Ed-vise: Military Leadership

A tinnitus GOOD MORNING!!! to you all! Yup, ear was RINGING yesterday. I mean BIG TIME! Don’t know what it was to start it off but MAN was it “LOUD.” All good this morning though.

Free For All Friday Ed-vise today. Cause it’s FRIDAY! OPEN MAT; PIZZA NIGHT!

Do you know how many books I have that are about military leadership written by former or current military leaders? ONE.

“Small Unit Leadership” written by Col. Dandridge Malone (retired). I bought it because it was required reading at one of the NCO leadership schools I went to. Otherwise I would not have bought it.

Now a days I am even MORE hesitant to buy such books. Wanna know why? BECAUSE! That’s why!


Reason being is I have started to notice something about these books. And, it might even seem a little bit blasphemous with what I am about to say.

See, military leadership is a unique thing. It works very well…IN THE MILITARY.

In the civilian world…yeah…not quite so much.

Jocko Willink wrote a book titled “Extreme Ownership.” Became a best seller. I haven’t read it. I have listened to his interviews on different podcasts which has provided me a great deal of insight into what the book is about. I probably won’t buy the book but I would borrow it.

Many companies have paid a lot of money to bring in former SEAL personnel to inspire their workers and managers with tales of battle and “How To” be a military type leader or to bring military type leadership into the workplace.

While it makes for a good seminar, there are a couple reasons I see that it probably will be a short lived adventure.

First, the job is different. The ‘Murican military has a very specific job: BREAK THINGS!

It does NOT operate for profit. It operates at a consistent loss. But, it is SUPER GOOD at what it does: BREAKING THINGS. If your company is not in the business of BREAKING THINGS on a large scale, then military type leadership probably won’t work for you.

Second thing is that the military allows it’s leaders to fail. The military wants successful leaders of course. However, in order to make a successful leader, it takes failure on their part. That failure allows for educating the person and letting them try again. They are given leeway to attempt things in order to get the mission done. The only thing that matters is the mission. If you have a big failure, it’s not so much that you are fired as much as you are probably dead.

Civilian world…not so much. Their business is profit. From what I have learned, don’t make profit they will bring people in to do it and REMOVE those who fail. Quickly. With that constant threat hanging over people’s heads, it become hard for them to take initiative and experiment. Plus, in civilian companies, pretty certain that your co-workers aren’t will to die for each other. Thus, a bit of a commitment thing.

In the end, I don’t have a problem with Jocko. By all means bring him in and let him tell his story. Your people will love it. Might get inspired by it. Just understand that higher up than you is very likely to not really care what Jocko has to say. After all, they know how they want their company and it isn’t BREAKING THINGS.

I’m just saying

That’s it for today. Take care of yourselves. Check in on each other and remember most people leave the Donut Business because they get tired of the…HOLE INDUSTRY! HAHAHAHHAHAHA…mmmm…donuts!


Published by edhlaw

Son, husband, father, uncle, nephew, cousin

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