Saturday, January 31, 2009

Overheard in the passageway

Cartoon by Eric Smith for USNI Proceedings Magazine

"Shipmates, when all the Chiefs in the Navy are convinced you know how to wear the new NWU uniform, they will tell the MCPON and he will recommend to the CNO that you be allowed to wear the uniform in public places. The NWU is a 'very complicated' uniform with special instructions on how to blouse the trousers and requires a specific belt, t-shirt and boots to be worn with it. Until everyone learns how to wear this complicated uniform properly, you'll just have to wear them on base."

Someone is trying to insult your intelligence - and, it's not me.

Friday, January 30, 2009

History will be written at the right time

"Secretary Rumsfeld - History will be written at the right time. The folks in this room wearing uniforms and the civilian leaders in this room are going to come out looking the way they should – as true patriots and heroes of our country.”

General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Optimizing Navy Information Warfare for MCS21

The Navy Information Operations force and its capabilities are an important means for the new Maritime Strategy to meet the challenges set forth by the CNO. The Navy’s Information Operations architecture requires modifications to optimize its role in the CNO’s new Maritime Strategy. For the new maritime strategy Navy Information Operations should be optimized at the theater strategic and operational levels of command/war.

To optimize Navy Information Operations to achieve the high expectations of the CNO, three areas require improvement: the organizational alignment, the development of a career force and finally the degree of integration and interoperability.

To ensure that Navy Information Operations are better positioned for the new Maritime Strategy, a new echelon two Information Operations command needs to be established.

With the organizational power that comes with this level of command will give the Information Operations establishment more leverage within the Navy and maybe more importantly within the Joint environment.

The Navy Information Operations Career Force is making slow progress. The benefits of a strong and dedicated force are apparent but the pace must increase in educating and training officers, with the focus on the art of Influence operations and Information Operations planning.

Finally, the capabilities of Navy Information Operations need to be releasable to our Allies, Partners and friends to the greatest extent possible. Their better understanding of our Information Operations capabilities will build stronger alliances and partnerships required for the new Maritime Strategy.

CDR Greg Haws' NCW Paper

Optimizing IO for the New Maritime Strategy

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Leadership Is Often Misunderstood

Leadership is a crucial but often misunderstood topic. Much of the understanding comes from the tendency to think about leadership only in terms of the people in charge. The ideas of leaders and followers do not always converge, a fact that creates a fundamental ambivalence in the relationship between leaders and followers. We are often required to defer to people in leadership roles whose behavior is markedly inconsistent with qualities important in leadership. This may lead to frustration, alienation, and efforts to change leaders, jobs or careers.

From an article in the April 2008 AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rest your oars Shipmate

Captain William David Henry passed away suddenly on 17 Oct 2008 in San Francisco with the love of his life Deborah close by. Someone told me his last words were -"Deborah, I love you." I don't doubt it. Captain Henry was a young Lieutenant in Misawa, Japan when I was working my way up from Petty Officer Third Class to Second. He was there with guys like Mike Sare, Marty Greene, Ken Kuehne, RADM Ike Cole, Mark Pistochini, and Bill Gravell. I think that LT Gravell and LT Ferguson were my DIVOFFs on the follow-on trip that then LT Dave Henry completed in 1978 on USS POLLACK (SSN603).

Today, Captain Henry (who expressed - unashamedly - his belief in God) was sent to his final resting place by his family, friends, business associates from SCITOR and his many Navy Shipmates. He had full military honors at Arlington Cemetery after a service in the OLD POST CHAPEL on Ft Myer, Virginia. Some in attendance that I recognized included: RADM Don McDowell, RADM Tom Stevens, RADM Ned Deets, RDML Bill Leigher, RDML Alex Miller, Captains Mike Ketron, Hal Hardaway, Dick O'Neill, Greg Blackburn, Bill Gravell, Rocco Caldarella, Darrell Campbell, Nick Harris, Gary Burnette, Tom Daly, Bob Zellmann, Gene Arbogast and Rich Wilhelm, Commanders Jack Dempsey, Dave Bondura, Mark Pistochini and Mike Makfinsky. The chapel was standing room only. Captain Paul Jaeger from the OPNAV staff had the great honor to serve as escort for Captain Henry's remains.

