2. Words Matter. And your word is gospel, so choose them wisely. You can't take them back, even in an email or on Facebook. Take a breath, count to ten. If what you need to say is not a wartime order, you have time to think about it. And don’t speak, post or Tweet or send an email till you have read it at least three times or said it to yourself first before you do.
3. Do the right thing, even when no one is looking, because they are. They are learning about your character – through your behavior (in person, in writing or on social media etc.)
4. Challenge the process, but not the authority and recognize the difference. And encourage your Sailors to do the same. Expect your Sailors to challenge, you want them to. It keeps leadership vibrant with new ideas and provokes a chance to look at old one for improvement.
5. Change is good for the sake of improvement, not for the sake of change. Don’t go into a new command and try to turn it into your last one. Your new command has some great Sailors and processes too. Let them show you. If we didn’t encourage change, and try new and quirky ideas, we would have no IPhone, no smart TV, no Hybrid cars, no 100% tuition assistance, no nuclear ships etc.
6. Find a part of yes to every no, that’s our job as leaders. If everyone said no, and accepted it, we would not have innovation or second chances. It’s ok to be positive, and go out of your way to find an answer.
7. It's easier to get on a negative bandwagon than a positive one, because someone else is doing the driving. It may be popular at the moment to jump on the negative, some may even think it’s funny, or cool. But you can’t just jump off when it goes south, and it will. You will forever be attached to that negativity. Be brave, you take the wheel, change the direction, and drive drive drive in forward motion.
8. If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong. Even Stephen Hawking said “Life would be tragic if it were not funny” – It’s ok to enjoy what you do. I did. I loved every day in the Navy. Now, there are days I did not like, but I loved my experience.
9. We get what we raise, so raise wisely. You are raising the next generation Navy. If you have your hands in your uniform pocket or jacket unzipped etc, then so too will you’re Sailors. Period.
10. Anyone can manage success, Leaders manage crisis, and bring it to success, or prevent crisis in the first place. Success belongs to the team. Leadership is hard, it’s supposed to be, so it’s not hard for your team.
And finally; a DUI is not a mistake - a brown dress with red shoes is a mistake... A DUI is a conscious decision to violate our Sailor ethics and a conscious decision to put my granddaughters life in danger on the road while I am driving her home from her ballet lesson. Please, don't do either.