Leading the Way

Veteran profile: Gough brings Marine leadership traits to Unum

Ian Gough, a premier client manager with Unum’s sister company Colonial Life, has been with the company for three years.

Here in a Q&A with WorkWell, Gough talks about the many values he learned during his time in the Marines, in addition to the honor he feels for the chance to serve.

WorkWell: In which branch of the military did you serve? Tell us about your career.

 Gough: I’ve been in the United States Marine Corps for nearly 20 years. As the son of a Marine with 26 years of service, I joined the Marine Corps when I was 17. I served 4 ½ years in the reserves during college, and I took a commission as an officer after graduation. During my career, I’ve flown assault support helicopters in support of MEDEVACs, troop transports, search and rescues, and VIP/USO tours. In 2015, I joined a Civil Affairs reserve unit that focuses on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR) and support to displaced civilians around the world. I have deployed multiple times to war zones and countries in conflict, because of this I have good understanding of the difficulties that come with spending time away from loved ones.

WorkWell: How has the transition from the military to corporate America been and has Colonial Life made it easy?

 Gough: The transition from military to corporate America has been an exciting learning process, and Colonial Life has been there the entire time to support my professional development. Fortunately, there have been many similarities, for example, the requirements to have critical thinking, respect, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to excellence.

WorkWell: What did your time in the military teach you and how are you applying what you learned to your corporate life?

Gough: The Marine Corps imparts and requires the implementation of fourteen leadership traits, including judgement, initiative, dependability and integrity, to name a few. I’ve had the opportunity to bring these critical leadership traits to Colonial Life through my two management jobs. As a manager in our contact center, I utilized these leadership traits through mentoring and personal development. In my current role, I have had the opportunity to demonstrate these leadership traits to our clients, brokers, field offices, and internal business partners.

 WorkWell: As you transitioned to your corporate career, what impressed you about Colonial Life?

Gough: As a Marine officer, my priorities have always been my Marines and the people we are supporting. When I began looking for a corporate career, I was searching for a company with a similar view. I was immediately impressed by the organizational culture here. In recent years there has been increased attention paid to the way we live while at work. This cultural transformation is apparent in many ways throughout corporate America, and Colonial Life gave me a strong impression that they genuinely cared about their culture, employees, and customers. This impress turned out to not only be an impression but a fact of Colonial Life’s workplace culture.

WorkWell: Is there anything else about your military career that you’d like to share?

Gough: There are multiple reasons why young men and women join the military. Whether it is for duty, honor, tradition, travel, benefits, education, or to start a new path, it is a challenge with significant responsibilities and sacrifices.

So the next time you see a veteran, take a moment to think about the sacrifices our veterans and their families make, and to take the opportunity to thank them for their service and that sacrifice.

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