A Bias for Bold Action

I was recently invited to provide a Navy SEAL’s perspective to a conference on risk management.    As I was preparing my remarks, I realized that throughout my career in the Navy, “risk management” had been inherent in my duties as an officer and leader of audacious men in high risk operations, but I had never…

The Fifth Factor

Ok, what’s the “Fifth Factor?” That is the question I frequently get when I tell people I named my company “Fifth Factor Leadership.” This simple question seems to deserve a simple answer, but I don’t have a simple answer, except my standard wise-guy response: It comes right after the fourth factor. Which of course leads…

In Praise of Mediocrity

I use this title partly in jest.   ‘Mediocrity’ is, almost by definition, that which is not ‘praiseworthy.’  And yet in my comments that follow, I hope to point out that what appears to us as mediocre does not automatically warrant derision or embarrassment.  There is an important place for mediocrity in this world, and often there…

Act of Valor

I recently viewed the movie Act of Valor for the second time. I was invited by the Cinema Society of San Diego to view a pre-screening, and afterward, I and a few other SEAL veterans and an active duty Captain from Naval Special Warfare Command were asked to come forward and offer comments.  Since the…

In Transition

I am in transition.  I am voluntarily leaving a good job, to move on to something else – I’m not sure what.   I’ve been the Director of the Master of Science in Global Leadership program at the Universtiy of San Diego for six years.  I’ve had fun, and I believe I’ve served this position well.  It is time…

Ethos or Mythos?

 The Seal community is justifiably proud of its Ethos.    It describes high ideals and provides a beacon of values to guide Seals through the challenges of these difficult times.  I fear however, that some Seals may not be getting regular exposure to the Seal Ethos , and without that regular exposure, some Seals may instead be falling…