Monday, January 9, 2012

Being a Uniformed Leader in the Civilian World

By Maj. John Alderman,
State Public Affairs Officer, Georgia National Guard
January 9, 2012

One of the great things about Guardsmen is that we take the leadership and management skills we learn from the military back into our families and communities. From clubs to committees to boards to teams at civilian jobs, our experience and training can add real value organizations just can't get anywhere else.

But if there's one problem with that, it's that sometimes our skills are lost in translation. Our different perspective is valuable; our different vocabulary can make communicating that value pretty challenging.

For all these reasons (as well as learning new concepts to apply in uniform), it's a good idea for Guard leaders to check out the "Management Headlines" tab up in The Professional Guardsman navigation bar. This will take you to a dynamically generated page of the latest headlines in the management consulting field. These are the topics managers across the spectrum of civilian employers are talking about --- or will be soon.

A periodic perusal could help traditional Guardsmen better communicate and lead in the workplace - and help all of us better communicate with civilians during domestic support operations.

1 comment:

  1. As a current leader in the civilian world and former Army trained Naval Officer I know my leadership skills are never lost in translation. There is a huge difference between leadership and management. Every business school teaches how to interpret a spreadsheet and manage assets based upon the what answer the data speaks to them. Leadership is so much more than that.

    Experience as a professional military officer teaches you situational awareness, how to care for your troops, instill motivation, looking beyond the current decision to understand what comes next, how to plan, understanding how to manage the logistics of all that is happening around you, contingency planning, problem solving, etc. all dynamically as events unfold. You understand inertia in decision making. Make a decision, keep moving, and adjust. Don't succumb to paralysis by analysis. That is leadership.

    There is direct application for everything you have learned and experienced. You have a great advantage over those who have not served as you. Have courage. Make it happen wherever you may be.

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