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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Atitila The Hun On Navy Leadership

I have to post this one from Naval Leadership:

Repost - Attila the Hun on Navy Leadership

One of my favorites.

Advice and Counsel

  • Written reports are only useful if read by your audience.
  • An officer with Sailors who always agree with him reaps the counsel of mediocrity.
  • An officer never kills the Sailor bearing bad news, he kills the Sailors that fail to deliver bad news.
  • An officer who asks the wrong questions always hears the wrong answers.
  • An officer never asks a question for which he doesn't want to hear the answer.


  • The greatness of an officer is measured by the sacrifices he is willing to make for the good of the squadron.
  • Seldom are self-centered, conceited and self-admiring officers great leaders, but they are great idolizers of themselves.
  • Great officers never take themselves too seriously.
  • An officer adapts-he doesn't compromise.
  • Weak officers surround themselves with weak Sailors.
  • Strong officers surround themselves with strong Sailors.


  • Officers must learn early that working through a hardship is an experience that influences them all the
    days of their lives.
  • Successful officers learn to deal with adversity and to overcome mistakes.

Decision Making

  • Every decision involves some risk.
  • Time does not always improve a situation for an officer or his Sailors.
  • Errors are inescapable when the unqualified are allowed to exercise judgment and make decisions.
  • Quick decisions are not always the best decisions. On the other hand, unhurried decisions are not always
    the best decisions.
  • Officers should never rush into confrontations.
  • The ability to make difficult decisions separates leaders from followers.


  • Officers never place their Sailors in situations where their weaknesses will prevail over their
  • Good Sailors will almost always achieve what their leaders expect from them.
  • An officer never expects his Sailors to act beyond their wisdom or understanding.
  • An officer always gives tough assignments to Sailors who can rise to the occasion.
  • Abdication is not delegation. Abdication is a sign of weakness. Delegation is a sign of strength.

Developing Subordinates

  • Strong Sailors have strong weaknesses. An officer's duty is to make Sailors strengths prevail.
  • Sailors learn less from success than they do from failure.
  • Sailors learn much faster when faced with adversity.
  • A good officer takes risks by delegating to an inexperienced Sailor in order to strengthen his leadership
  • Sailors are best prepared to become Chiefs when given appropriate challenges at successively higher levels of responsibility.
    If it were easy to be a Chief, every Sailor would be one.
  • Without challenge, a Sailor's potential and a squadron's potential is never realized.


  • Superficial goals lead to superficial results.
  • As a squadron, we would accomplish more if officers, Chiefs and Sailors behaved as though squadron goals were as important to them as personal goals.
  • Critical to a Sailor's success is a clear understanding of what the CO wants.
  • A Sailor's goal should always be worthy of his efforts.
  • A Sailor without purpose will never know when he has achieved it.
  • Officers should always aim high, going after things that will make a difference rather than seeking the safe
    path of mediocrity.

Leaders and Leadership

  • Officers should always appoint there best Sailors to the best positions, no matter how much they are needed in their current job.
  • An officer knows he is responsible for the welfare of his Sailors and acts accordingly.
  • Being a leader is often a lonely job.
  • Shared risk-taking will weld the relationship of an officer and his Sailors.
  • Strong officers stimulate and inspire the performance of their Sailors.
  • The best officers develop the ability to ask the right questions at the right time.
  • An officer can never be in charge if he bring up the rear.


  • An officer who takes himself too seriously has lost his perspective.
  • A Sailor's perception is reality for him.
  • Sailors who appear to be busy are not always working.

Problems and Solutions

  • We all need to focus on opportunities rather than on problems.
  • Some of us spend too much time coming up with solutions for which there are no problems.

Reward and Punishment

  • If leader has failed, so likewise have his subordinate leaders.
  • If you tell a Sailor he is doing a good job when he isn't, he will not listen long and, worse, will not believe
    praise when it is justified.


  • Every Sailor has value-even if only to serve as a bad example.
  • To experience the strength of Sailors we must tolerate some of their weaknesses.
  • Suffer long for mediocre but loyal Sailors. Suffer not for competent but disloyal Sailors.


  • Adequate training of Sailors is essential to war and cannot be disregarded by officers in more peaceful
  • The consequence for not adequately training your Sailors is their failure to accomplish that which is expected of them.

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