Seneca is a supporter of the Army Benevolent Fund, and through this relationship, a bunch of us from across the Seneca group were invited to attend the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster Regiment, at Weeton Barracks and experience a day in the life of a soldier. The experience was exciting, enlightening and humbling. It’s also safe to say that I’m not as fit as I thought I was.
The day started with the Army PT trainers putting us through our paces on the training ground before we observed a live fire demonstration by a section of the 2nd Lancs. We also got to test our aim on the indoor virtual gun range where it became apparent that some of us have potential alternative careers as army snipers, and that some of us don’t. I won’t mention which one of us didn’t hit a single target.
A highlight of the day for me was having lunch in the Officers’ Mess with officers from the regiment. Those guys have got some stories! We were marched in four ranks across the base to attend lunch and to say we were lacking in timing and symmetry would be a fair assessment. The CO compared my marching style to something of a hybrid between Michael Flatley and Liam Gallagher. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment.
The day was rounded off with some leadership challenges where we all had to work quickly as a team to solve tasks that required a mixture of strength and thought. I’m pleased to report that we passed these challenges in the quickest times yet achieved by any (non-army) group who have undertaken the exercises and more impressively, we are all still talking to each other following some disagreements on strategy.
The biggest impression that the day made on me though, was the professionalism of the troops. I take my hat off to them for the work they do on our behalf all around the world, often at great personal risk.
Risk management was a key theme of the day and is probably the most obvious crossover between the work of the Battalion and the work we do here at Seneca Trade Partners. The common ground being that in many situations there is no way to completely eliminate risk. The only way to do so would be to not engage in a situation at all.
If you want to be involved, you need to take as many proactive steps as necessary to reduce risk to the lowest possible level, but there comes a point when you can mitigate no more and you have to commit to a course of action. This means putting your best foot forward, relying on your instincts and experience and in no small part simply hoping that you’ve called it right. The key difference between the world of fighting and the world of finance of course is that whilst those of us in alternative financial services might pay for a bad call with our livelihoods, we won’t pay with our lives. That’s something I’m sure I’ll continue to reflect upon when I’m faced with financial situations where things are not going as well as hoped.
People tell us that financing stock that is not pre-sold and financing stock that is not finished is risky; well after seeing what it takes to be a soldier, it doesn’t feel so risky to me.