Thursday, October 28, 2010

Words from a mentor and friend - Admiral James Stavridis

"I loved my English major and it has helped me immensely throughout my career. Every single day I used the skills I acquired in my major to be a better communicator, analyst, and leader. English majors read with a critical and analytical eye; bound across countless situations and worlds in the books they read; and learn in the process an enormous amount about the journey of life. Reading and studying fiction is really like living many, many additional lives.

Every day I wrote something and communicated to my team; every day I had to analyze problems, most often regarding human personality; and every day I used what I learned as a leader. What I discovered reading Hemingway, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Faulkner, Updike, Forester, McCarthy, and countless other authors shaped my world-view and honed my understanding of the most complex terrain in the world – the human heart."


During his days at the United States Naval Academy, Admiral Stavridis was the editor of the Log Magazine and Salty Sam, class of 1976. The editor of the West Point equivalent, The Pointer, was recently retired general and Admiral Stavridis' close friend Stan McChrystal. 


Rubber Ducky said...

I've known Jim since he was a lieutenant and - in concert with guys like Tom Ricks and this blog's owner - I think the world of him. Was pleased to see that he was not harmed by his time as Rumsfeld's military assistant (great job, bozo boss).

Jim's words about words and his example as a wordsmith should be taken to heart by two sets of folks in our Navy, the lamebrains (word chosen deliberately) who cannot write but can draw pretty pictures in .ppt, and those with great ideas but lacking the courage to put their thoughts under their name in Proceedings and other open publications.

I met Jim through his writing and mine, at the Naval Institute. My highest respect for him flows from his willingness to speak out in our professional journal ... since he was a lieutenant.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Rubber Ducky

In ADM Stavridis' first day on the job as SECDEF's senior military assistant, RDML Stavridis and I sat in the chairs along the wall in the SECDEF's conference room during the initial series of Detainee Task Force (Geren-Maples Group as the SECDEF referred to us). The very next day we were back in our chairs along the wall and Jim Stavridis was a 3 star. From 1 to 3 stars in a single day. He never got to wear 2 stars. He is as genuine as the day is long. And we had some very long days working for the SECDEF.