8 Lessons in Military Leadership

8 Lessons in Military Leadership by Robert Kiyosaki, Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Over the Memorial Day Weekend I finished reading, “ 8 Lessons in Military Leadership,” by Robert Kiyosaki.

Kiyosaki draws on his years at the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and his service in the United Sates Marine Corps with stories and examples and a engaging way of comparing and contrasting two very different cultures and value systems. From Robert’s perspective, military training shapes lives and supports entrepreneurship. The training, discipline, and leadership skills taught in the military can be leveraged for huge success in the civilian world of business.

8 Lessons in #MilitaryLeadership is written for budding entrepreneurs and for service men and women, who are uniquely qualified for entrepreneurship because they have already gone through a unique and rigorous educational process to become entrepreneurs. “8 Lessons in Military Leadership” offers useful advice for anyone considering starting their own business.

#RobertKiyosaki does not believe that entrepreneurs are inherently unsuccessful because they lack capital; it is because they need entrepreneurial education, real-world business experience, and guts.

8 Lessons in Military Leadership

So, what are these lessons that Kiyosaki writes about. Glad you asked!

  • Leaders are Role Models
  • Are You a Loner or a Leader?
  • Discipline Delivers a Higher Quality of Life
  • The Power of Respect
  • The Need for Speed
  • Unite to Win and Divide to Conquer
  • Leaders are Teachers
  • Leadership is One Big Sales Job

Leadership is about being a role model.

To be a successful leader, you have to live your life to higher standards. In the military, leadership is not just a subject; it is a process. You have to lead by example and practice what you learn in school or read in books.

Authentic leaders demonstrate a passion for their purpose, practice their values consistently, and lead with their hearts as well as their heads. They establish long-term, meaningful relationships and have the self-discipline to get results. They know who they are.

Kayosaki’s B-I (Business and Investor) Triangle is made up of 8 components or integrities of business. If a business is struggling, it is probably because one or more of the 8 Integrities is missing or weak.


Traditional schools focus on professions that make up the internal triangle – product, legal, systems, communications, and cash flow; whereas, military schools focus on the context of the triangle, the integrities, mission, leadership and team.

Mission is spiritual; it is the reason for a company or organization’s existence. Team represents power. The stronger the team, the more powerful it is. To be a great leader, you have to also be a good team member. The team is more important than the individual.

Are you a Loner or a Leader?

Leadership is earned through trust, respect, experience and competence. Traditional schools train leaders to be loners, successful on their own. Military schools train students to be leaders, successful only if their team is successful.

Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant defines how people generate their income or money.

Cash Flow Quadrant

On the left side, the E (Employee) and S (Self-employed or Specialist) focus on earning income and greatly value a safe, secure job or career. On the right side, the B (Business owner) and I (Investor) focus on creating assets to provide their income source using other people’s time and money.

Military leaders are trained to unite people and build teams. Their education focuses on working with different people with different skills and different professions, as well as knowing the entire working systems of a ship or an aircraft. Cooperation and coordination are essential skills of a leader. Military leaders are taught that the ultimate sacrifice is giving your life so others may live.

Kiyosaki’s third rule involves discipline and what people need to know to have a better quality of life. Improving one’s life requires discipline. Change is not easy; it is often uncomfortable and it requires discipline.

The Four Cornerstones of Discipline are mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. In entrepreneurship, all 4 cornerstones are put under pressure. To be successful, entrepreneurs have to be able to endure emotional fears: not always having a steady paycheck, continuing to operate when the money is gone, the mental ability to learn quickly especially after making mistakes, the physical strength to work for years without a break, and the maturity to take responsibility for everything associated with the business. And more importantly, the spiritual strength to be tough in the face of weaknesses in legal, ethical, and moral character and to keep going when all hope is gone. Simply put, character is a function of discipline.

In addition to discipline, respect is essential to personal and organizational pride. Leadership Lesson #4 describes the Power of Respect.

Leadership is a function of communication; the better the communicator, the better the leader. The entire B-I Triangle is about communication. Each of the five core specialties of the B-I Triangle, from product to cash flow, speak different languages. For a business to survive and thrive, all five, core specialties of the B-I Triangle must learn to communicate. This is where leadership is mission critical.

Leaders need to enforce caring and respectful communications throughout the organization, without favoring one specialty over the other. A leader does not need to know everything, as long as they are respectful and caring for the entire organization and the people the organization serves.

socialGreat leaders have the power to connect people. The more connective power the leader has, the more power the group will have. The more powerful the leader, the more opposition the group will attract. This is why the leader needs to be legally, ethically, and morally strong, aligned to their mission, and in integrity with what they stand for.

For a teacher to be a great teacher, they need to be a great leader. Great leaders and teachers are often people of few words. When a person talks too much, they are failing to learn by observing and by listening. Great leaders and teachers listen and observe more than they talk. When they talk they ask questions because questions give them an opportunity to watch, listen, and learn more.

The bottom line is that Leadership is one big sales job and Sales is the #1 skill of an entrepreneur. If you want to be a leader, keep practicing, keep taking feedback, and keep improving until you have the ability to get the response you want. That is the essence of leadership.

I’d like to thank Rich Dad, Robert Kayosaki, for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to create a fresh start!

I encourage readers to read 8 Lessons in Military Leadership and offer your feedback in a comment. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on Kayosaki’s principles.

#militaryleadership  #RobertKayosaki