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There are more than a few people in business who believe they understand the concept of military tactics. What they utilize in their careers is a subset of the same kinds of methods used by officers and soldiers throughout human history to overcome circumstances and achieve a goal.


With thousands of years of perspective, it is now possible to categorize some of these tactics into advice any business owner or leader can use in their day to day tasks to improve their efficiency and increase their chances of success. Three top the list.


Real Goal Setting

One of the key objectives emphasized in military training, especially for officers, is the ability to describe success. Without this essential step, it is impossible to devise a plan to achieve success because there is no objective description of it. Often, this is an element often missing from business plans. Great efforts are invested to ensure all the procedures are covered, but occasionally, entrepreneurs and managers will forget to define the fundamental detail of what exactly they’re hoping to achieve. Describing success in detail is the first step in achieving it.



When faced with a crisis, the natural human tendency is to retreat and become defensive. The military is different. Many of the most successful commanders in military history respond to a crisis by attacking instead of fleeing. Among the many benefits of going on the offense is the fact that the attacker sets the agenda and schedule. This gives you control at a time when you need it most. Attacking clarifies objectives and provides those in crisis a point of focus. These things are powerful in an emergency.



When the military isn’t fighting a war, they are simulating one. Training is at the heart of any organization where successful outcomes aren’t optional. This escapes most managers, especially those who are so process-oriented they forget the fact they are leading human beings. People are creatures of habit, and if their habits are counterproductive, there is no way for the business to succeed regardless of tactics or strategy.


Training should be a non-stop activity in every business. Training improves the process, exposes weakness and faulty thinking and creates intangibles like camaraderie. It is the mortar that holds the wall up.


Military tactics are not just about fighting wars. They are also about fighting inefficiency and failure. Utilizing them gives any business a head start.