A Visit to Bunker Labs for Bunker Brews & Leadership Too!


USAA Community Bunker Brews 1.jpg

Bunker Labs has a simple mission: inspire, educate, and connect military veterans and military spouses to resources that enable their entrepreneurial efforts to succeed. Bunker Labs – a 501(c)(3) non-profit – is a national network of veteran entrepreneurs dedicated to helping new veteran entrepreneurs start their own business. Bunker Labs is committed to seeing that every entrepreneur in the veteran community has the network, tools, and resources they need to start their own business.


February in Minneapolis in cold, snowy, and gray. I had the opportunity to attend “Bunker Brews” this week in Minneapolis.  Bunker Labs was bright, cheery, sleek, and modern as I arrived at their “hipster cool” workspace in old downtown Minneapolis, a charming contrast to the 4-foot snowdrifts stacked on every street in Minneapolis.  I was at Bunker Labs to attend “Bunker Brews.”  Bunker Brews is an outreach to the community, Bunker Lab program participants, Bunker Lab donors, and other entrepreneurs to network, learn, and support each other in entrepreneurial efforts. 


The speaker for the evening was Kurt Schmidt, President of the Foundry, a booming mid-sized company focused on strategy and design for digital products.  Kurt’s topic at Bunker Brews was, “Leadership without Authority,” a well timed and timeless topic for entrepreneurs that must lead, follow, and partner with literally hundreds of others to make their business venture a success.


USAA Community Bunker Brews 2.jpgKurt Schmidt’s Leadership without Authority Primary Messages


  1. Bad Bosses Teach Us A Lot. Learning the styles and leadership attributes of poor leaders is a harrowing and deeply unpleasant experience when we are the ones with a bad boss. However, the leadership lessons of what does not work and what causes others to fail is invaluable for learning what you need to do to succeed.

  2. Be A Leader First, Then Worry About Titles. Modern business leaders share, communicate, help, teach and set vision and direction for the organization regardless of their role and title in an organization. Instead of worrying about getting a title as a leader, focus on becoming a great leader. Great leaders attract other great leaders and people that then produce great products and ideas.

  3. Be There to Help Others Succeed. Too often, an entrepreneurship journey can become a singular focus on yourself and your idea. Helping others succeed will help you succeed too.

  4. Emotional Intelligence Is Achieved When You Question Your Assumptions. Entrepreneurship and business operations build and create a great deal of tension with others as you decide what is and is not important. Using Emotional Intelligence to question why you see something one way and look at the other side is critical to leadership and success.

  5. Focus on Career Goals Not on A Job Goal. Too often a job’s goals can supersede your career goals. Make sure that you always place your career goals ahead of your job goals because meeting your career goals may require several job changes to succeed at your career goals. Don’t become trapped in a job that does not meet your career goals.

  6. Get Over Yourself and Your Limitations to Grow. Many times we can stand in the way of our own development because we are too proud, too set in our ways, or too afraid of what others may think to grow and develop in the ways we truly feel are necessary. Just get over your fear and go do it!

  7. Great Entrepreneurs See the Future AND Get There. Being an entrepreneur is literally building a pathway to the future that no one today can either see or believes is possible. In this way, the entrepreneurs path provides leadership, promoting success, and constant communication to arrive at that future place.

  8. Growth Mindset. A growth mindset is being aware that you need to develop your skills and abilities and to be constantly seeking opportunities to improve.

  9. The Importance of Influencing and Leadership Without Authority. Leadership without authority is using personal leadership, communication, Emotional Intelligence, vision setting, and personal growth to reach your objectives.


Bunker Brews delivered for me in terms of growing my network, learning, and creating some great memories.


Share Your Story – What Is Your Entrepreneurial Effort?


Related Information:


  1. Bunker Labs
  2. Bunker Labs – Minneapolis
  3. Career Planning Tips to Start the New Year Off Strong
  4. How to Create A Personal Business Intelligence Plan
  5. USAA Leaving the Military Page


USAA is a corporate sponsor of Bunker Labs.