Donovan description of the behavior of leaders is not very accurate. I think his ideas that leaders inspire achievement, have integrity, and build good relationships are good descriptions of an ideal leader. However, think some of the traits that he mentions are not good descriptions of a leader, including delivering results, acting strategically, driving excellence, and excelling in customer service. I think these traits are more ideal for a manager to possess. Home Depot is in the business of customer service, so I think the leadership style Home Depot is looking for revolves around a participative leadership style.
The military is in the business of defending the nation, so the leadership style that the military is training for requires and revolves around a directive leadership style (delivering results under pressure or threat). Differences between these two leadership styles include how the manager communicates with and motivates employees, and Home Depot will encounter problems with their ex- military leaders in these aspects. Military leaders are used to making decisions independently and giving orders, but the Home Depot needs leaders who are DOD at listening to customers and subordinates and taking them into account with decisions.
Military leaders also typically motivate a subordinate using threat of punishment, but the Home Depot needs leaders who are good at motivating subordinates using rewards. I think both communication style and motivation techniques are teachable, but Home Depot is taking on extra work by training leaders with an ex-military background. Home Depot will realize several benefits by hiring ex-military offices. First, it is good public relations for their company. The Home Depot will look good o Americans because they the company is helping veterans, which might encourage them to shop there more frequently.
Also, Home Depot will have managers that are generally hard-working, smart, and used to responsibility, which are good traits to have in a manager. As well, the company will be setting up an inclusive environment for their managers, as they all have a common experience to initially connect with one another and bond. This could produce a more cooperative environment in the management ranks. There are special areas that the Store Leadership Program should emphasize n training the Jams due to differences in their past leadership experience and training and the leadership experience needed for the Home Depot setting.
First, the Jams will need training in a more participative or free-reign leadership style because leading in a customer service oriented company will require different skills than the directive leadership learned in the military. They will be surrounded by employees who are more knowledgeable about products and customers than they are, and they cannot be directive in managing them or they sis insulting and alienating the employees. Second, the Jams will need training in positive motivation methods to know how to train and encourage employees in their work.
The military structure of definitive command and subordinates not challenging the higher ranking officials is not valid in the Home Depot setting, and if they are not taught another way to manage, both the Jams and employees will be frustrated. Similarly, the Jams will need training in customer service skills, which includes emotional intelligence. Since the military structure has a GUID authority, there was likely not much need for the Jams to develop strong interpersonal skills, since this was not a requirement for advancement or reward.
Training in customer service and emotional intelligence skills will increase their interpersonal skills, which are important for dealing with customers daily. Finally, the Jams need training in the hardware business. I believe it is important for any manager to be technically competent in their business to better understand the environment in which they need to operate. As well, it will help them earn aspect from employees and customers. For example, I would not respect my boss if thought she had no clue about my work.
A store manager will require different decision-making and interpersonal skills to succeed than a regional or executive-level manager at Home Depot. Store managers will be focused on short-term goals and implementing decisions made by the upper management. This requires a more directive leadership style. However, upper management focuses on long-term goals and directing managers towards those goals. This requires a more participative leadership style.