“You’re A Fantastic Manager!” Is Actually A Compliment Military Leaders!

Here’s why.

Management and leadership are the same!

What I mean is that Management is a composition of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. So is Leadership; plan, organize, lead, and control.

Now, I know many folks will argue this point, and that’s fine. However, my observation is based on: 1. the generally accepted Fayol model of management; 2. 1 decade of experience teaching business administration to hundreds of students at university; and 3. 2+ decades living business Ops, Projects, and Process.

Henry Fayol identified five major functions of management, which has been consolidated to four over the year. Managers, both Operational and Project:

1. Plan the work (i.e. develop the ‘Plan’);

2. Identify and organize the resources necessary to carry out their Plan;

3. Lead the human resources performing the Plan;

4. Control Performance against Plan and tweak future iterations accordingly.

Look at that list again. Military leaders have a significant amount of experience in each function! You have a significant amount of management experience directly applicable to work in the CIVDIV!

Here’s the rub: many transitioning service Members, Veterans, and Retirees, i.e. “Veterans”, only highlight and talk the leadership piece because we’ve been raised in a cult of leadership!  That’s where we come off the rails!

Talking only about your leadership capability/experience is extremely detrimental to your interview success because the interviewer walks away from the interview feeling like “Gee, that candidate didn’t have enough experience”, which isn’t true! It’s just that they didn’t hear about the other three pieces!

Here’s what to do with this information.

That means talk about them! Talk about your management experience; hit all four functions! You aren’t the successful leader you are today without the ability, skills, knowledge, and experience to do all four management functions! Make sure your resume, your LinkedIn profile (i.e. your resume’s digital cover letter), and your interview sound bites all convey clearly that you have ‘management’ experience, not just leadership experience. Show them you are qualified! Show them you are a fantastic manager!

My objective is that the graphic above illustrates this for you.




Eric is a decorated two-Service, two-Era US Military Veteran; Serial Founder; experienced, credentialed project manager and PMI Chapter-recognized mentor; and an entertaining instructor/public speaker on project management, deep learning and the military transition, PMI’s PMP® and CAPM® exams, Vetrepreneurship; and project manager development. He helps Military Veterans change their lives profoundly through project management, entrepreneurship, and AI through inspiration, translation, training, and placement. For more information, please visit https://vets2pm.com, www.militaryvetstone.com, and www.linkedin.com/in/docwright2012.

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