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I want a raise – Where is my cut?

Well said and a lesson for all those screaming for “free stuff.”

theleansubmariner

I want a raise.

Of course I want a raise. Sadly, I am retired and no one pays me to write this blog. But the natural reaction for many people during any change in business is to expect some kind of pay increase. I mean, I came to work nearly all of last year. The company or organization seems to be doing better. Where is my cut?

Where to begin?

As someone who has been a manager over the years, I have faced this same issue when approached by those who worked directly for me. Companies want to attract and maintain good talent and pay is certainly one of the largest factors involved in this process. Note to anyone who is seeking more money” don’t forget that your worth is actually compensated for with a wide array of benefits including time off.  This article focuses mainly on the “financial compensation”…

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Can You God Home Again?

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In The Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King, there is a particular scene that always seems to grab me by the throat. Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are riding back to the Shire when Gandalf notices that Frodo seems somewhat disconnected from the others. When queried by Gandalf, Frodo’s response is particularly poignant;

“’ Are you in pain, Frodo.”

“It is my shoulder. The wound aches, and the memory of darkness is heavy on me.”

“Alas! There are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured,” said Gandalf.

“I fear it may be so with mine,” said Frodo. “There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same, for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?”

Gandalf did not answer.’”

Gandalf had fought in the same war as Frodo, and so understood the wounds that are often unseen, yet remain deep within those who fought.  Changes that occur within anyone who has seen conflict are little understood by those who never have done so.  It seems to me that often even my beloved wife, Kathy, just doesn’t get it despite the many times I have tried to explain my wounding.  Enduring the unendurable and moving on (“Just get over it already!” is something I have heard) is, at best, an exercise in futility.  Even speaking with other Veterans can be less than helpful as we each have experienced a different part of ‘the elephant’ that is experiencing combat in its various forms.  ‘Seeing the elephant’ is a descriptive phrase first used following the Civil War of those who had fought.

“In some military quarters, having “seen the elephant” has been used as shorthand for having experienced combat.”

War and its many facets, affect those who have been through it in many ways. Even those in the same unit can have dramatically different views on what has happened; for those who seek to understand what the other has gone through, is best illustrated by the parable of four blind men discovering an elephant;

“A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable.” So, they sought it out, and when they found it, they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said: “This being is like a thick snake.” For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar-like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, “is a wall.” Another who felt its tail described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.”

For me to have an intelligent conversation with a MARINE who has been through ground combat (or for him to understand my view from inside a submarine), we must first realize that, like the blind men, we have ‘touched’ a different part of the same beast.  However, for the person who has never served…well, that is a different animal altogether. 

As with Frodo, there can be no ‘going back’ to the person we once were or viewing the world from the same eyes.  Hopefully, those who love us will understand and continue to walk with us through life.  My travels through life have shown me that few will remain despite the idiocy I can do as my mind fights with itself.  Through the good and evil, they stay and my heart treasures them above all riches.  My beloved wife, Kathy, is chief among these for she sees (and experiences) the depressive episodes, the rage that can appear without warning, and just wondering if I’ll ever be sane again.  Our faith sustains us through it all (both while I was in prison and since), and Scripture is a constant reminder that Jesus is the “God Who Stays.”

Again, like Frodo, though, it seems that until I leave this life (pictured in his journeying with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the elves to the land across the Western Sea from Middle Earth), my struggles and my desire for my friends to walk with me, will continue.  God’s grace and the real friends that I have found (that God has gifted me with) are a reminder that no matter the struggles and failures, there is a “far country” waiting.

The journey continues…

Precision Delegation – A guideline for leaders who find themselves in new roles

theleansubmariner

This article is dedicated to all of the people who have recently found themselves elected to new roles in their local governments. It is also something that might be useful to any number of people who are already in leadership but aren’t very effective in getting things done. Outside of time management (which is directly tied to delegation) there are very few things that can trip up a leader in the execution of their duties as much as delegation.

The article comes from my years as a submariner, business leader and business excellence teacher.

Precision Delegation

Delegation is defined as the assignment of any authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. However, the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers a subordinate…

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The Last Navy Day – How Truman almost killed the US Navy

theleansubmariner

Navy Day is October 27

(sort of)

Not to be confused with the Navy’s Birthday, which is celebrated on October 13, Navy Day was established on October 27, 1922 by the Navy League of the United States. Although it was not a national holiday, Navy Day received special attention from President Warren Harding.

Harding wrote to the Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby:

“Thank you for your note which brings assurance of the notable success which seems certain to attend the celebration of Navy Day on Friday, October 27, in commemoration of past and present services of the Navy. From our earliest national beginnings the Navy has always been, and deserved to be, an object of special pride to the American people. Its record is indeed one to inspire such sentiments, and I am very sure that such a commemoration as is planned will be a timely reminder.””It is well…

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First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of His Countrymen

theleansubmariner

I asked for a sign and this is what I got (1638 EST 1/7/2019)

I monitor the traffic on the web site each day to see what is working and what is not. It was kind of an interesting surprise to open the blog up and see that number on the left.

Recently, the focus of the blog has been on Polaris submarines and the year 1959. I had already introduced the book written by Admiral Rickover that was based on his many letters to congress in regards to the names of the boats within the Polaris and Poseidon program. But I have struggled with how best to tell the story. The original work was published by Congress in October 1972 and is protected by copy write. I will do my very best to respect that for moral as well as legal reasons.

But the way the Admiral welcomed each…

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Would you do it again?

Nostalgia does overshadow the sleepless days, smells and separation from those we loved, but I would go back in a heartbeat even now if they let me.

theleansubmariner

Would you do it again?

