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Adapt and Overcome: U.S. Marshal shares lessons he learned after dedicating his life to a career serving his country

By David Amoruso

Retired U.S. Marshal Michael Pizzi has arrested plenty of crooks in his day. He usually did so after the kind of manhunt the U.S. Marshals are renowned for. Be they pimps hiding in a crack house or Italian-American mobsters staying in Europe, Pizzi went after them with tenacity and brought them back in handcuffs to face justice.

Spend two minutes listening to Michael Pizzi and he will change your outlook on life. The former U.S. Marshal has devoted his life serving his country and has learned valuable lessons during those years. So much in fact that he is now sharing his life story with readers in his recently published book Adapt and Overcome in which he details his own struggles and victories and offers his insight on how to get your life on track.

“All your life experience may come in handy someday,” Pizzi tells Gangsters Inc. “Many young people do not realize what assets they have in their personal tool box that they can bring to a job. I don’t care if they dug ditches one summer or drove a truck after school or between jobs, you will never know when that issue may become an asset to you for employment.”

Case in point, Pizzi tells us about the time before he became a U.S. Marshal and was scraping by doing hard labor. “In my case I took a driver’s test with a bus because I was driving a truck without a license and needed to get a license before my boss found out. I rented a truck only to find out on the day of the test the truck would not start, so they gave me a bus to take the test and I passed the test.”

Skip fast forward when Pizzi had become a Deputy U.S. Marshal and put his truck driver’s license and experience driving a bus to good use. Pizzi: “The prison bus driver got sick and the Marshal needed someone who could drive a bus and I stepped up. This issue made me a valuable player that day and set the stage for me to become a go-to employee.”

Before driving trucks and catching fugitive criminals, Pizzi was a Marine NCO and Squad Leader in a Rifle company. This came in handy as well later in life. “I was detailed to be trained in demolitions which was not something every rifleman did,” Pizzi explains. “I learned enough that many years later as a Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal, the building I worked in was bombed and from then on everyone came to me for advice.”

While attending a meeting with Judges and a new Marshal who had been a top-notch detective in the NYPD a Judge asked a question about x-ray machines that could not identify plastic explosives, the Marshal hesitated to answer and Pizzi asked him if he wanted him to answer? He said “yes” and Pizzi then explained to the Judge that he was very familiar with plastic explosives and told him that they were not looking for explosives with the x-ray machine. “We were looking for a source of power and a detonator,” Pizzi explains. “That stopped the Judge in his tracks and made me the MVP once again. I never dreamed that my time in demolition school would serve me well 30 years later,”Pizzi says with surprise and pride.

To conclude this motivational pre-interview – there is much more to come as we sit down with Michael Pizzi and extensively discuss his career in law enforcement – we let Pizzi give you a few tips on a successful career.

First off, “Don’t be afraid to volunteer for bad jobs or to work a holiday or be available when other are not,” the retired U.S. Marshal says. “Eventually the bosses will figure out that you are a real asset to the job. Don’t be discouraged if you are passed over for a position, work harder, learn more and read everything you can about the job you are on and how you can make it better.”

Second, for all the leading figures reading this, keep the people who work for you, and those up the chain informed. “Keep them informed about the job, limits, rumors. It makes the workplace better and makes working together easier.”

Third, “If you have to talk about morale, then it must be low, but if morale on a job is high you never have to mention it. Make people feel like they are part of the team, make people want to be on the job and doing well.”

Michael Pizzi’s book Adapt and Overcome is available at book stores near you and online at Amazon.com. You can get your copy here at Amazon.

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