Saturday, July 19, 2008

NAVY LEADERSHIP: Is Something Missing?

The Navy of today and tomorrow must consider:
1. Crisply, clearly, and completely detailing exactly what the Navy embraces as "NAVY" leadership values, principles, and skills. This cannot, in whole or part, be a system of principles or practices that Navy personnel perceive to be a prepackaged system offered by the leadership guru currently in vogue. It will not work. Core principles and skills require only infrequent modification. When change is indicated, it should be undertaken.

2. Imposing acceptance of values, principles and skills as a condition of service. Like other services, they should be institutionalized. There are many facets of Naval Service that are compulsory. The practice of basic leadership values and principles should be one of these. Today it is not. Imposing acceptance of a "Navy" leadership program may be the most difficult task facing Navy's strategic leaders, because it runs counter to the cultural norm of the independence of command.

3. Training and educating all service personnel throughout their careers. Leadership is not inherited. Today's schedule of training courses and ones being planned for the forthcoming changes to Navy leadership training (The Leadership Continuum) simply are not acceptable. People will not internalize the Navy leadership program unless they feel the Navy leaders' commitment to it throughout their service.

4. Measuring and rewarding superior leadership performance. What isn't measured and rewarded, isn't done! The strongest signal the Navy can send to its leaders regarding their leadership performance is that it determines the outcomes of their careers. Measuring and rewarding leadership performance will prove difficult. It may be time for the Navy to consider alternative forms of performance evaluation--possibly peer and subordinate evaluations or maybe the application of leadership trait testing instruments.

Captain Allan A. Banghart
United States Navy
Executive Research Project while a student in 1995 at The Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.


d a morton said...

I really enjoy reading your leadership posts. Although, it seems that your target audience is the Navy the commentary applies broadly. What you are talking about is creating and cementing a system that works as opposed to the concept of the day that we see in so many places. I had dinner with a client just last night and we discussed the same thing in an entirely different context. He was looking at how we could get tasks done while I was talking about how he could systematize the process so he would not have to deal with the tasks. Here,here, thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...


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Source: Performance evaluation forms

Best regards