Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Management by marching around

When I first heard about the book "No Yelling: The 9 Secrets of Marine Corps Leadership You Must Know to Win in Business," by Wally Adamchik, I was intrigued. I've never been in the military (though my father and grandfather were). As such, I don't have any real-life context for what their management style is like. However, I've worked with some awesome people who had tremendous business and organizational skills that they picked up in the military, and I wanted to see if this book would be useful to me in my work.

Let me start with this: Wow - am I glad I decided to read this book!

This book takes 9 core principles of management and gives each of them a chapter. The topics are:

  • Integrity
  • Technical Competence
  • Set the Example
  • Self-Awareness
  • Take Care of People
  • Make New Leaders
  • Commander's Intent
  • Culture and Values
  • Rehearsals and Critiques

This book is not preachy, dry, or mechanical. It is not rigid and robotic. This is a tremendous collection of object lessons to convey the essence of each of the 9 topics, and provide vivid examples of what these principles look like when they are applied effectively. There are also some great stories that illustrate the risks of operating in conflict with these principles.

Adamchik does a masterful job of framing each of the topics, and weaves his collection of anecdotes together with insightful commentary on why they are essential, why they are effective, and how things fall apart in their absence. You also get a clear example of how communicating trust, practicing effective delegation, and other practical skills can accelerate the development of a team.

Full spectrum storytelling

Inside this book, I found a full spectrum of stories - funny ones (such as one that occurs when he gives a vague instruction like, "Go do something productive." - and hilarity ensues), serious ones (such as one in which a commander takes full responsibility for a mistake made by junior members of his unit), humbling ones (as in stories that show the power of "being a part of the team" as a manager), and much more.

I also came away with some areas where I felt compelled to do better in the future than I've done in the past. What more can you ask for in a book?

Pick up a copy and you'll see "Semper Fi" in a whole new light - and you'll probably pick up some insights that will help you grow as a leader.

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