Combat veterans inspire new book by UMaine Professors

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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The story behind a new book from two University of Maine professors comes from the battlefield, drawing on the experiences of combat veterans over the past few decades.

Taylor Kinzler spoke with the authors and two of the men who inspired the novel - "Knowledge Transfer and Innovation."

Finding success starts with your team.

"If you're open to knowledge, if you're open to collaboration, if you learn to work with people, you really can do great things."

It's something Nory Jones sees firsthand as an educator and continues to learn as a troop greeter.

She welcomes our servicemen and women home year-round in Bangor, listening to their stories.

"What they had learned about leadership and culture and the value of knowledge and how it helped them in crisis situations."

But how do those skills translate to civilian life and the workforce? Enter author, John Mahon.

"I spent about eight years in the United States Navy. The idea was to do something for veterans."

It took three years, and dozens of interviews with combat veterans for the duo to develop the book "Knowledge Transfer and Innovation."

"I'm so proud I've been able to get to know them and to work with them and grateful that they were willing to share this knowledge that we can put in the book and hopefully share with other people."

"Leadership is the process of influencing others by providing purpose, direction, and motivation."

Joseph Swodoba served three tours in Iraq.

"I was able to step up and show my leadership potential, and I grew from that. It probably kept me alive my next two tours."

"In the end, you're going to find out that most of what they say, maybe in different ways, is basically the same."

Chuck Knowlen dedicated nearly twenty years to the service and says a combat veteran's experience on the battlefield can lend well to business models in corporate america.

"After an operation, you take a hard look and you see what you did right and see what you did wrong. And then you pass this on. And businesses need to do the same thing. Most good ones do."

The book is available on Amazon now. We're told part of the royalties will be donated to local veteran organizations in Maine.