I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following

When you’re a leader, you have the watch.

Through seven deployments commanding sailors in the complex and dangerous world of nuclear submarine warfare, Jon Rennie experienced a deep form of leadership. On a sub, there is no escape. No “after work.” No home to commute to. You live and lead side-by-side with the crew, every day.

What Rennie didn’t realize was how much his time underwater prepared him to lead global industrial businesses and startups across multiple industries.

Becoming a leader worth following begins—and ends—with people.

“This book cuts to the heart of the matter of leadership: it’s all about people.” Says Joshua D. Cotton, PhD, Founder and CEO, VetStoreUSA

All in the Same Boat: 10 Lessons in Nuclear Submarine Leadership

Available in 2020

Excerpt from the introduction: 

An Ohio-class submarine, the largest in the U.S. fleet, is an impressive sight to behold. At 560 feet in length, these $2 billion warships are nearly the size of two football fields. What’s even more imposing is to see these boats out of the water. When I entered the dry-dock area, I saw the Tennessee for the first time. She was colossal and everywhere around her was activity. There were countless lines, pipes, and hoses running to and from the boat. There was scaffolding and heavy equipment. There were orange grinding sparks and the blue glow of arc welders. There was banging, yelling, alarms, horns, and the roar of generators. The acrid smell of diesel exhaust and welding fumes sat heavy in the air. There were hundreds of people in and around the dry-dock working feverishly to get the Tennessee ready for sea. It was a complex cacophony of noises, smells and views I could barely comprehend. 

As I took in this scene, I was overwhelmed. My training never prepared me for the reality of what was unfolding before me. As I considered the fact that I was about to take a significant role in this high-stress, fast-paced, perilous environment and that I was going to lead people in this complex and dangerous world, I realized, I wasn’t ready for this.

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