This html article is produced from an uncorrected text file through optical character recognition. Prior to 1940 articles all text has been corrected, but from 1940 to the present most still remain uncorrected. Artifacts of the scans are misspellings, out-of-context footnotes and sidebars, and other inconsistencies. Adjacent to each text file is a PDF of the article, which accurately and fully conveys the content as it appeared in the issue. The uncorrected text files have been included to enhance the searchability of our content, on our site and in search engines, for our membership, the research community and media organizations. We are working now to provide clean text files for the entire collection.
made to reach such a condition.^ 0pfj-
A division officer can strengthen a ship’s chain of command if he can forge a strong link with his LPOs. A true two-way exchange of information is the key, which means a lot of comparing notes.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding and critical relationships in the U. S. Navy exists between the junior division officer and the leading petty officer (LPO). The degree that this relationship is developed by the members of the wardroom and chiefs’ quarters is a direct indication of the unit’s effectiveness in all measurable areas. Like the perfect marriage, the relationship between a division officer and LPO involves a common and well- expressed vision, mutual respect, useful
Of all the traits an aspiring na ^ cer has acquired, the ability to .^gciy senior enlisted personnel, Partle|-jned- chief petty officers, is the least re ^ However, many different princip _ be used to develop a sound work|n=^ ^ port between the division officer a LPO.
and other division members. Process separates the effective divi- (0 hcers from the ineffective ones. ,s must know that their division offi- aC(i S committed to the right course of c°unte fegar^*ess °f the hardships en- of aered; There are times when a course Cer ^ loa *s presented to the division offi- ‘bv C as exPe(hent but not quite sir?” r '500'c''' rather, as “How ’bout it, enerally, the LPO hopes the divide nl° IC6r w'd not carry through with Wantan anyway- At these times the LPO divi-be “stood up to.” He wants his
fo»i P‘e of ownership to cause LPOs to
divj ■ to do whatever they want with their ipore°n t0 make it work better, produce W;ir ’ and> ultimately, increase long-term
chiefs’ d°b tbat greatly dissatisfies the W qUarters ls tbe retluction of re- by (jS|oility. This can be done, of course, oneect|y and formally relieving some- eVer ,a Primary or collateral duty. How- sUc.’ 11 seems that relieving someone tpuas the LPO of responsibility happens by . rriore subtly but no less corrosively, the i° at'nS the chain of command. For than ^lsi0n officer to ask anyone other varj tae division LPO for the status of sj0as Projects, information, or profes- LpQ lnput is a form of relieving the
and «T’ tbey are owners of the division
that 6 m°St lmPortant asset—the one rest_^lves shape and cohesion to all the
trust th 'ntegrity’ tbe ahihty to develop mu , hrou8h one’s actions. Integrity with 6 ^°unc* ln h°th members, because not hUt U' an e^ect've relationship canto,^ .? built- Throughout an overseas tested 6 integrity a division officer is the I p“nSC,0USly or unconsciously, by
■>■1 . S-I and (it nt'r rluncmn momKorp
s'°n officer to show that he has
b|y a‘”°ne and that he is able to forci- rnan(j, convincingly represent the com- nee(j S Policies, as well as the division’s know asPirations. LPOs need to Up ,0tbat their division officer will stand ljev„ , h°ss on matters which they be- want ° be r*ght, fair, and practical. LPOs backb*16'1 division officer to have the Wltho0ne which is bom of integrity. fnanUt this, standards erode, perfor- warWanes, and, on the larger scale, Readiness decreases, pen e Sense °f ownership is another im- LPont trah that division officers and sCnss should both possess. That is, the (liv;,e tbat ah matters that pertain to the si0r)10n Pertain, also, to the LPO. Divi- lfinc°f1Cers might use the underlying
chec^at’ as LPOs, they have a blank
ier .°f some degree of ownership and, are °re, responsibility. Certainly there the lmes when the LPO does not know status of a particular job or task as
well as the Leading First in the division who has actually got the wrench in his hand. However, the division will suffer a certain loss if the division officer “relieves” the LPO of his responsibility for knowing by asking the First. A tricky tightrope for the junior officer to walk lies between the simultaneous need for conveying job status to the department head in a timely fashion and ensuring that LPOs meet their responsibilities for knowing the status. By requiring such reports exclusively of the LPO, division officers can train their LPOs to know about and aggressively pursue all matters that pertain to the operation of their particular division.
