Raising the Flag the Marine Corps Way

I picked up a neat little business management book named “Semper Fi, Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way.”  The web address is below, in case you’d like to check it out.


The philosophy of the book is to run your business like the Marine Corps.  Does that mean scream bloody murder into the faces of your new recruits?  Only if they need it.  🙂  No, it simply outlines the Marine Corps way of running its operation and the parallels to business management.  Here’s a quote from the book.

In Officer Candidate School, there is a famous exercise in which the prospective officers are given the assignment of raising a flag pole so that it meets a number of detailed specifications.  It is assumed in the exercise that the officer has one sergeant and two privates to assist him.  The instructors are constantly amazed at the ingenuity of the trainees, who have come up with a thousand and one ways to erect that flagpole.  What the instructors are looking for, however, is a much simpler answer: “Tell the sergeant to raise the flagpole and walk away.”

The point of the exersize is to delegate to subordinates.  The sergeant can figure out the details on his own.  And, if they are very detailed, he can present his plan to the officer before proceeding.  This leaves the sergeant to get the job done, and the officer free to strategize the next steps.  Everyone has his job to do, and things move efficiently.