zone, take the high ground, be safe, don’t allow yourself to be imprisoned by poor choices or a culture that’s not the right fit for you, and choose to forgive those who’ve hurt you. Take an honourable discharge, exit graciously when you can. Choose to remember the strengths of the company and the camaraderie of your peers.


If you’re the leader or business owner do not tolerate ‘conduct unbecoming’. Indecision and a failure to correct can cost you and the company you keep.


7. Remember Them and Create a Legacy

The story of the Anzacs has captivated Australians. Movies have been made about ordinary Australians with an uncommon commitment to be there for their mates. Keith Urban, recently commented on his work ethic, “I think it’s an Aussie thing; an Australian Spirit of never feeling entitled and always feeling like we’ve got to work for whatever we want”.


The true ANZAC’s have worked hard to keep their story alive. Traditions have been passed down. There is a dignity and quiet resolve that captures the heart of our nation.


8. A Call to Arms


Here are some ways your organisation can build a ANZAC spirit at work:


  • Create your organisations history with ceremony and dignity
  • Set aside an annual day to gather as a company and welcome back former staff who helped shape your company
  • Discover who in your team and suburb have been personally touched by war and find out what their pressing needs are
  • Hire returned servicemen & women to speak at your next team meeting on leadership, consult on strategy and share on the power of teamwork
  • Tell your children why you do what you do.
  • Help them to understand about service and trust, about the price of sacrifice, about life and loss. Take them to an Anzac Day event.


On the frontline and in the Boardroom, take up the challenge and declare your values, stand alongside your friends and mates, and serve one another everyday.


Lead your life as if you are walking down the main street, with colleagues you’re proud to be with, and people are cheering you on! Don’t waste time being afraid.


There should be no enemies here.


Lest We Forget.



Tarran Deane CEO |Founder of Corporate Cinderella, a Leadership Development Company, is a Speaker, Author, Coach & Consultant. Working with diverse industry, government & community leaders, executives and entrepreneurs, Tarran’s unique 7 Step Leadership Blueprint rapidly identifies obstacles and a tailored pathway for your professional success. You can contact Tarran at or +61 (0) 417 654305