Many business leaders overlook leadership lessons from the military because we don’t think they cross the chasm between the harsh realities of war and the world of business.
I would argue that, regardless of the differences in operating environments, the same leadership principles do apply. In fact, the leadership principles tried and tested in the most extreme combat conditions must be applied in the world of business! If business leaders are not leveraging leadership lessons from the military then we are doing ourselves and our organizations a great disservice.
For example, how many times have we seen a power struggle between two mid-level business unit managers while the leader of these managers is too scared or preoccupied to take action to resolve the situation. When the lack of action by the leader allows the squabbling to continue, inevitably the whole business suffers. Morale drops, production and sales fall, customer relations are hurt and eventually the bottom line of the business feels the impact. The inability of a leader to take decisive action to resolve internal strife will damage your business.
This inaction and lack of decisiveness is not tolerated in military leadership. Lack of decisiveness costs lives in combat. Plain and simple.
It seems pretty easy to transfer this lesson from the military arena to the world of business but what about other leadership lessons?