Hi, I'm Josh. I'm not a business guy. I'm actually active duty Army. But this stuff is useful to anyone who has a boss or is a boss. I was actually just promoted out of leadership. I really wish I had found this site sooner!

The Army is my full time gig. And I'm filling my free time with school and building a handful websites (for income and pleasure).

This site is so useful. The only problem is that I don't speak this business stuff. "Directs", "one-on-one's", that's all foreign to me. I'm a CBRN expert on a CST specializing in HZ entries with proper PPE. (Sorry, had to turn the language tables on you for a second.)

Is there a good starting place that I could go to get spun up on some of the business lingo? I've just switched to IT (in the military) in order to go civilian some time relatively soon. I've led troops for eight years without wonderful civilian tools like this (and the extremely useful books suggested here). But I've learned my lesson. And I don't want to jump into the civilian world without taking every advantage I can. Plus, I know that a couple folks here are former military. Maybe they can translate into grunt. (I am still in school. Would a couple business classes help me speak the language?)

The DISC model has been really helpful. My new position brought me a new boss who isn't IT and isn't particularly fun to work with. But using DISC, I've been better prepared to anticipate his wants and beat him to the punch. I'm not the "golden boy" yet. But he definitely has bigger fish to fry than the new guy.

Great site. Great podcasts. Great job. I will be passing this link on to anyone I think of who can use it (everyone) and [i]will use it (too few)[/i]. Thanks a million.

PS I am a "C". Now that you've completed that podcast, will you, please, take the cameras out of my apartment? That podcast was really creepy.

ctomasi's picture

You know, that's not a bad idea. We should have a Manager Tools Dictionary somewhere. For now Josh, let me help.

Directs: Short for "Direct Reports". People who report directly to you. Your staff. On an org chart, they have solid lines to you (not dotted - don't get Mark started.)

One-on-Ones: It's a weekly 30 meeting between you and one of your directs (see above). These are extremely valuable! The best way to learn about this one is to listen to one of the casts in the archive appropriately titled "One on ones". These may also be known as O3s (three "o"s for one-on-ones).

jwrobbs's picture

Thanks for the help!

Mark's picture



Pretty cool job you had, and now are you at Gordon?

My recommendation regarding language is to just stick around. The easiest way to do that passively is get an RSS reader and have all the posts fed to you.

Keep in mind, too, that a lot of what we talk about here is not "business lingo"'s effective manager talk. Not everyone does one on ones, etc... but everyone in the Army knows the kind of knowledge you have if you're a CBRN expert... acronyms are more standard there than here.

One thing that doesn't translate is "grunt". It's a term of endearment in the service... but it would be seen as derisive here.

VERY glad you're here.

Beat Navy.


jwrobbs's picture

I report to Gordon in March. (Ft Gordon is the Army's IT training site.) I'm that new to IT. You are absolutely correct that this isn't "business stuff". Obviously it all applies to business, but a lot of it is applicable to every day life. I already have a list of 'casts for my 11 year old to listen to.

ctomasi's picture

This brings up something I was pondering as I was listening to the Juggling Koan cast...

One of the things to do when you receive the sixth ball was accept it willingly and thankfully. To me, that echoes of military. "Thank you sir, may I have another?" I like that way of thinking when dealing with the boss (or anyone in a senior position.) Respect! I don't have a military background, but several of my (8) siblings do.

There are times when I throw in "Permission to speak freely, sir!" OK, that may be going overboard, but if taken with my light personality I can usually get my point across.

jwrobbs's picture

The military does several leadership things very well. The Op Order was mentioned in another thread. The recap/review M&M covered (I forget exactly what they called it) is related to the After Action Review. The military does pretty solid performance reviews. I really think that their only glaring error in this department is that there isn't enough management taught to complement their leadership skills. (I think there is another issue but it is irrelevant to this forum.)

The more I think about it, the more the military seems to be the proper model for many aspects for project management. Everything is delegated as much as possible. No organization is more results orientated. Heck, the military will kill or die to get the results they are after.


Switching topics to O3s, the response to my question has some implications that I want to be sure I understand.

In the corporate world, assignments (projects) are more likely given to individuals? Would O3s be held with a group if the group was working on a project?

Thanks for all the help.