You don't have to go through bootcamp or boast a 20 year military career to learn lessons from our Armed Forces. These 4 pieces of advice can help you turn around your current work situation or go down a different road with your career.
Part of being a great leader is knowing what it's like to serve under someone else. Only the higher ups know the complex nature of how decisions are made, but how they communicate those decisions influence the effectiveness of their team.
Before questioning authority for the sake of questioning authority, think about what you can learn about leadership from your superiors. And when all else fails, if you follow orders and it goes wrong, at least it wasn't your idea!
excel at teamwork
Ever heard of pog military and grunts? While the exact terms may change from branch to branch, and from military to civilian, the division between blue collar and white collar is stark. If your office features disruptive office politics, being able to carefully navigate those waters from management or the work side is important. Be neutral with negative coworkers who encourage an "us versus them" mentality and instead promote a team environment.
Schedule one-on-one time with your supervisor to learn more about the management process and what goes on behind the scenes. If you're a manager, hold team brainstorming sessions with your workers to promote open communication, and to expose them to your own thinking process in a low stakes environment.
Planning ahead is important at every level of your career - from the day-to-day to the big picture, being able to construct a plan and execute it is key to success. Think like the military and anticipate pitfalls, creating contingency plans - not just for your career but for projects at work. You'll be seen as a high value contributing team member by promoting efficiency in your department.
keep your cool
Staying calm is key to fixing a problem. Whether you're experiencing personal stress or work stress, being able to center yourself and compartmentalize thoughts from actions will help you perform under extreme circumstances - though those extreme circumstances mean something different in the office versus a military field operation.
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