Navigating the Seven Seas

Leadership Lessons of the First African American Father and Son to Serve at the Top in the U.S. Navy
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Binding:Paperback
Published:February 15, 2011

Essential reading as part of the Chief of Naval Operation's Professional Reading Program

Navigating the Seven Seas is an account of the leadership experiences two high-achieving African-Americans in the U.S. Navy. This father and son duo both achieved leadership ranks in the service of their country by following certain precepts than can applied for success in any profession, both military and civilian.

Melvin G. Williams, Sr. served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years (1951-1978) and reached the highest enlisted leadership rank of Master Chief, with final Navy leadership assignment as a Command Master Chief. His son, Melvin G. Williams, Jr., served 32 years (1978-2010) and reached the rank of Vice Admiral with final Navy leadership assignment as a Fleet Commander). As two African Americans who served the nation for nearly 60 consecutive years across two generations, they hope to provide readers with their perspectives on leadership.

Their book describes how they navigated up through the ranks of the U.S. Navy to positions of greater responsibility by employing their “Seven Cs” of leadership: Character, Competence, Courage, Commitment, Caring, Communicating, and Community.

Their book addresses the questions regarding who a leader is, what a leader does, why and how a leader performs? Although the context of their experiences is with the U.S. Navy, their message is that the seven Leadership Cs are germane to all readers, regardless of occupation or leadership situation (civilian, military, public and private industry, etc.), and regardless of the reader’s background, culture, or gender.

The authors contend that leadership is an art and a science and that leadership can be learned, practiced, and refined and that there is no stereotypical type cast mold for leaders. They argue that if they as members of a minority can rise to leadership roles in the U.S. Navy by following these key principles to navigate across the rough seas of life, then anyone can employ these rules to rise to increased leadership responsibility in any profession or career.

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Product Details
  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • Illustrations: 35 b/w photos
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (February 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1591149606
  • ISBN-13: 9781591149606
  • Product Dimensions: 5.25 X 8.25 in
  • Shipping Weight: 8.16 oz

Master Chief Melvin G. Williams, Sr. USN (Ret.) after graduating from High School in 1951, he enlisted in the US Navy during the Korean War period and went on to serve 27 years, retiring as a Master Chief in 1978. Williams was assigned as a Navy Steward and served his first 14 of 17 years in the US Navy on sea duty on ships. Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he lives in Temple Hills, MD.

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Vice Admiral Melvin G. Williams, Jr. USN (Ret.) graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1978 and served 32 years in the U.S. Navy, including 22 years of operational assignments, retiring as Vice Admiral, Commander, U.S. Second Fleet. Vice Adm. Williams' awards include: Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (five awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards). Other awards include: Defense Mapping Agency Outstanding Personnel of the year, U.S. Black Engineer of the year – Special Recognition in 1994 and the Award for Professional Achievement in Government in 1995, the 2003 National Society of Black Engineers Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Government, 2009 Thurgood Marshall Award for Service and Leadership. He lives in Temple Hills, MD.

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Navigating the Seven Seas
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