While there are some aspects of war that I would certainly not inflict upon my coworkers (e.g. slaughter, copious blood), I have often found these comparisons ring true. In this post I will discuss how applying military thinking has helped my business succeed.
One of the key components of leadership is how you are perceived by your followers – are you a strong, confident person? Or are you shy and retiring, afraid of the fight?
Hard as it may be to believe, 10 years ago I was once very much in the former camp, at least in the eyes of my team. I spent hours poring over the literature, desperate to discover what was lacking It soon became clear to me – I was not leading from the front.
Being the first to enter the fray is an often-used way in which military figures gain respect from their soldiers, and I found the same to be true in business.
Instead of walking to meetings willy-nilly, I began to have my teams walk behind me, in formation. When sitting at a boardroom table, I would place my seat 2 feet in front of everyone elses. In all conversations I would make sure to have the first word, and never the last. The results were remarkable. I was suddenly spoken to differently, by both my team and my clients. Where previously I had been a person, I was now a leader.
I quickly reorganized the whole way we did business. I placed my office at the front of the building, with all other desks behind mine. I installed an entrance such that I could walk in backwards, ensuring that I never have any member of my organisation behind me, always leading from the front. I haven’t seen any of my co-workers’ faces in years, and business is booming. If you lead from the front maybe yours will too.