A friend of mine from the GW Executive Leadership Program partnered with a colleague and converted part of his dissertation to an article that appeared in ARMY Magazine. The article notes that counseling, coaching, and mentoring (CCM) are not the same things. Each has an important place in the professional development of leaders. The authors argue for adapting professional military education to be a venue for conducting CCM.
RADM Gardner Howe, President of the Naval War College, recently sent an email for wide distribution that I thought would make a good professional development blog post. It provides perspectives on command from two different points in history: the eve of WW2 and just a few years ago. There are questions at the end of the post to prompt additional reflection.
This is just a short post to note that the best way to keep people informed of what you are up to professionally and personally is to use a template. I keep mine in Text Expander for the Mac (a wonderful tool that I use all the time), but I used to use Simple Note and you could use Apple Notes (both available in the cloud, which is important). I have a "standard" update that I can paste into a LinkedIn email right after I connect with someone because I got tired of spending 30 minutes to produce one from scratch every time someone sent me a note asking, "How are things going?" Pasting the note into a LinkedIn email takes less than five seconds. I read over it to see if I want to change anything in the template or just customize it for the particular person. DON'T click to read more, there isn't any.
Bruce Schneier, author and security expert, spoke with EconTalk host Dr. Russ Roberts recently about power, the internet, and anti-terrorism strategies.These notes are from the transcript on the Econtalk website. In essence, Schneier asserts that most people aren't bothered by increases in surveillance and eavesdropping because they are too busy to understand the implications for their personal freedom. This is the same reason why most people do not bother to update their anti-virus software, process the never ending stream of Windows security patches, or update their iOS applications. Schneier is also critical of our anti-terror domestic security measures, arguing that acts of terrorism are too rare to justify much concern (riding in a car is much more dangerous than airline travel). Authorities are always defending against the *last* threat with their limited resources so the security procedures at airports amount to more theater than real security.
I have been having some lengthy Facebook conversations with a friend and collegue about sequestration. After spending nearly three hours going back and forth, I decided to briefly summarize my thinking on the matter as an exercise in critical thinking. Readers of the blog might be interested (or might not), but I suggest talking just a few minutes to compose your own thoughts on whether economics is a science (which drives how much faith you should put in any predictive models for economies as a whole), the proper role of government in economic affairs, and whether the cuts involved in sequestration are better than no cuts at all (and what your reasons are for thinking so). Once you spend ten to fifteen minutes thinking about that, you will get more out of this blog post.
I found this article by Normal Polmar (USNI) last year and regret not posting it before now. In essence, Polmar argues that CVNs are too darn expensive to build in "eleven carrier" numbers and LHA/Ds can perform the most probable missions a large flat deck vessel will have for the foreseeable future (forget conventional war with China) that have not been supplanted by other, even cheaper technology. The only counter argument I can envision is "that's not the way we expect/want to fight." Draw your own conclusions, but you have to figure out how to pay for whatever you choose. Hoping someone sends you buckets of money is not a viable acquisition strategy.
This is a brief post about an excellent article in the Dec 12 ASNE Naval Engineers Journal about why ships are so expensive. It is a bit long and full of technical detail about design tools, seaway loads, and cost estimating, but I recommend all naval engineers read it. While I thought the detail was interesting, it still does not explain why we keep doing things in the design process that lead us to produce very complex, expensive ships. The most interesting question to me is not how do we design ships to be more affordable, but rather why don't we do the things we already know how to do that will reduce ship costs?
This post is based on a recent Early Bird article (26 Dec 12) about the link between Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical maintenance and ship service life. The main point of the article was that combat system obsolescence used to be the main driver for ship relevance. If the Navy is successful at implementing modular combat systems that are relatively inexpensive to upgrade, hull, mechanical and electrical system conditions may become the limiting factor in whether ships reach expected service lives. Unlike combat systems performance and capability, however, we lack concise methods to evaluate, communicate, and budget for correction of the *impact* of deferred maintenance.
"The Mythical Man Month" is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks. Most of the book is about the pitfalls of large programming projects, but the author's views on scheduling, project complexity, and the importance of communications are relevant to any project. The book's title derives from a fallacy of scheduling that holds that humans and months are interchangeable, meaning that the productive effort that results from adding more people to any project will always reduce the time it takes to finish. This is a central, if unstated, premise of ship construction and overhaul scheduling. Brooks based the book on his experiences at IBM managing the development of OS/360.
Getting through the retirement process, including the ceremony, can be a challenge because it is so unfamiliar and the readily available guidance is weak, there are so many important checkpoints to pass, and most of the people in charge of the checkpoints are very junior and not easily accessible. There are many great resources available, but I stumbled on many of them close to the last minute so it was hard to take advantage of them like I could have if I had known about them months earlier. The key checkpoints for the retirement process are: DD 214 issue, job search/networking, closeout physicals, the retirement ceremony (yes, you should have one), and submitting your medical/dental records to the VA for processing. This post will cover each and provide links to checklists I have obtained from others or generated myself. Feel free to add comments about what I else I should have included based on your interest (about to retire) or experience (already retired or things you have seen others do that worked particularly well).