Mission of the Navy

The mission of the Department of the Navy is to develop, maintain, organize, train, and equip combat-ready Navy and Marine Corps forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas, both today and tomorrow.
I get it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Force Shaping - Some of You Must Go - Time To Figure Out Who the Performers Are

"In the next several months I'm going to be working to determine the best means to ensure those of you working the hardest on behalf of our Sailors have strong opportunities to advance," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West. ((Does this mean the Navy hasn't been doing this??))

MCPON emphasized quality over quantity and said the time had come to determine who the performers are. ((Does this mean the Navy hasn't been doing this??)) He said that the Navy's end strength was close to the intended level (in other words "we have all the people we need") and that greater focus will now be on different means to ensure excellence across the CPO community.

"That means force shaping or molding at the senior enlisted level." ((Does this mean we need to get rid of some dead weight??))

MCPON said there are too many "hard chargers" not getting promoted ((Why aren't they getting promoted??) from the senior enlisted level down to the youngest petty officers, and that he expects opportunities for them to open up as the senior ranks thin from the top down.

Using Admiral Vern Clark's analogy of message/action alignment, I think we have misaligned what we are saying with what we actually want to say. Essentially, the economy is in a downturn, we are meeting our recruiting quota, we are keeping more 2nd and 3rd term Sailors - we have more Sailors, Chiefs and officers than we can keep or need. (Perform to Serve has been expanded for junior Sailors, there will be E7/8/9 continuation boards and TIR waivers are available so Commanders and Captains can go home a year earlier than previously allowed.)Time to cull the wheat from the chaff. Some of you are going to have to go home. Thank you for your service.


A bit of older news from NPC said:
"Although the overriding element in the Force Shaping campaign is reduction, Force Shaping should not be misconstrued as downsizing. NPC does not want it to be looked at as the Navy becoming a smaller fleet, but as the Navy becoming a more efficient and effective fighting force. Downsizing means you are cutting people, you're cutting jobs and you're doing it for cost savings. What we are doing is determining the true requirement for work, creating a better and a broader opportunity for Sailors so that we can do our mission better, and there is a big difference there."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Optimizing Navy Information Warfare

"In September 2007, Rear Admiral Edward Deets, the Naval Network Warfare Command Vice Commander and leader of the Navy Information Warfare Community, articulated a new strategic plan to ensure that the new naval warfare area of IO was being developed and integrated to offer maximum capability to military commanders. The community vision was stated as follows:
"The Navy’s Information Warfare (IW) Community delivers overwhelming information superiority to naval and joint commanders. We do this by leading the integration and application of the core capabilities of Information Operations and Signals Intelligence to shape, influence, and defeat select audiences in support of commanders’ objectives. Our community applies signals and information expertise, and attacks, defends and exploits networks to pursue and capitalize on opponent vulnerabilities in the information environment."
Prior to RADM Deets’ guidance, many wondered where the Navy IW Community was headed. Would it completely abandon its SIGINT roots in favor of the new warfare area of IO? This document clearly delineated that SIGINT, in conjunction with IO, would comprise the Information Warfare domain with Naval Network Warfare Command being the executive agent.

In today’s information age, Information Warfare has gained prominence as an effective means of waging war. From a service perspective, the Naval Network Warfare Command and specifically the Navy Information Warfare Community has been tasked to lead in providing manning, training, and equipment to make this form of warfare a reality.

While this relatively new requirement brings tremendous opportunity to the community, it has also presented many challenges. Specifically, effective Information Operations integration and a well-defined career path that provides officers with experience, education, and skill sets in both Signals Intelligence and Information Operations have evaded the community."

Click on the link below to read the rest of LCDR Chad Smith's, Sep 2008 NPS Thesis -

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Command is a Sacred Trust

When we select our commanders, we expect them to create a vision, and motivate and inspire their people toward that vision. We also expect our commanders to face squarely any situations that may undermine unit effectiveness and cohesion. We expect our commanders to be more than the head of a unit; we expect them to be leaders and to be accountable for mission performance. Those who recognize the interdependence of leadership and command are the most effective commanders, can best translate intentions into reality, and sustain momentum. Therefore, we must select for command those who will, with resolve and persistence, meet all the responsibilities––both pleasant and unpleasant––inherent in command.

