Friday, January 18, 2013

Look backward to see our way ahead

The term leadership can mean the body of doctrine that has been formed in regard to an area of human conduct, or it can refer to the sum of actions employed by one person dealing with others. It is often used as a summary term to describe the level of success of a command, of a unit, or of a person. In this instance achievement of a mission, high state of readiness, and productivity all indicate a high level of leadership, while unsatisfactory or mediocre results indicate poor or average leadership. In other words, from an evaluation of the results, it is possible to reason back to the probability that “leadership” was responsible for the results. Hence, the term “leadership” covers many actions over a period of time.

In the Navy, leadership is the execution of the sum total of the Navy’s laws, regulations, and customs as they govern the relationships of superiors to subordinates. These in turn have been derived from the United States Constitution, our national laws, the missions of our Armed Forces, and the customs and traditions of the Navy. Where the individual naval officer is concerned, “leadership” consists of his development of the human influences surrounding his position through the sum of his beliefs, knowledge and skills. These are, of course, derived from his education, training, and experiences as a member of the United States Navy.

NAVPERS 2932-3 (New 7-62)
The Navy had some very strong and sound leadership programs such as "General Order 21 Leadership in the United States Navy and Marine Corps" from 1 May 1963.  As we move forward, I recommend we take look back five decades and review some of our leadership doctrine - and then move forward.


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