Military Candor is Good Leadership

When you join the military, no matter the branch, your first step is to become institutionalized in military culture. Same haircut, uniforms, protocol and communication. Sir yes sir!

Candor, a staple in military culture, also helps companies win in business. While military leaders understand the nuance of communications, especially as it applies to transitioning to a civilian career, when it comes time for candor, they excel. It’s considered an element of good leadership.

In his book Winning, Jack Welch speaks on candor as a critical element in promoting business innovation. Confronting the brutal facts, part of Jim CollinsStockdale Paradox, is surely straight talk. The military conditions you to confront the harsh reality, make the call and to communicate it efficiently.

We leave the institution but many of its attributes carry on. Candid communication is one of my favorites. It’s the maturity to handle people being honest with you. It is also an element of communication simplicity. Not beating around the bush but getting straight to the point, and having the savvy of understanding where and when to deploy it, is truly a process improvement. Especially if I say, “Why don’t we all order dessert?”

Bobby Whitehouse