Monday, June 4, 2012

iLeader - Navy style

Okay, I am going to take some crap for this and some crap is going to be heaped on Commander Sean Heritage for it also.  It doesn't matter.  Pile on.  As my former boss, Hon. Donald H. Rumsfeld said, "If you aren't being criticized, you may not be doing much."

In my estimation, Sean is the epitome of the "iLeader".  The "i" is small for a couple of reasons.  Number 1, it represents how Sean has minimized himself in his leadership approach.  It really is all about the Sailors, Chiefs, officers and civilians at his command.  If you don't believe me, ask them.  The other aspect of the "i" is INTERNET in the same way "i" is represented in Apple products (iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc).  Sean has made the internet a part of his leadership toolbox. 

His first attempt at iLeading was the IWOCM (Information Warfare Officer Community Manager) blog he started in 2007.  Unfortunately, though it was well received and appreciated by many of us, senior IW leadership asked him to take it off line.  Undeterred, Sean associated himself with me (and all the crap that accompanies the association) and mentored a small team that created the IDC Self-synchronization community on the web and in FaceBook.  He's used the INTERNET to associate himself with some of the leading thinkers and doers in the commercial sector with great success.  He provided some of the impetus for the re-engineered IW Community Forum and Leader Blog.  He continues to grow what he refers to as the "Coalition of the Doing" (a link to post is HERE) by directly engaging peers, seniors, and juniors who care enough to collaborate.  So, that makes him an iLeader in my book.
How about you?  Know any iLeaders?  Admiral Stavridis, Captain Michael Junge, CNO is trying with mixed results, LCDR Armstrong and some others.

11 comments:

Justin Rogers ENS, USN (1170) said...

Fellow USNA grad, Hooyah!!!!

Anonymous said...

A leader is a leader. Period.

Anonymous said...

"A leader is a leader. Period"

- True but this statement fails to acknowledge the degrees of leadership ability possessed by the leader. There are clearly strong/weak, inspiring/destructive, good/bad, etc leaders out there.

- Which are you? Clearly Sean Heritage is doing things right at least in the author's eyes and many others including my own.

- What is your leadership legacy that you are leaving behind? That you simply led, or did you have some profound impact on those who work for and with you? Hopefully it's the latter.

Robert Maguire said...

Just another tool in the toolbox. If used wrong, it insulates leaders from their Sailors, rather than bring them together. In my view, nothing beats "leadership by walking around."

Sean Heritage said...

Captain - I do appreciate your continued support and votes of confidence. No doubt I'll be the subject of some healthy ribbing, but it's not a first and I can take it. I agree with Bob Maguire's points. Electronic communication is nothing more than another tool in the toolbox, though it is an underutilized tool by just about every leader. I also share his affinity for "leadership by walking around", though if we are leading only when we are walking around, we are either shirking the other responsibilities we have by not being omnipresent or knowingly missing opportunities to lead. It is important that leaders bring the conversation to the audience and the audience isn't always within our physical reach. I know some embrace the "iLeader" concept yet feel compelled to adhere to the archaic "cascading comms model" whereby they only communicate electronically with direct reports...what a missed opportunity!?!? I look forward to the day when we all have a deliberate "iLeader" component within our toolbox. Though I remain very much in the experimental phase myself, I am happy to help anyone else who might be interested in experimenting together.

Anonymous said...

iLeadership and anything "i" related have their very valid places in our world. That being said, it absolutely infuriates me to see the Navy moving to Facebook as a PRIMARY way of communicating with our Sailors. Recent case in point - when the Master Chief results were released, the MCPONs Facebook page was the first place they were publicly available. It was argued that it was the fastest means to communicate the results to everyone. If that's the case (which unfortunately it is), then we need to fix our own systems! As more and more ships and commands are prohibiting Facebook - as they well should - we will only be communicating to some of our troops - who can connect to Facebook - while leaving everyone else to catch up whenever the Navy means of communication eventually catches up.

Official communication needs to come off of Facebook.

Mike Lambert said...

Anonymous @ 10:04 AM

Agreed. FACEBOOK should, in NO way, be the official means for communicating in our Navy. Take a look at the ALNAVs and NAVADMINs - we can not even write a simple Navy message anymore. Times have changed, processes have changed. We don't seem to be able to do the MOST BASIC things correctly anymore. Sorry so short...I have to run...I am late for my collateral duty meeting.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

The various styles of leadership that many are trying to express these days are a sign of the times and the technology of the day is what drives people to become committed to such ideologies. What disturbs me about this leadership concept you described is the fact that it is referred to as i, and then you defined what this i meant. I understand where you are coming from in respect to what you stated but I certainly do not agree with that approach, to use minimal leadership could be very dangerous, it has been my experience that Sailors need to have strong leadership and guidance by the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Department Heads, Division Officers and Chiefs, anything less than strong leadership can result in chaos, simply because it was allowed to occur for lack of positive leadership from all superiors of the command.

To use the example of Apple as being any part of leadership for the United States is erroneous. We all love the Apple products and I for one have always thought the Mac II was one of the best operating computers available to the public 20 years ago, but the cost of this machine was at least twice or maybe even three times what the equivalent IBM Compatible was in those days. Apple would have ended up a marginal corporation had they not moved all their manufacturing overseas, mainly China, where the labor market was so much cheaper than that of the United States, which allowed Apple to become the largest manufacture in the world. You folks in the IW world should be very aware of what that has allowed China to do, do you really think that China is not stealing all the technology that Apple has created over the years without having to put in all the time consuming research that it would take for them on their own. These previously backward people have been elevated considerably by our manufactures using the cheap labor available and guidance provided by the US Manufactures to become one of the major manufacturing countries in the world, and with the assistance of Apple, and other companies, they will soon be number one in manufacturing in the world. These people even though they have found Capitalism allows them to increase the standard of living for their people they are still Communist and I am sure I do not have to tell you that Chinese Communism states that it cannot exist with any other form of government and must therefore remove that government for them to exist.

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

Anonymous said...

The "i" in iLeader may also send the subliminal message of "I" as in "I, Caesar." Beware the Ides of March and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Mike Lambert said...

Roger that. Let's keep it little "i".

Justin Rogers ENS, USN (1170) said...

Little "i", aye!!!!