Ready for Change? The New Year is Up to You!

Gold alarm clock against wood wall

Hey GLC readers! 2019 starts with lots of unknowns and questions. Are you…

  • Going to do the same things and follow the same strategies as last year, or…
  • Going to take some chances and try some things out of the box?  

Kinda scary huh, especially if your organization did well and/or exceeded expectations last year? Why change a proven strategy if it worked before? Great question.

I remember attending the Naval War College (NWC) after spending almost 15 months as XO of the Bahrain based SEAL unit post-9/11, where we were involved in a myriad of combat operations throughout Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, plus “prepared the battlefield” for Operation Iraqi Freedom operations that commenced in March 2003. It was a crazy time, and we learned that getting the job done required us to think outside the box of existing military protocol/doctrine.

I vividly remember many a class where the students and faculty would engage in heated discussions between how real-world operations were being executed and the currently taught course of instruction.

When I got to NWC, I (and many of my fellow students) saw a culture that was lagging behind what was happening overseas, and very reluctant to change their existing course curriculum. I vividly remember many a class where the students and faculty would engage in heated discussions between how real-world operations were being executed and the currently taught course of instruction. This included one well-known NWC professor publicly calling out a senior officer as “wrong” because that officer did not follow that professor’s book on how to conduct combat operations, even though that same officer had just successfully managed approximately 6 months of combat operations in Afghanistan.

Teacher in front of class lecture

It took some time, but eventually, the NWC realized that a curriculum change was needed, and in close coordination with the students, developed a syllabus that better matched current military operations on the ground.

Coach’s tip(s) for this month:

The question of whether to stay the course or change can only be answered by you. But remember this definition as you attack the new year.

Insanity = doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Ultimately, the current “situation and terrain” of your business/organization will dictate how you do things this year. Good luck!

As an added bonus this month, please check out the attached YouTube link I recently did with an old SEAL teammate, Don Shipley. He’s retired now like me but doing great things for vets and their families. On the side, he also exposes individuals claiming to be SEALs and puts the videos on YouTube for everyone’s enjoyment.

For this video, he changed gears, and we share some funny sea stories about our platoon days together, my meteoric career in the SEALs, and a nice review of the book that I co-authored with Bill Treasurer, The Leadership Killer: Reclaiming Humility in an Age of Arrogance. The video lasts a little over an hour, but it’s good, funny, and informative. The last 2 minutes are amazing!  Please enjoy!

About John Havlik

CAPT John “Coach” Havlik, U.S. Navy SEAL (Retired), led special operations teams around the world during his 31-year naval career, to include the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the SEAL’s most elite operational unit. CAPT Havlik was a nationally-ranked swimmer, and is a member of the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame and Mountaineer Legends Society. @CoachHavlik www.CoachHavlik.com

What People Are Saying

There are no comments yet – why not be the first to leave a comment?

Leave a Comment