How applicable do you think that Manager Tools is to service as a U.S. Army officer? Are there many techniques you would change drastically in light of being an officer?

cincibuckeyenut's picture

So much of what these guys talk about comes at its core from the learnings they got from their time in the military. Even though I have never been in the military, I would have a very hard time believing the vast majority wasn't directly applicable, as much as anyone else if not more.

mauzenne's picture


As pointed out, Mark and I cut our teeth in the Army (we first met as classmates at West Point and served in our first Army unit together), so you might guess my answer ... the fundamentals of management and leadership don't change.

Now, to be honest, there are some aspects of the military that can *seem* to make it easier. For example, your folks will find it a tad bit harder to "resign" ;-) But, as I'm sure you know, there is a huge difference between compliance and commitment. Hopefully you won't learn the difference when bullets start to fly.

STILL, one of my favorite books on leadership is "Small Unit Leadership: A Commonsense Approach" by Col. Dandridge M. Malone. If you've read it, I'm sure you'll see a lot of Mark and I in it (or at least I'd like to think so).

best regards,

Mark's picture

Michael and all-

Everything transfers. The idea that military leadership is different comes from lack of knowledge, combined with Patton stereotyping. (This was less true 30 years ago, but the advent of the all volunteer force changed all that).

The reason that military officers generally make better managers (it's not night and day, but it's noticeable) is that the military gives young leaders real responsibility and then expects them to learn by doing. I've blogged on this, but can't seem to find the post... It's not about it being the military way to lead... it's just that they throw a lot at you, and you learn FAST.

But don't miss the fact that I have been consulting on all of this stuff, in detail, for 15+ years, and have refined it for the non-military world.

It's all about people. ;-)


cincibuckeyenut's picture

This is the blog post Mark mentions. Covers the concept very nicely. One of his better blog posts IMO