Thom Shea, CEO, Adamantine Alliance
Date: Friday, June 16, 2017
Location: San Ramon
It is not every day that you are treated to an inspirational talk from a former Navy SEAL, especially in a business setting. Yet, the intersection of military and business is exactly the foundation on which Thom Shea, CEO of Adamantine Alliance, has made his exemplary career. On Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Roundhouse Conference Center in San Ramon, he shared his hard path to business success, and how his years as a Navy SEAL helped teach him important – and powerful – lessons in achievement.
Shea served 23 years as a Navy SEAL with distinguished valor in six different geographic areas comprising 2,700 hours of combat that kept him away from home 240 days per year. While extreme, this schedule and commitment to the job did not seem entirely alien to the gathered Alliance leaders in the room. Indeed, as any CEO knows, it takes inordinate commitment to foment lasting success. Shea served in three wars, ultimately leading a team of Navy SEALs into Afghanistan in 2009 and earning numerous commendations for his leadership.
After discharge, Shea explained how he channeled his focus and discipline into the business world, serving as chairman for research and development on eleven separate optics and weapons boards that were funding, maturing and fielding five technologies. As the current CEO of Adamantine Alliance, Shea pushes CEOs to achieve performance results they never thought possible.
To fully comprehend what makes Shea tick, read his memoir UNBREAKABLE: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life. During his Alliance keynote, he shared many jewels of wisdom that underpin strategies of success in both life and business. For example, Shea emphasized the critical importance of giving people clarity and being authentic. Everyone, he says, in the organization needs to know “what, where and when” and the precise role they play. He also stressed how important the human connection is and how people are truly the center focus of everyday business and life.
So, how does a Navy SEAL approach the path to success? Shea put it simply: you have to earn it. Success, he defined, is committing to something and doing it. To get there, he underscored the importance of honoring your word and never giving up on yourself. On the path to success, Shea reminded the Alliance members that comfort kills. If it feels easy, you aren’t growing. In closing, Shea impressed upon the group the importance of applying every fiber of our resolve to the task at hand. To succeed, we must keep the pressure up until results are realized. This singular and powerful philosophy propelled Shea through three wars and now inspires executives around the world. Judging by the energized expressions of the Alliance members as he wrapped up his talk, Shea had attained another success.