Saturday, August 9, 2014
Advice for the Commanding Officer
Here is some advice that will help you avoid a few other mistakes that new Commanding Officers are often prone to make due to inexperience.
• Do not pretend to know everything. If you think you know all the answers—you simply haven’t heard (or asked) all the questions yet.
• Do not make new policy statements arbitrarily to assert your authority. Do not do anything arbitrarily; think about how your people will perceive the new policy.
• Do not alienate everyone with such statements as “I’m going to make this a first-class command.” It might already be.
• Do not make snap decisions. Ask your staff for their advice and involve them in the decision-making process whenever possible. This is an especially useful technique for dealing with disciplinary problems; have the supervisor recommend what to do about a troublesome Sailor or civilian. In any case, if you really involve your people and listen to them, it’s almost guaranteed that you will learn more from them than they will learn from you.
• Use all available talent to help you. Recognize expertise where you find it. The “expert” at fixing some specific problem may be the lowest ranking Sailor in the command. Remember, you cannot possibly accomplish the mission alone!