Suggested Reading for

NAVY TEAM

We are one Navy Team – comprised of a diverse mix of active duty and reserve Sailors, Navy Civilians, and our families – with a history of service, sacrifice and success. We will build on this history to create a climate of operational excellence that will keep us ready to prevail in all future challenges.


THE ACCIDENTAL ADMIRAL

A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

By James Stavridis    [ Link to eBook ]

The Accidental Admiral offers an intimate look at the challenges of directing NATO operations in Afghanistan, military intervention in Libya, and preparation for possible war in Syria—as well as worrying about the Balkans, cyber threats, and piracy, all while cutting NATO by a third due to budget reductions by the twenty-eight nations of the alliance.

After he was selected to be NATO’s sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander, The New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a “Renaissance admiral.” A U. S. Naval Academy graduate with a master’s degree and doctorate from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, conversant in both French and Spanish, this author of numerous books and articles impressed the Navy’s leaders and senior Pentagon civilians with his wide range of interests, educational background, keen understanding of strategic doctrine, mastery of long-range planning, and command of international affairs. Since NATO had previously been led by generals, Stavridis saw his assignment as the first admiral to take command as somewhat “accidental.” As the American and NATO commander in Europe responsible for 120,000 coalition troops serving in fifty-one nations, on three continents and at sea, he had come a long way since almost leaving the Navy for law school five years after receiving his commission.

More than just describing the history of the times, Stavridis also shares his insights into the personalities of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Hagel, Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Generals David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, John Allen, and many more. Known as an innovator and an early adopter of technology and social media, Stavridis’ ability to think “outside the box” and sail in uncharted waters is unmatched. He shares his insights on leadership, strategic communications, planning, and the convergence of threats that will confront the United States and its allies in the near future. Stavridis is an advocate of the use of “Smart Power,” which he defines as the balance of hard and soft power. He explains that in creating security in the twenty-first century it is critical to build bridges, not walls, and stresses the need to connect international, interagency, and public-private actors to achieve security.

TEAM OF TEAMS

New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

By Stanley McChrystal    [ Link to eBook ]

What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization? When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, and then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many ad­vantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.

General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disci­plined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations? McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to ex­tend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flex­ible—and beat back Al Qaeda.

In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small.

NAVIGATING THE SEVEN SEAS

Leadership Lessons of the First African-American Father and Son to Serve at the Top of the U.S. Navy

By by Melvin G. Williams, Sr. and Melvin G. Williams, Jr.    [ Link to eBook ]

This book showcases important leadership lessons. The authors are the first African-American father and son to have served at the top in the U.S. Navy. In addition to the engaging biographical content of the book are the Seven C’s of Leadership: Character, Courage, Competence, Commitment, Caring, Community and Communicating that are explained through vivid examples that will serve to guide Sailors and Officers to a successful life and Navy career.

The father and son authors share inspirational lessons that cover all areas of the leadership spectrum, from the makings of a Command Master Chief to the makings and distinct achievement of a Flag Officer. Navy heritage embraces both men’s contributions since both father and son had to open doors that were closed to them due to their race. Melvin G. Williams Senior’s ability to make Fleet improvements and positive recommendations for others was passed on to his own son, who served as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and obtained the rank of Vice Admiral.

LEADERSHIP ON THE LINE

Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading

By Ronald A Heifetz and Marty Linsky

To lead is to live dangerously. It’s romantic and exciting to think of leadership as all inspiration, decisive action, and rich rewards, but leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and surfacing hidden conflict. And when people resist and push back, there’s a strong temptation to play it safe. Those who choose to lead plunge in, take the risks, and sometimes get burned.

But it doesn’t have to be that way say renowned leadership authorities Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky. In Leadership on the Line, they show how it’s possible to make a difference without getting “taken out” or pushed aside. They present everyday tools that give equal weight to the dangerous work of leading change and the critical importance of personal survival. Through vivid stories from all walks of life, the authors present straightforward strategies for navigating the perilous straits of leadership. Whether parent or politician, CEO or community activist, this practical book shows how you can exercise leadership and survive and thrive to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

DEVELOPING THE LEADERS AROUND YOU

How to Help Others Reach Their Full Potential

By John C. Maxwell    [ Link to eBook ]

Why do some people achieve great personal success, yet never succeed in building a business or making an impact in their organization? John C. Maxwell knows the answer. “The greatest leadership principle that I have ever learned in over twenty-five years of leadership,” says Maxwell, “is that those closest to the leader will determine the success level of that leader.”

It’s not enough for a leader to have vision, energy, drive, and conviction. If you want to see your dream come to fruition, you must learn how to develop the leaders around you. Whether you’re the leader of a non-profit organization, small business, or Fortune 500 company, Developing the Leaders Around You can help you to take others to the limits of their potential and your organization to a whole new level.

A VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

Ten Years of Reflection

By James Stockdale

The decade that followed James Stockdale’s seven and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison saw his life take a number of different turns, from a stay in a navy hospital in San Diego to president of a civilian college to his appointment as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution.In this collection of essays he offers his thoughts on his imprisonment. Describing the horrors of his treatment as a prisoner of war, Stockdale tells how he discovered firsthand the capabilities and limitations of the human spirit in such a situation. As the senior officer in confinement he had what he humbly describes as “the easiest leadership job in the world: to maintain the organization, resistance, and spirit of ten of the finest men I have ever known.”

His reflections on his wartime prison experience and the reasons for his survival form the basis of the writings reprinted here. In subject matter ranging from methods of communication in prison to military ethics to the principles of leadership, the thirty-four selections contained in this volume are a unique record of what Stockdale calls a “melting experience”–a pressure-packed existence that forces one to grow.

IN LOVE AND WAR

The Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam Years

By James and Sybil Stockdale

A unique American chronicle of a Navy family’s life during the Vietnam War years, this widely acclaimed memoir has been updated to include an outspoken account of the Stockdale’s experiences in the seventeen years since Jim’s release from a Hanoi prison.

OUTLIERS

The Story of Success

By Malcolm Gladwell    [ Link to eBook ]

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

THE WISDOM OF CROWDS

By James Surowiecki    [ Link to eBook ]

In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.

THE TIPPING POINT

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

By Malcolm Gladwell    [ Link to eBook ]

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

THE CAINE MUTINY

By Herman Wouk    [ Link to eBook ]

The Novel that Inspired the Now-Classic Film The Caine Mutiny and the Hit Broadway Play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II.

TRIBE

On Homecoming and Belonging

By Sebastian Junger    [ Link to eBook ]

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John Kennedy