I retired in November 2011 as a U.S. Navy Captain Engineering Duty Officer. Engineering Duty Officers (EDs) are the U.S. Navy's technical leaders who employ foundational knowledge in many disciplines outside of engineering to be effective leaders of technical organizations. I believe many junior officers have little insight into the demands of senior leadership positions in the Navy and are not exposed to sources of the knowledge they will need while they are building their technical expertise, forcing them to try to learn it as senior officers when they have very limited time to gain new knowledge and skills. I found this personally frustrating and have used this website to try to do something about it. My latest attempt at creating a list of skill categories applicable to senior leaders is below:
- Executive skills (email, coaching, giving feedback)
- High Reliability theory and actions that improve it
- Human Factors (how humans think, make decisions, and perform under stress)
- Decision Making (building professional expertise, critical thinking, traps and fallacies, making decisions under stress)
- Industrial Process Management and Leadership
- Becoming a life-long learner
Brief Overview of the site
- There are files available for download. I made some supplemental material available to members of the Carl Vinson crew as a result of my recent training on program principles (I have always wanted a way to do this), there are files and notes from a two day seminar conducted by Sidney Dekker April 09 in Washington, DC, a section of files for Junior Engineering Duty Officer guides, files I made available to attendees of the One Nuclear Shipyard Senior Manager's Workshop April 09, and some of my recommended reading.
- I have a links area that provides links to other content I have placed on the web. The links include my Amazon.com reading lists, APQC mentoring blog, and other material.
- I post to the blogs on the site somewhat irregularly. The pace of my full-time work and graduate studies (see my professional biography) keeps me from posting as often as I would like. I do try to identify big events in my professional and scholarly lives on this page when they happen. The site also has an RSS feed for those so inclined.
- Each post starts with a summary. Users must click on a link to see the whole post (makes it easier to scan for topics that interest you).
Do let me know if you have questions or suggestions for improvement. If you do, please provide them in the area for comments at the end of posts so others can see the comments too. I receive an email that alerts me any time someone makes a comment on the site. If you leave your email address in the comment, I will send the feedback directly to you since I always wonder what a blog/article author thinks about my comments.
My suggestion is to look at what's new first, then the last few blog posts in the area titled "Ralph Soule Blog," and finally move to the file area, especially the Junior Engineering Duty Officer Guides directory.