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Jul 04

Military Leadership: What Comes Next

As veterans prepare to transition from military service into new civilian careers, many find it helpful to supplement any service-sponsored transition workshops they have taken with those offered by key veteran service organizations or by other entities that approach the career transition process from a somewhat different vantage point.

I recently had the opportunity to connect with Michael Hyter, the Office Managing Director with Korn Ferry. Mike and his colleague, Senior Client Partner and retired US Army Major General Randy Manner, were pleased to share their perspective regarding Korn Ferry’s Leveraging Military Leadership Program.

Hyter, Mike_072815_0027-2UpdatedPhoto

Michael Hyter

Randy Manner KF (2)

Randy Manner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VSB:  What is the Leveraging Military Leadership Program and how is it unique?

Hyter/Manner: A 2011 study by Syracuse University determined that about 80% of all transitioning veterans leave their first civilian position in less than 2 years. The reasons appear to be that veterans are inadequately prepared to explain and match their competencies to potential positions, and the personal impact of entering a significantly different culture from the deeply ingrained one characterized by military teamwork, service and sacrifice.

Korn Ferry’s Leveraging Military Leadership Program (LMLP) is uniquely designed to help bridge these gaps to help the veteran be happier and more successful in a civilian career.

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) mandated by Congress spends considerable time on helping veterans create their resume and develop traditional interviewing skills. Korn Ferry focuses earlier in the transition process by helping veterans increase awareness about their own passions and competencies as well as career possibilities in the civilian, education, and non-profit sectors.  After completing LMLP, veterans are able to clearly articulate their value proposition using competencies that potential recruiters, hiring managers, and others they meet through networking will understand and embrace.

Veterans must understand the values and attributes of the military service culture they are leaving behind. This is a non-trivial exercise because individuals are not typically able to identify those attributes of cultural values when deeply immersed within a culture. In addition, veterans must understand that they will not find a culture like it outside of the military. They must take steps to become aware of the cultural values of firms where they are considering employment, and adjust their expectations appropriately.

VSB: Any success stories from individuals who have gone through your transition course?

Manner: Here are a few perspectives of some of the veterans who have gone through LMLP:

“Korn Ferry’s LMLP is the only program I know of that focuses specifically on self-awareness: values, strengths, and passions, and how to approach your search for not only a second career but a meaningful life after the military. Too many programs skip over this step of self-knowledge, so as veterans we end up chasing either the paycheck or the responsibility or the comfort of what we did while we were in the military. I wish I had gone through this program before I got out; I might not be on my third job in two years.” – Hugo Lentze, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (ret)

“I participated in LMLP with less than one year to go before I retired from the Air Force. I did not have a solid idea of what I wanted to do following my transition and no idea at all of how to make that happen.  LMLP exposed me to the tools I needed to discover the values I wanted from an employer and the skills that I wanted to be hired for, this led me down the path to find the perfect job for me in the location of my choosing. I can’t recommend this program enough for veterans going through the transition process.” – John Oates, Colonel, US Air Force (ret)

“Just want to say my experience in the LMLP program was eye opening and enriching, having served 31 years in the military I didn’t know the first thing about what I really wanted to do after the Army. This program opened me up to a lot of opportunities. I now have a job with CACI as the lead engineer.” – Anthony Spicer, Command Sergeant Major, US Army (ret)

VSB: Mike, many senior military leaders in transition express an interest in joining a corporate board once they leave active duty. What do you see as the main skills they can contribute to a for-profit board of directors? How can they make themselves more competitive to secure those positions? What about nonprofit board service?

Hyter: Senior military leaders are collaborative team players committed to accomplishing the mission. They possess the following knowledge and skills which are applicable to for-profit and not- for-profit boards:

  • Leadership and organizational effectiveness from many years of helping organizations accomplish strategic and tactical missions.
  • Strategic budgeting with an ability to allocate limited resources to meet critical short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Organization strategy and structure in a dynamic environment.
  • Integrity and willingness to speak up on tough issues.
  • National security issue awareness and how these issues impact business success.
  • Government buying and contracting procedures.
  • Risk management and the tradeoffs required related to people, resources and processes.

VSB: From an employer’s perspective, how can those in transition from military service best distinguish themselves from their military and civilian counterparts in this competitive job market?

Hyter/ Manner:

There are four keys to success for the veteran to distinguish him or herself from others. In order to create a value proposition, veterans must:

  • Be truly aware of their passions and their competencies.
  • Understand and be able to simply explain their value proposition to prospective employers, providing examples of competencies without the use of military jargon.
  • Know the desired competencies of the positions they are pursuing; the better they understand them, the more effective they can be in explaining the power of their value proposition.
  • Veterans should not fret over “perfecting” a resume. A resume should “follow” the veteran after a call or meeting; there is very little value in flooding job web sites and firms with one’s resume.

VSB: Any other advice you’d like to share with military leaders approaching transition into the civilian workforce?

Hyter/ Manner: Two thoughts – one for veterans and one for employers:

Veterans must understand the values and attributes of the military service culture they are leaving behind. This is a non-trivial exercise because individuals are not typically able to identify those attributes of cultural values when deeply immersed within a culture. In addition, veterans must understand that they will not find a culture like it outside of the military. They must take steps to become aware of the cultural values of firms where they are considering employment, and adjust their expectations appropriately.

Employers can maximize the value veterans can bring to their firms by “meeting them half-way”. Examples include:

  • Training recruiters and hiring managers to understand the nuances of attracting and managing veterans
  • Identifying positions with required competencies which are very strong and prevalent among veterans
  • Conducting veteran training programs to more rapidly and effectively assimilate veterans into the culture and way of doing business within the firm
  • Providing veteran Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as a forum for on-going support to help veterans achieve success in the company.

Applications are currently being accepted through August 1, 2016 to participate in the ninth LMLP cohort: https://kornferry.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9XBgZw8J3wBa94p

Michael C. Hyter is an Office Managing Director with Korn Ferry. In this role, Mr. Hyter leads Search, Korn Ferry Hay Group, and FutureStep for Korn Ferry’s Washington, DC and Reston, VA offices.
Randy Manner is Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry and a retired U.S. Army Major General. In addition to a distinguished military career, Manner previously served as vice president of American Management Systems and currently sits on a number of small company and veteran service organization advisory boards.

 

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