Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Gordie Naughton recommended a book I am reading called Countdown to Pearl Harbor. Good book.

Here is an excerpt that I thought was relevant to how things work/don’t work.

“I have been concerned for many years,” he wrote to his boss, Stark, “over the increasing tendency—now grown almost to ‘standard practice’—of flag officers and group commanders to issue orders and instructions in which their subordinates are told ‘how’ as well as ‘what’ to do to such an extent and in such detail that the ‘custom of the service’ has virtually become the antithesis of that essential element of command, ‘initiative of the subordinate.’ ” If officers “are not habituated to think, to judge, to decide and to act for themselves,” King warned, the navy “shall be in sorry case when the time of ‘active operations’ arrives.” It had to “stop nursing them.”

Excerpt From
Countdown to Pearl Harbor
Steve Twomey
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Basically, it means giving people direction and letting THEM figure out how to get the job done rather than TELLING them how to do it. Not that any one way is right all the time, but allowing (and unleashing) people’s creative abilities and empowering them to “get ‘er done” brings more thought to the table than just having people be trained monkeys.

I’m sure some may disagree, but something to think about.

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