Corporations are increasingly focused on bringing military brass into leadership roles and into the Boardroom. The reasons are clear; generals are trained to anticipate unforeseen risk, build high-performance teams and make quick, strategic decisions when under pressure. They also bring discipline to the table, a virtue that is increasingly necessary in today’s ever-growing disruptive and challenging times.
Companies are not only focused on top-brass, but are also attracted to executives who served in the armed forces and achieved the level of captain. These individuals bring many of the same virtues to a corporate organization, and executive search consultants increasingly hunt for military alums.
To prepare retired generals for public board service, last year the National Association of Corporate Directors put 500 of them through a three-day course to prepare them for corporate board duty; half of them now sit on private and public boards. However, there are risks. Some retired generals fail to grasp the need to build consensus around their decisions having grown-up in the military hierarchy. Aside from the occasional few who have a hard time with the transition, the benefits are extraordinary, and a testimony to our military training.