CEOs with Battle Experience make Good Leaders


The Armed Forces has given business organization most of the management theories and a recent study co-relates the significance for management styles and firms performances. The CEOs experience in the battle front identifies the leader with certain traits which help organizations grow.

Foremost. These leaders outperform their peers in stressful times. They handle stress and sail through tough times far better than other CEOs. Veterans have learnt to take decisions under extreme conditions, with fog of war under VUCA conditions. These make the veteran take sensible decisions even while the business conditions are in a down swing. 15 of past Presidents of US have served in either the Civil War or WW II. Speaks volumes.

Secondly. They are less likely to be involved in corporate fraud. Integrity is the bulwark under which the armed forces work. This makes a huge difference when it comes to corporate life. These veterans value integrity more than the quarterly results to prove a point or earn stockholders’ benevolence. They would call a spade a spade and stick with their principles rather than commit fraud.

Thirdly. They are more conservative with financial risks. Despite having led a aggressive, risk ridden life in the uniform; when it comes to financial prudence they are conservative with their investments. It is less likely that they’ll commit the organizational funds in risky investments/ ventures. Till the future timelines are clear, they would never invest in haste and repent in leisure.

Fourthly. You get what you see. It is unlikely that they’ll resort to double speak. They are upfront with the + or -/ what you get is what you see. They don’t hesitate to be upfront. Some people see it as lack of tact. They would rather be clear in their dealings and build relationships for lifetime. This is what they have learnt in the uniform. You don’t undercut your buddy. Buddy is your lifeline. You don’t kill the goose that is laying golden eggs, right?

Lastly. They have handled situations. They are blessed with quick decision making. They understand criticalities. They lead by example. They make good role models. And if these are not enough reasons for making them CEOs, then the fact that they were ready to put their life at stake would give you a hint about their attitude towards the organization. Totally dependent, committed and focused these men in uniform achieve their targets/ goals/ mission accomplishment. High time the Indian Organizations look into this untapped talent for their success.

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