Thursday, January 18, 2018
For him, there was no fixed watch, no time set aside when he was free to relax and, if he could, to sleep. He was strong, calm, uncomplaining, and wonderfully dependable. That was the sort of captain to have.
- Nicholas Monsaratt, "The Cruel Sea"
- Nicholas Monsaratt, "The Cruel Sea"
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Monday, December 11, 2017
I met with a small group of IDC officers some years back and one of my fellow Captains wanted to make sure all of us understood he was the smartest guy in the room. It wasn't a declarative verbal statement. But, you readily understood his intent. He professed his sincere apologies for arriving late to our meeting. It wasn't long before he made it known that his schedule was way overbooked and he really didn't even have time for the meeting we were currently involved in and he would have to depart early. Thank goodness one of his Sailors brought him his coffee and he had time to take a few sips before he jaunted off for his next meeting for which he was already late. Good thing he was a Captain and those 40 Sailors didn't mind waiting. Quite the busy man.
He wasn't the smartest person in the room, nor was he even the smartest man in the room. Self importance is not a virtue in most environments requiring servant leadership.
Friday, December 1, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
The boss goes first
If you want to build a vibrant organizational culture, or govern with authority, or create a social dynamic that's productive and fair, the simple rule is: the rules apply to people in power before they are applied to those without.
It's easy to rationalize the alternative, to put yourself first. After all, you've somehow earned the authority to make an exception for yourself.
But when we avoid that temptation and expose ourselves to the rules first, obey the rules first and make the sacrifices first, our culture is more likely to stick.
The rules that matter the most are the ones about behavior, transparency and accountability.
People might hear what you say, but they always remember what you do.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Captain Clyde C. Lopez, United States Navy - retired, celebrates his 80th birthday today. This great American enlisted in the Navy in October 1955 and served for 40 years, retiring in 1995.
His illustrious Navy career would fill volumes. It is sufficient to say that he was a Sailor worthy of being called a Shipmate by all who know him.
He was born on this day in 1937 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
Sir, Happy Birthday SHIPMATE !!
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
LCDR Bob Morrison, USN, retired, reported that CTA1 Jerry Oster passed away at 71 years of age on September 26, 2017 in Las Vegas. Jerry was our Admin Chief for several years at Naval Security Group Detachment Atsugi, Japan in the early 1980s. I was saddened to hear that news. He trained some good CTAs who went on to make Chief Petty Officer - CTAC Michael Schuenke and CTAC Frank Zakravsky. May Jerry rest in peace.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Learning is a lifelong process. "Stop learning - stop living" someone wise once told me. First commands offer an incredible and long-lasting learning experience if you really pay attention. I like to think that I did pay attention.
Some of the leadership best practices I picked up from then Captain James S. McFarland (a career long mentor and later-in-life friend):
- When Sailors reported to the command, he wrote letters to the parents letting them know that their son/daughter had arrived safely in a very distant Misawa, Japan and that his officers and Chiefs would take care of them. Commands which make this time are remembered long after the Sailor departs. Some commands have the Department Head or Executive Officer do this.
- Most Sailors were sent to the Naval Air Facility (NAF) Misawa photo lab for their "official Navy photo". Little did the Sailors know that the CO actually sent these photos back to the parents. Captain McFarland also sent a copy of my Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ) photo to my parents, as well - along with a copy of "The Misawan" newspaper's SOQ announcement. Sent in 1979, my family still has these. Getting a photo of their Sailor means a lot to parents. If you doubt it, ask a parent!
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Saturday, November 11, 2017
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.
DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER