As military personnel begin to transition back into civilian society, they must consider which career path that they will pursue. Many of these individuals seek employment in the business sector, which presents numerous opportunities for them to call upon their military experiences and the skills that they acquired during their time in the service. For those who are looking to take on business roles, leadership is one of the most important military skills that they can bring to the table.
In the military, however, leadership means far more than simply guiding a team. Here are nine of the most crucial military leadership capabilities that veterans can use as business leaders:
Those who transition from the military to civilian life possess a heightened sense of drive that serves them well in leadership positions. This trait enables them to lead their teams with great energy and dedication. In addition, drive fuels their desire to find solutions to business challenges and encourages them to work tirelessly towards each objective. Often, this trait manifests in the form of ambition, which helps business leaders push themselves, as well as their team members, to do their best.
Military personnel are only able to rise to leadership roles if they possess a certain level of self-confidence. This skill directly translates to their work as business leaders. When facing difficult situations or decisions, these individuals must be able to act with utmost certainty. The ability to do so must come from within, where their inner voice helps them overcome any fears or trepidations about their work.
Those who are not sure of themselves will be unable to head their team properly nor boost morale in each worker. Self-confidence can even help business leaders hold strong in other crucial situations, including times of conflict and moments when they must deal with underperforming employees.
Decisiveness in the face of action is a skill that all leaders must possess, whether in combat or in the office. Without the ability to make decisions in a short amount of time, business leaders run the risk of harming their organization’s productivity and losing their competitive edge in the market. Most leaders will face a situation in which they will not have enough information to make a decision or are otherwise under immense pressure to come to a conclusion. In these scenarios, decisiveness will prove to be more valuable than ever before.
The regimented nature of the military not only teaches personnel how to lead others, but also how to follow others. It is rare that soldiers act alone during any military activity. Even military leaders must step aside and accept assistance from their fellow soldiers in order to complete their missions from time to time. This ability and willingness to follow the examples of others helps these individuals to become better leaders in a business setting. Sometimes, ignoring their title and position as leader is the only way for them to work with their team and achieve their business goals.
The military also prepares its personnel for civilian leadership roles by instilling into them a sense of realism. Those with this trait possess a perfect balance of optimism and pessimism. Too much of the former can cause leaders to conceptualize overambitious business objectives or expect too much of their team members. Too much of the latter can bring about doubt regarding business plans and cause them to see only the related risks. Leaders with a more realistic outlook are able to handle any situation with practicality and calculation, which helps them achieve a better outcome in the end.
Strong leaders emerge from their time in the military with a good sense of humility. No one wants to work with a boss who does not seem to care about anything aside from highlighting his or her own greatness. With humility, leaders are able to push their own self-interest aside and focus more on those around them.
One of the biggest displays of humility comes in the form of listening. Military leaders leave the service with a heightened ability to listen to the opinions and thoughts of many people at once. Humility can also mean setting an example for those who work underneath them. Instead of attempting to seem better than their subordinates, good leaders become exactly the kind of worker that they want their team to be.
There is a Marine Corps mantra that tells all service people to show compassion to those around them because they don’t know who may be working through their own internal issues. This belief runs through all military personnel, serving as a strong foundation for good leadership. Both on the battlefield and in the office, effective leaders must be able to identify the needs of their team members and be able to fulfill these needs. A compassionate leader understands how integral his or her team is to the task at hand and does whatever is necessary to take care of each individual.