by Scott R. Tucker

May 5, 2021

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez

Let's gain great insights from Enrique Acosta Gonzalez, the CEO of Triad Leadership Solutions, and dig into a deeper understanding of effective leadership and how to fill the void. 


Episode Highlights:

01:13- What is Triad Leadership Solutions? 

05:27- Triad Leadership Solutions helps veteran's leadership work in the civilian world. 

09:00- The expectations on military leadership

09:50- What does effective leadership mean? 

12:30- The precursor to good leadership 

16:09- How to fill the void? 

19:47- Where there's nothing available, create it

21:20- Finding creativity within ourselves 

26:45- What's next to Triad Leadership Solution?


Key Points:

  1. Effective leadership is the ability of a person to communicate clearly to the group who vested interest and trust in that person, which will result in the flawless execution of the team's mission.
  2. To be a great leader is to become a great follower. At times, digress from leadership to be a follower to continue to  grow as a leader
  3. Be proactive to dare and find the void, and then fill it with impactful efforts. 

Quotes:

  • “We are not running a dictator leadership organization anymore, but an effective leadership with all the necessary steps to grow and be effective to the civilian world.”-Enrique Acosta Gonzalez
  • “The school system is geared to teach you how to be a follower, and I believe that's the precursor to great leadership. You have to be a great follower to be a great leader.” -Enrique Acosta Gonzalez
  • “Dare to identify that void if you see it fill it. See the necessity to fill it and make an impactful effort.” -Enrique Acosta Gonzalez

Transcript of Veteran Wealth Secrets 29 with Enrique Acosta Gonzalez - Fill The Void


Scott Tucker:  Hey everybody. Welcome back. I'm Scott Tucker and you're watching or listening to Veteran Wealth Secrets where this is the show about, thinking outside the box from the traditional approach to what are we going to do with our lives after military service. So we're speaking to people on active duty, to get ready.

Hey, how to even improve your career while on active duty to better position yourself for Postmates or life. If you're going through transition, if you're already a veteran and you're just not comfortable with the way you've been told to save money, find a job, prepare for, what life is supposed to be like.

That's what this show is about and really think about, the, a lot of people and myself included had no idea what I wanted to do after the military yet. I chose about 10 years ago to figure it out. I had no idea what I was trying to figure out. But I did. And so that's why today I'm so excited to have Enrique Acosta Gonzales on, Hey man, how you doing?

Yeah, I'm so excited to get your insight. You're the CEO of a triad leadership solutions. Let's start off tell us a little bit about that. I'm assuming there's some influence from your military career into how that got started. Tell us a little bit about your journey. 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, no, thank you, Scott, for having me on the show.

I've been following you and Jan for a little bit now, so I'm happy to be with you today. Oh, the yeah. Triad leadership solutions really was birthed from my military career. It was I spent the better part of 10 years of my last part or phase of my military career as a senior enlisted leader at the command level.

But most of all of us know that you start at leadership, very young in the military. All of that basically snowballed into. Me wanting to ensure that young leaders were prepared for their next phase in life, which was leadership, and leadership full-time or struggling leaders that are behind the scenes.

No joke struggling, but they're just afraid to tell somebody, Hey, I need help because you're just at a job site and you need to perform. So try leadership solutions addresses those two. Segments in leadership, those that are brand new don't know what to do. And those that are in it because of position of authority or they were placed there, they got promoted.

They weren't ready. But they need help. So that's what we address. 

Scott Tucker: No, I love it. So who's your ideal client customer? Is it corporations? Military units? Just individuals try and look into some individual coaching. Who do you serve? 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, so right now we're focused on the college graduate.

That's going into their first management and leadership position as well as corporate level leaders. That just don't want to go to someone in their job and say, Hey, I don't got what it takes to cut it in this position. They can reach out to us and in a incognito kind of way, we'll get you where you need to be.

You don't have to tell nobody we show won't and we'll make the best side of your career in the background. Those are our two main focuses. Now I do have folks that go to the website and just, Hey, I need to talk to you for half hour. Hey, I need to talk to you for an hour.

And then we help them through some issues that way. But most of our clients are those that are looking to Excel in their leadership, but really don't want to tell nobody 

Scott Tucker: okay. That no that's super interesting. And I get it because Hey, if you're put in a leadership role, the expectation is I already got the skillset and sometimes we talk about what we're coming out of the military, you've got leadership skills.

And quite honestly, I didn't know how to define that when I got out, I didn't feel, my last four years in the military were. All staff jobs, even though I'd gone to West point, everything was about being a platoon leader. I was only a platoon leader for 10 months. So I'm curious when you were with college grads, I'm assuming or how much, how many are veterans or otherwise.

