Manage Like a Marine

Officers outline similarities between Iraq and the office
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 1:58 PM CST
Marines listen as President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Marine officers Timothy Saint and Nicholas Smith "learned a lot about leadership and management that we wish someone had told us as boot lieutenants" during their service in Iraq, and most of it applies to young managers in the corporate world. They provide some guidance on Business Insider:

  • Listen and show respect: "If your subordinate's way is 60% as good as your way, and the person who has to execute it is the subordinate, let him have his way." Why? "He will execute his plan twice as well as yours simply because it is his."

  • "Inspect what you expect": "Our favorite Marine Corps catchphrase." It shows that you care about the work. Plus, "the good ones like being inspected and the bad ones need it. This has to be true everywhere."
  • "Get over yourself": "Nobody gives a crap about your MBA or anything else you've done." Learn the ropes and show competence before you try to get a reputation "for being a brilliant innovator and bold reformer."
  • Stick to your guns: "If a new plan or policy is unpopular or a major change to the status quo, people will be testing your will," Saint and Smith write. "Is this going to be like the last fifteen bullshit initiatives that died after a month?"
For the full list of lessons, click the link at right.