Another vital concept that should be used by division officers and LPOs to build strength within their divisions is ‘‘out-and-aboutness”—called managing by wandering around (MBWA) in modem business literature. This practice involves the division officer and LPO showing an interest in divisional affairs by walking through the spaces and seeing how things are getting along. For the division officer, the key is to see and not to intervene—unless ship’s or personnel safety is endangered. To intervene in a job or administrative task without the LPO’s knowledge or input would weaken the link between the division officer and LPO. Ideally, with the exception of a casualty situation, division officers need to exchange very few words about job status with anyone but their LPOs. Feasibly, the only words they might need to say to the troops are general questions, such as, “How’s liberty?” “How are the folks, the wife, the kids?” or "How’s studying going?” These are important questions for sincere division officers to ask, but they really do not need to ask much more than this. Through MBWA, an officer can improve morale in his division as well as build up his LPO’s critical role. Often, members of a division will make informal reports to their division officer while one of these “inspections” is taking place. The division officer can use these opportunities to bolster the strength and meaning of the chain of command by ensuring that the member informs the LPO as well, thereby reaffirming the LPO of his link in the chain of command.
“Team sense” is what makes a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Division officers and members of a division feeling they are all part of the same team and committed to the same goals is an essential factor that distinguishes effective divisions on board ship from mediocre ones. Frequent and meaningful goalsetting is a key element. From what to train on, to when to accomplish major job items, to deployment objectives, to how to prepare a sailor for the next advancement-in-rate exam are all topics which must be jointly discussed by the division officer and LPO.
Frequently, a junior officer acts as a wardroom “ambassador” to the chiefs’ quarters. He is in a position to present a plan or policy to the LPO in a favorable and meaningful light so that the LPO feels he is part of the policy—he “buys into” the new plan and then turns around and “sells” it to the troops. A policy will be effective only if an LPO supports it because the enlisted ranks look instinctively to their LPO for direction and as a role-model. Division officers can also enhance team sense (and ownership) by soliciting LPOs for long- and short-term goals. In modem corporate language, this process, called “contracting,” is used by executives who attribute its success to the resultant worth and ownership felt by the employee or, in this case, the LPO. The process also involves an agreement over what type of monitoring and tracking the supervisor will use. By the time the division officer and LPO are finished with their discussion, they have a list of goals that is challenging and realistic and has been jointly decided. Now it becomes the division officer’s job to “facilitate”—to do everything possible for the LPO to achieve the objectives discussed. One analyst says that “except when giving orders or directions, you [the division officer] are the servant, not the master, regardless of your authority. Your job is that of a midwife, helping the receiver to give birth to the same ideas, . . . feelings, or motivations that you have.” Christ used this principle when he washed the feet of his Apostles.
An essential tool in any relationship is feedback. Whether it is between division officer/LPO, husband/wife, parent/child, or commanding officer/executive officer, feedback must occur frequently, constructively, and honestly. In I’m OK, You're OK, Dr. Thomas A. Harris discusses “strokes” and “stroking”— positive feedback which enforces good behavior by encouragement and praise and negative feedback which involves disciplining and targeted counseling to correct improper behavior.2 Feedback of both types is an important show of care and concern and will be perceived as such by LPOs and their division. To “stroke” positively enhances one’s self-esteem which “leads to feelings of self-confidence, worth, strength, capability, and adequacy, of being useful and necessary. . . .” All of these are very essential feelings. Similarly, a LPO can have a heavy impact on his division officer. It means a great deal to the junior officer’s self-esteem to be accepted by the division and its LPO. To be told by the LPO that a particular problem was handled well or that a job was done well can be very constructive, real-time reinforcement. The pitfall of such an idea is that the junior officer tries to please the LPO and the division instead of representing and pursuing the goals of the command. But if the encouragement and feedback are honestly and maturely conveyed and received, they can be very important to the welfare of the relationship.
The young junior officer receives almost no formal training for dealing with the tenuous relationship that exists between the division officer and LPO. NROTC, Officer Candidate School, and the U. S. Naval Academy concentrate on providing the candidate with many opportunities to work with peers and seniors. Sports, academics, and extracurricular activities constitute a sort of leadership laboratory in which the candidate consciously or unconsciously experiments with various leadership styles. However, they do not afford the aspiring officer the chance to practice leadership skills with subordinates. While it is true that first class midshipmen are, by rite, placed in positions of responsibility over
groups of subordinates, these subordinates are, almost without exception, aspiring officers themselves who are by nature idealistic, naive in the ways of the Navy, and. generally, easily influenced.