Command is a sacred trust. We surround the change of command with dignity and ceremony deliberately to dramatize the sacred meaning of military command. A commander is not just the person in the top block of the unit’s organizational chart. A new commander becomes a different person than he or she was prior to accepting command. Commanders are awarded a special trust and confidence to fulfill their units’ missions and care for their people with leadership, discipline, justice, fairness, and compassion, in peace and war. Therefore, we must select them with utmost scrutiny and care, and for the right reasons.

Commanders must be role models, leading by example as well as by authority and influence.
• Commanders must be open and accessible, but not “one of the gang.”
• Commanders must promote a positive vision and culture within the unit, and not look the other way to avoid having to face a difficult problem.
• Commanders must distinguish between mistakes and crimes, and deal with them differently.
• Commanders must apply discipline fairly and consistently across the board without regard for friendship, rank, or other discriminators.
• Commanders must avoid favoritism, nepotism, and cronyism in all their forms.
• Commanders must understand trust and loyalty to the entire unit, and not misplace them.
• And finally, commanders must understand when to administer discipline and compassion, and not get the two mixed up.
General John Michael Loh

Friday, January 23, 2009

Navy Firings in 2008

In 2008, the Navy fired a range of officers, including a three-star admiral; the heads of recruiting districts; the skipper and executive officer of the carrier George Washington after a shipboard fire; the one-star program executive officer for ships; and the skipper of a ballistic-missile submarine, among many others. (NAVY TIMES)

“We’ve had a long-standing history and tradition of maintaining high standards, and holding people accountable. That said, you can’t always get it right and mistakes happen, or sometimes it’s just not a mistake of promoting or positioning the right individual. Sometimes situations change, and when it proves not to work, I think it is incumbent upon the service to take the corrective action.”

"The Navy demands more of its commanding officers, because “when a ship goes over the horizon, that ship and its crew [are] totally and completely dependent on the captain of the ship, and you damn well better have the utmost confidence in that individual.”

SECNAV Donald Winter

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A year ago, today - the final COMNAVSECGRU

“For any who are not yet aware, yesterday [22JAN08] ended an era with the retirement of RADM Andy Singer (in Hawaii) after 30 years of service. The last to carry the title of Commander, Naval Security Group, RADM Singer realigned our Information Warfare and Cryptologic force with Naval Network Warfare Command and the Information Operations Warfare Area. In so doing, he positioned us for the future with a warfighting focus. A graduate of Rutgers, RADM Singer served as a SWO for eight years before being designated a Cryptologist. Andy's had a long and distinguished career and we owe him a great deal.”

RADM Edward H. Deets III, Vice Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Hyperconnected Leaders Are Doing

Hyperconnected: Are those leaders (ADM Thad Allen (USCG), Admiral Jim Stavridis, (SOUTHCOM) and ADM Tim Keating (PACOM) among the many) who have fully embraced the brave new world, with more devices per capita than their contemporaries and more intense use of new communications applications. They liberally use technology devices and applications for both personal and official leadership use. These individuals are also 'early adopters'.

What they are doing:
  • Developing service-driven visions and strategies that balance the needs of the hyperconnected with the increased effectiveness of the maritime enterprise. It’s no longer just about how work is done, but how command processes are organized and accelerated. Tools and solutions (including unified communications) currently exist that can increase the speed of a decision, use the Sailor’s time more wisely, and create new kinds of communications-imbedded products.
  • Partnering with HR and NPC to develop a strategy for the ongoing war on talent. As Sailors transition from the Navy, it will find itself increasingly competing for talent. In a matter of years, up to 40% of the workforce could be “hyperconnected,” with many considering an enriched application and connectivity environment a condition for employment.
  • Driving the organization to modify its personnel, detailing and community management policies and practices to support increased connectivity.
  • Evolving their security regimes. Connectivity tools in the hands of Sailors may increase productivity, but they also increase the risk of releasing sensitive information to the outside world.
  • Acknowledging and managing the technicalenvironment. It may be tempting to resist providing formal Navy support for new devices and applications because of the additional stress on thenetwork and the number of devices involved, but the genie is already out of the bottle. Navy networks may at first be tested and strained by hyperconnected Sailors.
  • Working with their N6s as communication solution providers. Only with the help of trusted advisors will you be able to determine which solutions will be most appropriate for your particular situation at the moment. The N6 can bring you wisdom gleaned from other implementations and also help as a catalyst for organizational change in getting your IT department and operations on the same wavelength.
Taken from NORTEL's "Hyperconnected White Paper"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Need To Be More Professional . . . Whatever That Means

We are all men and therefore, bear fallibilities and weaknesses. We are sustained in our effort by some source of strength outside of ourselves. One such source of strength is to be found in the corporate nature of our profession.

