Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Role of The Crew in Command Excellence
It is the crew, led by the officers and Chiefs, who must ultimately accomplish the command's mission. The crew is where "the keel meets the water." Without a top-performing crew, no command can be successful.
Commanding Officers of superior commands are particularly adept at molding their crew into a highly unified, spirited, fighting team with a laser-like focus: accomplishing the command's mission. When asked, these crews can not only clearly describe the command's philosophy and goals, but they also voice wholehearted support of the CO and his approach. Because the CO, XO, officers, and Chiefs frequently explain what they want done and why, the crew knows what is expected of them and feels a part of the team. The result is enthusiasm, motivation, and pride in the command. These crews often praise their CO with the ultimate accolade: "I'd go to war with him." In average commands, the crew may not be sure of the command's philosophy or may withhold their total support of it.
The crew in superior commands also live up to the high standards demanded by their officers and Chiefs. They know that when they succeed, they will be recognized and rewarded; equally well, they know that when they make mistakes, they will be told and corrective action taken. Their commitment to upholding the command's standards generates a strong sense of responsibility for their individual work areas. They act on the principle that if you're going to do something, then do it right, and do it right the first time.
Crew members of superior commands realize that success depends on a team effort. They don't act or do their jobs in disregard of the rest of the command. They communicate frequently, coordinate activities, and help each other out when necessary. In addition, they are careful about following the chain of command. They know that violating it disrupts teamwork, creates confusion, hurts morale, and hinders leadership.