5 Lessons Learned in the Face of Adversity

Jeff Mueller | Presented by Polen Capital

Jeff Mueller discusses his experiences preparing for and flying combat missions in a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 fighter squadron and shares how the lessons he learned prepared him to manage adversity. These lessons can be valuable to you right now.


5 Lessons Overview

Slow It Down
It’s important to not make decisions until you’re in the right frame of mind.

When you feel the pressure rising, slow it down, sleep on it and be patient until you are in the right state of mind to make a big decision.

Persistence is having the discipline to show up every day looking to get better and also having the belief in the power of marginal improvements that compound over time and ultimately lead to expertise.

“There are two vices much more serious than the rest: lack of persistence and lack of resistance.”

— Epictetus

Being humble and admitting that you don’t have all the answers is not only completely okay, but it’s a tool that’s going to help you thrive.

“The learn-it-all does it better than the know-it-all.”

— Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella

Radical Candor
What matters is the truth — no defensiveness, no hard feelings. If you made a mistake, you call yourself out on it and you explore how to improve the situation and how to fight a better tomorrow.

Applying radical candor in your life is the only way to achieve accurate reality recognition.

Positive Self Talk
Listening is generally negative and talking is generally positive so take advantage of that and practice positive and genuine self-talk and ensure that those in your care are doing the same.

“Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself.”

— New York Times Best Selling Author, Don Yeager

About Jeff Mueller

Polen Capital Portfolio Manager & Analyst
Major, U.S. Marine Corps
Tillman Scholar

Jeff is co-portfolio manager of Polen Capital’s Global Growth strategy and joined the firm in 2013. Prior to joining Polen Capital, Jeff spent 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, during which he flew over 200 combat missions in F/A-18s.

He received his B.A. in Communications and Business Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, where he was Captain of the Men’s Tennis Team, an All American and NCAA Champion. Jeff is a Tillman Scholar and earned his M.B.A. with honors and distinction from Columbia Business School, where he teaches the Compounders course within the Value Investing Program. Jeff is a member of the Board of Trustees at Trinity University in San Antonio, where he serves on the investment committee.

Going Beyond with Polen Capital

For more than three decades, Polen Capital has been dedicated to serving institutional and individual investors by delivering sustainable high value-added investment outcomes to clients worldwide. We adhere to a time-tested process of researching and analyzing sustainable growth—seeking the best companies to build high conviction portfolios. Then, we invest for the long haul and with a business owner’s mindset—giving these companies time to grow. This singular focus and consistent investment process transcend market capitalizations and borders. We incorporate this approach across three independent investment teams located in Boca Raton, Boston and London, covering large company, small company and emerging markets.

The firm’s unique culture has been recognized by Pensions & Investments as one of the industry’s “Best Places to Work” in each of the past five years.

For more information on Polen Capital visit polencapital.com →

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