Friday, February 29, 2008

Another good VADM Stockdale quote

“In order to do something, you must be something.”

VADM J. B. Stockdale

Commander's Authority

Any commander who fails to exceed his authority is not of much use to his subordinates.
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke

Admiral Burke - on leadership

Leadership is understanding people and involving them to help you do a job. That takes all of the good characteristics, like integrity, dedication of purpose, selflessness, knowledge, skill, implacability, as well as determination not to accept failure.
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

VADM James Bond Stockdale Quote

Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and most tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.

VADM James Bond Stockdale
Military Ethics
“Machiavelli, Management, and Moral Leadership.” 1987

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Navy Captains

“A Captain of the Navy ought to be a man of Strong and well-connected Sense with a tolerable education, a Gentleman as well as a Seaman both in Theory and Practice.”

Admiral John Paul Jones
19 May 1776

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Real Navy

Just updated

Just awarded the 2008 RADM James S. McFarland NJROTC Scholarship fund to a small group of Pamlico County High School seniors in Bayboro, North Carolina. They will make a trip to Marion Military Institute to see what the school offers in terms of a college education. This allows 4 or 5 students to benefit from the scholarship as opposed to a single winner. Seven NJROTC cadets have benefitted from the scholarhip thus far.

LCDR Frank Starr is doing a super job with the NJROTC cadets there at Pamlico.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Five Deadly Sins of Leadership

- Career-First Orientation

- Intolerance of Dissent

- Substitution of Politics for Principle

- Rhetoric for Reality

- Obsession with Image Enhancement

* Taken from Lt Col Secrist's article - "Defective Leadership: America's Greatest Peril

Friday, February 15, 2008

Navy Leaders

- If the Navy is to regain its soul and its respect,
the answer lies in the right kind of leaders.
- Leaders who understand that the seemingly
arcane concepts of tradition, loyalty, discipline
and moral courage have carried the Navy through
cyclical turbulence in peace and war.
- Leaders who are imbued with a solemn duty to
preserve sacrosanct ideals and pass them on to
succeeding generations ...
- It is time to give the Navy back to such leaders.

Senator James Webb

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Another article in the works. A look back at 27 years of the VADM James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award winners. The article is tentatively titled "The League of Extraordinary Officers and Gentlemen". 35 years ago today, 12 Feb 1973 VADM J.B. Stockdale was released from captivity in Vietnam. His stoic approach to his imprisonment earned him the undying respect of his fellow captives and the Medal of Honor. I interviewed VADM Phil M. Quast (the first Stockdale Award winner) today. I also sent e-mail questions to all winners who are still on active duty. Some of the winners include: VADM Charles Moore, ADM Michael G. Mullen, ADM Thomas Fargo, ADM Jonathan Greenert, RADM Bruce Grooms.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Even acts of kindness can be misinterpreted. I wonder why people can't see the kindness they are shown. I am trying to see it from the other side. In a world where acts of kindness are so rare, I guess people are put off by it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A list

  • Always bring something to the table that will make you more welcome.
  • Critics are good. They are the ones who show they care about what you are doing. Their criticism is affirmation that you are doing SOMETHING.
  • Make sure the artifacts of your life show purpose and meaning.
  • Benjamin Zander's rule #6 - "Don't take yourself so damn seriously".
  • Command is the zenith of military achievement.
  • Be worthy to lead. Then, lead a life of consequence.
  • Think as a man of action; act as a man of thought.
  • Honor never grows old.
  • The truth provides a fixed point of reference.
  • Audacity matters. Be audacious !

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Three articles (NO LONGER) pending publication in Proceedings magazine.
One article being written now for publication in Proceedings magazine
  • 27 years of VADM James Bond Stockdale leadership award winners -- The League of Extraordinary Officers and Gentlemen (REJECTED)
Five articles published in Proceedings magazine. AND, 5 rejected. After batting 1.000 for over a year, now I am batting .500 - still good enough for the Hall of Fame.

  • We've Got To Take the Whole Crew
  • 360 Degree Feedback
  • What is the Detailer's Job, Really?
  • Naval Security Group - Tranformational Phoenix
  • Anchor Up Chiefs - Take Back Your Mess

CNO responds

The Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of the Navy Staff responded positively to my recommendations for getting the Navy on the Fortune Magazine Top 100 Companies to Work for in America list. Looks like this may get a little traction.