Leader Development Workshop: Connections, Character, Competence

Leader Development Workshop: Connections, Character, Competence


Admiral John Richardson

Admiral, USN (Ret)


Captain Emily Bassett

Captain, USN



I cannot overstate just how much I've learned from Admiral John Richardson over the last year who Dr. Steven spear introduced me to. He served as the chief of Naval operations for four years, which is the highest ranking officer in the us Navy overseeing the efforts of over 600,000 people. He currently serves on numerous public boards, including Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company and Exelon a fortune 100 company, which operates the largest fleet of nuclear plants in America. I got to interview him for four hours on the ideal cast, and he gave a lecture to this community in April and to the larger DevOps enterprise community. In October, for me, one of the most remarkable moments of that conference was a one hour workshop that he did on leader development with captain Emily Bassett. So among other achievements, captain Emily Bassett served as the commanding officer of the literal combat ship, USS Manchester.


She was the reactor officer for the USS Gerald Ford, leading 300 nuclear trained sailors to operate and maintain the us Navy's newest nuclear propulsion plant on a first in class aircraft carrier and an email from her led to a significant change in Admiral Richardson's Navy leader development framework, 2.0 document, which he published as CNO, which shows up prominently in version 3.0, <laugh>. I know that those from this community who attended that workshop last October were as astounded and blown away. As I was in my conversations, three reasons kept on coming up as to why one, we all thought it was profound. Meaning we all felt that we got to experience something important and fundamental two, what they were teaching seemed so contrary to status quo and three, it was so credible given the gravity of the context that these lessons were forged in. So as amazing as that workshop was due to a mistake that I made, we didn't record that session <laugh> so I am so grateful that Admiral Richardson and captain Bassett were willing to record this workshop again, to teach us something that is so important to the technology leadership community.


You will all have received a one page worksheet that they will be referring to. Uh, you can find it also below in the slides link, and I highly recommend that you print it out or have it available on a tablet, so you can complete these exercises as we go. And as you'll see, I fill out my worksheet both times that I got to attend this, I can personally attest to the startling effectiveness of some of the patterns that captain Bassett teaches and I'll share a very specific example, uh, at the end of the session. So here is Admiral Richardson and captain Bassett.


Hey Jean, thanks for that. Absolutely fantastic introduction. And it's such a pleasure for, uh, captain Emily Bassett and I to be here, uh, to share this time with you. And we're gonna spend the next hour in a dynamic and participate exercise to really share with you, uh, the distilled, uh, lessons that Emily and I have come up with in terms of, you know, what is important to deliberately develop, uh, leaders in, in an organization. You know, teams are just absolutely, ravenously hungry for good leadership because they, they want to be well, led leaders should want to lead to make their teams better, to make each of the individuals healthier, to keep them on the team, right, make them, you know, want to come back and, and continue to work for that team. Be intrinsically motivated. So, you know, good leadership at that level is, uh, is important now as it always has been.


Right. But I think there's a couple of things that, uh, are, are new as well. Today. One is that, Hey, the world is getting very, very complex, right? And some of the leadership approaches in the past, uh, may or may not serve us in this, you know, accelerating increasingly complex world. And so we thought maybe we'd start with just a little bit of time to explain how the two of us, you know, come together, uh, before you right now. And it started, uh, when I was the chief of the Navy and I wanted to, uh, as the head of the Navy promulgate, a, a framework that would describe how that we can develop leadership, more effective leaders across the Navy. I use this framework idea because even within the Navy, while we're all sailors, there are different communities, right? You've got your aviation community, the, the, the folks that fly on and off of carriers, you've got your submariners, that's my community, uh, surface warfare officers, that's Emily's community.


And you have seals and medical and, you know, a lot of different tribes within the Navy. So we wanted the framework to provide enough information so that there was a common approach, but not too much information so that we were over-prescribing approaches to these different communities, which come with their own culture, et cetera. So we put that out and I actually labeled, you know, the, uh, the first version of that version 1.0, right, with the idea that, uh, Hey, we're not gonna get this all right, for all the communities. And so, you know, this is version one, it's our first stab at it. And, uh, there was, you know, sort of this implicit, uh, desire to get feedback and take it on to version 1.1 or 2.0 or whatever it might be. But, uh, really, you know, little did I know that out in the fleet, uh, in command of LA Toal combat ship commander, Emily Bassett was sitting there a supernova of creativity and ideas. And she literally sent me an email and said, Hey, look, uh, you know, this leadership development version 2.0, it's a great start. Uh, but I've got some ideas for you, Emily, why don't you let 'em know what you told me.


Thank you. RO Richardson. Um, so there I was, right. I am, uh, in command of, uh, 70 sailors on, uh, laal combat ship, USS Manchester, and this document version 2.0 Navy leader development framework, uh, had just come out. And it was exactly what I needed because, uh, many captains, uh, are expected to have what they call a one pager command philosophy. And I thought, this is great. I need this. So I made a one pager command philosophy for how I was gonna lead, you know, my 70 sailors. Meanwhile, this document was written for hundreds of thousands of people. So I adapted it, uh, as one might to work for me. And I, I made an acronym out of it and I called it, uh, D two C three. I called it, uh, deliberately develop character competence and connections. And, um, as the Admiral just said, I had added a little bit to it.


Um, so I thought character and competence were a really good, uh, start, but I wanted also have a piece in there component either. Uh, that was connection. So, um, D two C three was my command mantra. And, um, then when I had an opportunity to connect with the chief of Naval operations, I thought I'd share, I mean, he called it 2.0, right. Which is my, I took that as an invitation, uh, for my small group, my small team, uh, to give feedback and to say, Hey, I think it would work, uh, even better if we added a third C.


Yeah, I know. Exactly. And so, you know, I think that in some, uh, instance, a very vivid instance, in fact, uh, the fact that the two of us are here together, sort of continuing to collaborate on this is indicative of the power of some of the ideas that we're going to, uh, lay out for you here in the next hour or so. Uh, because, uh, these types of connections, you know, connecting creative minds, uh, is exactly, uh, what we're after to unleash the, the full potential of the organization. Particularly a distributed organization, one that, you know, is distributed geo geographically, uh, a around the world, literally in the United States Navy's case. And so, uh, just in terms of how we're gonna spend the next hour, uh, the leader development framework, as Emily said, was sort of organized around three lines of effort, which is to develop, uh, a leader's character, uh, a leader's connections and a leader's competence.


Okay. So three CS, and we'll actually take 'em a little bit different order in terms of connections, character, and competence. Okay. And so, um, what we'll do is we'll start off with a little bit of explanation about, you know, why, uh, each of these three CS was, was relevant. And then, uh, what the next part will be to ask you to, uh, participate and really make this discussion, you know, pertinent and relevant to your specific situation. So that's kind of the, what phase of, uh, explaining the three CS, and then, uh, I'll hand off to Emily and she'll take it away from there.


