11 Key Leadership Principles From Battlefield To Boardroom

Ken Marlin's book, The Marine Corps Way To Win On Wall Street, is all about a Marine-turned-banker's tactics for succeeding ethically, and more specifically about 11 key principles from battlefield to boardroom.

Ken Marlin

"I wrote the book in part because of the bashing that corporate executives and Wall Street bankers have been receiving for many years in the press and in political circles. I wanted to show people a way to be successful on Wall Street and on Main Street that works better than the current system -- and allows you to be proud of how you did it," explains Marlin.

The 11 key principles Marlin covers in his book are:
  1. Take the long view
  2. Take a stand
  3. Be the expert (or use one)
  4. Know the enemy
  5. Know what the objective is worth
  6. Know yourself
  7. Control the timing
  8. Negotiate from the high ground
  9. Seek foreign entanglements
  10. Trust and verify
  11. Be disciplined

Ken Marlin

Between 1970 and 1981, Marlin rose from the enlisted ranks to become a Marine captain and infantry commander. Since then, he's been an entrepreneur, a tech company CEO, a senior corporate executive and, for the past twenty-plus years, an investment banker on Wall Street.

While in the Marines, Marlin first learned the difference between leading and managing.

"Most managers, politicians and bankers tend toward inertia. They try to maintain whatever momentum they have -- moving in the same direction they're already going -- and work within the realm of what they see as possible or reasonable, believing that they are constrained by the facts on the ground and their bosses," explains Marlin.

"Marines (and other leaders) see those same constraints and motivate the people they're working with to find ways to overcome them. They don't quit easily. Leaders also understand that they are not the center of the universe and act accordingly. They cannot solve everything -- but perhaps the various experts on their team can. The team is their weapon; the power of the team exponentially multiplies the power of individuals," adds Marlin.


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