Marine Corps Leadership Basics for Business – Management Tips

The U.S. Marine Corps utilizes certain leadership basics to build and retain its Marines. These strategies can be applied to businesses. Here are six management tips exclusive to the Marine Corps leadership basics that can help your business.

  1. Manage According to the Rule of Three – This rule dictates a person should limit their attention to 3 goals.
  • A corporal has a squad of 3 men
  • A sergeant and second lieutenant have a platoon of 3 squads
  • A captain has a company of 3 platoons: and so on, up to general

Applied to decision making, it boils possibilities down to 3 alternatives therefore preventing over extension and confusion.

  1. Faster is Better – The 70% Solution – The Marine Corps encourages quicker decision making. The Corps believes that a good plan executed now has a better chance of success than a perfect solution implemented later. The idea is to gather 70% of the information and resources you need, then if you feel reasonably confident the plan will succeed, you implement the decision. This increases the speed of decision-making and avoids analysis paralysis thus creating a more responsive organization.


  1. Marines Make Every Team Member a Problem Solver – The Corps pushes as much decision-making authority down to the lower levels as the situation demands. This empowerment allows lower-level officers and enlisted personnel to make decisions that can impact the success of a mission. This critical practice allows the Corps to be faster and more effective.  Companies should also consider this approach with all their time-sensitive business decisions.


  1. The Marine Corps Rewards Failure – In the Corps, mission failure is not an option – period. But Marines are tolerant of the occasional minor disappointment. They view it as a sign that a Marine is taking chances – which they should – as well as a learning experience.  Managers should support this tradition too.  Mistakes are educational opportunities that build character, confidence, and problem-solving skills.


  1. Get an Outside Perspective – The Marine Corps is always on guard against becoming stagnant or constrained by just one point of view. Their key to keeping up with the pace of change, and a flow of creative thinking, is to get input from outside experts. An outside pair of eyes can also help businesses change their focus and objectivity.


  1. Throw a Birthday Party! – Each November 10th, Marines all over the world celebrate the Corps’ birthday. No military celebration is as well-known as the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. It is incredible that so few companies celebrate their birthdays.  An annual birthday party does not have to cost a lot.  Upper management has no reason not to exploit, and to enjoy, this reoccurring opportunity – press releases, advertisements, speeches, ceremony, and plenty of festivities.

Using these Marine Corps leadership basics for business management tips will help get your business on track. If you would like to speak with us about creating a topnotch leadership-driven company culture or have a business question or issues you would like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to us through our website Contact page.



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Marine Corps Leadership Basics for Business – Middle Management