How serving in the military helped this CEO make better business decisions


From Business Insider

Bandwidth CEO David Morken isn’t afraid to make tough calls.

During his time in the Marine Corps, Morken says he learned to make crucial decisions quickly and without access to perfect information. He feels that skill has helped him keep his Internet and phone services company competitive today, and avoid the common pitfall of “analysis paralysis.”

“Analysis paralysis is where you wait too long for information out of fear, where you hesitate,” Morken tells Business Insider. “So many leaders fail for not being decisive. And I think you can overly weigh information.”

Bandwidth CEO David Morken

Morken estimates he makes most of his decisions with just 20% of the information he would ideally want to know. But that’s nothing new to him.

“In the Marine Corps, you basically are trained to operate in the fog and to execute and decisively engage when you don’t have access to a complete data set,” he explains.

Morken founded his company 15 years ago and says he’s learned a lot along the way. Beyond his takeaways from military service, he says one of the biggest lessons he’s learned about leadership is the value of giving free license to his employees.

“I am fond of saying that my job is to give red meat to young lions, which is to say that creating an opportunity and defining an objective and then getting out of the way is a practice that is super important to me and to our team,” he says.