I guess it’s a trick question. At it’s core level, there isn’t a difference. Care of subordinates, peers, and superiors and mission focus remains the same.
Tomorrow begins the fourth week of training in my (still) new position at Amazon. After completing a week focused just on leadership alone, I was pleasantly surprised at how Amazon taught the subject. The other veterans that were in the class thought the same. There is still much to learn, but thanks to the military way of life (delegating decisions and responsibilities to the lowest levels) we have a great foundation to work with.
At first glance, I can see the college graduates placed into front-line supervisor/management positions looked just like me when I was a Second Lieutenant. I don’t think the leadership learning curve will be as steep as it still is for service members but eventually, we’ll all be at the same point. In the end, it all comes down to treating people with respect, finding out “what makes them tick”, and driving everyone toward the common goal. It sounds pretty simple right?
Take a look at the Marine Corps Leadership Traits:
Now take a look at Amazon’s Leadership Principles:
While they don’t perfectly match, they are very much executed the same. Practice what you preach. Take a look at this article from Task & Purpose on applying Marine Leadership Traits into your business.
One additional concern every service member mentions before they depart the military – what about camaraderie? I can’t speak for other career paths, but at least at Amazon, it isn’t an issue. Camaraderie is the same here as it is in the Corps, just a different “day job”.