Saturday, 3 January 2015

“Are Soldiers better Leaders than Civilians?” – Professor M.S.Rao

“Leadership is the most important thing we do in peacetime. Every day, we train soldiers and grow them into leaders.” - General Eric K. Shinseki

In December 2014, I met one of my best friends from Indian Air Force after ten years and we recalled our past life and compared between the past and the present. How the technology has revolutionized and changed the world into a global village. Presently people are quickly connected through social media and it is very difficult to predict where the technology will take us to the next level. He left service in 2014 after serving for 32 years and found it tough to get along with the civilian life.  During conversation he compared and contrasted between the soldiers and the civilians.  I found the topic quite interesting. Here are the qualities that make the soldiers stand out from others.

Soldiers are emotionally intelligent. They can get along with all types of personalities and people from various communities and faiths. They have esprit de corps. They are highly organized as everything goes systematically in their life in defence except during war. They are even organized to encounter uncertainty and complexity during war. They can bounce back from failures and setbacks quickly. They can easily work in teams and gel well with others easily. They are adaptable to the situation. In fact, adaptability is the key to success in this highly complex world. Charles Darwin rightly remarked, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

Soldiers are duty-oriented rather than rights-oriented. They are highly committed to their tasks. They are groomed as leaders with a sense of responsibility and commitment. They are trained to live in hardships and conditions. They sacrifice several aspects in their personal life for the love of their country. General Robert E. Lee once remarked, “To be a good soldier, you have to love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.”

Soldiers are highly focused on their goals and always intend to hit bull’s eye. They have passion for their uniform and are highly motivated and dedicated. However, they have their own challenges. They are straight forward, and lack diplomacy and tact. At times, they find it tough to cope up with the civilian life. They expect others to be systematic and disciplined which is not possible as people are different in their temperaments. It leads to a wide gap between their expectations and realities.

Some countries provide military training to their citizens to keep them disciplined, and to inculcate esprit de corps in them.  Both soldiers and civilians have different mindsets and often find it tough to get along especially when soldiers resign from their serve to get into mainstream civilian society.

My friend was excited with my views and we discussed various other aspects of our personal life, and finally I shared my nonprofit initiative to build one million students as global leaders by 2030 URL:

“We're all accidental soldiers in the army of life.” — Terri Guillemets

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Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Vision 2030 Webinar:
Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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1 comment:

  1. Professor M.S.Rao is a global leadership guru who is passionate to build one million students as global leaders. He has a huge number of followers globally including in Malaysia. He gave autographs to his fans in Malaysia in August 2015 who bought his award-winning book. '21 Success Sutras for Leaders' which is widely read by leaders and CEOs globally. I enjoy his training programs. I read most of his books. I love his vision. I am proud to be one of his one million global leaders. Jai Hind!