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Posted: 5/12/2003 9:54:37 AM EDT
I'm just curious from guys who have been in both realms what leadership/people skills work in both? And which are exclusive to the military or civilian life?

In other words what have you learned in the military that helped in business?

And likewise, what did you learn in business that might've been handy in the military?

And what works in one but completely bombs in the other.

While civlians are often ragged on by the militayr as lazy or dishonorable or worse, the US has the most efficient private sector of any on earth. Surely folks in private business must be doing something right. (And, needless to say, not every ex-SF or Ranger guy becomes a millionaire or even upper middle class, which suggests it takes a slightly different set of skills to really succeed in civilian life, for better or worse).  

For full disclosure, I'm not ex-military, but I'm from a military family and often like to hire and work with ex-military guys b/c they tend to be hard-working and straight shooters that take responsibility for their actions.  
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 10:45:09 AM EDT
Interesting question.

I found lots of leaders in the military that I thought were "like me".  That is to say relatively smart, motivated folks that worked very hard, tried to do the right thing and were totally trustworthy.  Maybe that is self-congratulatory, I don't know.  

There were also quite a few extrordinarly poor leaders I had to serve with and there were a very few of those born leaders that I would have followed anywhere.  While I always ranked highly in my military training and evaluations, there were always many in my peer group that I looked up to as great leaders.  

I would say the things I learned about myself were just as important as most of the skills or attitudes I developed/refined in the military.  The concept of "Be, Know, Do" has stuck with me for life.

In the corporate world, there have been a rare few peers that I felt "outclassed" me in terms of skill.  

As far us higher level leaders, I've unfortunately, never had the pleasure of working for anyone that I could really look up to, or would want a mentoring type relationship with.  Not that they are not out there, I've just been unlucky.  Anytime I got on a team where I felt I could really respect a particular manager another re-org would come along and I'd be working for a dipstick again.

As a wet behind the ears 2LT, I had mentor relationships with both the S4 (O3) and the Deputy BN XO (04), both of these guys were Vietnam combat vets and their influnce was very important for me since my 1st CO was an a$$clown.  

He was an AG Officer and thought he was the shiznit.  I came to him right after completing IOBC (on the Commandant's list) and Airborne.  I couldn't really get into his "highspeed" low drag BS,with his being AG and all.  

Anyway the relationships with those higher level officers were crucial in getting me off on the right foot.  

I do have to say that I miss being able to simply give a directive and expect it to be carried out professionally and without discussion.  Everything has to be so touchy feely these days.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:27:17 AM EDT

I do have to say that I miss being able to simply give a directive and expect it to be carried out professionally and without discussion.  Everything has to be so touchy feely these days.
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Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:29:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 1:43:49 PM EDT

If you read the link you will see The USMC's leadership principles and leadership traits. This philosiphy is taught at all U.S. Military Leadership schools. I learned the same things in Army (NG) OCS. As you can see, this leadership philosiphy applies in the private sector as well as the military.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:11:19 PM EDT
Well I'll give my $.02 from observations in life.

[b]Good skills in both, in which the military generally excels in teaching.[/b]

Attention to detail

Taking Responsibility

Focusing on the task at hand


Focusing on results, not inputs

"Mission Type Orders"

Trying to improve and advance one's subordintes

Clear chains of command

[b]Things needed in civilian life largely absent form miltiary skills/leadership, i.e., things to be aware of when transitioning to private sector[/b]

Ability to sell things, both to customers and internally, i.e., making requests not giving orders

Forging coalitions

Ability to endure and direct endless brainstorming sessions and meetings

Imagination of changing customer needs

Achieving results outside of established methods, i.e., lack of bureacracy

Giving criticism/advice to people that can easily quit and screw-up productivity

Profit motive; letting go of people methods etc. when they become unprofitable (can be hard for someone that likes to "take care of people).

Physical fitness hardly matters.

Finding satisfaction in the mundane; it's not about saving democracy or lives for the most part in the private sector, but delivering services or goods at the lowest price.

Any other thoughts?  (Mine are so rudimentary, which is why I was hoping for some feeback).    
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