Saturday, June 1, 2013

Words from Jitter at Information Warriors


As I get ready to start terminal leave after 25 years of service in the CT/IW community I wanted to write a few parting words to the people that are just starting out or have been in for awhile. While I have long and diverse background there are several tenets that have made me successful. By no means is this a complete list and I welcome an additional item that you might like to pass on.

#1 Know that we are making a difference! Time and time again the support we provide has saved lives and has guided our countries leaders (big and small) in their decision making. Our product is not always perfect but it provides a valuable insight that no one else has. Our triumphs greatly outweigh our failures.

#2 Take advantage of what is offered to you. College, certifications, classes, advanced training... one day when you separate your hard work in your education will come in handy for your next position, whatever that may be. Also, make sure your people do the same.

#3 Know your job! No matter what is dealt to you become the expert at it. You might not like the crummy shop you are in or the product it produces but, your boss does not care. The CO has a mission to complete and your job is part of that mission. By not embracing your job you are not supporting the CO.

#4 Have fun! Most of us forget to do this (including me). There is no specific way to do it but you need to have a fun factor and so do your people. For everyone's sanity find a way to have some fun on the job.

#5 Know your people. Can you, right now name how many of your people are married? Spouses names? Kids? Career goals? I bet some folks can't even name who works for them. Trust me it makes a difference to them and it helps you when you're doing a little bit of walking around to see and talk to them (I hope you're doing this).

#6 Make a decision. Get all the info you need to be informed but don’t sit on a decision. It drives your people nuts and makes you look bad. If you have to wait to get more info be sure they know what's going on.

#7 Hold people accountable. This includes yourself and your personnel. Set goals and dates, if they are not met find out why? Your process could come to a halt if goals have no meaning or accountability. This does not mean you have to do it yourself but, you should know the status of goals. Asking for a status and providing guidance is not micromanaging. Let's face it you and your people will make mistakes, that’s fine learn from them and move on but be accountable and admit mistakes. You need to tell your boss the truth (see #9). If you are the boss do not blow up at your people when they make mistakes, this will only drive them way. If you can't get your point across without yelling then learn how to. Yes you might be angry but don’t take it out on your personnel, find another relieve valve (PT).

#8 Support your boss. You are doing no one any favors by being a "yes man". Tell them your thoughts and provide guidance but, remember at the end of the day they are accountable for the decision that is made. If it different then your guidance you need to be supportive of the decision made. Should never utter the words "I told the CO he was wrong but he did what he wanted to do anyways". You are not always privy to all the information that goes into the decision.

#9 Always be aboveboard. Never ever take advantage of a perk that your people do not have. Never give some the chance to smear your name or suspect improprieties. Treat the people's money with respect and insure it is handled properly. Don’t be overly familiar with junior personnel it can only lead to trouble. Tell the truth, even if it means a lot of pain. I have found that sometimes doing the right thing is not that easy, but it is the right thing to do. Know that at the end of the day you can look at yourself in the mirror.

#10 Be a mentor. One day you will separate or retire. What will be your legacy? Pass on your knowledge and experiences. Don’t let others make the same mistakes you have. Help them to succeed.

The Navy and the CT/IW community has changed a lot over the past 25 years. But I can honestly say it is poised for even further success as we move forward in dominating today's global challenges. Now get out there and make a difference! Your country and your people are depending on you!

P.S. Used without Jitter's permission.


Anonymous said...

Dude, (jitter)

I don't know who you are but I know you wrote this for Captain JFK in Hawaii:

"If you are the boss do not blow up at your people when they make mistakes, this will only drive them way. If you can't get your point across without yelling then learn how to."

Thanks man. It needed to be said. We've complained to some of our mentors about him but you put it out there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your 25 years of service and leadership Jitter!

Anonymous said...

Good decision! Fair winds...

Anonymous said...

Agreed, great decision to post these tips !!

Anonymous said...

de 7:12 lol. You of all people know that that was not the decision that I was referencing.

Anonymous said...

What's the story behind JFK in Hawaii? His wife is so beautiful, sweet and nice so maybe they compliment each other.

Anonymous said...

anonymous @3Jun 0700

His ex wife is sweet and beautiful

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Here's where you publish the "Treat this as fiction unless you have reason to feel otherwise." piece. Or, more prudently, stop posting things that go down this personal line.

Mike Lambert said...

Anon @ June 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

What do you want me to treat as fiction? Jitter? Or the follow-on comments?

Anonymous said...

A while ago I sent you an offline comment that began "Treat this as fiction unless you have reason to feel otherwise" on SNO. If you are goin to let this go down the personal route you may as well post that...

Mike Lambert said...

I still don't understand the "treat as fiction" piece.