Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Theorists versus leaders

As a corps, the Information Dominance Corps must have its theorists, so must it have its practical leaders - men and women of vision like the theorists, but leaders who concentrate more on action than on agreed principles.

Such leaders are emerging from the shadows.  These are the men and women who realize that the IDC will require an altogether different kind of functional organization and a very different approach to training and education if the IDC is to realize its full potential.

A brief note from the past...such a leader from earlier in the Navy's history saw his place in it and wrote the President of the United States and expressed his ideas with clarity and sincerity.  At the time, his letter was a serious breach of propriety, as it would be today.  But then as now, the Lieutenant, having understood the gravity of his ideas - he took action and changed the Navy's course.  Where are such leaders today? That we must all answer for ourselves.  They exist, I am sure of it.  We must do as VADM Jack Dorsett has instructed, "Let's stop spending time admiring the problems and use our time to solve them." 


Curious said...

Who was the Lieutenant and what did he write the President about?


Anonymous said...

Hallelujah, someone articulated the culture change that the IDC is in drastic need of in a concise manner.

Until we (as I am part of the IDC) stop admiring the grandeur of the problems that we face and start taking deliberate and effective steps to minimize if not eliminate those problems we simply become stewards of the very problem we are to address. This implies a very distinct need from leadership (both senior enlisted to O5-Flag) to accept that they do not have the solution or it would have come to light already; instead, they must seek out those junior folks with ingenuity and forethought to solve pieces of the problem and become stewards of managing the solutions vice the problem.

Good discussion!

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

The Lieutenant was William Snowden Sims. He wrote the President an impassioned letter about needed changes in naval gunnery.

In 1901, at great risk to his career, Sims circumvented his immediate superiors and wrote directly to President Theodore Roosevelt about “the extreme danger of the present very inefficient
condition of the Navy,” emphasizing the glaring deficiencies of American battleships and the need
for more accurate firepower. Roosevelt thanked Sims for the letter and encouraged him to continue offering suggestions. Sims was able to implement some of his ideas for reform, especially in the area of gunnery, while serving as inspector of target practice in the Navy’s Bureau of Navigation from 1902 to 1909. He trained officers and gun crews in a new gun control method called “continuous aim firing,” adapting the techniques of British officer Percy Scott and achieving significant improvements in firing speed and accuracy. He also served as President
Roosevelt’s naval aide from 1907 to 1909.

Anonymous said...

A couple comments on this situation. 1. Roosevelt and Sims had a relationship that pre-dated TR becoming president. Roosevelt had been Asst SECNAV and knew Sims from those days. So, it is not as if Sims launched a letter into the blind. 2. In 1902 the president of the US probably had fewer door guards and information stranglers than VADM Dorsett has today.
But, the premise is correct. The navy has created various staffs, flag billets, and untold distruption and turmoil trying to do something in the C2W, IO, IW, Cyber world, not sure what.

Sean Heritage said...

@Anonymous 0936 - Please send me a note so we can work together to act upon the very message you eloquently shared in your comment. Happy to champion meaningful action WITH you. Commenting on a blog is a step in the right direction, but remains in the "problem admiration" category. Let's turn the corner...

Rubber Ducky said...

This charge was levied against George III in the Declaration of Independence. Something in this thread brings it to mind:

"He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."