As I have written before, so many people have the same reaction when you tell them that you were a Submariner. “Oh, I could never do that.” You just give them a certain smile of understanding and know that they are probably right. It takes a certain kind of crazy to knowingly put yourself through the things you went through to become a qualified Submariner. But would you do it again?

In so many conversations over the years, my suspicion is that many of my submarine friends would in a heartbeat. But it does make me wonder why.

The 711 Boat

This year coming up is a landmark year for me and for some important parts of my history. I will turn 65 in May and two of the boats that I have been associated with are coming to a new part of their journey…

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The Home Depot Foundation Pledges Quarter of a Billion Dollars to Veteran-Related Causes by 2020

theleansubmariner

Yesterday’s post was about a very unhappy man who was mad at

(insert name of home improvement store here)

for not being eligible for a military discount.

Lifer

I was thinking after I posted that story that many people are not aware of how much some companies work very hard to support actual veterans-in-need causes.  Because I have worked with different groups over the years, I am a bit more familiar with them. It may surprise you as well.

This announcement was made in 2016 on Home Depot’s web site.

The Home Depot Foundation Pledges Quarter of a Billion Dollars to Veteran-Related Causes by 2020

The Home Depot Foundation has focused on U.S. military veteran support since 2011. Today’s increased commitment will help address continued veteran challenges, including:

More than 39,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. More than one million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness due to…

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Adversity is a refining fire.

theleansubmariner

I achieved a minor but important breakthrough this morning at around 4:50 AM when Angus the dog decided he needed to get up and go outside.

I have been struggling for months to properly title the book project I have been working on now for about five years. The last three chapters have been the hardest since these chapters cover the most well known parts of my subject, Captain Cassin Young, US Navy Medal of Honor awardee (deceased).

The breakthrough is that I believe I have the name that fits the work I have done and best describes what I want people to see when they pick up the book.

I will reveal that in the weeks to come.

Debbie and I have tried to get into a habit each day of studying God’s word through the Bible and some study guides we purchased for individual chapters. The study has…

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The Line

theleansubmariner

As Memorial Day approaches, I know that all of us will be busy with tributes, ceremonies and parades of honor. At least I hope that we all would be so engaged. The truth is that many will be more focused on picnics and pools, parties and getaways, sales and sports. How far away from our own heritage have we drifted.

I will have the honor of participating in the Elizabeth Parade and Ceremony in Elizabeth PA. The ceremony goes back as far as anyone can remember and has been a regular part of my families tradition for nearly as long. I hope to be able to introduce a new poem written today for the occasion.

This poem is a reflection based on a vision I had about sailors today. I have copywrited the work so if you feel the desire to share, please contact me directly.

The Line

Mister Mac

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Last Words

death bed

Driving home from the USO-NC Jacksonville, NC Center last night, I heard something on the radio that had me thinking.  It seems that one of the actors (and singer, teen heart-throb) from The Partridge Family, was heard to say the following just before he died; “So much wasted time.”  Sad that a man whose career was devoted to supposedly bringing laughter into others lives would end his own with such a sad insight.

 

It got me thinking into what others ‘last words’ were and how that reflected their lives before their deaths.  Many of the comments are humorous, some sublime and others, as the above quote, a sad goodbye to this life.  Some may believe that drawing any kind of conclusions from anyone’s ‘deathbed conversation’ is overblown.  They would claim that it is nothing more than the random thoughts flitting through a dying brain; others, myself included, feel that often such comments can reveal not only a glimpse of that persons’ life but perhaps a glimpse of what is next after death.  Many are recorded on various websites, but some that I’ve included here can point to how important these last testimonies are.

 

This is the last of earth! I am content.
~~ John Quincy Adams, US President, d. February 21, 1848

Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well–let ’em wait.
In response to an attending doctor who attempted to comfort him by saying, “General, I fear the angels are waiting for you.”
~~ Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary general, d. 1789

All my possessions for a moment of time.
~~ Elizabeth I, Queen of England, d. 1603

Codeine . . . bourbon.
~~ Tallulah Bankhead, actress, d. December 12, 1968

How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?
~~ P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891

I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.
~~ Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957

That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.
~~ Lou Costello, comedian, d. March 3, 1959

Damn it . . . Don’t you dare ask God to help me.
To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.
~~ Joan Crawford, actress, d. May 10, 1977

 

This by no means is a complete list, just some I parsed from several different websites including “Brain Candy,” “Mental Floss” and “Phrasefinder.”  There are some notables I have left out, among them Jesus the Christ (in that case his last words on the cross were not his last words, for he is alive today having risen from the dead).   Some that I have heard from other nurses (relating what they’d heard from a patient just as they died) are horrifyingly stark, giving a glimpse of life after death that is not all lollipops, rainbows, and butterflies.  The saddest on the above list is that of Joan Crawford; apparently, someone in her hearing was praying and perhaps beseeching her to call out for God.  To go into that long not-so-good night with those words on ones’ lips…

 

There are ample examples of those disciples of Christ who went to their King with joy; Tomas a’ Becket is such an example when faced with his assassins, gave testimony of not only a life well spent but an expectation of far better in the next life.  As the two malefactors who were crucified at the same time as Jesus, the world is divided into two camps; those who continue to decry his claims and mock him even as they die, and those who had once been among the mockers, but embraced him as Lord and Savior.  There is no middle ground, no great good deed that anyone can do that will assuage the penalty of being born a son or daughter of Adam.  Anyone who doesn’t believe in the concept of original sin and the inherent depravity of mankind has never had children (or seen the wild tantrum of a child not getting what they wanted NOW).

 

The time of our death is not known; often there is no time for any ‘last words’ as death overtakes us.  Better to live a life that reflects our values, particularly those of a disciple of Christ and let that be our last testament to the world.