What Can We Learn From Military Leadership?
Posted on April 19, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
The military is often critically examined because of the leadership implications that can be gained. When I think about the military, I think of structure and very strong leadership. The military system is status-based, meaning that each individual has a different rank that determines his or her place in the overall structure. I have always been fascinated by the strong leadership skills that high ranking members of the military exhibit. What can we learn from the military?
A recent article by Peterson (2012) examines what organizations can learn from the military and how to apply the lessons to organizational leadership. According to Peterson, organizations should first identify and define what leadership will mean to their organization. The military levels of leadership are very defined and there is no question as to what leadership means in the military.
The military training process that leaders undergo is significant. In some cases, the training is more than a couple months and can be several years or more. Why does the military have such lengthy training? They realize the importance of succession planning. Retirement occurs and when it does, the best leaders may leave. If the organization has not considered who will be the next leaders, there is a problem. The military does a great job planning for the future and maintaining structure.
Finally, the military uses selection to identify great leaders. The military has a very stringent selection process and it has obviously helped them to identify the next greatest leaders. Organizations would be wise to identify strong leaders during the selection process.
What else do you think we can learn from the military?