That's right. So my portion of this, uh, for each of these three CS today will sort of be your hacks. Uh, we call them hacks because they're limited, uh, but they're useful starting points, right? So I'll give you a place, uh, some deck plate examples, uh, some life examples, and for you to apply to your team, uh, as we go through today's workshop. So your handout today, uh, is a bunch of pictures and we'll step through each picture. So we'll explain them and feel free to doodle all over them. Um, I do ask that you have a sheet of paper separate because during, uh, the audience participation port portion, you're just gonna be writing, um, some, some lists, so separate from that, or just use the back of the document that you might have printed out for you. Um, but those are pictures. So the pictures are kind of sketchy, uh, by design. So we did not, uh, hire a graphic designer. Uh, we did not get these pictures off the internet. We drew them, uh, for the purpose to make a point. And that point is that this is simple. This is simple. It's not easy, but it's simple. And we want, uh, an image to really trigger you to take action. So each one of these, uh, images that I will introduce as we're gonna call them, your hacks are images that are simpler, super simple, and you'll be able to apply to your situation.


Okay. So let's get started, we'll start with, uh, one of the three CS, which is the, uh, C that describes connection and just a little bit of, uh, discussion about why connections are so powerful. And in fact, uh, why we start with connections, uh, right up front. Okay. Uh, at the end of the day, you know, everything that we do, certainly in the Navy we do in teams, it's almost never that we find ourselves operating alone. Uh, and even as I said, in a globally distributed environment, you know, you are operating in some kind of a team. And, uh, not only that, but you are operating in a system that, you know, either gets some kind of a product or guidance from somebody and you are gonna do something with that guidance. And then you're going to also relate, you know, downstream if you will, to, uh, somebody else.


And so what we're talking about with this idea of connections is, uh, you know, getting to an authentic conversation between the people that, uh, provide you guidance and the people who are to which you are gonna provide guidance. Okay. And, uh, you know, the idea is that, uh, these connections would improve coordination amongst the team, right by virtue of these conversations, it will, uh, allow for, uh, better feedback, okay. In these conversations, a as you, as you go through, uh, iterations, uh, the coordination and the, and particularly the feedback are going to allow you to learn faster. And also by virtue of having this network of connections, you know, each of the leaders is going to become, uh, more resilient, you know, tougher and, and able to respond to unexpected, uh, contingencies, uh, a little bit, uh, more effectively, okay, now these connections transcend what might be depicted on an organizational chart, right?


That's kind of a political diagram. It might show you, you reporting senior and those people who are underneath you, we're really looking at sort of the functional or operational connections that allow you to, you know, do what you need to do. Right. Uh, uh, professionally personally, operationally. Okay. And so at the end, you know, what we hope to, uh, emerge from these connections is what Emily and I are talk are calling authentic conversations. Okay. And it's really these authentic conversations that are the real Keystone to, uh, to, to fast learning and even more so to establishing, uh, the trust and the confidence, and ultimately getting to a state of shared intent. Now, these conversations in the Navy have, uh, some tremendous, uh, historical examples, right. And I'm gonna go to the Royal Navy, uh, first to provide an example, which is one of the greatest Naval leaders in history, which was Admiral, uh, Hario Nelson.


Okay. And, you know, I mean, here's the hero of the battle of Trafalgar, the hero of the battle of Nile, the hero of the battle of Copenhagen, some of the most epic Naval battles in history, and before each one of those battles, uh, Nelson would convene the captains of his fleet, uh, in his cabin, on his flagship, the HMS victory. And, uh, and they would review the battle plan that, uh, Nelson had put together right with his captains. And it was a conversation. It was there, there was input. And, uh, there was discussion, there was a discussion of contingencies, Hey, what if the wind shifts and blows this way, instead of that way, what if we find the enemy formation in this configuration instead of that configuration? And, uh, and by virtue of that and the openness of Nelson to, uh, to be, uh, receptive to these questions, uh, when, when the meeting broke and those captains went back to their individual ships, which was a, a, a big deal, you had to get into a boat and row across the ocean to get to the other ship.


In those times, you know, they left with a much better understanding of the shared intent of, uh, of the, the commander and, you know, this, this was so, uh, legendary, even in its time, it became known as the Nelson touch. Okay. The Nelson touch was his ability to bring his captains together, engage them in this authentic conversation, elicit the best of them, modify the plan if necessary, and leave with the sense of shared intent. Okay. In, in the submarine community, in the us Navy, the same thing happened, uh, in, uh, world war II. And, uh, you know, the submarine, uh, submarines were deployed very far forward. And, and, uh, in combat, that was a very, very fast learning environment. Right. And so when a captain came back with his submarine and they returned to Pearl Harbor, all the other submariners in town were like, ravenously hungry to understand what was going on at sea now.


Right. Because they were getting ready to deploy into that same, uh, uh, combat environment. And they wanted to know the latest because knowing the latest was often the difference between life and death, between bringing your bat, your ship back safely or not. And so there were these, again, legendary conversations started by the commanding officers themselves. There was no, you know, top down type of mandate because there was this urgent question that they all had, they had to get to, you know, the bottom line here so that they could deploy their sub as fully ready as possible and have the greatest, uh, opportunity of survival. And so, you know, again, it's the participation that matters, right? Uh, as general Eisenhower said during the war, uh, you know, it's not really about the plan, it's about the planning, right. And that's what provides you the real, you know, fullest sense, the kudo as, uh, as Napoleon would say of the, of the plan going forward. Okay. And so for this connections, as a, as kind of a memory hook, we are using the, uh, object of a feather. Okay. And Emily's got the, the greatest story about why we chose a feather. Eh,


<laugh> thank you for that. So, um, the image we're using for you to take away when you think about connections and who that applies to, uh, in your environment, uh, we're gonna just gonna refer to the simple story of gumbo. Uh, it's worked for me throughout my career. Um, I have a few examples. I'll share one with you, uh, for why the feather matters to me, but just to kind of center us all, uh, on Disney, um, or wherever you get your, uh, childhood stories of Dumbo from the, um, image of course, is of Timothy who, uh, convinces this elephant Dumbo that he can fly. And the connection between Timothy the mouse, uh, who's in Dumbo's hat. And the elephant Dumbo, uh, is the connection by a feather. The feather is what he gives him, what the mouse gives to the elephant to convince him that he can fly.


So that's what we want you to think of when you're thinking about the importance of connections. You're thinking about one person offering another person, um, a feather that makes them confident, uh, that makes them know they're supported, makes them know they have maybe abilities. They didn't think they had otherwise. And, um, the story I'll offer you is, uh, really early in my career, I'm a classics major. So I'm a Greek enrollment, civilization, undergrad, uh, Italian minor, uh, the Navy nuclear propulsion program. I was where I was headed. And so I had a lot of learning to do so, uh, there, I was, uh, in the courses, uh, learning faster than I think I've ever learned anything in my life. Um, and I wasn't really sure I belonged there. Wasn't sure I was doing the right thing. Um, and I remember telling one of my classmates who studied with me endlessly, uh, that I felt like Dumbo.


