After-Action Report: RVM #47 with Dennis Haley

Many thanks to RINGKNOCKER Sponsor Dennis Haley (USNA ’67) for his presentation last night on Academy Leadership!

The Academy Leadership story is interesting on two levels.

First, it is a great example of what we as military officers do best: we recognize a problem, and then we solve it by marshalling people around it and then applying smart leadership to bring their talents to bear. But an interesting twist is that the problem Dennis recognized was the absence of that very leadership in many mid-sized corporations.

They have talented people. They have resources to solve their own problems. They just don’t know how to get all the talented people to line all the resources up in the same direction.

Academy Leadership has spent twenty years developing a corporate leadership playbook based on bedrock concepts taught at the Naval Academy and West Point, then refining it against an impressive list of firms deploying hundreds or thousands of people to do real things in the real world. The result is an inventory of information products that deliver serious ROI by building cohesion and alignment up and down the client firm’s chain of command.

This is leverage in action, and it’s instructive.

The second point of interest is Academy Leadership’s delivery model: it’s a franchise. Academy Leadership’s playbook is founded on core military leadership principles, so Dennis and his team seek practitioners who have lived the model: military experience and philosophical alignment are a must. Beyond that, an Academy Leadership franchise is surprisingly accessible, and the support they provide is extensive. The royalty structure Dennis shared last night made it clear that Academy Leadership is playing the long game: they want successful franchisees delivering their message to happy clients, and are confident in revenue at scale.

So a great set of ideas to think about, a strong example to follow, and a solid business opportunity for the right candidate. That’s a good Meetup! 😀

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