Friday, September 18, 2009

Robert P. Burke - 2005 VADM James Bond Stockdale Inspirational Leadership Award Winner

Robert P. Burke told me that .. "the three main contributors to earning this great honor:

- The ship was not performing or running well when my tour began. We borrowed heavily from our waterfront peers, rebuilt almost every program from the ground up using what we begged, borrowed and shared those 'best of breed' ideas/programs/successes with our waterfront peers.

- As the crew got its rhythm, and partly due to where we were in the operational/deployment cycle, and a little bit out of plain luck, we were able to maintain our readiness to go to sea on short notice. We got ahead in our maintenance at every opportunity, and as a result, when another ship had a readiness issue, I was able to raise my hand and suggest HAMPTON take the mission. We did that over and over again.

- We cross-decked at every opportunity, taking Sailors from other ships to sea with us, sending ours to other ships, inviting them to do the same for us. This allowed us to share our standards, best practices and methods for self-improvement with our waterfront peers, while gaining the same in return from them.

The final and most important element of this though, was setting, articulating and enforcing standards. Making your expectations known, praising those who upheld them, and visibly (not necessarily negatively) holding those who did not uphold the standards accountable - that really helped make the leadership by example a reality."

His Sailors won the Battle E, Tactical T, Engineering E (every year), Comms C and Supply E.

Captain Robert P. Burke is the officer on the right in the photo.


Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the fellow that relieved Burke on the Hampton didn't keep to the score that Burke laid out. He, CDR Portland, was relieved for cause after it was discovered that so of the crew were not adhering to standards regarding record keeping and nuclear maintenance. It was a rapid slide from the peak of performance to nearly losing the keys to the tea kettle. Amazing what one single CO can do to a crew.


karim said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Karim - Positive thinking

Mike Lambert said...

Captain Robert Burke was recently selected for promotion to Rear Admiral. No surprise there. From CDR to Flag in 7 years is a pretty good run.

Anonymous said...

I worked for him at USFF and he is a fantastic officer and human being. He left there in 2013 as a RDML (sel), and just took command of the BUREAU as a VADM. Well played Navy.