by Scott Mann

One of the coolest things about being a Green Beret for many years was the amazing lessons I learned from ordinary people who are often overlooked by modern society.

I grew up around salt of the earth country folks so I’ve always had an affinity for the elegant simplicity of local flair.

In Afghanistan, Colombia, and other places I worked over the years, rural communities live much like they did hundreds of years ago.  Groups, clans, and tribes are central to daily life and group honor is the most prized currency of all.

In these areas, I learned that relationships are essential to getting any kind of business done.  In these places where governments can’t reach, if locals don’t trust you, you won’t get anywhere.

This seems quite foreign to us in our highly capitalized society where transactions seem to matter more than anything else.  Who has time for relationships?  It’s just business right?


The truth is we all originate from these remote places where clans rule – and we carry more of this tribal behavior than what we think.  We exhibit these clan-like tendencies at our core.

For example, relationships still play a very important role today, even in our hyper-connected and contractual society.  In fact, leaders who put relationships before transactions tend to fare much better in meeting their goals and achieving their bottom line.

Those who shoot only for the transaction and throw relationships away after their short-term goals are met are woefully less competitive in today’s market place.  It turns out reputations still precede us.

Think about it, if someone offers you a great deal on a new car…but you don’t trust the dude selling it to you…would you buy it?  I doubt it.

So, where do you stand on this skill?  How good are you at building and maintaining relationships.  Do you value them and put them before the transactions?  This is a skill that takes practice.  Work at it and you’ll see results come through pretty quickly.

The more you do this, the more folks will value you and the goals you’re trying to achieve.

De Oppresso Liber,
Scott Mann




About The Author

Scott Mann has spent most of his entire adult life leaving tracks, and his mission in life is to help others do the same. His Dad, Rex Mann, refers to this as giving back to causes higher than yourself. He doesn’t know why he loves it so, but he does. He has served our great country for 23 years in the U.S. Army, most of that as a Green Beret doing missions all over the world. He fought three combat tours in Afghanistan, as well as in many other conflict zones such as Iraq and Colombia. His last few years in the Army, he was an architect and original implementer of the Special Operations Village Stability Operations (VSO)/Afghan Local Police (ALP) programs in Afghanistan. He also designed and implemented the popular SOCOM Academic Week training courses. Scott has commanded troops at several levels. At his last rank, lieutenant colonel, he made the tough decision to pass on his promotion to colonel and pursue other passions. It was one of the toughest but most rewarding choices he ever made. He is now the founder and CEO of the Stability Institute, where they broker knowledge and connecting stability professionals on complex stability issues around the globe. In concert with Institute President Howard Clark, he has built a vast network of stability practitioners who collaborate on unique solutions for government organizations, large corporations and even small businesses and individuals. As an entrepreneur, he built a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio and property management company with his brother, who is his best friend and partner. They buy, turn around, and operate mobile home communities all over the state of North Carolina. He is blessed to put his entrepreneurial experience to use by mentoring transitioning Green Berets and other veterans in reaching their goals and dreams in the civilian sector. As an advocate, he is also the founder/CEO of Patriot Families, a nonprofit organization helping military families and wounded veterans at a grassroots level cope with the rigors of military deployments and family stress. He serves on the board of advisors for Stay in Step Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida, and Spirit of America, a nonprofit supporting our warriors and diplomats with stability missions abroad. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in Political Science. He has a Master’s Degree in Operational Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College. He lives in Riverview, Florida with his wife Monty and their three boys Cody, Cooper, and Brayden

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