- Firstly, military personnel are constantly in training, much focus is placed on leadership development and instilling the belief that professional development is a continuous process. Veterans have already developed the personal qualities to be successful leaders and, because of their receptiveness to learning, are able to acquire the additional skills needed in the new role.
- Secondly, veterans are willing to work incredibly hard, a quality so needed in today’s VUCA environments. The ability to keep going, even when the ‘normal working day’ is over, is part of daily life in the services, so they understand that sometimes we just have to put in the long hours because the end goal is getting the job done.
- Thirdly, succeeding in the services requires resilience and an ability to adapt when things do not go as planned. This mindset enables one to see challenges as opportunities to learn, rather than obstacles to be overcome, and this ‘true grit’ is real evidence of leadership capability.
- Fourthly, veterans understand the importance of morale, and the depth of this understanding may actually be quite unique to veterans. This can be an enormous advantage when encouraging teams, especially when there is a need to go that extra mile.
- Fifthly, veterans have firsthand experience of a team being only as strong as its weakest link. They know the importance of succession planning and leadership development for everyone because you never know when circumstances and situations may change suddenly and dramatically.
Our research showed that veterans are not being effectively employed because recruiters do not fully understand how transferable their leadership capability and other strengths really are, it just requires some new thinking - redeploying leadership to where it’s needed.