Navigating the Corporate Seas: A Guide to Effective Veteran Management and Situational Leadership

Captain William Toti is author of the new book From CO to CEOA Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to Industry Leadership.

In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, he and our host Evan Hackel discussed proven strategies for hiring, training and motivating employees who have recently transitioned from the military. We are pleased to share some of his observations with you.

Veterans Will Be Your Best Employees . . . If Properly Prepared

Veterans, even though they had excellent training and meaningful experiences in the military, have usually acquired certain behaviors that need to be unlearned before they can excel in business.

Even though the armed forces provide training to help veterans enter civilian life, that training is often given by people who were never in the military, and it often focuses only on making veterans feel good about themselves. That can cause them to have inappropriate confidence as they transition to private industry.

There Is More to this New Mission than Just Making Money

The first assumption that many veterans make when entering business is that their new mission is simply to generate profits for their new company. Yet in most cases, that is not the central purpose of their new employer. Another issue is that giving orders is usually not the best way to lead in business.

Understanding the Military Community Where the Veteran Served

There are different communities in the military. If a veteran served on a submarine, he or she was part of a community where it was expected that people would speak up about problems. (If they didn’t, they risked the lives of all their shipmates.) But in many other military communities, few people were expected to speak up about problems.

“Understading the baseline of where veterans were and rebaselining their outlook is critical,” Captain Toti told Evan. “Everyone in business needs to understand that it is okay to speak up, regardless of where they came from.”

William Toti’s One Tip for Members of the Training Unleashed Community

‘Hire veterans!” Captain Toti says. “They will be your best employees. But if you hire them and throw them into the deep end and expect them to swim, you will be disappointed.”

A Special Offer for Training Unleashed Viewers

Captain Toti would like to offer our viewers a complimentary audiobook of his new book From CO to CEO. To receive your free audiobook, email [email protected].

About Our Guest

Captain William Toti, US Navy (Retired), has more than 40 years of experience in defense. In three years as CEO of Sparton, he was able to restructure and double the company’s value, taking it through the sale of Sparton by Cerberus Capital Management to Elbit Systems of America. Prior to joining Sparton he spent more than a decade running multi-billion-dollar global defense businesses, for both products and services, including as president of the Integrated Maritime Systems sector at L3, as vice president of the defense segment of HP, HPE, and DXC, as president of Cubic Global Defense, and as vice president of Raytheon’s Mission Support Operations. He has served on Boards of Directors of ERAPSCO, JT3, and the Italian defense company Calzoni.

Captain Toti also served for more than 26 years in the U.S. Navy, including tours as commander of Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Command Norfolk, as commodore of Submarine Squadron 3, and as commanding officer of the nuclear fast attack submarine USS Indianapolis. He served for more than nine years in the Pentagon, including tours as special assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, as Navy representative to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and as deputy director of the Navy War Plans Cell, Deep Blue. Mr. Toti is the creator/author of the US Navy’s current “Full Spectrum Antisubmarine Warfare” concept of operations.

Captain Toti is an active speaker who addresses companies of all sizes across the U.S. Contact him at [email protected]