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  October 30, 2015
A Few Good Men (and Women)...


The millennials have landed at OptiFuse.

Today is our second blog installment written by one of our new team members at OptiFuse, Jonathan Soler, who also happens to be a founding member of the millennial generation.

We feel incredibly fortunate that Jonathan, a former active-duty U.S. Marine, has decided that his next "tour of duty" would be at OptiFuse.

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Some people spend their entire lives wondering if they made a difference... but the Marines don’t have that problem...

It’s had been about three days since our platoon had a full meal. 

We aren’t quite Marines, yet we have surpassed the status of maggots, which is and of itself, quite an accomplishment.  

You see every Marine goes through the gauntlet of the Crucible, a grueling three-day grind that pushes our bodies and most importantly our every existence to its breaking point. Sleep deprivation, 45 miles of hiking all while carrying a 55 pound rucksack (backpack), and having to coherently traverse obstacles every inch of the way.

And to think... we actually volunteered for service...

The Crucible is the culmination of a three month grind to breakdown Crucibleand mold young men and women into U.S. Marines.

Unbeknownst to the recruits, there is something far more compelling that is developing in their midst, camaraderie: a mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time working together as a team.

Though these young individuals come from all walks of life, they have grown to tolerate one another and more importantly help each other strive to reach new plateaus and successes.

This may not sound like a very inviting experience to embark upon, but the end result is irrefutable: success through teamwork.

Some of you reading this account may have walked this very path and fondly recall the experience firsthand. In the end, we all stood proudly in triumph when we earned the title of U.S. Marine.

Notice the word "we" because success was no longer measured by our own individual victories but by the overall success of our team.

Without a doubt, each one of us had individual successes that can be directly attributed to personal dedication to self-improvement including: physical fitness, the study of military history and/or developing our own leadership skills.

One thing was clear though, we never lost sight that the end goal was always the improvement in the effectiveness of our platoon, company, battalion... the Marine Corps.

My long walk through the crucible occurred some time ago and I am hard pressed to recall the last time I was in an environment where colleagues worked in unison with a single goal in mind which was to succeed as a team.

That is until this past year when I had the opportunity to meet Sara Whyte and Evyn Hewitt. 

Sara, Evyn and I were hired simultaneously as Regional Sales Managers at OptiFuse after graduating college. And although we attended the same university, each of us ended up at OptiFuse through different paths.

The first several weeks at OptiFuse were trial by fire.  Jim Kalb sat down in front of the new team and told us to tighten up our seat belts because the next several weeks and months are going to get intense.

That was an understatement...

Let me preface this by saying that neither I nor any of my team members are electronic engineers or for that matter, possess a technical degree.  

For three weeks, the three of us sat in a classroom with our instructors, 8 hours a day, attempting to drink water from a fire hose! We covered a broad range of materials including but not limited to: Electronic theory, short circuit calculations, short circuits versus overload, product specifications, OptiFuse’s history, sales techniques and presentations, competitive analysis, and the list goes on...

It goes without saying that, we covered a great deal of material in a very compact time frame in order to help us become proficient and ultimately find success in our careers.

What do you suppose happened during this intense training cycle?

You guessed it, Sara, Evyn and I grew very close as teammates with one objective in mind which was to become ambassadors of OptiFuse. Each day we worked through the various problems and issues, helping and supporting one another to grasp new concepts that all of us were experiencing for the very first time.

At first, the three of us were strangers living in a unfamiliar new world, but by working together as a team we survived OptiFuse’s own version of the Crucible and have coalesced into a cohesive unit.

Our success is no longer strictly defined as wins of the individual but as a member of an elite team.
Is there a perfect recipe for team building that we can all put into practice?

I’ve now had the opportunity to experience two different types of "boot camp" where I witnessed first-hand the transformation of individuals converging into a team... but even with this experience I don’t pretend to know this answer.

One thing is certain however, there are many examples that exist of creating successful teams through trials and tribulations.

For example, Navy Seals undergo intense training cycles where they are literally brought to the breaking point and at the end are considered among the world’s most elite fighting force.

In the corporate world, there is plenty of evidence that team building activities like solving complex problems over the teamcourse of weeks, even months, creates successes that are out of the reach of individual workers going it alone. These team building activities help to promote trust and good-will among the members of the team which ultimately helps to create success for everyone.

One of the other byproducts of successful teams is the idea that members of the team help to keep their teammates accountable to themselves and to each other. In this way, there is constant improvement among the individual members which can elevate the overall success to new heights.

I am uncertain if I share the same resolve or experiences as other millennials but one thing is for certain, I witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of the team building process that I underwent in earning the title of U.S. Marine.

I had a successful career in the military and the vast majority of awards and accolades that I earned can be directly attributed to the young men and women that served by my side.

Today I have been graced with membership in another outstanding team... a team that shares the same spirit and dedication that I fondly remember while in service to this great nation.

It is my sincere hope that I can serve this new team proudly and help to make it the best it can be...

...Semper Fi

Jonathan Soler
Regional Sales Manager


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Jim Kalb Jim Kalb President

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 
Twitter - @OptiFuse

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