Why do military veterans make such successful entrepreneurs? According to thought leader Phyllis Newhouse, it’s because they’re given a foundation for leadership from day 1 of their training. 


What is this secret sauce, you may ask? The 11 Principles of Leadership – an approach to leadership building that the US military has been using for decades. 


Successful leaders who have served in the military have had these values instilled in them from the beginning. “Year after year, it just becomes embedded in your DNA” says Newhouse. “It’s part of the culture.” Along with preparing veterans for entrepreneurial success, the 11 Principles of Leadership also push individuals to embody three essential concepts: flexibility, ownership, and the ability to access your value card. 

Enjoy this excerpt from “Taking the Lead.”


Part of being a great leader, both in the military and in the business world, is your ability to pivot. We saw this truth first-hand during the COVID-19 pandemic, as entrepreneurs worldwide had to find creative ways to shift their business models in order to survive. For current and veteran military members, this need for quick thinking and flexibility is a familiar one.    


Although it’s difficult to prepare for unexpected scenarios, you can prepare how you’ll react when these emergencies surface. Military personnel are trained from the beginning on how to pivot during unexpected changes, which makes their reaction times to crisis much quicker than the average civilian. Even if you don’t have this experience in your background, however, training under the 11 Principles can help fine tune your flexibility and trim down your reaction time when emergencies strike. 


How much of your leadership are you ready to own? 


Your potential as a leader hinges on the responsibility you’re willing to take on. Truly great leaders know that they can’t just take a partial percentage of the blame for their team’s mistakes – they need to take it all. Knowing what your position entails and owning that position for all that comes with it, positive or negative, is crucial to moving forward in your career. If you aren’t ready to own 100% of your leadership, you’re not ready to be a leader.


Luckily, ownership can begin at any level – you don’t have to wait until you’re in a position of high influence to start taking responsibility for yourself and those who you lead. The earlier you get started, the easier it will be to take 100% ownership of your leadership later in your career. When in doubt, remember: it’s never too late to “own greater.”

Assessing Your Value Card

Whether they know it or not, everyone has a value card. What’s on yours is entirely up to what you bring to the table. Are you an active listener? Do you manage teams well? Are you an effective public speaker? Whatever your strong suits may be, know that those skills are what define your value card. No card is quite like another, and your card is constantly subject to change as you grow in your leadership journey. As a result, it’s essential that you take time to assess your value card every day.


You should also be aware of each team member’s value card: what do they bring to the table? What traits are on their value cards that may not be on yours and vice versa? Conducting regular town halls with your staff, as well as just checking in casually each day, will better help you to better recognize, understand, and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the people who help your operation run smoothly. 

Taking the Lead

In her course “Taking the Lead,” Phyllis Newhouse uses a multifaceted approach to teach you each of the 11 Principles in detail. Each section is accompanied by a breakdown of the principle in question, the main lesson, a podcast discussion between Phyllis and Leaderpass CEO Jamie Minton, real-world action items to help you implement the principle into your life, and a downloadable worksheet for guidance. This combination of audiovisual and textual components creates an immersive educational experience that’s truly one of a kind. 


Interested in giving “Taking the Lead” a go? Click here to check out our course registration page, where you can learn more about what this pass has to offer and sign up for a free preview.