Like, I feel like Dumbo here. I feel like I'm elephant trying to fly. And there he was with me side by side, always making sure that we were studying together, always making sure I understood the topics, you know, help move my note cards and help me understand, uh, in ways that made sense to me. And, um, he remembered that I'd used that image because on the, I get a little choked up, but on the day of the exam, he'd put a feather on my desk. And it was just a reminder to me to say, someone else believed in me and that I could do this, um, grant. He also studied with me all throughout the time that I was at school. Um, so there's more to it than just a quick gesture. It's a connection. Uh, but we want you to take that image of a, of a feather and to think of it as, um, a reminder to you and to us that we, um, can make a big difference by reaching out to someone and maybe offering them some support like this feather did for me.


Yeah. And so what we're gonna do now is ask you to make this idea, uh, relevant and pertinent to your specific situation. Okay. And so we're gonna take a couple of minutes and, uh, Emily and I will just kind of move to the background. And during these two minutes, we want you to, on your mute handout or wherever we want you to list 10 people in your life who might be in need of a feather, right. Somebody who is in a new, a job position, uh, confronting something that they, you know, haven't had a chance to, uh, deal with before, uh, they've got the skills, or maybe you wanna find if they have the skills, but there's gonna be this exchange, this connection with them. Uh, and, uh, and so list those 10 people that, uh, you think in your, in your job or in your personal life that might benefit from you reaching out to them and providing them, you know, a connection or feather that would enhance, uh, your mutual confidence in one another. Okay. So we'll just take two minutes,


Just ask you to use the back. Don't use the front that we'll get to that part later. So the front part that has people we'll deal with that later. So for now just list as many people in your life, uh, up to 10, that could benefit from a connection.


Yeah. And we, we ask you to stretchier a little bit too, right. I mean, there's a big difference between listing two or three and listing 10. Right. And, uh, so, you know, think hard. We were, uh, giving this, uh, workshop one time. And, uh, it was actually somebody who had a, a big history in education. Right. A lot of experience in education. And he said, uh, you know, when I, when I heard that question, it seemed like, okay, this is gonna be the easiest question in the world to answer until I started answering it. And it actually became sort of challenging. So we ask you to kind of stretch yourself and challenge, you know, get really personal and, and make this as, as, uh, meaningful as possible. I'm sure that some of you can hear the jeopardy music in the background.


Okay. So, you know, as we kind of think about wrapping it up, these are the, those people with whom you want to have on authentic conversation, right. Uh, to build trust and confidence with them and, and bring them into this state of a shared intent with you, right. Either, maybe someone, you know, who you report to, maybe someone who you work with peer, maybe somebody who, uh, you know, you're gonna, you're gonna lead, um, think about, you know, that authentic conversation you wanna have. Okay. Okay. So we'll wrap it up here and, uh, Emily's gonna actually give you some terrific tools. And again, you know, don't be deceived by their simplicity. They're actually super effective. Emily.


Thank you, sir. So just put that list, slide, we'll get back to it later. Or if it's on the back of your sheet of paper, just turn your paper back over again. We're, uh, going horizontally across. So you see on the top left, there's a picture of Dumbo. Maybe you've written the word connections across that, uh, feather there, you see the, um, the elephant image, uh, and to the right of that, you see two hacks. Okay. So those are the two hacks we're gonna share. And later on, we'll connect them. Don't worry about it, but just for a moment, suspend, uh, disbelief and, uh, listen to why, what, what are these, what are these two hacks for ways we might find connection in our teens and, um, you know, examples to be in your personal life as well. Cuz a lot of our personal and professional lives, uh, certainly overlap.


So, uh, the image you have there is of two people shoulder to shoulder, right? Very simple. Just quick drawing. Remember we imagined you drawing this, we imagined you going to the whiteboard and uh, bringing this back to your team so everyone can make two half circles, right? So there you have an image of shoulder to shoulder and this, uh, geometry will set you up for connections. And actually it comes very personal to Admiral Richardson to me because when I first reached out to him, I thought it was gonna be an email send done. Uh, he invited me, uh, to meet, uh, in person, uh, to have this conversation, um, uh, the way of follow up and I was super intimidated. Um, I was a commander, you know, and he's a four star Admiral in charge of the Navy. Um, and my response, uh, was yes, sir.


Happy to meet with you. Um, can we go for a walk <laugh> and that was my way of saying, I felt too intimidated. I, by the rank difference to meet face to face across the table and be faced with those stars, um, to really have an authentic conversation, if what he really wanted to hear was my opinion on another way to lead the Navy. So that was just too much for me. So, uh, to my joy, he said, yes. So we went for a walk. Uh, we met in a Washington DC where I was stationed, um, at the time for school. And, uh, we had this shoulder to shoulder geometry, right? So the whole time we were walking, I was able to like look forward and to explain why I thought this was important to me, how this worked. And I didn't feel at all, um, intimidated, uh, by the structure.


And, uh, we came to refer to that as the geometry of problem solving. And then I started to look for it in my, in my command. And I found, gosh, every time I was having an authentic conversation, one of the first things I was doing was putting a whiteboard up and what that whiteboard would do would, uh, invite the person in my office. And they would walk in with their problem, with their challenge. And, uh, as they were speaking to me, I would get the dry erase marker and just start drawing and writing on the whiteboard, what I was hearing. And so what that did was it made us be should to shoulder because instead of, uh, me being the senior person, receiving a report and having to react with it with my face and my shock and my confusion and all the things that my face shows, uh, instead we were both able to look at the problem together and they could correct me.


They could tell me I was getting it wrong. They could, as I was writing what they were saying, they could then amend the story. Uh, sometimes we were dealing with some very, very technical issues. Um, speaking now of my tour, as the reactor officer on the USS Gerald R for a lot of new type challenges came in that we hadn't yet seen. And so we had to work through them in a very technical way and looking at it on the whiteboard was certainly a way to do that. Um, so that's one thing, uh, that worked for setting up that shoulder to shoulder geometry that really helped us connect in a way that was authentic. Um, and the last thing I offer you there of those three questions you have for this hack, uh, is office furniture. So, um, if you off your office is set up in a place where someone needs to walk in and you're behind a desk, or you've got the computer screen between you and the person that you need to connect with.


Um, there's probably a better way you could do that, uh, if what you want is connection. So if you wanna have a power struggle by all means, keep that, um, if you need to show your a authoritarian, uh, in the conversation, but instead if you wanna have an authentic conversation that really gets that connection, uh, then you might look for ways to meet at a circular table or even look for ways to just remove the table. I, I used to pull my chair aside from the, uh, desk so that we would kind of be need a knee as limited space you might have on a ship. So those are, uh, some hacks for you to consider for how to have connection. And that's the image. The second image, uh, will offer you here for your second hack. Your second connection hack is, um, what we did here for you actually today, when we're trying to connect with you, even in this virtual space.


