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Leaders’ Lessons Borrowed from Military Systems Essay

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2021


Organizational leaders should engage in lifelong learning in order to develop superior competencies that can support their personal and professional goals. Employees and followers in different departments can consider this evidence-based practice because it will guide them to formulate superior philosophies. Such stakeholders will acquire numerous benefits after studying military history.

The purpose of this reflection paper is to examine and discuss the unique lessons, ideas, and concepts that leaders can develop by analyzing the responsibilities and achievements associated with army settings. It will go further to discuss the corresponding opportunities and challenges.

Studying Military History and Operations

Continuous learning is a powerful practice that many professionals and employees pursue to transform their competencies. Individuals working in different organizational settings can select specific programs and initiatives that have the potential to support the development of advanced skills. A good example is a move to study military history. This approach will make it possible for the learner to identify and appreciate some of the major issues, opportunities, and challenges affecting operations in this field (Volax, Grant, & Stock, 2019).

This is something possible because any given army or battalion will have to complete various activities, such as supply chain management, cross-cultural training, strategy, leadership, planning, and logistics. Such a program is recommendable because commanders of these institutions or groups spend most of their time addressing managerial problems similar to the ones different business organizations encounter.

Cross-Cultural Training

Individuals and leaders who decide to study military operations will acquire additional ideas about the nature of cross-cultural training. Trainers, commanders, and instructors encounter various challenges since they have to deal with people recruited from different regions or races. This means that such professionals promote positive discipline and encourage all soldiers to follow orders and respect one another. The military embraces the formation of small groups or battalions whose members have diverse backgrounds (Volax et al., 2019). Such an approach creates the best opportunity for minimizing conflicts and supporting the delivery of the intended goals.

Those in leadership positions apply their competencies to support the development of additional values, such as engagement, cohesion, and teamwork. These attributes become new opportunities for soldiers to interact freely, solve emerging problems, and complete their missions together. Leaders of business firms can emulate similar aspects of cross-cultural training to achieve their potential and maximize profitability (Waliński, 2015). However, specific challenges will emerge that require powerful initiatives. For example, some differences will occur when people from different races or regions come together. This problem becomes critical for leaders who want to develop new insights and strategies for organizing diverse workforces efficiently.


Many successful military organizations and units start their operations by formulating the best strategy. Ohndyl and Shale (2014) define “strategy” as any action plan a company or institution implements to achieve its long-term objectives. People who chose to study military history will understand how soldiers receive adequate support, guidelines, and insights that can make it possible for them to function successfully in different regions. Those in power formulate the most appropriate tactic for pursuing the targeted goals and encouraging their followers to embrace the ideals of sacrifice and love (Davis & Minnis, 2017). Presently, many commanders are keen to acquire appropriate skills for inspiring, innovating, and guiding all soldiers.

The beneficiary of such a learning program will develop similar competencies that are applicable when formulating new strategies and pursuing organizational goals. One of the outstanding opportunities is that the leader will appreciate the importance of considering the targeted population or customers. Leaders in business firms will borrow such ideas to inspire their employees and remain innovative (Waliński, 2015).

Since soldiers mostly engage in actions that will deliver timely victory against any army, learners will understand how to strategize and develop superior models that can make their companies more profitable and competitive in their respective industries (Ohndyl & Shale, 2014). The main challenge is that managers studying military history will have to differentiate the regimented nature of such operations and avoiding them in his or her organization.


The success of any given military operation depends on the effectiveness of the established supply chain and logistical systems. Individuals who decide to engage in the proposed programs will be in a position to identify specific challenges that many departments encounter when pursuing their missions. For example, military units will have to overcome the challenge of poor terrains, lack of infrastructure, and enemy traps to deliver supplies to the targeted fighters.

Different armies are capable of transporting large aircraft and ammunition within the shortest time possible and with pinpoint accuracy. They achieve such objectives while monitoring and overcoming the possible dangers their enemies pose (Waliński, 2015). This is also the same case when military personnel is providing aid and support to victims of natural or manmade disasters.

