Marine Corps Leadership Basics for Business – Middle Management

The Marine Corps is like a business – it has various levels of managers to oversee its operation. Here are tips based on the Marine Corps leadership basics for business middle management that its uses for its senior NCO and junior officers that can benefit your company.


  1. The Marine Corps demands that their officers and senior NCOs understand the big picture – This allows for better decision-making when events change.  Managers who see the big picture can see how their people contribute to the company’s success.  They can also appreciate the contributions of others and recognize when things may be going wrong.  And lastly, they can better direct their people and inspire their managers by making them aware of their importance to company goals.


  1. Building a strong team is also important to the Marine Corps – No organization stresses self-reliance like the Marine Corps, and no organization teaches teamwork with greater emphasis.  In military life, the Corps’ mission is accomplished because Marines are working together.  In civilian life, there is a bond that non-Marines do not understand, and for Marines, this bond lasts forever.  Managers too must build comradery amongst their team members.  This will boost morale, productivity and attract great talent.


  1. Informing your “Troops” is key to the Marine Corps. The Corps discourages gossip – Aka “Scuttlebutt” – For Marines going into action, false rumors can be a deadly distraction, therefore, officers and NCOs strive to be honest, open, and forthcoming with all their reports.  As well, management should regularly share information with their people whether good or bad.  This reduces company gossip and helps build trust and commitment throughout the organization


  1. Marines must take the same risks – The Corps knows that whatever the outcome, their officers will share the same fate as the platoon.  This creates a strong sense of trust and commitment.  Middle management must adopt this standard as well.  They should publicly associate themselves with projects staking their reputation upon the performance of their team.  Managers should also give credit to the team for all accomplishments and take responsibility for the team’s failure too.


  1. The Corps believes in the “next-in-line” concept – Leaders prepare their subordinate for two jobs – theirs and yours.  Marine officers and NCOs work with their subordinates to take charge should they become incapacitated.  This policy helps assure mission success.  Middle managers can accomplish this by asking for their input on an important business issue.  Another more proactive way is to ask your subordinate to take charge on the next major presentation, project, or report.


  1. The Marine Corps is not afraid to make things uncomfortable – No one would describe a career in the Corps as comfortable.  It begins with the most difficult basic training. And this pressure to perform continues throughout a Marine’s career.  Yet, the Marine Corps enjoys high morale.  Therefore, managers should not be afraid of making things a bit uncomfortable for their people.  Stretching their “comfort zone” builds employee confidence, resourcefulness, and motivation.


Utilizing these Marine Corps leadership basics for business middle management can put your business on the right road.

My other blogs discuss front-line managers, elite basic training, senior management and management tips that can benefit your company based on the Marine Corps leadership basics.  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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