Um, and you heard us mention at the beginning, but the image is that before you get started, so there's your bare feet, there's your feet you're getting started, right? Uh, think about not just what your goal is like, what do you, what do you want? What's, that's not to maneuver your way. Um, that's important. And has it another space of relevancy? What we're talking about here is that you actually imagine how you want the person to feel when you walk out. So my example of this is, um, numerous times when I was the reactor officer on Gerald R. Ford, I had to, um, give, uh, complicated, complex, not always popular reports, uh, to my commanding officer, right? So, uh, I had kind of a long walk, uh, from my office to his, uh, state room and office, uh, up numerous decks and numerous ladders. And I it's big, it was a big ship.


Well, it's a big ship, <laugh> not a submarine. So on that aircraft carrier, I found myself walking across the flight deck and up a couple ladders, um, where I was preparing to give this report. And, um, I'll, I'll tell more about this story later when we talk about the big four. Um, but the, what I wanna share with you here is that I deliberately imagined that instead of practicing what I was gonna say or practicing what I, all my notes instead, what I imagined was that when I shut that door and I walked out of his office, I wanted him to think the RO she's got this. So that was my title, reactor officer RO. I wanted him to be like the RO she's got this, that's all I wanted him to think and feel when I left. So that framed how I was going to share my story, how I was going to say what I was gonna say, and just kept that in mind that, um, in beginning that connection. And I think that the connection that he and I had, that he did trust me to lead that department, um, was due in part to that hack that I was deliberate about thinking, how do I want him to feel when this conversation is over?


Yeah. And, and I can't, uh, stress again, how effective these things are when they're backed up by, you know, authentic intent to, uh, connect and really make that authentic conversation happen. Right? These are just techniques. And, you know, I mean the whiteboard example is terrific. In fact, this idea of, uh, you know, two people facing the same problem shoulder to shoulder, the physical geometry is there even the language that, uh, we use, you know, trying to use first person, plural, uh, pronouns as much as possible. So you get this idea of, uh, this geometry of shared, uh, intent, uh, really important, the idea of coming out from behind your desk, circular table or whatever it might be also very, very effective. And then I gotta tell you that, uh, as the person who head of the Navy who received a lot of those reports and Emily actually, uh, worked her magic when we met as well.


You know, the idea of, Hey, I'm not, not only gonna con convey information, but I'm gonna convey it in a way that, uh, provokes or, uh, invokes this, uh, sort of emotional response that's, uh, gonna make it memorable and pleasant. Uh, you know, that's also, uh, very, very effective. So that kind of wraps up our conversation about, uh, connections. And with that, we'll move to the second sea, which is character. Okay. Now this was when, when we put the, uh, leader development framework out, I would say that the Navy was very, very focused on competence and we'll discuss that next and our evaluation system on our schools and all of that. We're really focused on building technical competencies, which is very, very important, right? We'll we'll, as I said, we'll spend some time on that, but, uh, what I also wanted to, uh, make clear is that as you, uh, develop as a leader, um, the development of your character and understanding the values of the Navy as an organization is also very, very important, right?


Our arm services today are, uh, man by an all volunteer force, men and women from around the country come to join our ranks. And, uh, you know, that only works if we have a strong bond of trust and confidence with the American people, right? If that gets, uh, lost, then mothers and fathers are going to stop sending their sons and daughters to join the Navy. Right. And it was important, uh, to me, to be able to look everybody in the country, in the eye, uh, with the message that, Hey, we're ready to, to receive your brother, your sister, your son, your daughter, we're gonna take care of them and the people that are gonna lead, uh, those, you know, your family, those people are gonna be people of character, right? They're gonna have integrity. They're gonna espouse the values that made our Navy and our nation.


Great. And that's important. So we're gonna deliberately develop that in our leadership, right? It's also important, you know, not only this bond of trust and confidence with, uh, with the American people, but also the bond between a leader and their, and their follower and their team, right. That those, those trust and confidence really defines everything. Okay. Now, you know, good teams, most good teams will have some sort of statement of values, uh, that, that, that are important to them, that they espouse the great teams actually take the challenge of deliberately developing those values into their leadership and, and the rest of their, uh, team. Right? And so they do that, you know, not only, you know, from an academic standpoint and there's plenty of, of, uh, material out there to put together a nice course on the importance of ethics and, and character, but even more, uh, powerful is operationalizing that, so that, you know, before you start a shift, for instance, uh, at the pre-shift brief, Hey, these are the goals of this particular shift.


And then as we exercise, uh, this shift, as we move through this shift to achieve those goals, let's make sure that we hang together and we finish this shift, you know, with our integrity intact, with our honesty, intact that we're looking out for one another, that, that, you know, we are, uh, uh, we're, we're working with courage and commitment. You know, those values that we hold dear, uh, you know, that, that makes it real, that puts it on the shop floor. Uh, and, and, and not something that just exists in the classroom. And so, again, you know, this, this, this development of character, the deliberate development of character in our leadership is fundamental to establishing the bonds of trust and confidence, which are absolutely necessary because, uh, you know, in a distributed or a large organization in, uh, a highly dynamic environment, you may lose communication, direct communication with, uh, another member of the team, an important member, but with, you know, this shared, uh, sense of values and character, you can always trust that whatever decision that person makes, it's gonna be consistent with those values. Okay. And so Emily's come up with a terrific memory hook, uh, to help cement this into your mind, and I'll hand it off to her.


Thank you, sir. So our image, uh, for, uh, character is this image of a wand. So right below on, you're looking at your handout on the left side, you see, uh, Mickey mouse's, uh, arm holding a wand. And that is a, uh, memory from the movie Fantasia where Mickey mouse is, uh, choreographing and directing, uh, the colors and the animals and the, uh, instruments all around him. So you get this magnificent show that you get, uh, in Fantasia. And so that image of a wand is really, um, what helped me in my career when I thought of how am I going to lead a super complex team, according to the values that, uh, that I want to lead them with. And so, uh, I, I kind of put down the feather at that point and said, now I need to start leading with, um, with a wand and, or like a Baton.


If you think of yourself as like a, an orchestra conductor, you might call that your Baton. So either way wand or Baton, we call it the wand, cuz we like to conjure up, uh, Mickey mouse, keep it with the Disney theme here. Um, but that's our image is that you think of, uh, the Baton being, how you would keep, uh, pace, how you would keep the rhythm of your team and get them to, uh, enact according to the values that your, that your team shares. And we'll, uh, we'll share some hacks with you, um, shortly, but that's the image I want you to have in your mind is that somebody who is deliberately developing character is someone who, uh, has a wand or a Baton and they are keeping pace. They're setting the example, not just setting the example, but they are keeping everyone else aligned with the values of their team.


