If you need to yell then you have lost the ability to lead.
Australian Hearing managing director Steve Grundy went from battleships to the boardroom when he ended a career in the Australian Navy.
And that is the standout lesson learned since he traded the epaulets and salutes for a suit and tie.
“If you jump up and down then you have lost the ability for people to follow you,” Grundy told Business Insider.
It is simple advice, based on the thirteen years the second-generation navy man has now spent in the private sector, a long way from the rank tabs that command instant respect in the military.
While you can always just give your staff orders – be they sailors or BDMs – Grundy said his years at sea taught him that you should never need to. Instead, they should want to follow.
“If you have a CEO who loses it, then that manager should not be in that role,” he said.
“They [the military] teach you that you lead women and men, you don’t just give orders.
“You are trained to be a leader. If you are not up to it, you look for another career,” he explained.
While there are times when managers need to be strong, and everyone gets frustrated, Grundy said: “I have found that in the corporate world, it is the same.”
Grundy went straight from High School to the Naval College, where he specialised in “ship driving” and mine warfare. His career culminated with a stint as commanding officer of HMAS Rushcutter.
He only had four days off after he was discharged, and has not looked back since.
Now, as the boss of largest hearing services provider in Australia, Grundy said other military leaders should not be scared to make the leap to the private sector, and the skills he and others have been instilled with in the service of their country would serve them well in business.
“When I was a young navy officer, and admiral said to me: ‘Steve, you have just got to back yourself.’”
The admiral also told him that – just as you need to in a company – you must “know everyone on your ship.”
To other Military men and women, Grundy said: “Just have a go, trust yourself.”
While the skills service men and woman leave the armed forces with may not look directly transferable, Grundy said many would be surprised by how qualified they are. He also said it doesn’t take long to shake the idea that military experience means you are not familiar with the nuances of the corporate world.
“A lot of people used to say to me, ‘you have so many great skills, by you are not tested commercially’.
“After a year they said ‘you have so many great skills, and you are tested commercially’. What has really changed in a year?”
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