Eric Greitens

You can learn a lot in the battlefield of life, and even more when you’re on the frontlines of war, says Eric Greitens.

As a Rhodes Scholar, CEO of The Mission Continues and a United States Navy SEAL officer, Eric learned from the men and women fighting alongside him in Afghanistan, from nuns feeding the destitute in India and from aid workers healing orphaned children in Rwanda. Through leadership and service—as both a humanitarian and warrior—over the course of his four deployments during the War on Terrorism, Eric saw what could be accomplished when compassion and courage come together in meaningful service.

He consistently practices what he preaches, working year-round with wounded and disabled veterans to build new lives as citizen leaders at home. In 2011, Target partnered with Eric and The Mission Continues for different service projects across the country on Veteran’s Day.

Drawing from his own experiences, Eric teaches about the virtues required for inspirational leadership in today’s world in his two best-selling books, Strength and Compassion and The Heart and the Fist.

Earlier this week, Target invited Eric to speak with team members about living with purpose, being both resilient and virtuous, and becoming better leaders. Eric, the 2011 Navy Reserve Officer of the Year, also helped launch Target’s internal Military Business Council this week. An official network that fosters an inclusive culture, the Military Business Council provides support and resources for Target team members and their families before, during and after deployment.

Eric’s advice was too good to keep to ourselves. Below, he shares five steadfast lessons for a new way of thinking.

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1. A small change, made with an unwavering commitment, can transform your life.

2. Courage is often thought of as bravery, but courage is also about perseverance—doing the thing that needs to be done, day, after day, after day.

3. At times, we must carry others and at times we must let ourselves be carried.

4. Leaders have the humility to recognize strength in others.

5. Serving a purpose greater than yourself makes you stronger.

Want more? Watch Eric on the Today Show.

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