Yeah. And so this idea of the, of the Baton, you know, and, and the, the, you know, the time signature or the key of this, uh, musical piece that it provides the foundation for everything else, uh, to keep tempo, just like, you know, the, the organization's values do. Right. And so what we're gonna ask you to do now is we're gonna take two minutes again. Okay. And, uh, we're gonna ask you during these two minutes again, to list, uh, 10 values that, uh, either, you know, you hold personally dear or, and that your organization holds dear. So, you know, it can be a combination of personal and organizational values, but let's stretch out and see if we can't, uh, get to, uh, a list of 10 values that are important to you. Okay, we'll start now. And again, you know, this, this is actually a challenging one. It seems to me, Emily, to find 10, you know, values, uh, that are important, but, you know, stretch yourself, uh, because it's gonna be important as we come back to address those again.


And that'll be limited by the word value, you know, you could be attributes or characteristics, really words that, uh, tell you the kind of person that you wanna be and that you want your team to be just keep writing.




Okay. So I'm gonna, I invite to keep on writing, but as you're riffing your 10 values or attributes or characteristics, um, you, uh, I'm gonna offer you two hacks. The two hacks that we came up with that the Admiral and I have shared and discussed and thought were the right ones for your, this audience here, um, are right there in the center of your handout. So now you're starting with Mickey's wand. You might have written the word character next to that, uh, Baton or wand. And now you see an image, uh, to the right of that, that has a ribbon that says just like you, and this is a story from my childhood, um, that I have used over and over again, thanks to my mother, uh, Dr. Henrie Kloser. Um, so she used to use that phrase and she used to say to me, Emily, that's just like you.


And the curious thing is when she said it. So I remember, uh, vividly I in my junior years, uh, of elementary school and middle school, um, not being particularly good at math and, um, I'd come home with my grades. I was good at other grades, but the math grades, uh, not great. And she looked at me, uh, surprised. And she, her response was, um, Emily, that's not like you you're good at math. And she just, and I, I remember being in the kitchen, like hearing her say that being like, what, like, what does she mean? I'm good at math? Like what, where did she get that from? And I, and I, but I just was like, oh, my mom says I'm good at math. So I just kept studying math and getting, uh, better at it until, uh, my grades, uh, got better. And then one day, um, you know, she said, that's just like, you look at you, you're a plus in math.


And those, those are the grades that went on their refrigerator. Um, I'm sure there was more do that, you know, parenting, we never quite know, uh, how our parents, parent, we try to parent ourselves. Um, but that was the image that certainly left. I left my childhood with. And then, um, when I was in college, I left from Seattle, went to Boston university. So out there on my own. And I noticed in my own head that I was using that language, like when, uh, someone, one of my, uh, fellow midshipman asked me if I would run a marathon with them. And I was like, I'm not a runner. And they were like, well, no, we can run. We did the PRT. That's the physical readiness test. Has you run a mile and a half? Uh, we can run a marathon. Let's go. And then all of a sudden I'm like, okay, well, I guess I'm a runner now.


And I made myself a running plan and I followed it and I started got a prescription to runner's world. Um, and I thought, well, a runner runs, you know, and now, now I'm a runner. So it was that I had just sort of decided I no longer at home with my mother telling me who, what was like me now. I was the voice in my head, uh, saying what was just like me, um, fast forward to some more challenging situations in life. Um, when I had to, uh, as many of us find ourselves, uh, regrettably in a situation, we need to apologize where we make mistakes. Um, I use that language again. I reflected on what I had done and went to the person I wanted to apologize to. Um, and I started with, um, Hey, I'm sorry, I interrupted you while we were talking.


Um, I, um, that wasn't like me, I'm usually a really good listener and I care a lot about being a good listener. Um, and I, wasn't a good listener that day. And, um, it's not like me and I, I I'm sorry. And for some reason just saying that phrase, not like me, um, gave me a, made it easier for me to apologize. So, um, and it was developing my own character. I wanted to be the, I wanna be somebody who was a good listener. I wanna be someone who's known as being a good listener. Um, and so I was deciding what my own character was. So then fast forward to now I'm in command. Um, and I shared with you that D two C three was my command philosophy. So I had to find ways to give, uh, what we call captain's coins. Uh, the ways to, uh, acknowledge people's, uh, at, of boys are doing Wells.


And, um, I did that with, uh, character competence and connection coins. And so when I gave a, when I gave a character coin, um, I found a sailor who had done something that was exactly like what the kind of behavior I wanted to see in this command. And the example I'll share is when, um, there's a, there's an audit that sailors do daily, uh, that has to do with our communication security. And, uh, new information comes in every day and depletes the old puts new information in, and this sailor had made a mistake in that process. And, um, given the process the way it hands falls out, the sailor could have gotten away with that mistake. Um, because the next day new information would've come in. It would've, um, made the old information old and instead he decided to emit his mistake and come to, uh, his chain of command and say, Hey, I made a mistake.


I, I deleted this document that I shouldn't have deleted. And now for this period of time, we have to go to our backups. And, um, it took integrity for him to tell us that, right. It took integrity to say he'd made a mistake. Um, and I, I wanted to acknowledge that. So at the next Friday, all hands call, um, I pulled that sailor forward, gave him a character coin and said, um, that's just like you, we are a command who cares about integrity. We are a command who shares, uh, the Ben shares with each other, uh, when we learn something and when we make a mistake. So to that end, I, I offer you this, uh, hack that is this phrase, just like you. So when you see behavior, that is just like what you want to see in your, uh, teams that you attribute that behavior to a characteristic, to a value or to a behavior that you want to see and say, Hey, that's just like us.


We're the kind of team who, and just say that, and there you are, um, acting like our mothers, uh, or our leaders, the second hack, uh, you see, there has an eyeball shaking focus on what's working. Um, that comes from a line of thinking called appreciative inquiry. If you wanna read more into it, you can just Google appreciative inquiry. Um, but most often, most recently, uh, where I use that, where I use this, um, in the, um, surface nuclear, uh, program, we do a really, I think outstanding job of, uh, critiquing ourselves. So at very low levels, when we have something that doesn't go, uh, perfectly, we stop and we analyze it. And as is our nature, we find all the problems. Uh, we like to list the problems, put them in bins, have solutions, um, identify their root causes. Uh, we are very, very good at this.


Um, in the, uh, in, in this field, one thing I think, uh, helps if you wanna create character, uh, in this process is to also look at what's working and not just, what's not working, and this is not a Pollyanna, like let's all be positive. Um, can't we all just get along. That's not what, this is what this is. Um, when I ask you here in this hack to care and focus on what's and not just care about what's not working, what we're asking you to do is to keep the good before you throw it out with a fix. So, um, the example I'll give is when you, uh, come to a new team and you, uh, by your nature, make a list of all the things that are happening wrong, that you wanna go fix. Um, and you wanna go after them. What you might find is if you just go after fixing those problems, you might accidentally get rid of something that was really important and really good and really helpful, not meaning to, but, but you just did because you weren't at all aware of what was good and what was working and what is positive in that team.


