Author: Niel Chase
Veterans’ issues are constantly in the media, ranging from the hospitals, to suicides (22 a day) and the astronomically large homeless veteran population. There are several organizations throughout the country that are trying to decrease the issues but none can get closer than one that was organized, created and is currently being operated by a veteran. One that also suffers from many symptoms of war, such as but not limited to; post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Jon Jackson created the organization STAG VETS (stagvetsinc.org), which stands for Strength to Achieve Greatness, and encompasses the property of Comfort Farms named after Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger that was killed in action while serving with Jon.
The power bases used by the leader
The power bases that Jon uses in his approach to dealing with veteran issues is both the expert power and the referent power. Kreitner and Kinicki describe each as, “expert power [is] obtaining compliance through one’s knowledge or information [and] referent power [is] obtaining compliance through charisma or personal attraction” (2013). Through his expertise of the military, veterans and common injuries incurred in battle Jon is able to share his knowledge of coping strategies and build a bond that many veterans long for after their service time, the brotherhood that builds through helping each other through hard times and the enjoyment of being there for each other’s triumphs. Jon’s ability to show that he is able to cope with the invisible injuries of his war, even though they are, at times, still a struggle, coupled with his demeanor and attitude towards anyone he meets just shows everyone that no matter how hard the struggle may seem, nothing is impossible to overcome.
The influence tactics used by the leader
Of the nine influence tactics, Jon consistently relies on five; rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, integration, and personal appeals. Jon is without a doubt an inspiration within the veteran community, but more so the community of Columbus, Georgia and Milledgeville, Georgia where Comfort Farms is located. He readily has facts about the latest veteran news, as well as speaks at conventions in the Atlanta, Georgia area on veterans’ behalf. Through his interactions in the community and social media outlets, Jon has a reputation to be personable and use that in his persuasion of gathering support for STAG VETS and Comfort Farms.The
The leadership style of the leader and Outcome
Jon is most definitely a servant leader. When he is not out working the crop, he is helping maintain the animals on the farm or even working the paperwork. If that isn’t enough, Jon is always checking on his fellow veterans, staying up-to-date with veteran issues and gaining media attention to speak for veterans; he even spoke at Donald Trump’s presidential convention in Atlanta to help highlight the veteran issues that are prevalent throughout the country. The situation is an on-going battle. No matter what perspective it is looked at, the veteran, the community or Jon, there are battles that are never ending but Jon is making a huge effort to decrease the effects of the most predominate veteran issues in the country.
Justification of Conscious Capitalism
Jon is the personification of conscious capitalism. His values, derived from his upbringing, then strengthened and enhanced by his time in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, are found within every facet of STAG VETS. Jon was introduced to new and unconventional ways of coping and did not want to keep it hidden from others, veteran or civilian, that may have the same injuries. Nothing is about him, it is all about bettering the lives of others.
The four tenets of conscious capitalism, according to the conscious capitalism website (www.consciouscapitalism.org), are higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious leadership, and conscious culture. Jon and STAG VETS most certainly meets the criteria of each of the tenets. The higher purpose being to provide a place for people to go to grow and strengthen out of their injuries in order to live a more productive and healthier life. Jon strives to keep himself as the lesser of factors than every one of his employees, volunteers, sponsors and donors. He realizes that through his work he is helping people, he is helping himself and he is helping others help each other. That, in and of itself, is conscious culture. Jon has a knack of knowing his impact on the community surrounding his organization and strives to constantly reach higher, and others around him see this as well.
Given the chance I would…
It would be an honor to serve veterans, their families and the surrounding communities. Quite honestly, Jon is assisting, with advice and ‘how-to’ knowledge, to get a dream organization off the ground in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Tranquility Horse Ranch and Farm (THRF), where major differences between Comfort Farms and THRF are in the approach of the organizations. The foundation is set with the same values that were ingrained through military training. Many veterans began the journey in the military so they can serve a higher purpose, serve those in their communities or serve as a role model. All of which have one thing in common… being a leader through servanthood. In order to build trusting bonds and relationships with the community and veterans in need, it will take servant leadership, show casing the struggles endured to overcome and achieve greatness.
About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2016, from http://stagvetsinc.org/about-us/
Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2013). Organizational behavior (10th ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill. ISBN-13: 9780078029363
What Can I Learn? (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2016, from http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/