We are, or should be, a “band of brothers,” united in the pursuit of a common body of professional knowledge and skill, together in our willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to adhere to exemplary standards of ethical conduct, and sharing the unlimited liability of the soldier’s contract.

But, in the final analysis, the strength to persevere in the pursuit of excellence must come from within each individual. Some may characterize their guiding principle by the familiar motto, “to thine own self be true”—the old shaving mirror test. Others may account for their perseverance as the results of a traditional prayer to a traditional God. In any case, serving and growing in a worthwhile cause should provide all the meaning and fulfillment to life for which a reasonable man can hope.

Colonel John W. Grace
United States Marine Corps

Monday, January 19, 2009

Worth Repeating

The Value of the IW Community

"In my mind, the value of the Information Warfare Community lies in the expertise of the Information Warfare Officers, the Cryptologic Technicians, civilians and government contractors supporting them. To sustain the IW Community, we must encourage those habits in ourselves and our subordinates which develop and improve the IW Community's underlying body of knowledge. We need to do this through both formal and informal collaboration. Ideally, we ought to get to a genuinely collaborative environment where we value "learning" more than "knowing". Wouldn't that be great?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Admiral Rickover and the Chief of the Boat

Admiral Hyman Rickover was one of the most dedicated and driven individuals that ever served in the United States Navy. He felt it was his duty to personally inspect every nuclear powered ship or shore unit that provided any nuclear evolution for those ships. He interviewed every officer that was assigned as a Nuclear Engineer to those same ships and commands. The stories of those interviews were quite unique, and were common throughout the Nuclear Navy. He periodically visited Naval Commands that fell under or even near his realm of authority. He gave the personnel of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Training Center, Charleston, SC a brief talk in the early 1970’s and the first thing he said was “The Officer that graduated from the Naval Academy is the scourge of the Navy” and he went on to say how bad the shipyards were in nuclear overhaul and required nuclear maintenance. I was stunned and I do not even remember what else he said of significance. I had heard for years how tough, abrasive and demanding he was but this really surprised me.

Much to my surprise and delight, Admiral Rickover was two totally different people, as I found when I was required by my Executive Officer to escort the Admiral below for his inspection of the USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628) during an Operational Reactor Safeguard Exam (ORSE). The Admiral and his inspection party came below through the after hatch, went through the Missile Compartment and by the Crews Mess, I announced “Attention on Deck’ as we entered the Missile Compartment and the Admiral said “ That is not necessary COB we have working Sailors here”. The CPO Quarters is adjacent to the Crew Mess and the Admiral told his inspection party to go to the Ward Room, he wanted to go in Chiefs Quarters. He knocked on the door before I could get to it and then removed his hat and entered, he asked if he could have this seat right next to the door, which he probably knew was my seat, I said “Yes Admiral, is there anything else I can get for you?” He said” No COB I’m fine for awhile”. He made all of us feel at ease almost instantaneously and begin asking the Chiefs questions, which were varied and friendly. He must have spent at least 15 minutes just asking questions and making comments, it was all quite relaxing and I was relieved that all the Chiefs presented the example they should. When Admiral Rickover was ready to leave Chiefs Quarters he said something about “Getting to the business he came for and that the Ward Room was probably having fits by now”. When I opened the door to let the Admiral exit Chiefs Quarters I looked down the passage way and saw the Executive Officer standing at the Wardroom door, and looking just a little anxious as I led the Admiral in that direction. The Executive Officer told me later that the Admiral was quite pleased with the Chiefs of the Tecumseh. That made me feel very good.

