Justin Lewis, a consultant in our North America Consulting Northeast region and U.S. Naval Reserve veteran who joined Gartner in July 2019, shares lessons he learned during his time as a reservist and an up-and-coming human capital strategist.
Show resilience and have a winning mindset — Win or learn how to win
I joined the United States Navy Reserve to serve my country and strive for greatness. My preparation for naval boot camp, training and other schools to follow allowed me to see that if I worked smart, there would always be a good result. The long nights of study and time spent building rapport with 75 individuals from diverse backgrounds taught me to value people and how to lead with vision and servitude. Understanding, vulnerability and transparency cannot be reached if there is no foundation of trust. Furthermore, the same value, trust and encouragement I gave my shipmates was reciprocated when I was challenged most during recruit training.
Upon graduation, I was awarded a letter of commendation from the Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL. This honor recognized me for excellence in academics, military bearing, physical fitness, team drill formation and successfully leading 75 other individuals as the Recruit Chief Petty Officer. I was the only person to hold this position and achieve the award of Honor Graduate out of 960 peers in the graduating class.
This experience instilled confidence, taught patience and enabled me to develop the skills necessary to be successful in every arena I entered throughout my career. I completed my academic journey at Florida Atlantic University while winning numerous awards such as Man of the Year, made advancements in my military career at an accelerated pace and was awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal by the Chief of Naval Reserve while serving in Washington, D.C. I then began the full-time M.B.A. program at the University of Rochester Simon Business School, which enabled me to successfully transition into a career I am passionate about at a performance-driven growth company unlike any other in the world. Now at Gartner, I am surrounded by colleagues who provide support in a structured, intellectually challenging and rewarding environment.
Endeavor to add value, self-evaluate and make a significant impact
“Am I passionate about my profession?” “Am I bringing value to myself?” “Am I bringing value to my community?”
The lack of substance with which I was able to answer these questions while working in a previous role prompted me to begin working with mentors to align the differing industries I worked in so my career could start to make sense for what I wanted to pursue in the future. On a weekly basis, I would reflect on what more I could be doing with my time and began evaluating what could be possible if I focused my efforts to overcome barriers to success and achieve superior results. At Gartner we call this a “no-limits mindset” and even at an early stage in my career I embraced this by not settling for less than excellence in my personal and professional life. As the new year begins, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue making a positive impact within the company and within the local community.
Are you interested in starting a new career path? Learn more about how you can apply your military experience here.
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