Lessons on Leadership from a Recent Graduate of the Army Rangers

To round out my guest bloggers on my vacation week I want to offer up a colleague of mine in Charlotte, North Carolina, Alan Adler, author of Getting the Fish to Swim to YOU & Keeping Them In YOUR Boat.

I found this blog article very reinforcing of my leadership and workplace strategies. Where I tend to lean towards athletic examples this article offers similar strategies from a military perspective.

My surprise that the leadership philosophy taught to our young, graduating Army Rangers is not nearly as “command and control” and autocratic as I thought it would be, which is a good thing and something all business leaders can learn from.

Thanks for allowing me to share this Alan.

Originally published on November 17, 2010 at www.GettingTheFishToSwimToYou.com

As this blog is being written, my 26 year-old stepson has just landed in Afghanistan. A 2nd Lieutenant, he is a recent graduate of the US Army’s premiere/elite combat training experience, Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, in Columbus, GA..

Most of us cannot imagine the physical and mental fortitude it takes to wear the Ranger insignia. Of 478 aspiring applicants only 71 graduated.

After his Ranger School graduation while we were talking, my stepson suggested that following retirement from the military he would like to become a “leadership” coach to businesses and organizations.

He told me that one of the most impressive lessons of his training was learning the importance of putting your rank/title aside so leader/managers can be mentored by those with greater experience, more current or more comprehensive knowledge.

He explained that, “in the Army, (as in business), there are too many competencies required for one person to always have enough information to make a wise decision or formulate a successful strategy. That is why it’s so important to know your people and their strengths. Then, reach out to those more experienced so they can mentor you.”

Rank/title always retains the right to overrule,” he reminded me.

I’m back next week with a couple of new “Ask Skip” questions and answers.
‘Til then make it a great weekend!