Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Think this may be the last post

40 years ago today I began my Navy adventure.  It has been awesome being a part of that.  I think this will be my last post on the blog.  I do reserve the right to change my mind.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What can be more important?


"Mike,

Thanks for your continuing engagement on the vital issue of leadership -- at the end of the day, what can be more important to our Navy and our nation?"

Admiral James Stavridis

Friday, July 10, 2015

Because I said I would


THIS is powerful.  A really meaningful post by my Shipmate Captain Sean Heritage..  Pleased to be in his circle of trust.

And the website for "because I said I would" is HERE.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Boxing the compass

Most of us have come to understand that leadership is about character, not characteristics.  We know what our values are and sometimes struggle to stay true to those values when we see that our seniors continue to progress while not demonstrating that same strict adherence to our Navy core values.  

Some in our community have found strength in maintaining their 'true North' by creating something they have called their personal "Board of Directors" (BoD).  Entrepreneur Bill George has a decent book out called TRUE NORTH GROUPS.  He knows that, with the challenges we face these days, we require additional help to stay on track.  We cannot rely on just ourselves or our commands to help us stay on track.  We need Shipmates in 'our circle of trust'  with whom we can have in-depth discussions and share intimately about the most cherished things in our lives and careers while we serve our country around the world.  

Whatever you choose to call it, you need to have Shipmates you can count on in the toughest of times - the people who will follow-through on things 'because they said they would.'

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's personal

It may seem nostalgic, but I still believe there’s room for the handwritten note in personal and professional communication. They cost something, mean something, and have permanence in a way emails and text messages don’t. They let the people in our lives know we appreciate them enough to do something as archaic as pausing for 15 minutes to put pen to paper in an attempt to connect and sustain a relationship with them. I still remember that note — and many others I’ve received over the years — and perhaps in writing personal notes to our friends and colleagues, we can reach out to others in a way that creates a lasting, positive connection.
 
Try it, you may like it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

10000 hour rule

Malcolm Gladwell's latest book OUTLIERS talks about what separates the stars from everyone else. It isn't raw talent. It is sheer persistence--those who practiced harder did better, and those who practiced insanely hard became wildly successful.  Can the same be applied to Naval leadership?
        
Gladwell dubs this phenomenon the "10,000-hour rule." I think this can be applied equally to leadership. Becoming truly great at anything -- (leadership included) -- requires ten years of experience and 1,000 hours of practice per year. "Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness," he argues.

Becoming a leader requires "deliberate practice."

What are the elements of 'deliberate practice'? It's designed explicitly to improve performance -- the little adjustments that make a big difference. It's repetitive, which means that when it's time to perform for real, you don't feel the pressure. It's informed by continuous feedback; practicing leadership only works if you can see how you're improving.

Bits and pieces paraphrased (and others cut and pasted) from HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW.

Monday, July 6, 2015

We have a duty to remember - 8 years ago today

CTT1 (SW) Steven Daugherty was born on 16 May 1979 in Apple Valley. No one thought he would leave this earth before he was 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years old. But, the young man is gone. Gone, but not forgotten. No. Not by a long shot.

He was from Barstow, California and really never intended to join the Navy. He was a student in my schoolhouse at the Naval Center for Cryptology at Corry Station, Pensacola. We had about 8000 students graduate in a year. So, I can't say that I even recall who he was. That won't keep me from remembering him.

After his time at Corry, he served in the typical billets of our young Petty Officers. He went to sea and advanced reasonably quickly. While at Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk he became interested in the SEALs and qualified to deploy to a U.S. Navy SEAL team operating in Iraq. He advanced to Petty Officer First Class (E-6) at a pretty good pace.

On 6 July 2007 (my daughter's birthday) he was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device (IED).

We can argue about whether Steven Daugherty was a hero or not. We can't argue about his patriotism. There is no doubting that.

Obituary:  CTT1 (SW) Steven Phillip Daugherty, USN, 28, passed away July 6, 2007, on duty in Baghdad, Iraq. He was born May 16, 1979, in Apple Valley. Besides his love for the Navy, he enjoyed playing his guitar and spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Lydia Daugherty of Barstow; a son, Steven P. Daugherty Jr. of Tacoma, Washington; two brothers, Robert Daugherty of Omaha, Nebraska, and Richard Daugherty of Colorado Springs, Colorado; a sister, Kristine Daugherty of Killeen, Texas; and his grandmother, Pearl Watkins of Yermo. A graveside service with full military honors was conducted in Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday, July 24, 2007, at 10 a.m.

Navy Dedicates Premiere Joint Warfare Lab to Honor Sailor Killed by IED
Story Number: NNS090529-25
Release Date: 5/29/2009 4:24:00 PM

By Troy Clarke, Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Public Affairs

NORCO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy dedicated the latest addition to the nation's premiere Joint Warfare Assessment Laboratory at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona May 28 at a ceremony to honor a Sailor killed by an improvised explosive device.

The Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center, a 39,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art center, bears the name of Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Steven Phillip Daugherty and commemorates the work NSWC Corona is doing to combat the IED threat that killed Daugherty July 6, 2007.

"The Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center nearly doubles Corona's secure analysis and assessment area and significantly enhances our ability to do collaborative performance assessment," said NSWC Corona Commanding Officer Capt. Rob Shafer to the overflow crowd of more than 450 attendees. "It will stand as an ever-present reminder of Steven - and to every Sailor, Soldier, Airman, and Marine who has given their life in defense of this country. This dedication commemorates his sacrifice and recognizes the groundbreaking work NSWC Corona is doing to help combat the threat of IEDs against our armed forces."

Daugherty's parents, Tom and Lydia, attended the dedication ceremony with one of their sons, Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Daugherty. Each of the four Daugherty children has served in the armed forces, and two are currently in the air force.

"Steven was proud to serve his country," said his mother Lydia. "He took pride in his work and always did the best he could."

Daugherty recently received one of the nation's top awards in the intelligence community for his bravery and contribution to cryptology.

"It was an honor for the Intelligence Community to bestow one of its highest awards on Steven – the National Intelligence Medal for Valor – in deep appreciation for his example of courage," said Dennis C. Blair, director of National Intelligence, about the dedication. "It is entirely fitting that the Department of the Navy has honored the memory of Cryptologi[c] Technician Tactical First Class (SW) Steven P. Daugherty by giving his name to its new Assessment Center at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division."

"To the elite Corona engineers, I say this: As you go about your good work supporting the men and women in uniform, may this building serve as an ever-present reminder, a monument to heroes, named after Steven Daugherty, our hero," said Senior Executive Dr. William Luebke, NSWC Corona's incoming technical director. "Never forget how important the work we do here is for them fighting over there. For truth in performance means dominance on the battlefield. It is our mission, it is our purpose, it is our calling."

U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, whose congressional district encompasses NSWC Corona, and Col. Tom Magness, Los Angeles district commander for the Army Corps of Engineers, also spoke at the ceremony. Magness served as the senior engineer trainer of the National Training Center Sidewinder team at Fort Irwin, Calif., when he worked with Corona analysts on counter-IED efforts.

In addition to supporting counter-IED efforts, the Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center greatly enhances NSWC Corona's ability to support key national missions. With it, NSWC Corona can provide Strike Group interoperability assessment needed to certify ships for deployment; provide critical flight analysis for all Navy surface missile systems; and provide performance assessment of Aegis and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships throughout their entire lifecycle. NSWC Corona can also centralize, process, and distribute the Navy's combat and weapon system data on one of the largest classified networks in the Department of Defense.

Following the dedication, the Daugherty family toured the facility and learned how Corona analysts are helping defeat the threat that killed their son and brother.

"He would have been very humbled by it all," Daugherty's mother said about the building dedication. "He would have said he was just doing his job."

Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona is the Navy's only independent assessment agent and is responsible for gauging the warfighting capability of ships and aircraft, analyzing missile defense systems, and assessing the adequacy of Navy personnel training. The base is home to three premiere national laboratories and assessment centers, the Joint Warfare Assessment Lab, the Measurement Science and Technology Lab, and the Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center, which are instrumental in fulfilling NSWC Corona's mission and supporting the nation's armed forces.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Admiral Ernest J. King advocated for more communication


When Sailors are aware and understand where their command is going, and WHY; when they understand their role, and WHY their contribution is vitally important; when they have the assets, resources, training and direction they need; when they are truly empowered, then they will do the right things for the right reasons at the right times. And, you can follow your people to achieve your vision.

The challenge for leadership is to see where the command needs to go, and WHY. Leadership needs to communicate that vision to the Sailors with sound and rational reasoning, and communicate it so that the Sailors will ardently want to move the command, transform it if need be, from where it is today to what it needs to be to serve the Navy and the Nation best. Then, we won’t need to tell Sailors what to do. They’ll know. They’ll believe it. And, they’ll do it without being pushed because they believe and know it’s the right thing to do.

Can you do that much for our Sailors?  If not, step aside Shipmate.  Other leaders are ready to fulfill that responsibility with gusto.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Integrity = Peace of Mind

Personal integrity leads to peace of mind, personal worth, and intrinsic security. The leader must always work from an ethical base; the art of leadership depends on value judgments. The leader’s personal ability to discriminate between right and wrong may be the only resource at his disposal. Time may not permit him to consult with others. He must stand up for his beliefs, even if he stands alone.

The expedient and the right courses of action may coincide; if not, the leader must choose and we must prepare him for his choice by reinforcing, throughout his career, the ethical base as the source of his decisions.

