Improving leadership in the boardroom, on the battlefield

Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

The U.S. Army invests thousands of dollars each year into education and growth of soldiers. With a keen eye on talent management and leader development, the U.S. Army created “broadening assignments” to expose leaders to various job opportunities and civilian education programs. The overall intent of these programs is to develop agile and adaptive leaders that are equipped to achieve decisive victory on the complex battlefield. 

Jim Collins wrote in “Good to Great,” “The hedgehog knows one big thing, while a fox knows many things.” Some may disagree with me when it comes to this analogy, but I am firm believer that the more “foxlike” an army leader, the more effective he or she will be. A primary reason I say this is because I believe the strength of our military resonates from a leader’s ability to objectively assess their surroundings while harnessing diverse viewpoints, intellectual backgrounds and worldly experiences to achieve mission success. What better way to experience diverse viewpoints and learn from different perspectives than through an MBA? While stationed at Ft. Benning, I was fortunate to complete a broadening assignment and join the Goizueta 19WEMBA program.

The Goizueta theme, “thriving amid ambiguity and pressure while utilizing critical and analytical thinking to creatively solve problems” epitomizes the challenges leaders, both civilian and military, face daily. As an Army officer, I have executed numerous operations with minimal guidance and incomplete information. Without a doubt, the Goizueta program has made me a better military leader because it has helped me refine my decision-making process and provided a forum that enables success “amid ambiguity.”

The comprehensive Goizueta EMBA coursework combined with the ability to learn from leaders of industry and top-level professionals from various sectors has been invaluable. Not only the classes within the curriculum and peer interaction, but the faculty’s involvement and dedication to student success has been second to none. The constructive environment has not only pushed me out of my comfort zone numerous times, but also broadened my leadership skills in ways that I never thought possible.

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Colin Smith

Colin Smith WEMBA19 is an instructor at the United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning, GA. In his current role, he serves as a senior leadership and U.S. Army doctrine instructor for the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course. Prior to being an instructor, Colin served seven years as an Infantry Officer and completed three combat deployments to Afghanistan where he led, trained, and developed a variety of skilled teams and specialized organizations. Colin received a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, and his significant military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

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