Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Excellence in Action

Commander Matt Bonner, Commanding Officer of USS CONSTITUTION in Charlestown, Massachusetts is an awesome example of the model commanding officer described in Navigating A New Course to Command Excellence.

Superior commanding officers focus on the big picture. They set priorities, establish policy, and develop long-range plans. They target only a few key issues at a time. In explaining his priorities, one CO says: "I regularly have captain's call with all paygrades so I can reinforce any points that I want to emphasize. I always talk about combat readiness, safety, and cleanliness. And whenever I ask them what my priorities are, they always tell me, "Readiness, safety, and cleanliness." Once they identify the critical needs of the command and chart a direction, these COs accomplish the command's mission by inspiring others and working through them.

This means that superior COs recognize the importance of their relationships with other people, and they concentrate on developing those relationships within and outside the command.  In dealing with the executive officer, superior COs are concerned not only with immediate issues but with overall progress: they look upon the XO as an assistant, but they know that this assistant is a future CO. Together, they discuss plans and review courses of action, and the CO is especially careful to keep the XO informed of command decisions. Whenever possible, the CO delegates, leaving room for the XO to function independently.

In the same way, the best COs develop their department heads and division officers, delegating work and meeting frequently for planning and review. They monitor morale and try to create a climate of mutual support.

They take an interest in the well-being of their officers and express a willingness to talk about significant personal problems. They pay special attention to first-year officers, making sure they start out on a strong career footing.

With more experienced officers, they provide opportunities for professional development and encouragement to move up through the chain of command.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

No mention of the CMC.......?

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

You're right. There is more to this post if you click on the link and read the rest of the story. Good point!