The inspection took more than a day and when Admiral Rickover prepared to depart the Tecumseh he said “COB can you give me your foul weather jacket you are about my size and with COB printed on the back people will pay more attention to me.” I gladly gave him my foul weather jacket and I never got it back, but that was alright too. We passed the ORSE with a good grade.

The Nuclear Powered Navy has a good record, they the got off to the right start with Admiral Rickover’s leadership, they have continued that record for well over half a century and I expect the record will continue to be excellent. I am not aware of the leadership that drives the program today, but I certainly hope that it remains to be filled with the topnotch people that have guided it in the past.

Very Respectfully,
COB, USS Tecumseh

Saturday, January 17, 2009

10 Takeaways for Leaders

1. Leaders set the tone. Don't be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.

2. Leaders must insist that everyone speak out loud in front of the others, even -- or especially -- when there are vehement disagreements.

3. A leader must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies. Leaders should not micromanage, but understanding the ramifications of his positions cannot be outsourced to anyone.

4. Leaders need to draw people out and make sure bad news makes it to the top.

5. Leaders need to foster a culture of skepticism and doubt.

6. Leaders get contradictory data, and they need a rigorous way to sort it out.

7. Leaders must tell the hard truth to their Sailors, even if that means delivering very bad news.

8. Righteous motives are not enough for effective command policy.

9. Leaders must insist on strategic thinking.

10. Leaders should embrace transparency. Some version of every truth will always make it out to the command -- and everyone will be better off if that version is as accurate as possible.

Taken from Bob Woodward's (Washington Post) "Ten Takeaways from the Bush Years"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Advocacy for Information Operations

Developing Joint Information Operations Warriors
by Lt Col James Pickle - 2006


Establish senior leader advocacy. The DoD is starting to see O-6 and O-7 advocacy at the joint and combatant command level. This is a great start. True advocacy, and thereby funding, must come from a senior Flag Officer/General Officer advocate at the Service level. The Services control the major portion of the DoD budget. Without three and four star support IO will limp along through the diligent efforts of iron majors/lieutenant commanders at the operational and tactical level but languish at the strategic level.

Strategic direction and advocacy is required for IO to improve and ease access. Since their creation just last year, the Board of Advisors is making strong forward progress. Identifying joint IO billets and the education requirements for the respective billets is next on the BoA activities. The final recommendation is ironic.

Use IO to improve IO. Current IO personnel don’t use IO to promote or advance IO. In fact to a certain extent IO is its own worse enemy. Many IO programs are compartmentalized and even basic IO documents are close held limiting visibility to the core of the military.

Without at least some visibility into the IO world why would a new officer want to be an IO warrior?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Master of my Fate; Captain of my Soul

"Everything I know about Epictetus I've developed myself over the years. It's been a one-on-one relationship. He's been in combat with me, leg irons with me, spent month-long stretches in blindfolds with me, has been in the ropes with me, has taught me that my true business is maintaining control over my moral purpose, in fact that my moral purpose is who I am. He taught me that I am totally responsible for everything I do and say; and that it is I who decides on and controls my own destruction and own deliverance. Not even God will intercede if He sees me throwing my life away. He wants me to be autonomous. He put me in charge of me. "It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll. "

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale

Story about the VADM J.B. Stockdale Award winners here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trust - Personal Integrity

"The trust required for effective leadership requires a standard of behavior and the development of personal character that are in some aspects unique, but, ultimately, in keeping with the highest moral code of society. Not the average... not the common denominator... but the highest."

"We have history and tradition and military doctrine that affirm the values of personal integrity and sacrifice in service to others. We now have to use the system that we have in order to build the trust and to ensure the honesty that we need to make those values real and relevant at all levels in the organization."

Former Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No better example of leadership...