And I'm curious if there's any that were sorta like me that I definitely would have needed some extra leadership training. 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, no the variety of those that inquire. Are just common day civilians. Because what I've noticed is that once you get several years of the military under your belt and like I mentioned earlier we throw you at leadership early you're  you're in charge.

Go get that group. And you're going to do this, that and the other. So we birthed that leadership doctrine in you early. So most of those guys that are in veterans, what they're trying to figure out is how to work it out here in the common folk scenario where you are no longer surrounded by military people.

That will do what you say, just because you said, so those are those are their focuses. And so most of our clients are guys and gals that are, don't have that military 

Scott Tucker: background. Yeah. Okay. That's cool because, Hey, I know you're a podcaster, so you're communicating to the masses and I think we would all agree in these last 20 years of.

The endless war where, all the civilians are saying, Hey, thank you for your service. And then the conversation stops there. And people looking for jobs. In the corporate world are upset that the civilians don't understand that there's, their skill sets are how to apply them.

And the civilians are, don't unders don't understand or, and vice versa. And have you had, obviously you're using. The skills you learned in the military to teach these civilians, how have they responded to that? Do you think it helps them go back to their workplace and whether or not they're thinking more about hiring veterans or obviously there's veterans everywhere.

Have they ever there's been any sort of feedback on their ability to communicate better? Cause I, I just think that is the issue we are not solving right now. Language. 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah. Communication is a task for anyone that has to do. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: The there's there's this thing that I have to address sometimes, which is they come to a person that's a military has military background and they think that they're going to become Sergeant slaughters.

And and it's funny, but it isn't because there's a perception that I'm realizing that there is out here about what military leadership is, and they don't understand that we don't do a whole lot of yelling anymore. There's not that, that type of leadership was good for an era, but it won't serve the service member today.

Now there are some situations that, high tempo, high stress that the, that even the kindness of words is shouted. But for the most part, we're not running a a dictator leadership style kind of organization. We are all growing in the, all the steps that are necessary to be an effective leader and that.

It's learned easier in a military setting because, There are expectations for you to execute on what you were you learned and what we've sent you to school for. So the expectations are higher and we curate that, that knowledge by what we see. And but so there's a lot of people that say, okay, so I'm going to be able to come in and go back and tell it like it is no, that's never going to work.

It hardly ever worked in the military. It definitely is not going to work in the civilian world. So what I have to do is reorient them on what's what the military leadership is, which is basic, basically effective leadership. That's what we preach and that's what we teach and that's what we do.

And the reason why most people want military folks is because they know how to effectively lead groups of people that are comprised of all kinds of folks from around the nation. And you put them in a group and all of a sudden this guy, or this girl is leading them. How do they do that? I can't do that in my, even in my little shop.

And so how do I do that? And so that's why. I reorient them, but then I teach them what we teach, effective leadership. 

Scott Tucker: Can you I'm assuming the opposite of effective leadership is ineffective leadership, which therefore is not leadership. W what do you define, what is effective leadership mean to you and your organization as you're teaching it?

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Effective leadership from our standpoint is there's a mission. There's a task. The person in charge is able to communicate. And we spoke about that, right? Communicate clearly the task, the people already have trust in that leader. So there's a lot of work that needs to be done because that trust factor has to go up in order for this to really become effective.

But that let's say all things ideal. This group already has their vested interest in that leader because they trust everything they say. And then that team execute flawlessly. That mission. Now, what is flawlessly? It doesn't mean error list, right? It means that to the person spectating from the outside, they see no problem.

And it's all how you present the execution. And it's not in a deceptive way, but it's in a way where you didn't see our struggles. What you saw was a flawless execution of what you said was our mission. And we did it in a timely manner in a way that nobody got hurt. And in a way that the group as a whole will be recognized.

And it's never, everything usually goes to the leader, but no this effective model the group is the one that is celebrated and the milestone has given to the group. That's what for us looks like an effective leadership scenario. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah, no, that's great. That made me wonder, are you getting more like blue collar organizations, like construction and stuff like that, or the white collar office worker or a little bit of both, what are the differences?

Who benefits most from this type of training? 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, it's funny because there has not been a week. I've tried to identify. Where is the market really coming from? Where's the drive or the thirst for this time. And it's coming from everywhere. And all that tells me is that there is a massive leadership deficit that, that spans all types of genres, of organizational structures of people classes.

