June 21, 2024


sound bites of life

Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division Rear Admiral Joseph W. Dyer, USN first shared these views and lessons learned in July 1999. As in prior years, he pulled them out in early 2016 to find them, still, true and sound. Or, as RADM Dyer began in 1999,

Hindsight is the only true vision‘. Those of us who have been around the TEAM for awhile can see some truth and wisdom in this saying.

RADM Dyer writes, “I have learned there is a strong correlation between many of these traits and the ability to manage and lead large, complex undertakings. Good leaders are not just born that way – they become good leaders because they have learned to listen to the sound bites of life.”

Across the next weeks, insights RADM Dyer has gained, in particular regarding leadership, will be capsulated here. Indeed, RADM Dyer’s second axiom perhaps capsulates all that follow; it concludes that Robert Fulghum was right in his book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”:

Share everything. Play fair. Don’t take things that aren’t yours, and live a balanced life.

Over the years, I have come to realize that knowing what to do is a country mile short of knowing how to do it and so I’ve come to cherish the sound bites of life that others have provided me either in words or deeds. Let me share some with you. Wherever possible, I’ve also shown the name of the person who either taught or reaffirmed these things.

Fun: If you are to be successful, you have to have fun at what you’re doing. Or, put another way, “If you aren’t having fun, are you on the right path?” CAPT Lyn Whitmer, USN

A Trip: Life is a journey and not a destination. RADM Rick Phillips, USN retired

Bloom: Bloom where you are planted, but if it’s in the shade, migrate! CAPT Don Bradbury, USN retired

Attitude and Optimism: Both are force multipliers for us and the folks around us. CAPT D.J. Venlet, USN

Body Language: Learn this language that all people speak. There are some great books on this subject! CAPT Bob Boyd, USN

Don’t Always Push Harder: Ask yourself, “Why is there opposition and why are they pushing back?” Try to figure out how to reduce resistance to what you are trying to accomplish. Bob Johnson

Respect Secretaries: They can help you a lot. They can get you in, help you out, and save you with a heads-up. LT Don Simmons, USN

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