Three reasons veterans excel at McKinsey

McKinsey & Company | November 11, 2019

When military professionals begin their lives as civilians, the transition is not always easy. It’s difficult to find the same sense of comradery, meaningful work, and values-based culture in another organization.

McKinsey, however, has always been passionate about recruiting and retaining veterans. They are sharp problem-solvers who are energized by serving others and working in teams. Our founder, James O. McKinsey, fought in the US Army in World War I. Former managing partner, Ron Daniel, served in the US Navy. Now, nearly 300 veterans of the US military and forces in more than a dozen countries worldwide call McKinsey home. Here are the top three parallels between McKinsey and the military, which help veterans at the firm to feel comfortable and to succeed:

1. McKinsey’s values shape our culture and decisions

When Alejandra started as an associate general counsel in Boston, she knew she was joining an organization of intelligent, successful, and talented individuals. She did not anticipate how strong McKinsey’s commitment to its values really is: “Values were central to my former life as a US Naval officer. ‘Honor, Courage, and Commitment;’ ‘Ship, Shipmate, Self’ were the creeds that guided every action, big or small. Just as in the Navy, McKinsey’s values have guided my decisions at the firm. We are in client service, which can lead to high-pressure, time-sensitive activities that require excellence. Using our values as a guide and working with values-driven teammates has enabled professionalism, even in challenging situations. McKinsey even hosts an annual Values Day during which operations shut down and firm members reflect on and recommit to our shared values.”

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By MIT Sloan CDO
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