Thursday, October 19, 2017

Command Excellence - The Wardroom

Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii, for example - 
 The wardroom at NIOC Hawaii:
•    Is Cohesive
•    Matches CO-XO Leadership
•    Raises Concerns with CO and XO
•    Takes Initiative
•    Does Detailed Planning
•    Takes Responsibility for Work-Group Performance

The wardroom is the interface between the senior officers of the command, who make the policy, and the senior enlisted, who carry out the tasks of the command. The wardroom is responsible for developing and imple- menting plans that achieve the goals set by the CO and XO. In top commands, the department heads and division officers make sure these plans are specific, deciding who is to do what, when, and how. They gather information from chiefs and other relevant sources, and are careful to coordinate their department's or division's activities with other work going on.

This means that the wardroom must work as a team with the CO and XO. In superior commands there is more congruence between the wardroom and the CO-XO on command    philosophy    and leadership style than in average commands. Everyone is headed in the same direction. They identify with the goals set by the CO and XO and with how the CO and XO wish to accomplish them.

Officers of superior commands take initiative in several ways. They try to find new and better ways to do their jobs, and when they see that something needs to be done, they do it without waiting to be told. They are often willing to do more than they are required to do in order to achieve the command's mission. And they readily ask for guidance or information from the CO or XO if they believe these are necessary to accomplish their jobs or to develop themselves professionally. They also raise command issues with senior officers before those issues turn into serious problems.

One of the greatest strengths of wardrooms of superior commands is their sense of responsibility for the performance of their subordinates. This leads them to try to anticipate problems before they occur, to take responsi- bility when a problem does occur that they should have prevented, and to hold their personnel accountable for meeting the command's standards. There is a strong sense of ownership and pride.

Finally, superior wardrooms support division officers, who, although they outrank enlisted personnel, are among the youngest people in a command and are relatively inexperienced when it comes to hands-on technical knowledge and management know how. Thus, department heads must do their own jobs and also attend to the needs of their junior officers.

FOR MORE ON COMMAND EXCELLENCE, GO HERE.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Won't - Can't


A Naval officer who won't lead has no advantage over one who can't lead.

Captain Samuel Langhorne Clemens
USNish, retired

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Correspondence is history kept alive



While in command (1997-2000) of U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Yokosuka Japan, my Executive Officer (LT Bob Duncan) and I would meet at the command at 0630 or so each morning to spend 30-45 minutes handwriting letters to a different set of parents or relatives of our Sailors to let them know what 'their' Sailor was up to. One in 20 (5% or so) letters generated a response from a grateful parent or relative. The letter above is one such letter. The XO and I cared deeply about each of the 200 or so Sailors under our charge. Some of them understood and some didn't. Some came to that understanding later as they transferred to 'less caring' commands. Some still don't understand.

One of the most heart-warming examples of the meaning of all this correspondence came on two separate occasions for my Command Master Chief - CTMCM(SW) Ronald N. Schwartz. In 2003 when he retired, his Mother and Father (Ron and Sandra) brought a notebook to his retirement ceremony (over which I presided) at Corry Station, Pensacola Florida (where he started his cryptologic career as a student). The notebook was filled with the letters I sent them regarding the Master Chief's many accomplishments helping me lead our Sailors. There were many letters and news articles sent as he accomplished a great deal. I was gratified to see his parents had kept every letter. In 2007, I saw those same letters in a notebook in plastic liners at a far less joyous occasion when the Master Chief passed away tragically in an accident. Those letters meant so much to his parents because they reflected a detailed accounting of his very successful career history. His parents and I still exchange letters as I keep them informed of our efforts to keep his name and memory alive in the Navy.

Monday, October 16, 2017

10000 hour rule - Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell's latest book OUTLIERS talks about what separates the stars from everyone else. It isn't raw talent. It is sheer persistence--those who practiced harder did better, and those who practiced insanely hard became wildly successful. Can the same be applied to Naval leadership? 

Gladwell dubs this phenomenon the "10,000-hour rule."

I think this can be applied equally to leadership. Becoming truly great at anything -- (leadership included) -- requires ten years of experience and 1,000 hours of practice per year. "Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness," he argues.

What are the elements of 'deliberate practice'? It's designed explicitly to improve performance -- the little adjustments that make a big difference. It's repetitive, which means that when it's time to perform for real, you don't feel the pressure. It's informed by continuous feedback; practicing leadership only works if you can see how you're improving.

 Bits and pieces paraphrased (and others cut and pasted) from HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

You are a leader, if ....


Pulled from the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command handbook available HERE.

I encourage you to read some thoughts from the most prolific Cryptologic Warfare Officer thought leader - you can find him HERE.  Thank you Captain Sean Heritage for allowing so many to play in your wake.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On Loyalty - Up, and down the chain of command

(From Written on the Wall)

While the fabric that has held society together has worn thinner in our modern age, it is still loyalty that lends the cloth its strength. It is loyalty that keeps the world functioning. We could not conduct business transactions or personal relationship without it. Loyalty is the idea that we are who we say we are and we will do what we say we will do. It is the hope that the integrity with which we initially encountered someone will endure indefinitely.