A newly commissioned officer goes to the fleet with excellent training on how to deal with seniors and peers, but very little training in dealing with the subordinates with whom he or she will come in contact within the first hour of reporting on board ship. Fortunately, however, these leadership fundamentals that the officer has gathered by the time of his or her commissioning are indeed the necessary beginnings. These must be expanded and then built upon. It is a sink-or-swim challenge which, like all challenges of this nature, is exciting and potentially very rewarding. So where does the junior officer learn? Important coaching of the junior officer on how to deal with enlisted men comes, certainly, from the other officers on board, just through watching. But like any learning process, true knowledge comes from doing. American author Herman Melville wrote: “The sea has been my Harvard, the sea has been my Yale.” Only with time and diligence will the junior officer be plugging away on all leadership cylinders.
The relationship between division officers and leading petty officers is the most
critical one on board U. S. Navy
Through them word is transforme action, policies are carried out, mo ^ ^ shaped, and energy gains direcuom^^ weak link exists between these imp people, the division will not °Peraw;n a clear sense of purpose; productive ' ^ be sporadic at best and tend to resa ^ad crises only. Together they form t ^ (0 whose collective responsibility 1 ^ ^ inspire, lead, encourage, discip m > prune and to “sell” goals, P° thoughts, and ways of thinking- g(j There is a great variety of we ^ concepts available that division 0 can use to build an effective re a 1 with their LPOs. The division o ^ re_ let is extremely rewarding—r"emands sponsibility and challenging ee|se. which are not likely to be ^0UIVj-fjCult where. The process of learning1S(ing yet rewarding. The rewards of cu the competence, enthusiasm, aj1 |pjjjjng mitment of subordinates are as u as they are bounteous. *  3
Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest
The United States Naval Institute and the Vincent Astor Foundation take pleasure in announcing the Eleventh Annual Vincent Astor Memorial Leadership Essay Contest for Junior Officers and Officer Trainees of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The contest is designed to promote research, thinking, and writing on the topic of leadership in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
FIRST PRIZE: $1,500, a Naval Institute Gold Medal, and a Life Membership in the Naval Institute.
FIRST HONORABLE MENTION: $1,000 and a Naval Institute Silver Medal.
SECOND HONORABLE MENTION: (two to be awarded) $500 and a Naval Institute Bronze Medal.
The first prize essay will be published in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. The Institute’s Editorial Board may elect to publish any or all of the honorable mention essays in any given year, but is not obligated to do so. The Editorial Board may, from time to time, publish collections of the award winning essays and other essays in book or pamphlet form.
This contest is open to:
- Commissioned officers, regular and reserve, in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in pay grades 0-1, 0-2, and 0-3 (ensign/2nd lieutenant; lieutenant (junior grade)/1st lieutenant; and lieutenant/captain) at the time the essay is submitted.
- U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officer trainees within one year of receiving their commissions.
1. Essays must be original and may not exceed 4,000 words.
- All entries should be directed to: Executive Director (VAMLEC).
U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland 21402. ^
- Essays must be received on or before 1 March 1987 a
U.S. Naval Institute. ^
- The name of the author shall not appear on the essay ^.s author shall assign a motto in addition to a title to thejssay^ ^
motto shall appear (a) on the title page of the essay.
title, in lieu of the author’s name and (b) by itself on the0 ^
of an accompanying sealed envelope. The sealed envelope' s ,
contain a typed sheet giving the name, rank, branch of se ^ address, and office and home phone numbers (if avail®e'. tity essayist, along with the title of the essay and the motto. The i ^ of the essayist will not be known to the judging members Editorial Board until they have made their selections. |
- The awards will be made known and presented to the su®fe^ejr competitors during the graduation awards ceremonies a respective schools, if appropriate, or at other officialcerem pre- Mrs. Astor or her personal representative will be invited w v sent the first prize each year.
- Essays must be typewritten, double-spaced, on paper apP
imately 8V2 x 11”. Submit two complete copies. j
- Essays will be judged by the Naval Institute’s Editorial
for depth of research, analytical and interpretive 9®,^„’0tpe original thinking on the topic of leadership. Essays fu"" merely expositions or personal narratives.
; should not t
Deadline: 1 March 1987
United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland 21402 (301)268-6110
'James J. Cribbin, Leadership: ^,ra,e^‘eS[^\C0^' izational Effectiveness (New York.
1981), p. 178. New*0*
Abraham H. Maslow, Motivation an (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), P-
Thomas A. Harris, I’m OK, You re O Harper and Row, 1969). , per sottd®