First off, we don’t know too much about Rear Admiral Green because we weren’t SEALs, but he’s the commander of Naval Special Warfare, and he’s a Rear Admiral, so he’s obviously at some level, done pretty well for himself and probably knows how to solve some problems. Purely off of this latest piece which you can find here (click on ‘here’) we’ve found some solid lessons in leadership. As many have obviously seen and heard, the SEAL community has been under a lot of heat recently. High profile issues of discipline is what we’re seeing and it obviously needed to be addressed. So, succinctly, RAdm. Green addressed it.
The first thing he did was own it. A true leader understands that the actions of those following him, are a reflection of him/her. Your subordinates will only do what you show, or allow. It’s not often in the world we live in where the guy in charge says “Hey fuckers, it’s on me, this is my fault.” People are usually too selfish or what we like to call downwardly focused to see that the issue starts with leadership. He then proceeds to say that the small unit leaders should own it as well. Fixing a problem from the top down? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF SUCH MADNESS?!
Next up, RAdm. Green gives a task. He tasks the unit leaders to develop “written commander’s estimate that describes how you and your command team will develop a plan of action that is informed by “Naval Special Warfare’s Force Ethics Assessment” dated 22 March 2019.” Right there he is placing trust in his smaller unit leadership. They are going to develop the plan, he’s not going to ram it down their throats waving his big flag officer dick authority around. He issues guidance and directives, then is hands-off.
Next up, he encourages those subordinate leaders and units to crowdsource their plans, engage the men. Don’t ram shit down their throats.
He restates his guidelines and due date ensuring everyone knows exactly what the fuck is expected of them after giving them all the tools for their success, and finishes up by exhibiting trust in the subordinate leaders to get the job done.
It was quick, it was succinct and to the point, making his expectations obvious, along with some guidance.
So let’s summarize.
Owned the problem, encouraged other leaders to own the problem.
Assigns a task with clear guidelines and timetable, provides two resources for additional guidance.
Wants everyone involved, it’s not to be something everyone hates that gets shoved down their faces.
Reiterates his guidelines and encourages and places his trust in the leaders to accomplish the “mission”.
That’s how you tackle a problem.