Executive education provides an array of benefits that can be applied to multiple areas of the military and the workforce. Despite the typical application of executive education in the corporate world, those in the Armed Forces and regulated by the Department of Defense (DoD) have the ability to gain unmatched assets from these programs as well. The various techniques and expertise gained by leaders within the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard serve the purpose of enhancing both their military service and personal lives. By participating in executive education, military leaders will experience numerous applicable benefits such as leadership development, hands-on applications, collaboration, widened perspectives, transferable skills, enhanced critical thinking, and stronger bridges between skill gaps and solutions.

  1. Leadership Development

One of the main objectives of executive education and the military alike is to develop strong leadership characteristics. The military is known to shape great leaders, and executive education further builds on this skill set. In order to develop this character strength, executive education programs focus on solidifying personal leadership skills such as decisiveness, communication and resilience. Once the foundations of these related skill sets are achieved, they are applied to a variety of circumstances and serve as the basis for leaders’ military strategy. Executive education empowers and equips high-ranking military officials with the resources to lead their units through mentally and physically demanding situations.

  1. Hands-on Applications

Another benefit to executive education is the ability to practice with hands-on applications. These programs provide real-world scenarios for military leaders to work through, which in turn gives them the ability to apply their learning to relevant examples and problems. Executive education helps ensure readiness in military depots and the unit as a whole by transferring teachings from the classroom to the field. Active learning has countless benefits such as increased engagement, critical thinking, retention, creativity, feedback and a deeper, applicable understanding of the material. By providing lessons in the form of hands-on applications, military leaders benefit from a more holistic form of education.

  1. Collaboration & Teamwork 

Executive education also promotes collaboration and teamwork. Interaction with a multitude of people from various backgrounds improves teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate on projects. Whether leaders are coming from the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, these programs teach military leaders how to efficiently and effectively collaborate on problems. This provides opportunity for different personal strengths to come together and complement each other, as leaders from various branches of the military learn from one another. Executive education assists military leaders in taking productive teamwork strategies back to their unit.

  1. Widening Perspectives

Likewise, collaboration with a diverse group of people and different instructors widens perspectives on situations. In executive education courses, military leaders are able to observe, develop and understand different approaches to problems from association with their peers. This strengthens officers’ abilities to understand a wider range of circumstances and better make predictions for their own strategies. By collaborating with leaders from other branches of the military, those who participate in executive education will gain greater insight on multiple approaches to problems beyond their scopes of direct experience and expertise.

  1. Developing Transferable Skills

Additionally, executive education helps military leaders advance and exercise a range of

leadership skills, soft skills and strategies that can easily transfer back into the military. One of the aspects that make this form of education so pertinent is the ease in which the program teachings are incorporated into everyday life. Executive education gives military leaders the ability to apply these skills to multiple areas of active duty and modify what they have learned to fit any given situation.

  1. Critical Thinking

The challenges presented by situational analysis and problem solving in executive education coursework serve as supplemental critical thinking training for military leaders. As this is a skill that is essential within the DoD and the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, it should constantly be exercised to keep the mind sharp and prepared for service. Executive education guides military leaders through strategic thought processes to address the complex problems they encounter in the military and ease the decision-making process. In all, this will benefit multiple aspects of their critical thinking skills.

  1. Bridging Skill Gaps & Solutions

Lastly, executive education is a great tool that can be used to identify where there are gaps in skills and how one can best improve in those areas. Military leaders are expected to have different strengths depending on their rank, where they are stationed and their personal experience.  Executive education reinforces learning how to best use one’s strengths to achieve desired solutions, as well as how to strengthen weaknesses.  To bridge the gap between lacking areas and solutions, executive education offers a personalized approach to help military leaders evolve into their best selves in active duty and everyday life.

If you are looking to benefit from executive education and apply its principles to your military leadership, check out the Institute for Defense and Business’ (IDB) program offerings. Sharpen your knowledge of trends in defense logistics technology and improve your complex decision-making and risk management skills in LOGTECH Executive. This course is geared toward general officers, SES government civilians and private sector executive leaders to innovate thinking and approaches to technology in defense logistics and the supply chain.

About the Institute for Defense and Business

The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) delivers educational programs and research to teach, challenge and inspire leaders who work with and within the defense enterprise to achieve next-level results for their organization. IDB features curriculum in Logistics, Supply Chain and Life Cycle Management, Complex Industrial Leadership, Strategic Studies, Global Business and Defense Studies, Continuous Process Improvement, and Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction. Visit www.IDB.org or contact us on our website for more information.