Sunday, December 30, 2012

Navy commands that stand out - some observations

Stand-out commands are those that focus on meaningful contact with their Sailors at every opportunity. These contacts, be they at routine events such as morning quarters or engagements by officers and Chief Petty Officers out and about on the deck-plates, where candid, meaningful and two-way conversation with Sailors can take place, are where trust is built. 

Too often we see command communications devolve to impersonal, and very imperfect, forms of contact, devoid of the context that can only come from face-to-face communications. Always be on the look-out for the opportunity to look your Sailors in the eye and engage them on the issues important to you and to them. Always be ready for the opportunity to build and sustain trust with those you lead. 

Another common denominator found at successful commands is a commanding officer and command team that holds themselves, and their Sailors, accountable to established Navy standards as they fulfill their responsibilities. Human contact builds trust, accountability sustains trust. When trust and accountability are institutionalized in the daily routine of a command, the result is usually long-term success. When accountability is not strictly enforced, the command and control structure, which is held together by trust, falls apart and the command eventually fails.

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