Retaining Your Best Is EVERYONE’S Job!


Do you know why the US Navy works hard to retain their best and brightest?  It’s because they can’t hire senior leadership from the outside.  They have to grow their own leaders  The Navy, as with any multi-cultural global entity, is in fierce competition for high quality, talented people who want to make a difference […]

CARE is the Key!

We as leaders can’t make our people happy. Happiness is a personal choice. What we can do is manage the mood – the “how people feel” about their work, their contribution, and the organization. As a young division officer, I inherited a department that had low morale, low productivity, and even lower initiative. Most of […]

Turn Off The Flash


Abby (my youngest daughter) walked over to me and said, “Dad, that is Jenny’s grandma” and, very stealthily, nodded in the direction of an elderly woman waiting (like we were) for her car to get done with its oil change.  I said, “Well, go up and say hello!” Abby looked at me incredulously.  Being somewhat […]

Show Your Ass and Laugh!

Chip Lutz

RIP!!!  The seam in the back of my dress uniform pants completely gave out.  Admittedly, I had packed on some serious pounds.  I had quit smoking and substituted the smokes for anything sweet around. (Okay, that’s just an excuse…I love donuts and had had a continual stream of them going into my mouth.) That morning […]

We ALL Screw the Pooch!


Back in the olden days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and thoughts were kept on “post-its” (and not a smart phone), I was in charge of the travel budget for my squadron.  Since we had planes, travel was part of what we did and keeping a tight budget was paramount in our ability to make […]

Is It Close Enough?

Team attitude begins with leader attitude

I don’t know about you, but I like to get things right.  So much so that I can put a lot of undue pressure on myself to do so.  Sometimes, isn’t done just good enough or just close enough for jazz? After a long session of practicing, my High School orchestra conductor, Dr. Scott Johnson, […]

Are You A Talker Or A Doer?


In order to navigate today’s rough waters we must do more than talk about it, we must do! One of the best action leaders I have ever served with was a man named, Russ. He had an ability to take an abstract idea and drive it home to completion unlike anybody I had ever seen. […]

All Engines Ahead Full!

It was the Independence Day holiday weekend and all of my buddies were going out to paint the town.  It had been a long 10 weeks of training during Officer Candidate School and each of us had earned the privilege of going out to blow off some steam.  I, however, decided to stay in and […]

4 Methods to Self Promote Without Brown Nosing!

Years ago, as a junior officer, I worked with another young Lieutenant named, Derek.  Derek was a smart, articulate and a hard worker but he was also a MAJOR League sycophant (aka: fawning parasite or brown-noser).   Whenever the opportunity would arise, we would duck and pucker in the hope of outshining the rest of the […]



He was trying to be patient.  I know he was.  I was excited to be at my first duty station and learn my trade.  I had just gotten finished with my apprenticeship training and was, in my opinion, ready to take this new knowledge and take over the world. Don, my first supervisor, was teaching […]