Those in a leadership position can consider these challenges and make them new opportunities for supporting logistical operations in their organizations. They can consider the application of technology as an evidence-based approach for overcoming supply chain challenges and delivering positive results. During the war, military supply chain operations are usually stretched to their limits (Coetzer, Bussin, & Geldenhuys, 2017). This becomes a new opportunity for a person enrolled in such a program to develop superior competencies for acquiring resources and raw materials in a timely manner while at the same time delivering finished products to the selected customers.


The functions of management are critical in the military setting because they dictate the success and effectiveness of every activity or operation. For instance, leaders in such units should be able to organize and plan before launching attacks or pursuing their missions. This means that those in charge require adequate competencies that can make it easier for them to formulate suitable decisions, solve existing problems, and lead their followers effectively (Davis & Minnis, 2017). They have to be prepared for potential difficulties and human obstacles that might occur.

The targeted learner will develop powerful insights for managing followers, enhancing operations, formulating decisions, and identifying areas that require constant improvement. Since military organizations operate in challenging environments, the leader will focus on powerful competencies for maximizing performance, such as commitment, critical thinking, and resiliency (Coetzer et al., 2017). The fact that trainers and commanders have to manage people with diverse backgrounds becomes a challenge for leaders to implement similar approaches and eventually drive organizational performance.


In the military, leadership remains a critical practice that dictates the performance and involvement of soldiers. Those in charge of different groups share a vision and guide their followers. They present superior models or channels for getting insights and complaints from different soldiers in order to improve performance. Such leaders have gone further to identify emerging ideas and concepts to empower diverse units or battalions.

These attributes can become new opportunities for managers in business-oriented organizations. For instance, a leader in any given firm can consider the challenges commanders have to go through when engaging their soldiers (Davis & Minnis, 2017). Consequently, such a professional will understand how to manage less formal groups and encourage them to focus on the anticipated mission or aim. Leaders can, therefore, borrow numerous ideas for managing their followers, formulating the best strategies, and promoting cohesion from the military.

Problem-solving, conflict resolution, and performance appraisal are continuous practices aimed at improving productivity. Similarly, learners of the targeted program will identify similar ideas and implement them successfully in their respective business organizations. These managers will also make sustainable choices regarding production and supply chain. They will guide their followers to pursue the outlined goals and embrace the concept of teamwork (Coetzer et al., 2017). They can also command efficiently depending on the complexity of the intended objectives and the cohesiveness of every group. This proposal is, therefore, necessary because the application of such measures and leadership practices have continued to deliver positive results in different agencies.


The above discussion has revealed that leaders of business firms can learn numerous ideas from military organizations. This is truly such institutions embrace the idea of effective management to engage soldiers and empower them to deliver the intended goals. Business leaders can emulate the logistical, planning, leadership, and cross-culture training attributes that are evident in the military and implement them to empower their followers. The potential outcome is that they will realize their goals or objectives much faster.


Coetzer, M. F., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences, 7(1), 5-36. Web.

Davis, V. E., & Minnis, S. E. (2017). Military veterans’ transferrable skills: An HRD practitioner dilemma. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 19(1), 6-13. Web.

Ohndyl, O. G., & Shale, N. I. (2014). Factors affecting logistic support in military operations: Case of the Kenya Defense Forces. International Academic Journal of Procurement and Supply Chain Management, 1(3), 1-11.

Volax, L., Grant, D. B., & Stock, J. R. (2019). Improvements in pre-revolution French military logistics: Lessons for modern day supply chains. Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, 20(1), 3-14. Web.

Waliński, Z. (2015). The role of a commander in military lessons learned systems. Journal of Corporate Responsibility and Leadership, 2(1), 95-106. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Leaders' Lessons Borrowed from Military Systems." June 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leaders-lessons-borrowed-from-military-systems/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Leaders' Lessons Borrowed from Military Systems'. 6 June.

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