It’s also what keeps us unified. We live out our lives as part of agreed upon norms that allow us to operate from day to day. We need to know who we can count on. We all understand that ideally, friends will have your back, lovers will remain true, and businesses will not cheat you out of your money. When someone is disloyal, they break from these expectations and weaken the trust that holds us together.

From The Philosophy of Loyalty by Josiah Royce
Harvard Lecture Series 1908

Thursday, October 12, 2017

American Military Officers Are Different

American military officers are different. We train you to be able to make hard decisions – that is your job. As an American, you have been imbued with basic beliefs, about human decency, freedom of speech and worship, and equality. 

When your conscience tells you that these moral tenets are being violated, it is time to take a moral stand – this is expected of you.

Former Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Selection for command


Congratulations on being successfully screened and selected by senior members of your community for command –– it has the potential to be the best assignment you will ever have in the Navy during your long career.  To help you get off on the right foot, some of your predecessors would offer some suggestions to help with your preparation.

To start with, you'll need a personal command philosophy and initial focus. Three reasons: (1) you have to have a well-formulated plan if you're going to take your command to new levels of performance excellence, (2) for much of what you actually accomplish in your command tour, you must first establish a focus in your initial 1-2 months, and (3) your first few weeks in command will haunt you over your entire tour if you aren’t prepared to hit the deck running.

Those Sailors entrusted to your charge want and need to be led from day one of your command tour.

Get to know, network, and collaborate with your fellow commanding officers––irrespective of your career field or warfare specialty. If you are exceptionally successful, you will all become senior officers together before you know it. You will need one another. If you regard each other as competitors, you will hurt yourselves, your chain of command, and potentially - the Navy. Don’t get lost in the “glory of being the boss.” You’ll find the command experience produces many challenges along with equal measures of reward and disappointment.

Now is a good time to send a short thank you to family members and any mentors that helped you during your career. An e-mail won't suffice for this important task.  As you've certainly already been taught –– the personal touch of a hand-written note shows good breeding and professionalism.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Archer A. Vandegrift writing about Moral Courage

Moral courage involves both the fortitude to do what is right in the face of not just failure, but disgrace, and the willingness to set aside profound personal considerations. Military education emphasizes and rewards "boldness"; taking calculated risks to win. But that same education inculcates limits on acceptable risks. 

Junior officers at the beginning of service typically envision physical courage as at or near the pinnacle of martial virtues and are apt to overlook or diminish moral courage. Those who go on to extended careers discover that physical courage is commonplace in American armed forces, but that a depth of moral courage is an indispensable quality for higher command and that it is rarer than physical courage - or boldness.

LEADERSHIP EMBODIED

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Five Characteristics of Weak Leaders as exhibited by General McClellan

@MichaelHyatt talks about General McClellan's characteristics HERE.

1. Hesitating to Take Definitive Action

2. Complaining About Insufficient Resources
3. Refusing to Take Responsibility
4. Abusing the Privileges of Leadership
5. Engaging in Acts of Insubordination

DON'T DO THESE THINGS.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Michael Hyatt - I am a fan

I don't advertise but I really like what Michael Hyatt has to say about journaling, goal setting and productivity.


He's on Twitter @michaelhyatt

You can read more about his FULL FOCUS PLANNER HERE.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Leader versus boss

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. 
The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. 
The leader leads, and the boss drives." 

Theodore Roosevelt
American tough guy

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Do you truly care about your Sailors?

Admiral Nelson also deeply cared about his men, paying particular attention to their health. The admiral understood the two time tested principles of leadership: accomplish the mission and take care of your people. A leader can not be successful in the long run without following both of these mutually supportive tenets. Nelson’s men were aware of his devotion to them. His personal interest in every aspect of their training ensured that their actions in battle ultimately did not require his physical presence or direction when the battle was joined.


From Former SECNAV John Dalton's Trafalgar Night Speech 15 October 1988

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From the archives - 9 years ago

Information Warfare Officer Leadership Changes

Rear Admiral Edward H. Deets III, Vice Commander, Naval Networks Warfare Command, presided over a Change of Command and retirement ceremony on Friday, 17 October 2008 at the National Maritime Intelligence Center in Suitland, Maryland for Captain Robert A. Zellmann. Captain Zellmann concluded 28 years of Naval service as a key leader in the cryptologic and information warfare community. He is a 1980 graduate of The Citadel with a B.S. in Physics. In 1994, he led the Naval Security Group Command's (CNSG) "Information Warfare Tiger Team" that developed the initial Chief of Naval Operations' policy which designated NSG as the Navy's executive agent for information warfare. For the 14 succeeding years, he has been a key leader in formulating and executing information warfare capabilities for the Navy - ashore and afloat.

Captain Diane K. Gronewold assumed command of Navy Information Operations Command - Suitland. She had previously served as a division officer at NIOC-S predecessor command - Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA) when (then) Commander Bob Zellmann was her department head. Captain Gronewold's father was in attendance at the Change of Command. Both RADM Deets and Captain Zellmann said that Captain Gronewold was "the perfectly qualified officer" to assume command. She has a B.A. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Electronics Engineering.

The Change of Command/Retirement ceremony was PUNCTUATED by CWO2 David Kivi's (from NIOC Ft Meade, Maryland) amazing and truly inspirational delivery of "THE WATCH".