Working Across Communities: Taking on and leading interns as a Veteran

We talk a lot about how great Servicemembers and Veterans are for filling management roles as they leave the military. These are people who after anywhere from 3 to 20 years likely had at least one subordinate to mentor and guide, have experience creating and running training and coming up with plans for a team to execute. Enlisted, officer, or warrant officer there is a universal attribute of leading junior members to success.

But Veterans who lead teams - or lead entire businesses - in the civilian world sometimes have to adjust their leadership style and mentality. "You can't treat them like you're a drill sergeant," as one retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and business engagement adviser reminded the Pathfinder Labs team as we picked up our latest batch of interns for the coming term. They are in their late-teens to early-twenties, bright-eyed, and eager to do well just like Privates fresh from Basic Training, but that's where the similarities end.

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