BTU #77 – Michael Freed: 10 Years on Submarines to President at Mirion Technologies

“I started to try and reverse what I had been doing already, which was complaining with everyone else. And I started to notice that I was able to develop a presence, because I had been there before. That case team might as well have been trying to fix some pump in the engineroom on a submarine on mission. People were frustrated that they were there and that things weren’t going the way that they wanted. That lesson I think helped me get promoted faster at Bain, because I started to lead teams outside of the reporting structure. I was able to  a mature force on the team and help drive attitude before I was able to add value at a leadership level.”
– Michael Freed

Mike is the President of the Health Physics Division at Mirion Technologies, a provider of radiation detection & monitoring products and services to the nuclear power, medical, military and homeland security markets. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he as an officer in the Navy for ten years, serving on submarines and on the Chief of Naval Operations personal staff. After the Navy he received his MBA from the Darden School of Business, after which he worked at Bain & Company for nearly six years as a Principal.

The top two reasons to listen to today’s show are:

  1. Consulting – Mike spent six years in consulting with Bain & Company and has mentored many veterans who have worked in consulting. He’s got great advice on managing one’s career, a typical career progression within Bain, mistakes that he made, and more.
  2. leadership – Mike talks about how w/in consulting, veterans are often frustrated that they start out as an individual contributor rather than a manager, which more closely matches their previous military experience. He talks about how you have the ability ability to lead – in any organization – no matter what your role is, and has a lot of great insights on taking care of your team, challenging your people, and utilizing your best leadership skills from the military in your civilian career.
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Selected Links

  • Mike’s current company is Mirion Technologies
  • Mike worked at Bain & Company as a Management Consultant, and highly recommends Bain as a great company for veterans
  • Tim Ferriss’ podcast – this is actually the show that I based Beyond the Uniform on; each week Tim meets with top experts to “deconstruct” what has made them succeed
  • The Wall Street Journal – Mike reads the front page every day to stay abreast of the latest events
  • Utility Dive – a summary of the utility space where you can pick and choose your articles to stay on top of the latest in this industry

Show Notes

  • 2:30 – Mike’s Background
  • 3:11 – The point at which Mike knew he was going to leave submarines and the Navy and how he approached this decision
  • 4:33 – How Mike chose business school over going directly into industry and advice for veterans struggling with this decision
  • 5:41 – What lead Mike to Bain & Company and the world of consulting
  • 7:43 – What sorts of projects Mike worked on while he was at Bain & Company
  •  10:03 – How the frequency of movement within consulting companies keeps you constantly learning and growing
  • 11:45 – Mike’s career progression within Bain & Company, and how both his titles and day-to-day work shifted with each progression
  • 15:08 – For a veteran starting a career in consulting, how to best utilize the first 90 days of their job
  • 19:55 – A mistake Mike made while at Bain & Company and what he learned from it
  • 23:10 – What brought Mike to Mirion Technologies from Bain & Company
  • 26:30 – An overview of Mirion Technologies
  • 28:15 – What Mike’s day-to-day life looks like for Mike as a President at Mirion Technologies
  • 30:44 – How leadership outside of the military has differed from leadership within the military
  • 37:18 – Resources Mike would recommend to veteran listeners
  • 40:18 – Mike’s final words of wisdom