Life and Leadership Lessons Learned In The Military: “Out of the many military experiences and skills that have transferred over to business, grit and focus have been the most indispensable.” with Mike Kim and Marco Derhy

Marco Derhy
Jul 4, 2019 · 14 min read
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Out of the many military experiences and skills that have transferred over to business, grit and focus have been the most indispensable. “I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit.” These are excerpts from the Soldier’s Creed that we (soldiers) tend to joke about for being overly melodramatic, but those words have been ingrained in me since the first day of boot camp and continually refined while patrolling the scorched fields of Afghanistan. When lives are on the line, quitting is not an option and intense focus is essential to accomplishing the mission. Funny enough, despite vastly different circumstances, what was true then holds true now.

As a part of my series about “Life and Leadership Lessons Learned In The Military”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Kim, the co-founder and COO of KPOP Foods, a brand inviting people to discover and enjoy Korean food and flavors through its delicious products. He’s a Los Angeles native and a U.S. Army combat veteran. During his military career stationed around the U.S. and abroad, Mike introduced many of his soldiers and colleagues to Korean cuisine. The blend of brilliant flavors and the feeling of shared excitement caused by these meals left those familiar and those new to Korean food wanting more. This intersection of food, culture, and people became what would inspire him in the future. Mike served in the US Army for five years in various positions from an Infantry Platoon Leader to Project Manager to Assistant Operations Officer. He’s worked in multiple cities across the United States, Afghanistan, and South Korea, leading teams as large as 60 people. Upon transitioning from the military and entering graduate school, Mike began working as a Strategy and Business Development Associate at Edison Water Resources, an Edison International company where he tackled a wide-array of issues around scalability and growth. In early 2017, Mike and his co-founder, Theo Lee, launched KPOP Foods. Mike received a B.S. in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Marco Derhy

Written by

A Positive Influencer | Author | 19 years publication industry | Created unique series | Founder @ Derhy Enterprises https://marcoderhy.com

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Marco Derhy

Written by

A Positive Influencer | Author | 19 years publication industry | Created unique series | Founder @ Derhy Enterprises https://marcoderhy.com

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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