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Friday, February 12, 2010

From Mustangs & Goats

Men & Machines: that's what it's all about for a SWO - our people and our gear - in that order. A nugget of wisdom was imparted to me today and I wanted to log it for the record - it is worth remembering. I was shooting the bull with this Commander and by surprise I caught "it" - that is to say leadership was imparted to me (often, leadership is better caught than taught). He is on active duty, with over 30 years of experience as an engineer. He was enlisted, attaining the rank of Senior Chief before crossing over to become an LDO - all exclusively as an engineer. The Navy has seen it fit to promote him 13 times - when leaders like this talk I listen. And I was in the catcher's position when he told me the basics of leading as a Chief Engineer. He said create a battle rhythm to meet with your Senior Snipe (the senior Chief in the department) and your MPA (Main Propulsion Assistant, an LDO). Meet with your Senior Chief first to find out how your people are doing - they're first because they are the priority and the most important - without the Sailors the ship is nothing. Meet with your MPA next to check on the status of the plant. Consider what was taught in those few words: people first, trust others, empower them, be humble and dependent, communicate, plan, coordinate, care, and always know the status of what you are accountable/responsible for. For this tour and the those to follow I will continue to be committed to lean on, listen to, and learn from Mustangs and Goats.

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