Show the Value of What You Do: Measuring and Achieving Success in Any Endeavor

The authors explain the importance of collecting and analyzing the right data based on a measure of success. There is a need for both hard and soft data. These measures only highlight what matters to success—converting intangibles and soft data to monetary impact. People must score their projects by using fully loaded, conservative, believable, money quantities only. The bottom line is the only thing that is convincing and universally understood. This fully loaded concept requires accounting for everything that goes in and everything that goes out. If one is going to spend time, money, blood, sweat, or tears, it is essential to count the cost, know what success means, and what the true result is. In the end, it is imperative to show the value of key contributors and decision makers.

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Our Best War Stories

We’ve all heard it: the blustering War Story that starts with “So there I was…” and invokes a mental eye-roll, an internal response that is partly “Here we go again” and mostly “I really wish I had topped off my beer.” The anthology Our Best War Stories is the opposite of that. It is a riveting collection of short stories and poetry written by brave people who have clearly grappled with the highs and lows of the human condition. 

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From CO to CEO: A Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to Industry Leadership

From CO to CEO is a treasure trove of wisdom for those suffering from the “unknown unknowns” of the transition process or those who seek to clarify their knowledge from someone who has been there before. This book provides the unvarnished truths that will answer most questions and then help veterans ask better questions in light of their new knowledge. From CO to CEO should be assigned reading for all service members and especially those within two years of transitioning.

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Into Enemy Waters: A World War II Story of the Demolition Divers Who Became the Navy SEALs

Andrew Dubbins wrote Into Enemy Waters: A World War II Story of the Demolition Divers Who Became the Navy SEALs so one of last surviving members of the UDT, 95-year-old George Morgan, can tell his version of the heroic stories from WWII. Dubbins introduces Draper Kauffman, an officer who joined the navy through an unusual route, established the UDT training pipeline, and led the UDT community throughout WWII.

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Developing the Naval Mind

The authors’ overall theme is understanding how naval professionals think and how they should learn. More than that, the authors operationalize each of these essays for military educators. Each selection includes discussion questions crafted by the authors, equipping a seminar leader both with reading material and a path to guide a dialogue in seminar. Readers can use it as a template to develop syllabi tailored to the educational objectives of their own organizations

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From CO to CEO: A Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to Industry Leadership

Capt. Toti addresses the million-dollar question for service members–when is the right time to leave the military and start a civilian career? Using relatable examples from his navy career, he methodically guides the reader through common mistakes, attributes needed to succeed, and the defense contractor landscape most veterans transition into. He relates how private industry functions, the potential opportunities for veterans, resumes, targeting jobs, interviewing, and tricky subjects like defining one’s compensation. Capt. Toti is candid as he comments on poor practices, not sugar-coating his words as other civilian self-help books might do.

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Dodgebomb: Outside the Wire in the Second Iraq War

The author’s detailed description of the Iraq landscape plus the care and attention he gives to the development of his characters are both prime points of this quick read. He does an excellent job of providing a familiar environment to those who have served while simultaneously bringing along the uninitiated reader. The reader will identify with 2LT Fitz as he navigates the early days of his army career in the most inhospitable of environments.

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War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First Century Great Power Competition and Conflict

Ryan packages his ideas about people, ideas, and technology as a force to better understand the enduring nature of, and changing character of, war. In doing so, he posits that globalization and the forces that drive it have led, and will continue to lead, to increased competition and conflict not only between militaries but the nation states that fund and support them. What will distinguish the leaders in these competitions will be how people who are professionally and self-educated take existing ideas and technologies, new technologies, and evolve them into new war-fighting strategies and concepts.

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West Point Admiral: Leadership Lessons from Four Decades of Military Service

West Point Admiral has something to offer everyone. At one level, it provides a tremendous insight into what it means to be a leader, to treat others with respect, and how to evaluate a new situation and make positive changes. Shelton focuses on the fundamentals of leadership, such as setting expectations up front, holding people accountable for their actions, while always taking care of them. 

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From CO to CEO: A Practical Guide for Transitioning from Military to Industry Leadership

Everyone gets out of the military at some point. It’s a realization that comes for all service members, regardless of career trajectory. Most of us will tell ourselves we’re prepared to tackle a second career, despite the uncertainty, because we’ve been tested and have demonstrated leadership. Less than a page into Chapter 1 of From CO to CEO, Bill Toti throws much-needed cold water on that notion.

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Washington: A Life

George Washington remains, to this day, one of the most admired figures in the annals of American history. The hero of the Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States, he is often sanctified in historical discussions. In truth, he was a “sensitive, complex figure, full of pent-up passion,” who had many fallible traits and shortcomings. Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize winning expansive biography is a “one volume, cradle to grave narrative” of this fascinating individual.

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Man’s Search for Meaning

In Viktor Frankl’s world renown book Man’s Search for Meaning, the steady underlying beat of the emotionally grounding drum comes as a Nietzsche quote explaining that “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” Numerous accounts of the world wars have depicted the gruesome accounts humankind has enacted on his likeness in the name of ideals and values, the aftermath giving way to deep-dives and analytics in search of answering the “why”.

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Marine Maxims

Colonel Gordon informs us that “Leadership is easy. Being a leader is hard”, a comment that sets the tone for the book. Marine Maxims uses common sense rules and principles based on personal experiences to deliver a vicarious education. It is a very personal book the author uses to share success and shortcomings in equal measure to guide leaders of all ranks using fifty practical maxims that teach the art of enlightened and informed leadership. 

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Saltwater Leadership Second Edition

In a slim, pocket-sized book authored by Rear admiral (RADM) Robert O. Wray Jr. USN (Ret), Vice admiral (VADM) John B. Mustin USN, RADM Theodore P. S. LeClair USN, and Commander (CDR) Andrew K. Ledford USN, PhD, Saltwater Leadership captures the collective wisdom of their 100-plus years of successful naval service concisely. It is based on their surveys of 380 other senior leaders and their review of thousands of pages of leadership books. True to the aim of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Blue & Gold Professional Library, the book is an inside job for naval leaders by naval leaders.

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