Admiral C.A.H. Trost

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Executive Officer's role in Command Excellence

Commander Andy Reeves, XO NIOC Yokosuka Japan
As the next ranking line officer ashore, the Executive Officer (XO) serves as the aide or “executive” to the Commanding Officer (CO). As such, the XO is the direct representative of the CO in maintaining the general efficiency of the command. With the assistance of the heads of departments, the XO arranges and coordinates all command’s work, drills, exercises, personnel organization, and the policing and inspection of the command.

The XO investigates matters affecting the discipline and conduct of the crew and makes recommendations concerning these matters to the CO. The XO usually approves or disapproves liberty lists and leave requests. If the XO is unable to carry out the duties of the office, the next senior line officer assigned to the normally assumes the duties.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Commanding Officer's role in Command Excellence

Commander Mike Elliot, CO NIOC Yokosuka Japan
The CO in a superior command:

Targets Key Issues 
Gets Crew to Support Command Philosophy 
Develops XO 
Staffs to Optimize Performance 
Gets Out and About 
Builds Esprit de Corps 
Keeps His Cool 
Develops Strong Wardroom 
Values Chiefs Quarters 
Ensures Training Is Effective 
Builds Positive External Relationships 
Influences Successfully

Superior commanding officers focus on the big picture. They set priorities, establish policy, and develop long-range plans. They target only a few key issues at a time. In explaining his priorities, one CO says: "I regularly have captain's call with all paygrades so I can reinforce any points that I want to emphasize. I always talk about combat readiness, safety, and cleanliness. And whenever I ask them what my priorities are, they always tell me, "Combat readiness, safety, and cleanliness." Once they identify the critical needs of the command and chart a direction, these COs accomplish the command's mission by inspiring others and working through them.

This means that superior COs recognize the importance of their relationships with other people, and they concentrate on developing those relationships within and outside the command.

In dealing with the executive officer, superior COs are concerned not only with immediate issues but with overall progress: they look upon the XO as an assistant, but they know that this assistant is a future CO. Together, they discuss plans and review courses of action, and the CO is especially careful to keep the XO informed of command decisions. Whenever possible, the CO delegates, leaving room for the XO to function independently.

In the same way, the best COs develop their department heads and division officers, delegating work and meeting frequently for planning and review. They monitor morale and try to create a climate of mutual support. They take an interest in the well-being of their officers and express a willingness to talk about significant personal problems. They pay special attention to first-year officers, making sure they start out on a strong career footing. With more experienced officers, they provide opportunities for professional development and encouragement to move up through the chain of command.

Superior commanding officers are also sensitive to the role of chiefs and the chiefs quarters: It is the chiefs, they say, who "run the ship," who have that combination of management know-how and hands-on experience needed to keep the command's systems running smoothly and crew members working efficiently. As one CO put it, "The chiefs are the eyes and ears of the squadron. They're here all the time and know what's going on. I'd be a fool not to listen to them." These COs expect their chiefs to be involved in all phases of running the command, and they make sure the chief's role is respected.

Top COs know how to balance overlapping demands. They show great interest in and concern for their subordinates, yet they refuse to micromanage, to be constantly looking over people's shoulders to see what they're up to. By frequently getting out and about, these COs can express their interest in their personnel and get a feel for how things are going in their command. One CO states: "I've got a personal goal of seeing three people a day and just walking around and asking people, 'How's it going?' "

Much of leadership and management is influence, and superior COs are masters of influence. They know how to get people to do what they want them to do and to like it. A common trait of these COs is that they keep their cool; they are not screamers. But they do have a repertoire of influence strategies that they choose according to the situation and personalities involved. At one time, they may use reason and facts; at another, a judicious display of emotion and a loud voice. These COs know how to push the right buttons to get their people to make sacrifices and work exceptionally hard.

These COs have high standards, too. They want to be the best and they want their personnel to take pride in themselves, in the command, and in the U.S. Navy. They realize that without high morale, teamwork, and pride,  they cannot achieve and maintain top-flight performance. They also know that achieving their high standards requires high quality training, so they insist on training that is both realistic and practical.

Top COs know how to develop a superior command and how to convey the image of that success to important outsiders. They develop networks that provide essential data and support; they get help from their squadron or wing staff when preparing for inspections; and they aggressively seek out the most qualified personnel, necessary resources, and good schedules. As a result, they are often more successful than average commands in getting these things.

Not all the COs in outstanding units write out their command philosophy, but it is clear that they all have such a philosophy, that they are successful at communicating it, and that they persuade the crew to buy into it. They tell people how they want the command to operate and they set an example themselves. This results in high morale, commitment, and trust.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One thing and another

Knowing is one thing; understanding is another.  We live in a world where we have so much disinformation at our fingertips that it's just too easy to get it wrong. You know?