I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following

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In December 1990, during the final years of the Cold War, I stepped into the engine room on the USS Tennessee and became a leader. I led a team of sailors who maintained the nuclear reactor control systems for this powerful warship. It was my first leadership job. I had the watch.

After leading hundreds of people in the Navy and in business for nearly 30 years, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that leadership matters.  Leadership can make a significant difference in the performance of any organization.

The problem is that there is a leadership crisis in business today. Despite the fact that our collective understanding of leadership has never been stronger, our practice of leadership remains subpar at best. Nearly 70% of employees are disengaged at work and half of U.S. employees are actively searching for a new job. It’s clear that we need better leaders.

This book contains a curated collection of articles I have written over the past five years that provides straight-forward, proven, and practical advice on how to become a better leader. 

All in the Same Boat: Lessons I Learned While Leading on a Nuclear Submarine

Available in 2020

My first job out of college was my dream job. I served as a Naval Officer on a nuclear submarine, the USS Tennessee. In five years, I earned my “dolphins” (qualified submarine officer) and was certified as a naval nuclear engineer. I made seven deployments and spent around 540 days underwater. Yes, that’s a year and a half under the ocean.

Some say living on a submarine is a lot like space travel. I think it’s more like being locked up at work with 150 of your coworkers where no one can go home for three months at a time. The truth is, it’s a bit of a social experiment. You learn a lot about people and leadership when you’re locked in a 560-foot metal tube with a nuclear reactor and 24 nuclear missiles for 77 days straight.

On a submarine at sea, you can’t get away from people you don’t like. You learn quickly how to work with others to complete the mission. You realize quickly, that, regardless of rank, you’re all in the same boat. 

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