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Page Title: Ability to Organize and Make Decisions
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A  courageous  person  is  not  necessarily fearless,  but  has  learned  to  conquer  fear  and concentrate  on  the  mechanics  of  fighting. ABILITY  TO  ORGANIZE AND  MAKE  DECISIONS Essentially your primary objective as a junior officer  is  to  coordinate  the  efforts  of  your subordinates  so  that  they  can  strive  toward  a common  goal.  However,  the  normal  day-to-day activity   of   the   maintenance   program   of   the peacetime Navy may not readily reflect this. This objective  is  more  difficult  to  achieve  when  the  goal is  less  easy  to  define.  However,  an  overall  view of the maintenance and training programs shows how  each  minor  accomplishment  fits  into  the whole. You should organize your subordinates so that their labor and training will be used to the best  possible  advantage. To  organize  effectively,  know  the  skills  and physical  capabilities  of  your  personnel.  Without that knowledge you would have to rely on a senior petty  officer  to  do  the  job.  For  officers  to  rely on petty officers to the extent of their abilities is proper  and  desirable.  However,  as  an  officer, never  allow  yourself  to  be  reduced  to  the position of an old-time midshipman–a messenger running  between  the  wardroom  and  the  forecastle. While you cannot help but profit from careful observation of the methods of skilled organizers, you should eventually attempt some organization on your own. To do so, learn to make decisions; without the power of decision, you are useless as a  leader.  When  a  person  presents  a  problem  to you,  that  person  expects  a  clear-cut  decision. Discuss  complicated  questions  or  those  clearly beyond   your   authority   to   decide   with   an immediate  superior;  dispose  of  the  lesser  ones yourself.  Never  allow  the  dread  of  making  a mistake or the fear of looking ridiculous to deter you from attempting to solve a problem. You will make   mistakes   occasionally,   but   an   honest mistake  seldom  involves  scorn  or  censure  if  all elements  of  the  problem  were  duly  considered. From   mistakes   comes   experience,   and   from experience  comes  wisdom. PERSONAL   EXAMPLE Young people have a strong personal need for examples  to  live  by,  at  least  until  they  have formulated  their  own  principles.  They  express  this need  by  following  the  example  of  someone  they admire—father, brother, teacher, officer, a great leader in history, or even someone with antisocial tendencies or habits. Young people will, in some way, attempt to attach to and be like the person they  admire.  As  long  as  these  young  people  are not disillusioned and as long as they feel the need, they  will  continue  to  emulate  their  hero. Naval  officers  should  have  such  dignity  and competence in all respects that they inspire their enlisted personnel to emulate and respect them. We cannot overemphasize the value of setting a good  personal  example  in  your  daily  life. Officers  cannot  live  by  the  rule  of’  "don’t  do as I do; do as I say" without the risk of personnel regarding   them   with   suspicion   or   distaste. Suspicious  or  distasteful  regard  for  an  officer greatly  diminishes  the  officer’s  reputation  as  a leader.  On  the  other  hand,  outstanding  conduct by an officer can inspire others to follow the same pattern,  thereby  benefiting  the  entire  Navy. When we speak of conduct, we mean conduct ashore as well as aboard ship. A person in uniform is   consciously   or   unconsciously   watched   by everyone around. In the minds of the observers, that person’s actions are interpreted as typical of everyone  who  wears  a  similar  uniform.  Therefore, we must do nothing to dishonor the uniform, lest, in  so  doing,  we  dishonor  the  entire  Navy. You  cannot  expect  others  to  follow  regulations if  you  ignore  them.  Depending  on  the  extent  of the  digressions,  you  may,  for  all  practical purposes, completely lose control of your person- nel.  You  may  not  realize  you  have  lost  control at   first   because   someone   else   may   keep   the personnel  in  line.  However,  sooner  or  later  the realization  will  become  apparent,  but  by  that  time you  may  be  unable  to  do  anything  about  it.  In any event, to regain the respect of your personnel and to reestablish control over them will require extraordinary   effort.  “Rank  has  its  privileges,” but  those  privileges  are  not  extended  to  cover deviations from accepted conduct. Rather, when speaking  of  conduct,  we  must  stress  that  “rank has  its  responsibilities.” Sign of an Outstanding Officer Former Chief of Naval Operations George W. Anderson, Jr., considered that truly outstanding officers  display  the  following  traits.  Many  have a  direct  relationship  to  effective  leadership  and 5-6

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