Friday, June 17, 2016

3 Things I Learned From a US Marine Corps Officer

Jaime, Chris, and Kyle at YC Mountain View

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on who I’ve been learning from and what I’ve been learning to become a better version of myself. In this post, I’ll be going over three things I learned from Kyle Johnson, an incredible leader, and relentless colleague.


As part of our medical travel startup, Kyle was always focused on understanding the needs of each patient and he always exhibited the highest level of determination to find solutions for them. It was amazing to observe and this is something that I started to practice myself when it comes to engaging with customers.

Everyone has challenges and it is incredibly important that you pay attention to every detail so you can serve them better.


It’s all about your people. People should always come first: Family, teammates, patients, customers, users, and the list can go on. The very foundation of your drive and determination should be built on serving your people. To illustrate my point, here are a few examples
  • Why are you so driven to be successful? To create more opportunities for the people around me including my family and business partners.
  • Why are you working long hours? I don’t want to let my team down.
  • Why are you going out of your way to help your teammates at your own risk? In order to achieve the bigger, higher impact objectives, your teammates should come first. They need to know you have their back. Officers always eat last.
In practicing servant leadership, you set the culture of helping everyone move towards accomplishing missions together. Servant leadership is about discipline and training — it’s every single day. There is always someone to serve. In order to achieve ambitious goals and objectives, you need everyone on the unit to trust each other that they can execute and perform at a high caliber.

Incredible Work Ethic

As a programmer, I would always be coding at night and getting into the office a bit later. This changed for me after observing the importance of discipline and focus from Kyle. He would be up at 5am every day and find ways to get in front of customers. Since then, I’ve been training myself to wake up earlier and putting in 10x the effort required into everything I do.
Leave no stone unturned and go above and beyond!


This is a huge shout-out to one of my favourite people in the world. Thank you Kyle Johnson for being a source of leadership and inspiration! I know that as I continue to push myself to help customers, I will always exhibit the three things I’ve learned from you: Empathy, servitude, and ridiculous work ethic.
Semper Fidelis!

Jaime Bueza