If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Charles Hale on Turning Points

One turning point occurred quite early, when I decided to compete for a naval ROTC scholarship at Stanford. Upon graduation I found myself, at age 21, onboard ship and responsible for 35 men, many nearly twice my age. Over the ensuing three years, I discovered that I had both a desire and some aptitude for molding, leading, and inspiring others. This, together with a strong love for investing, caused me, upon leaving the Navy, to opt for business school and ultimately a career in finance.

My naval experience led me to the firm belief that most young men, if presented with the opportunity of military service — preferably in peacetime and as an officer — should grab the opportunity to gain leadership experience early in life.

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