It would be difficult to imagine a better example of leadership, courage, and moral excellence than the example set by Vice Admiral James Stockdale. In contemporary jargon, Admiral Stockdale, not only talked the talk, but, more importantly, he walked the walk of a leader during his entire professional and personal life. The more one studies his life, and the more one reads his writings, the more one comes away with the conviction that Admiral Stockdale was the sort of man that comes along very seldom in life. He not only had a profound impact on his contemporaries, but he left behind a legacy that will influence generations to come.
Secretary of the Navy, Donald Winter

Monday, January 12, 2009

Plenty of challenges for your energy

The naval profession has many dimensions, and they cannot be mastered all at one time. First things must come first, and a fundamental knowledge of the sea and ships must precede all else. Any young man embarking on a naval officer's career today can rest assured of two fundamental points: the Navy will be around in force for some time to come, and there will be plenty of challenge for his energies, no matter how great they are.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Great One Retired

A great cryptologist had his retirement yesterday 1/10/09 - Captain Mark A. Wilson concluded a 25 year career (29 if you count his time at the United States Naval Academy) on 1 December 2008. Mark and I first met in 1984 when we were assigned to Naval Security Group Detachment Atsugi, Japan. We flew together with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron ONE (VQ-1) in EP-3B/E Orion reconnaissance aircraft. In 1985, he wrote his own orders to Al Masirah, Island to relieve me in the Indian Ocean so I could be home for the birth of our daughter Bond. We have been friends (family) for 25 years. We have seen each other's children grow into adults. We have shared in lives dedicated to the Navy we love with the women we love. We have shared in successes and sorrows, triumphs and failures. I rarely drink but was happy to toast the great career Mark enjoyed. Our Navy is much better for his service and will sorely miss his leadership. A man of his character and selfless leadership is truly a rare breed in the Navy today.

The ceremony was a real tribute to Mark and his family. When there was a technical glitch with the sound system which precluded the playing of the National Anthem, Mark's good friend, Captain Mark Patton led the entire group of attendees in singing our National Anthem. Not a single person was shy about singing in praise of our great country - or Mark's service. Captain Mark Patton saved the day - as you would expect a leader of his calibre to do.

CONGRATULATIONS Captain Mark A. Wilson and family. Thank you for your unselfish service to the Navy and the Nation. He's almost all yours now Monique...except for his day job!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Look out for your people

It is really important to develop your leadership skills by looking out for and being interested in your people. One piece of advice for leadership that I've always given people that I would give to a junior officer is, always look at your present job through the eyes of your immediate superior. The people who can only look at it from their own perspective will top out pretty early. But, if you can, understand why your superior is differing with you on why and how you're doing your job. You've got a responsibility to your people, so if your boss may be asking you to do something that is bad for your people, you may fight that, but fight it understanding why he's doing that. Even if you decide to still fight it, you may not understand that there really are bigger reasons for doing it his way. They what you have to do is try it in a way that will accomplish his objective, not to undermine it, but at the same time protect your people, if that is an issue.

Admiral Stansfield Turner

Friday, January 9, 2009

No prohibitions on blogs

There is also no prohibition on blogs operated by individual members as private citizens. The Department of the Navy recognizes the value of this communication channel in posting current information and supporting the morale of personnel, their family and friends. As long as personnel adhere to specific restrictions on content, the Department of the Navy encourages the use of blogs and recognizes this free flow of information contributes to legitimate transparency of the Department of the Navy to the American public whom we serve.

From SECNAVINST 5720.47B

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chief Petty Officers

Chief Petty Officers are responsible for, have the authority to accomplish, and are held accountable for:

Leading Sailors and applying their skills to tasks that enable mission accomplishment for the U.S. Navy;

Developing enlisted and junior officer Sailors;

Communicating the core values, standards and information of the Navy that empower Sailors to be successful in all they attempt;

Supporting with loyalty the endeavors of the chain of command they serve and their fellow Chief Petty Officers with whom they serve.

From an "Appreciative Inquiry" Session with Admiral Vern Clark and MCPON Jim Herdt in Dallas with the Navy's Fleet/Force/Command Master Chiefs and Chiefs of the Boat

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Overheard in the passageway

"For weeks now I have been trying to make sure the Admiral and I were on the same page. Imagine my surprise when the Chief of Staff told me that he didn't think that we were even in the same book."

It's all about perspective. What page are you on? What book are you in? It may be time to check out the library.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Leadership Behaviors

Talk Straight
Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people nor distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.

Demonstrate Concern
Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can’t do anything for you. Show kindness in the little things. Don’t fake caring. Don’t attempt to be “efficient” with people.

Create Transparency
Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Get real and genuine. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure. Operate on the premise of, “What you see is what you get.” Don’t have hidden agendas. Don’t hide information.

