Had the opportunity to listen to Mike today. He was the keynote luncheon speaker at the Oklahoma SHRM Conference in Norman. Here's a link to a youtube that gives an overview of what he accomplished. Amazing results of his management style that changed the lives of 300+ military personnel.
As a member of the OKHR BlogSquad (#okhr)...I interviewed Mike after lunch. In between signing autographs, here are the questions I asked - and the answers he gave:
#1) What has been the most rewarding achievement since leaving the ship. His answer: Starting 3 small companies, one of which is owned by veteran who has minority contract advantage. When I asked why he considered this achievement so important, his answer was: I help create jobs for Americans.
#2 Where does he see himself in 3 -5 years. Answer: Continuing to speak to others so they'll know they, too, can be leaders who shape the future of those with whom they work.
#3) How many of your former sailors stay in touch? Answer: 200+
#4) What is the key ingredient for success as a leader/manager? Answer: Be visible to your people, help them do their jobs and show that you care.
As he closed his speech, it was clear he still gets emotional when he talks about leaving the ship. He did not have a big, audacious ceremony. He looked them in the eye - said "You know how I feel" - - Saluted - - then got in a small boat to go to shore. He later learned there wasn't a dry eye on the ship when he left. That says it all.
Now that you've read the above, add this to the equation: He did not select WHO would be on his ship - he had to work with what he had inherited. Hmmmmmmmmmm so all those pre-employee screenings, hire to skill set options are only important if they're followed up with a leadership style like Mike's. This book should be on your desk: It's Your Ship - Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.