So this approach here has you make sure you preserve what is good. Um, an an example I'll give is, uh, when I was leaving, um, one of my tours, uh, during my out brief, the, uh, senior officer who was signing my report said, um, you know, Emily, we all, we all have our mistakes and we all, and during this time I'm supposed to list to you where you need to get better. Um, he's like, I'm sure you'll figure those out and you'll get better. Um, but I think if you were really clear about what your strengths are, um, and you worked on making those even better, you could be, uh, amazing. And he gave me that advice at a very young point in my career. When I was thinking about, I was Lieutenant commander, I probably could have stopped there. You can retire as Lieutenant commander in the United States Navy.


So I probably wouldn't have considered moving on. Um, and instead I thought, okay, let me find out what I love. What do I love? What charges me up, what makes me stronger? And I asked myself that question, what my strengths were and what I enjoyed doing. And then I really focused on making those even better. And what I found was that my weaknesses, um, I usually managed around them. I didn't get much better at them. I kind of managed around them. I found people on my team who were good at those things, uh, to back me up so that I could take what strengthened me and what made me feel like who I was and what I valued and resonated there. That's where my energy went. And then I ended up, uh, with a career that I'm super proud of, uh, from that point,


Emily, that explanation is just like you <laugh>, it's, uh, full of passion. And, uh, it brings together so much of your personal experience to, uh, share with everybody. So thank you so much for doing that. And I, I can't think of a better way to wrap up the discussion of character than, uh, you know, that, that beautiful summary that you just gave us the, a discussion of those hacks. And so we'll move on now to a discussion of the third sea, right? So we've come through now, uh, the idea of connections, which, uh, you know, allows every, all the information and, and confidence and trust, uh, to flow, to get to a state of shared intent. Then we've talked about the importance of character as the underlying rhythm or tempo of your, uh, team, so that you know, that you, you can have that confidence that people, even if they're disconnected, will make the right decision consistent with the values of the organization.


Now, we're gonna talk about, uh, the, the technical skills or the competencies that everybody needs to do their job. And these are extremely important. I mean, you know, all of the sincerity and passion in the world, uh, will be lost if you don't know exactly, you know, the difference of right and wrong, good and bad in what you're doing. So these competencies, uh, you know, being good at what you do, being an expert at what you do is, uh, those are really important, right? Uh, and, and in fact, they're so important that sometimes leader development discussions are they stop there. You know, they stop with this idea of the competencies, how important they are, and they don't go on to, uh, the deeper sense of, uh, character and connections. And it's interesting because, uh, you know, when you think about it, competencies are often the most fungible or dynamic agile thing that you can, uh, build in your team, right?


I mean, how many times have, have we had to move from one job to another that may have required, you know, a completely different skillset or a largely different skill set anyway, and you had to kind learn those things, right. And, and most of us did pretty well once you sort of applied yourself. And there's generally a, uh, a great methodology in the organization, whether it's schools classes, or on the job training, or even through self study, you know, there's ways to get those competencies. They're, they're pretty dynamic and, and you can build those relatively quickly. And so, you know, as, as your, your team is moving around and you're putting people in new places a lot of times, so that they can grow, uh, please remember that, uh, you know, it may require some new competencies and you can bring in ideas from, uh, you know, not only throughout the organization, but from outside the organization, uh, to, you know, help you take new, uh, technic approaches to building those competencies.


But also remember too that, uh, you know, if you've done things, uh, sort of consistent with the way we're advocating you've to made a tremendous investment in the character of that person, and you've made a tremendous investment in making sure they're properly connected, uh, with others in the organization. And you've built that sense of trust and confidence in them. And you've had, you know, those authentic conversations that lead to shared intent. And so it's much richer, much deeper than just building new competencies. Those are relatively easy, you know, in people who are, are used to developing skills, it's those other things that, uh, help to define, you know, the total, uh, person, if you will, in the organization. And, uh, you know, we use this idea, uh, a memory idea of a decoder ring, uh, to, you know, help sort of give you the sense of, of how competencies fit into the larger, uh, question and challenge of leader development. I'll turn it over to Emily to kind of explain how the heck do we get to ACO ring


That's right. So, so if you have your handout, you're looking on the left, the third one down. So we have the connection on the top. We've got the character in the middle and at the bottom, you've got this decoder ring and you've probably written the word competence right next to it. And, uh, when we get a chance to share the hacks, we'll explain a little bit more about why the decoder ring is right, but the image in your mind might be, uh, that you have some, uh, code that you need to, uh, unleashed to understand. And so you need some way to take what you already know and apply it to what your job currently requires of you, how you can decode, uh, your knowledge, your experience, your background, um, how do you apply what, you know now to what your job or the problem, or the challenge in front of you is currently asking of you? So, um, a decoder ring is, uh, sort of your secret weapon on your, the ring on your hand. And we'll share, we'll share with you, uh, ways that you can, uh, apply this decoder ring, but it's a way for you to have the right answer, to know the right thing to say, uh, to have the right competency, um, and there's ways to do that. Um, and the decoder ring is our image for how you would, uh, think of yourself, knowing the right answer.


Yeah. And think about, you know, uh, going outside the organization, reading about, uh, you know, something that's completely different and then using, you know, decoding that if you will, to translate it into a skill that you can bring to your specific challenge. Okay. And so what we'd actually ask you to do now is we're gonna surprise take another two minutes. We're gonna ask you to, uh, personalize this again, to your specific situation and list, uh, 10 challenges or 10 problems that, uh, are, are vexing you right now that you and your team need to overcome, uh, problems that need addressing situations that are sort of urgently in front of you and, uh, require perhaps, you know, some new skills, some new competencies to get after them. So we'll take a, a couple of minutes now and enter the classroom phase of the seminar.


Probably not hard to cope with 10 on these for most of us can.




Lots of challenges


Probably don't need full two minutes, just 30 seconds.


Okay. So while you're 10, I, and keep on writing and don't let my voices continue if you need to. But, um, that's the real trick is to keep on writing your problems, list your challenges or even things you're having to adapt to. I think that's what we find in many of our careers is that we're all good, but the world around us is changing. Right. And so how are we adapting, um, two hacks for you? So the first one, uh, you'll see in the bottom center there, it has a picture of an exponential curve and this, uh, I'll show the story for where this came about in my career. Um, cuz I literally drew this, uh, picture on a whiteboard, uh, when I found myself, um, in the three months of uh, school. So I was at, uh, Naval reactors. I found myself there having just left command, uh, of a lateral combat ship.