Right Wrongs
Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Practice “service recoveries.” Demonstrate personal humility. Don’t cover things up. Don’t let personal pride get in the way of doing the right thing.

Show Loyalty
Give credit to others. Speak about people as if they were present. Represent others who aren’t there to speak for themselves. Don’t badmouth others behind their backs. Don’t disclose others’ private information.

Deliver Results
Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Accomplish what you’re hired to do. Be on time and within budget. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t make excuses for not delivering.

Get Better
Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems - both formal and informal. Act upon the feedback you receive. Thank people for feedback. Don’t consider yourself above feedback. Don’t assume your knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow’s challenges.

Confront Reality
Take issues head on, even the “undiscussables.” Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation. Don’t skirt the real issues. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Confront the reality, not the person.

Clarify Expectations
Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them. Renegotiate them if needed and possible. Don’t violate expectations. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared.

Practice Accountability
Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results. Be clear on how you’ll communicate how you’re doing - and how others are doing. Don’t avoid or shirk responsibility. Don’t blame others or point fingers when things go wrong.

Listen First
Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears... and your eyes and heart. Find out what the most important behaviors are to the people you’re working with. Don’t assume you know what matters most to others. Don’t presume you have all the answers - or all the questions.

Keep Commitments
Say what you’re going to do. Then do what you say you’re going to do. Make commitments carefully and keep them at all costs. Keep commitments the symbol of your honor. Don’t break confidences. Don’t attempt to “PR” your way out of a commitment you’ve broken.

Extend Trust
Demonstrate a propensity to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend trust conditionally to those who are earning your trust. Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility of the people involved. Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.

Stephen R. Covey @

Monday, January 5, 2009

Preparing OPNAV N2 for QDR 2010

As part of the N2 input to OPNAV's QDR effort, VADM Jack Dorsett has outlined several broad, transformational themes that he believes are critical to Infomation Dominance and Decision Superiority in the 21st Century. OPNAV N2 adhered to the strategic imperatives of the Maritime Strategy, but also conformed to the National Strategy for Maritime Security and VADM McConnell's Vision 2015 for the Intelligence Enterprise. You'll see a subtle connection to the intelligence community, but N2 purposely aimed higher, deliberately focusing on information as an emerging center of warfighting gravity and concentrating on what we as a Navy need to do to achieve Decision Superiority.

The themes --
The Future Security Environment,
Organizing for the Information Age,
Dominating the Information Environment,
Developing Profound Knowledge of the Adversary,
The 21st Century Workforce, and
Transforming Capability Acquisition
-- are intended to stimulate dialog, thought and, hopefully, action in the QDR process.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Geo Washington's Leadership

“Require nothing unreasonable of your officers and men, but see that whatever is required be punctually complied with.

Reward and punish every man according to his merit, without partiality or prejudice; hear his complaints; if well founded, redress them; if otherwise, discourage them, in order to prevent frivolous ones.

Discourage vice in every shape, and impress upon the mind of every man, from the first to the lowest, the importance of the cause, and what is it they are contending for.”

GEN George Washington

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Write Or Do Something Worth Writing About

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Retiring this year

Captain Stephanie Helm
Captain Robert Bergman
Captain Frank Caruso
Captain Cindy Widick
The Information Warfare community and the Navy will miss their leadership.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Embracing Young Leaders - It Is Their Time

We now have the most combat-experienced military in our history, and we must preserve the lessons these experiences have taught us, for in fact, they guarantee our future.

These young leaders are wise beyond their years; war has a way of doing that. We owe them our attention and our time; we owe them the opportunity to think and to speak.

We must inspire them to and reward them for speaking out. And, for our part, we must ensure that we truly listen.

We must learn to bring these lessons to the forefront of a system that is still too mired in peacetime procedures, and instead inspire a promotion and selection process that puts these young people and their ideas at the center of our universe.

I believe our future is tied, as it always must be, to the young people who are in the fight right now. (They are) hopeful but pragmatic, visionary but without illusion, staring straight into terrors of our time.

It is up to us, looking into the eyes of today’s young leaders, shaped by war; not merely to teach and to nurture – but to listen and learn, to consult and to cherish, as equals in a grand journey.

It is time to praise and raise those who have offered the best days of their young lives.

It is time to prepare them for their turn at the tiller of history.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff