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Military vs. Civilian Leadership
Blog / Leadership / Jun 14, 2020 / Posted by Robert Pizzini / 519 

Military vs. Civilian Leadership

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Transition from military to civilian leadership

When you think of leaders, one of the examples that might come to mind is those serving in the military.

Military vs. Civilian Leadership:

In the military, things are very rigid and very cut and dry. Of the various styles of leadership, a directive is more appropriate in a military concept because of the danger to life or property. Transitioning into the private sector, that is not necessarily the case. Another difference between military and civilian leadership is that in traditional business, you have to understand the background of each individual before you apply the principles of leadership. In the military, there is a very specific style that everyone is expected to uphold, and there is less flexibility in that way. Another difference has to do with return on investment, or ROI. In the private sector, the return on investment is the mission. In the military, the mission has various different potential outcomes. While there are several differences, there are also a lot of similarities between military leadership and civilian leadership, such as having a clearly defined mission and mitigating risk.

Leading Diversity:

One of the challenges that everyone faces in leadership today is navigating diversity. The workforce today is the most diverse that it’s ever been. You have very different types of people that come from different backgrounds in terms of generation, disabled or abled status, veteran status, race, religion, personal creed, etc. It can be a challenge to lead a group that diverse with all of the various needs, but it’s something that any leader must take into consideration in order to lead properly. Leaders must position themselves with strength of mind. Leaders can benefit from the diverse backgrounds of their staff, but to do so, they must acknowledge, appreciate, and utilize each individual’s unique background to their fullest potential.

The Importance of a Mission Statement:

It’s so important for employees to understand the mission statement of the company that they work for. The vision is how the mission statement comes to fruition, and excellence is the motto that is associated with that. It’s crucial that employees understand the mission, because then they can better contribute to it and help improve the quality of the product or service. If they don’t understand the objective, they can’t create ideas and suggestions for solutions. Employee ideas can be some of the most important and vital for creating growth within an organization, but not all ideas are good ideas. Viable ideas must improve the bottom line, enhance the customer experience, and enhance the employee experience. If an employee doesn’t understand the mission statement, it will be difficult for them to suggest ideas that meet those three qualifications.

About Author

Leadership, Organization, and Thought Coach/Consultant, Public Speaker, and Lifelong Learner. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2010 after 26 years of service in Navy Special Operations as an enlisted Navy Diver, Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician, and EOD Officer. After wearing our nation's cloth I helped establish several multimillion-dollar businesses including my indoor skydiving facility in Virginia Beach.

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