And it doesn't surprise me in a way, because guess what? Everybody goes to school, but nobody teaches how to be a leader. Nobody, the school system is geared to teach you how to be a follower, although that is in my opinion, a precursor to great leadership. You have to be a great follower to be a great leader.

And you have to be able to add times digress from leadership to be a follower in order to continue to grow as a leader. But they don't capitalize on, let's say college to teach you leadership. No, they keep teaching you things out of follow. And how to get a job and how to, be under somebody else.

They never teach it. So right. Fill out a check if we even have those there. But but the thing is, so that gap is it's inherent and it's showing up in every organization. And it is mainly because. You go to school, you graduate from college, you get that first position. Of course you got a bachelor's.

So now you're a leader. No. I always say the don't let that be a precursor to you putting somebody in a leadership position. They have all only learned how to follow. And so now you may put your, you may put your organization in a position where you're struggling because of that. And guess what, how many military people retire or separate on a yearly basis?

Okay. Those folks have leads.  maybe you bring them in off the street and make them a leader. And you may have a little more success, but even US coming out, we have to be indoctrinated in a way as well, to get to get used to the new normal FOS. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. That's it's unfortunately I think many decades of prosperity in America has led to apathy where people are just like, Oh, I'll get a good job, get a good paycheck. And a couple of hiccups here and there. And it's follow for a bit, but don't just drink the Kool-Aid. If you don't have to, in the military, we sign up, we have to follow orders.

Our school system has told everybody they needed to go to college now. And now they're getting saddled in debt and how can you just want to get that job? Hey tell me what to do. Just tell me what to do. I gotta pay this stuff off. It's sad because it does create, I think that the thing we really wanted to get into today the secret you want to talk about, I think it creates that mental void of.

Just the lack of am I doing what I want to be doing? What I should be doing? I just followed all the systems. Got good grades and. Went to some job fairs and got hired, that's great. But we're also seeing, not just in the veteran community in general, I think in America, the most prosperous country of all time and yet, midlife crisis rates are at all time highs and it has to do with this.

Just lack of sense of meaning. So in really dig into your secret, how do we fill the void? 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah. So it's funny. He goes, when you asked me, what that was for me which is the way I say it is if you see a void fill it. And that is a very proactive basically statement you, you have to be proactive.

Because everybody sees voids, voids everywhere. And one of my podcasts that I call holds with ventral ran is the leadership void. And we named it that for a reason because they're everywhere. But what happens is no one is daring enough or let me just say this. There are few people that are daring enough.

To identify that void, see the necessity to fill it, and also the results of filling them because you got to go through the whole process before you just jump in and fill the void. Maybe that boy was there for a reason, but get in there and make an impactful basically effort and making sure that void is not detrimental.

Yeah, let's just say, you, you walking down the street, a hole in the floor, and that should say that the people didn't bring the man, the manhole cover on and put it on. You can eat, you can look at it and you have, this is an assessment you have to do.

You can't just fill stuff just to fill it. You have to assess why it's empty. Because yeah, you throw the makeup on and somebody is done there. How are they going to get out? So you just have to assess the whole area of the whole scenario. But if it's needed, let's say they were done for the day.

They just left it. It's now it's in your hands. You could either bring that over. So someone don't actually fall into it or get someone else to bring it and fill it. But the, my whole career was built on that on that statement, a lot of times, some of us going through our military journey have limitations, right?

We have rank limitations, we have promotion limitations, they can only make, but so many every year w and having those limitations and moving up the ranks. Is something that it's out of your control sometimes, but real, but is it, and this is where I came in. I said, yeah, there are limitations, but there's always going to be a number of people that get selected.

So I have to do whatever I have to do to make sure I'm in that number. And so let's say I was at a command. And what they require for promotion wasn't offered there. I found it somewhere else, or I found on alternative that was equally as valuable as the item they put on the precepts for me to get promoted.

And so where there was nothing available for me, I created it. Yeah, I made it match. I made it so that when I got put up for promotion or advancement, they will look at my record and say, man, this guy saw that there was a void and there was no way to get what we required, but he went over here and found something that is just as equally as important.

the scope of what we were requesting and he got it. And so those things look more favorable on you, then you just saying, Hey, it's not here. I'll wait till my next command, because guess what I was getting older the years were going by and nothing was going to help me unless I did something. And that's where the whole void comment statement came out of.

If you see a void, fill it. Yeah. Be that proactive person to fill that gap, do it wisely, do it calculated, do it within the law, right? Don't do something because sometimes people do some crazy stuff. Do it within the law, do it, that it meets the scope of what's required. Even if it doesn't look the same so that people are happy with your progression and they can value you for your actions.