So not a nuclear powered ship. Uh, I hadn't been on a nuclear powered ship for over nine years. I had one tour in between that, um, was a training job. Um, but hadn't really been responsible for the technical aspects of running a nuclear reactor in, uh, some time. And this three months of school, uh, was my preparation to then, um, be reminded of what I had learned earlier in my career and also to be taught the new, uh, propulsion plant and system of the Gerald or Ford brand new class of aircraft carrier and new propulsion, new


Competencies. Maybe


I had some new competencies that I had to develop. <laugh> just trying to not make it sound too tough, but it was tough there I was. I, and uh, they give me, you know, most of us have classmates, right? Cuz there's I, you know, but I was the only one, uh, only one there because, um, of the newness of this class. So I did not have classmates. Um, I was the only student in this, um, particular course as I was learning a new class of aircraft carrier. So they hand me my schedule and it's packed. It's like 0, 0 8 in the morning, you know, until 1,604 o'clock I'm, I'm going to lectures, I'm learning. And then, uh, every Friday there is a, uh, four hour written exam that they, uh, hand you at 1600, four o'clock on Friday. And then you're um, you, uh, spend four hours taking this test and it's all.


No, no multiple choice. It's all like, you know, explain a blank sheets of paper with a question on the top, uh, draw, uh, very technical, right. And, um, every week I was gonna have another exam for, um, three months. And I knew that I was gonna need a little bit more time than that to let all this information, uh, soak in for me. So I walked into the, uh, director, my, uh, local director, uh, his office, and I drew this picture. The one you see there of a flat line that then becomes exponential. And I, I labeled it as you see there. I wrote, um, this is, uh, my learning and I saw myself as someone who needed to spend time, uh, soaking in all the information, doing my note cards, looking in the book, uh, communicating back and forth, having small group discussions. I knew I was gonna need a lot of soak time to work into this information.


And I knew by the end I would get it. I have a track record of doing well in these, in these, uh, programs. Um, and I, and I was dedicated, I was all in, so I knew I was gonna get there. Um, so I drew that was the line for my learning. And then I drew a dotted line, uh, that is, you know, the Y equals X, uh, straight line there that you see that is, uh, my assessments is how I labeled that. I said, here's where you will be assessing me. I said, every week you're giving me a test. So you're gonna gimme one week of learning and one week of a test, two weeks of learning and then two weeks of a test. Um, and I get it. You want me to, uh, track along this line to prove to you that I, um, deserve the job as the reactor officer.


And I said, I would like to delay my first test just one week, just offset it one week and then, um, teach me at the same pace. Don't change your course at all. Um, and at the end, I'll take two tests to catch up. I'll, I'll be, I'll, I'll be outta here on time. I just need, uh, to start with a little bit more soak, time of learning. And, um, he said, yes, they, he let me do that. And he looked at the problem with me, so that shoulder to shoulder was happening. He got to hear me out. He was a good listener, um, excellent, uh, program there that allows for that kind of thinking. Um, and it served me well. And so what I offer you there is, um, how does this build competency? And what I offer you is that when the problems are really complex and when they are, uh, really new, um, maybe the result is not linear.


Maybe the result is not effort in result out at some measurable, uh, relationship of in versus out. And the quote that we, uh, have written, there is a quote from Albert Einstein and we only wrote half of it. So you can kind of think, but, um, he is famous. Having said that if he had 60 minutes to solve a problem, he would spend 55 of it studying the problem. So what that means to me is that when we, uh, want to be super competent, when we wanna take on a new skillset, when we wanna be better, we wanna be problem solvers. So our inclination, when the, when the team brings us a problem, our inclination is to start solving it, cuz we're problem solvers, right? Well instead, uh, what this image offers you and what Albert Einstein might offer us is to instead tell us to ask 55 minutes of questions, 55, 55 to the 60.


That's your ratio of how much time you should spend really understanding what the problem is and resist the urge to solve it. Resist the urge to cope up with your 10 solutions because you might be creating new problems and you might not be solving the one you actually wanna solve. And when you come to understand the problem, it might, the solution might just work out, work itself out. Um, so that hack is an image for you to think about how not only to develop your own competencies, but to develop the competencies in your team, the second hack, uh, ridges. And are you referred to it a little bit when he, uh, mentioned to you that, uh, in order for you to get that decoded work ring to work, you're gonna need to read, you're gonna need to read, and you're gonna need to read some outside, uh, influences that maybe you might not initially think, have anything to do with your problem.


So, uh, the image we have, there are, um, some one pagers and, um, the hack is that here's the quote, here's the quote. If I can't write it down, that is a, uh, the beginning of a quote from Admiral Rickover the father of the nuclear Navy. Um, so he's famous for having said, if you can't write it down, you don't understand it. So if we think we're super competent or a sailor or a member of our team thinks he or she is super competent, um, maybe you ask them to write it down, write down what is it that you know about this system? What is it that you know about this problem? What is it that you want your team to know about this problem? And I maybe it's all on the manual, but maybe you can put it in just one page. And so two examples of one pagers there.


Uh, one is, uh, how to negotiate with hostage takers. So that is a reference to the fact that one of the really toughest challenges in my life I had to overcome came from a book that I read, um, by Chris FOSS says never split the difference. So I was reading a book, um, about how to negotiate with hostage takers <laugh> and, um, turned out. It really helped me in my job as a reactor officer on an aircraft carrier. Um, why? Well, partly is because at the back of the book he shares, um, his own list of hacks. There are like very simple things you can do to, um, get to speak the same language of the hostage taker so that you can get compliance and you'll have to read the book to really get into what, uh, we're after here. But the idea is that, and many, many, many other books, and we just, we just picked one.


Um, but there's so many times that when we pick up a book that is not directly related to our problem, that we find a solution to our problem because it got us to think differently or because it gave us a decoder ring because it gave us a way that we can take somebody else solving a complex problem in their world. Unhinged for you a way that you might think about the complex problem in your own world to decode itself. And so, um, the way to use this hack is to read and to write that's this hack really read other books, be voracious in your reading, in articles, in podcasts, in what you're picking up from the outside world, um, not just in your own community, um, but in other communities and then write about it. If you can articulate what you think you learned in one page.


Um, I called these one pagers and I just put my command philosophy across the top and put my command logo, which I'm wearing here on the top. And, you know, for example, I wrote a one page on how to write an email. Like I was just super frustrated with how emails were coming through and some were taskers, some were for my situational awareness, some were for, um, information. Uh, you didn't know until you read that email a couple times. So I, uh, came up with a one pager sent out that said here is how to write an email with some pretty specific guidance. Um, just to keep it simple. I thought if this, if I can frustrate, and this seems simple, it must be easy to write about. It was not easy to write about. So offer you that hack, if you wanna develop competence in your team, not only do you read graciously, but you write what you've learned and make it simple and put it in one pager.


Yeah. Thanks Emily. And, uh, Emily a actually, you know, she walks the talk. And so if I send her an email that doesn't comply with that one pager is completely rejected. She unsubscribes to me, I end up in the spam folder. And so, uh, yeah, uh, she's serious about that. Okay. All right. So we're coming kind to the end of our time together here. Uh, but we still have sort of one more exercise. Okay. And I'd ask you to take a look at your handout and go to the far right. And in the far right there's, you know, for each of the feather, the wand and the ring, there is a, a space, you know, three spaces for each of those right. Three spaces for people, three spaces for values and three spaces for problems. And what I'd like you to do is, you know, we we've walked through now each of the three CS, uh, connections, character and competence we've then, you know, asked you to personalize, uh, the discussion to the challenges that you are facing specifically in your, uh, you know, your job, your team is, is, is taking a look at these right now.


And, uh, you know, you had, uh, 10 or so hopefully you got to 10, but we'd like you now to neck that down even more and pick the three sort of most important, most urgent, the ones you wanna get after right now, the three people that you wanna connect with and, and share, you know, in instill confidence, the three values that you think are most in need of reinforcement or, or emphasis in your life and in your organization. And then also, you know, maybe the three most urgent problems out of all of those problems that you listed that need to be addressed right now. And just write those three into those three spaces. Okay. And then what we want you to do is take one more step is after you've done that, uh, draw a line from each of those three things, those three people just draw a line to this specific hack that Emily wa described that might be most effective in terms of, you know, exercising, uh, some action, uh, to, to get after, you know, instilling connected with that person or, uh, reinforcing that value. We know what hacks might apply and, you know, you don't have to stay within the column. Any of those hacks might be useful to any of the, you know, the people, the values or the problems. So feel free to move around the page. But what we want is just sort of a, you know, a line, a physical line that connects each of the, uh, uh, specific, uh, people, uh, values and problems on the right to one of the hacks and the page. So we'll take some time to allow you to do that.


We call this the, bringing it all together, phase




Some of these lines will be linear. Some will be exponential. This could be a, a network across your sheet. <laugh> yes.


Yeah. They don't have to be straight lines. They can be curvy lines, twirly lines Meandering.


So the last thing we're gonna leave you with as you're, and there's more time, I hope you take, take that back to your offices, take it back to your home and, uh, continue to do over this. Um, we're gonna offer you what we call the big four and I referred to 'em earlier in this conversation. Um, but wanna make sure you walk away with it. So, um, these big four, uh, we teach them to all sailors as they enter the Navy in what's called a bootcamp. Um, and, um, I came across them, um, when I was, um, in a learning group with, um, a fellow friend of mine, Navy seal who had showed me, that's what they were learning in the seal community to help them with their mental toughness and mental resiliency, um, and how to fight some of the toughest problems they were cha they were challenged with.


And so these big four, they're also called the big four of mental resilience or mental toughness. Um, I got a lot of runtime with these, uh, in some pretty tough situations. And they're useful here that as you think about how to start, you know, you've got that problem you wanna solve, and you've just signed yourself up to write a one pager about it, or you've got that person that you wanna connect with. And you've just drawn a line that you're, you're gonna go for a walk with that person, right. Or you've got that value that you wanna espouse. And you're about to tell that person, you're about to tell someone that's just like us, right? So you have just signed yourself up, uh, with all these, uh, lines that you've connected on your sheet of paper here. Um, and sometimes it looks really good, but we don't want you just to walk away with a, with a pretty picture, right?


We want you to actually get started. We wanna actually get going on these things and actually change, uh, your life and change the life of those you lead. So we're gonna lead you with this final, um, we'll call the hack and it's called the big four mental toughness. And if you were to write, um, next to those images on the bottom, you would write next to the, the first image you would write the word breathe, uh, and then next you would write the word envision and then mantra, and then begin. So those are those four images at the bottom. You have breathe and vision mantra and begin. And just a quick explanation, you can, um, certainly go online and learn more about, uh, about these, but the, um, the quick, uh, summary of them is to breathe, uh, can be shortened or lengthened, right? If it's a quick problem that you need start, you need to get started on right away.


Literally just count to four and just breathe, focus on your breathing, get your, your perception to be focused only on your breathing, if it's a longer problem that, um, a life issue that really needs some addressing, um, you might, uh, invest in actually taking a yoga class or meditation or some real reading a book on how to breathe better, or you might actually get a breathing app and, uh, work deliberately on your breath, but this can be tailored, right? So start with breathing, uh, envision, um, imagine, um, the end state, imagine yourself 10, 20, 30 years from now, if it's a long term problem, imagine yourself on that trip that you wanna take one day, there you are on that trip. That was the hope and goal of your life, uh, or having that, um, conversation. That's a really tough one to have. Imagine how you feel after we talked about that with the, um, hack for connection, right?


The mantra piece, um, is not meant to be again, not meant to be a Pollyanna feel good, just yes, you can. The little engine then could, it's not that the mantra is really meant to push out negative chatter. So if in your head and the one I use all the time is 1, 2, 3. Good for me, I say that as I'm walking and I say it over and over again, literally. So I'm not saying something else, so my head's not going, oh, you're too, this you're not enough that they won't think this, how do I belong here? Just those thoughts that creep into my chatter. Um, don't have room actually, when I'm getting ready to go do something, because I'm literally saying this mantra instead in my head, 1, 2, 3, good for me as my feet are moving toward the, uh, commencement of my, uh, tough challenge. And then you see the footsteps. So begin take that first step and begin.


Yeah, Emily, that's so powerful. And, uh, the thing about that is, is that, uh, while, you know, the, the, the special forces use that to tremendous effect and Emily described that, uh, this can be scaled up. You know, we scaled this up to, uh, use it for all of our recruits that come through, uh, the Navy bootcamp, 40,000 recruit recruits a year that come from all over the world, all over the country and all over the world. And we found that, you know, this big four connected with these other CS of leader development were almost transformative in terms of, uh, allowing these young people to do things that at first were completely scary and new to them. And, uh, very quickly became, you know, very, very familiar and, and almost routine. Okay. So I hope that this discussion has given you, uh, all, some ideas.


And again, we hope to, uh, have conveyed it in a way that's, you know, super compelling and interesting to you, but also simple enough that you can take your one pager and, and maybe review, uh, you know, this session and then go and talk to your teams about it, right? And so, you know, our audience's audience, right, your audience, and, uh, and really you go about, uh, being a leader that, uh, is deliberately developing the connections, the character and the competence of your leaders, and Emily and I are gonna continue to refine this approach. And if you want to be part of that journey, as, as we, you know, sharpen our thinking, make it more, even more relevant, maybe expand in some areas, uh, we're gonna let you know how to stay connected with us in the slack channel and kind of be on the journey with us. So, uh, we'll, we'll post that in slack and, uh, just keep a look out there and we'd love to have you along and you wanna close it out.


Thank you. Excellent. Thank you, sir. Thank you for showing us.


Okay. Take care.