And you get promoted. Thankfully my philosophy actually helped me get to where I did in the military. And and yeah, I still live by it. 

Scott Tucker: No, that's awesome. Congratulations on such a successful career. And you said the word you created it. I remember I was looking at a study in 2015, the top 10 skill sets that they would w that a corporation would want when hiring people.

It's always leadership and engineering skills or that kind of stuff. And that was in 2015. You never saw the word creativity on that list in 2020. It's like number three as a desired skillset. And so as we close up here, I'm curious a lot of times people think it's not my job.

It's I don't have permission. I see a problem up there. Nobody's listening, listening. I'd argue, especially in this day and age where just things are. Are changing rapidly. Somebody above, you might not know about a technology that would fill the gap or whatever, how do we give ourselves permission and find that creativity in ourselves, some people say I'm just not creative.

Just tell me what to do. I think that's going to leave people behind what are the, some of the skill sets or how do you, how do we wake and creativity more in some people can go get what they want. You know what I mean? It's like the kids would sit around. If you want something, you got to figure it out.

And don't just sit around and wait for it. How do we teach that? 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, one of the things that I teach the leaders because in part of the processes that I break them down, just like we do at bootcamp, I break them down to the lowest common denominator, and then I build them back up.

But one of the things I teach them is sense of ownership. Could be misguided. So I teach them very calculated way of ingraining that bringing that in to themselves, but sense of ownership is simple. And I put this simply, you're walking down the  passageway. A Snickers wrapper on the floor and you will buy it.

And you say, that's not my job. We pay somebody to come in at night. They'll get it. What you just did, what you separated yourself from the bigger scope of what your company stands for. And when you separate yourself in little instances like that, they accumulate, and then you have a portfolio at the end of your career of how many times you separated yourself.

And then you want to wonder. Why you don't care? So we build on daily actions result in habits and those habits, or what end US at the end. It basically ends you at a good exit or a bad exit. Now the same person goes by and sees the rapper. And said, wow man, okay, somebody must have dropped it.

All right, let me just pick it up. Boom. Somebody else saw them. They happened to be an executive and or you was the executive and first year employee came in and saw you, you have just taken one action, reproduced it in the thought and mind of somebody else and caused them to start thinking.

That man is invested, that lady is invested in this company. Let's say, what was the boss? You're going to put a smile on their face. So what happens? So yeah, the cleaning crews still comes in, but you facilitated less work for them. Now. They still going to get paid. That's none of your business, right?

That's them between them and the contract. But what happened is that Clint, that cleaner, that worker comes in and says, wow, These people really care about this place. There's not much for me to do not knowing that you were the one that helped them. So they, their sense now is an appreciation for the people work there because they help out in the cleaning.

It's a win-win situation and all it was picking up one rapper and so we never considered it. The second and third orders ramifications that we'd say. For our single daily actions and every day we build on those things. And so sense of ownership is what I tell folks. 

Wow. 

Scott Tucker: I think the act of breaking yourself down, breaking, folks down to their core stuff, it allows you to.

Put yourself in other people's shoes a little bit more. And then you think about, and that's how creativity builds. Enrique found that was a ton of great insight today. A whole, I wanted to ask you about some other stuff as well, but we'll just do another episode and keep going, because actually I want to get into the after action review concept, but I think that could be a huge discussion.

I'm sure you apply that, but. Every day, Hey what's next for a trier leadership solutions. How do people contact you? Who should be contacting you? Give them a, give them all the info. 

Enrique Acosta Gonzalez: Yeah, like I said earlier, if you're a college graduate, getting ready to get that first job, and they're putting you in a leadership position contact me we'll work out some way so that you can go in there with some knowledge that you need.

If you're struggling, don't be afraid to reach out. And the beauty of what I do is that a, it, like I said, it was incognito. But I reside on LinkedIn, right? So you'll be wanting to get in touch with me and Rica or Casa Gonzalez on LinkedIn. Our website is www triad leadership solutions.com.

And you can also get ahold of me there. 

Scott Tucker: Cool. Cool. Thank you so much, brother. I'm just really looking forward to seeing how things are working out for you guys. And Hey, I appreciate the idea of helping bring leadership and to, I think a lot of American society that needs it so much right now and it doesn't always have to be, Oh, we're just going to turn everything into the military.

It's actually we're pretty softy sometimes. We like to understand our soldiers. And how are you feeling today? It's that's. That's true leadership. So just love that you're bringing it bringing it that way, man. But Hey, thanks again for joining us and for everybody else, we'll see you next time.

About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

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